How to legally obtain possession of abandoned vehicles in Alabama and Alaska

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Most of the cars that now litter our yards, fields, or roads were someone’s joy a long time ago. Over time, they began to break, wear out, and pay the price for age and miles. At one point, they ended up meaning nothing to their owners and were left to rot in barns or fields. Usually the cars found by the side of a road had just died there, some with an empty tank and others with a broken engine.

There are also many situations where these vehicles have been abandoned by burglars or thieves. Whatever the situation, drivers decide to leave these cars, some of them even with the keys in the ignition. But giving up a car is illegal, and there are consequences. Alabama Abandoned Vehicle Policy
In Alabama, most vehicles left unattended on public or private property can fall under abandoned vehicle laws. If they are parked on roadsides, highways, private or public property for more than 48 hours, cars are considered abandoned. Legally, the owner must notify the Department of Revenue (DOR) within five days after the vehicle has been reported as abandoned. Failure to do so may result in “in the forfeiture of all claims and liens for the garage, parking and storage of the vehicle prior to the time the vehicle is reported as unclaimed.”

What happens next is that the vehicle owner will use the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) to determine the state where the vehicle is registered and, after receiving the result, they will have to follow the procedures for application for registration of this state. That is why it is important, if you find a supposedly abandoned car, to gather all the information. Keep in mind that the DOR places a 60-day hold on the vehicle title record to protect the interest of the person or entity in the vehicle.

Within five days of receiving the NMVTIS dossier, the entity must send a notice of possession to the registered owner, title owner, and registered mail lien holder. If nothing happens, the DOR will post at least one ad per week for two consecutive weeks in the county where the vehicle was registered, and hold a public auction to sell the vehicle at least 35 days after the first posting date. .

Those who have purchased a vehicle through this auction will obtain a Bill of Sale on the Unclaimed / Abandoned portal, which can be used to apply for an Alabama certificate title.Alaska, the wet state with light procedures
In Alaska, humid air will not only destroy a vehicle, but it can also “dissolve” the title of an abandoned vehicle. If the vehicle is stopped within 10 feet of the freeway, on public property, the state will take care of it. If it is on private property, the vehicle could be claimed by the owner of that land. There is also a procedure and a few steps to follow, which include notifications sent to the owner of the title of the vehicle. If no one responds, then the state will sell the vehicle (if it was found on public property).

If the vehicle was found on private property, the owner of that location could obtain title to the vehicle. They should always follow the mandatory steps to find the owner of the vehicle title and post in a newspaper located near the address of the vehicle owner’s records. They should also try to send a notice to the last known address of the vehicle owner. If there is no response within 30 days, the State of Alaska may transfer title for that vehicle to the owner of the property where the vehicle was found abandoned. It must be said that a vehicle must be inspected by law enforcement to certify the VIN number. This will help prevent theft or fraud.

Our next stop will be in Arizona, Arkansas and Colorado. Stay tuned!

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