Understanding Alabama's Definition of Abandoned Motor Vehicles

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 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.
  • A motor vehicle that is subject to an impoundment order for outstanding traffic or parking violations.

Within five calendar days from the date the vehicle was first considered “unclaimed,” the person or entity in possession of the vehicle must report the “unclaimed” vehicle to ADOR. A 60-day hold will be placed on the vehicle title record.

NOTE: Storage fees may not be assessed unless the unclaimed vehicle is reported to ADOR within five calendar days of the date the vehicle becomes unclaimed.

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