Understanding Unclaimed Vehicles: Why It's Important to Report Them.

Have you ever come across a car parked in a public space for weeks, or on a private property without any signs of moving?

This is what is referred to as an unclaimed vehicle. It can be problematic for the community and even the owner of the vehicle.

Unclaimed vehicles can cause a significant impact on safety, public health, and property preservation.

That's why it's essential to know what to do when you encounter an unclaimed vehicle and why it is necessary to report it to the Department of Revenue (DOR).

When it comes to unclaimed vehicles, there's a certain protocol that must be followed. As soon as a vehicle is deemed "unclaimed", it's important to report it to the DOR within 5 calendar days.

This is a crucial step in ensuring that the vehicle is handled properly, whether that means it's returned to its rightful owner or put up for sale.

By reporting unclaimed vehicles in a timely manner, we're able to keep the process moving smoothly and ensure that everyone involved is treated fairly.

So if you have unclaimed vehicles, don't hesitate to report it to the DOR as soon as possible.

Unclaimed Vehicle
Photo by Alexandra Nicolae / Unsplash

Unclaimed vehicles are those that the owner has abandoned or have remained stationary for an extended period without any sign of movement. An unclaimed vehicle can be any type of vehicle that has no contactable owner or that is left unattended for too long.

It could be a vehicle left on the roadside, private property, or even in a parking lot.

These vehicles pose considerable risks to the community, hence the importance of reporting them to the DOR. Several factors can lead to a vehicle being unclaimed.

One of them is when a vehicle has been abandoned on public roads and highways.

This can occur when the owner of that car is in a critical situation and leaves it on the street. Another scenario is if the car is not redeemed within 48 hours of the mutually agreed redemption date.

The vehicle can also be left on private property for repairs or if left unattended due to driver arrest or impairment. When a vehicle is unclaimed, there are essential steps to be taken.

Firstly, you must report the vehicle to the Department of Revenue.

After that, research is conducted to identify the owner and lien holder of record. If there is no response from the owner and the lien holder, there is a waiting period of 35 days.

After this, the vehicle is considered abandoned, and the DOR can proceed with its sale. There is required documentation and record-keeping to ensure the vehicle's ownership transfer is legitimate.

If the unclaimed vehicle is not reported, it can result in several consequences and / or legal implications. That includes property damage or the obstruction of public roadways, which can compromise public safety.

On top of that, there could be financial penalties and  forfeit of fees for impoundment and storage of the vehicle.

Therefore, it is essential to follow the right procedures and report that unclaimed vehicle to the DOR to avoid these consequences.

Unclaimed Vehicle
Photo by Pedram Normohamadian / Unsplash


It's essential to remember that unclaimed vehicles pose significant safety, public health, and property preservation risks and should be reported to the DOR. You must understand the different situations that can lead to a vehicle becoming unclaimed and the necessary steps to be taken when they are. If not reported, there could be legal and financial implications. By reporting these vehicles, you help maintain public safety and property preservation while also complying with legal and financial responsibilities.

Share this article: Link copied to clipboard!

You might also like...

How To File For A Title On A Abandoned Vehicle In Alabama.

Alabama Abandoned Salvage Vehicles.

Abandoned Vehicle Lien Sale Process