How do I dispose of an unclaimed/abandoned vehicles?
There are specific definitions of an abandoned and an unclaimed vehicle. Determine which definition applies to you,
Unclaimed motor vehicles include the following:
- A motor vehicle left unattended on a public road or highway for more than 48 hours.
- A motor vehicle, not left on private property for repairs that has remained on private or other public property for a period of more than 48 hours without the consent of the owner or lessee of the property.
- A motor vehicle, left on private property for repairs, that has not been reclaimed within 48 hours from the latter of either the date the repairs were completed or the agreed upon redemption date.
- A motor vehicle left unattended on a public street, road, or highway or other property for a period of at least 48 hours.
- A motor vehicle left unattended because the driver has been arrested or is impaired by an accident or for any other reason which causes the need for the vehicle to be immediately removed as determined necessary by law enforcement.
The State of Alabama now requires all vehicles within five (5) calendar days from the date the vehicle was first considered “unclaimed” by the person or entity in possession of a motor vehicle, the vehicle must be reported as “unclaimed” to the DOR through the Unclaimed/Abandoned portal.
Notice to Owners / Lien Holders – Notice of Auction:
Once reported unclaimed to the DOR, intense owner / lien holder research is required to determine the last known owner and lien holders name and address for the notification of the vehicle. This may include using the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) to determine the State in which the vehicle is titled and/or registered. When the State of current title is located, a vehicle title record must be requested that will detail owner / lien holder information. Each request MUST be in consistent to the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act on the uses of the information requested.
When the title record is received, within 5 days, you must send a Notice of Possession to the owner and lien holder of record. The owner and lien holder of record must be reported to DOR through the Unclaimed/Abandoned portal along with repairs, towing, daily storage rate and any other fees that is owed on the vehicle. 35 days after notice has been sent by certified mail the vehicle is considered abandoned and can be sold.
Final Dispose of an abandoned vehicle:
Notice of Public Auction, the vehicle may be sold. The abandoned vehicle bill of sale will be generated from the Unclaimed/Abandoned portal and will be used to apply for the Alabama certificate of title. All research documents, legal newspaper ads, certified mail receipts etc, must be kept by the seller for 3 consecutive years after the sale of the abandoned vehicle.
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