Abandoned vehicles

An abandoned vehicle is a vehicle that has been impounded by a registered tow truck operator and held in his or her possession for at least 120 consecutive hours (5 days).

Protect yourself with a report of sale

By law, the last registered owner on record must pay all the costs related to an abandoned vehicle unless we have a report of sale on file. If you file a report of sale within 5 business days of selling, trading, or giving away a vehicle, and it is later found abandoned, you won’t be required to pay these fees or court penalties. To learn more, see Report of sale.

Abandoned vehicles on your property

You can’t sell a vehicle that has been abandoned on your property. You must contact a registered tow truck company to have the vehicle removed.

Frequently asked questions

Can I sell a vehicle I bought at an abandoned vehicle auction?
Yes, if you transfer ownership into your name and properly release your interest on the new title, or provide the buyer with the Affidavit of Sale and bill of sale.

What if my vehicle was stolen and abandoned?
If the abandoned vehicle was stolen and you filed a theft report, you can’t be charged with abandoning the vehicle and won’t be required to pay any court fees or penalties. However, the law still requires the last registered owner on record to pay for the cost of removing, storing, and disposing of the abandoned vehicle.

Related laws

RCW 46.55.105: Responsibility of registered owner

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