Abandoned Vehicle Title In Washington State – 2023

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Abandoned Vehicle Title in Washington State – 2023

Understanding the Process of Obtaining an Abandoned Vehicle Title in Washington State

When a vehicle is abandoned in Washington State, it can cause various issues for both the owner and the community. In order to address this problem, the state has established a process for obtaining an abandoned vehicle title. This article will guide you through the steps involved in acquiring an abandoned vehicle title in Washington State in 2023.

Step 1: Reporting the Abandoned Vehicle

The first step in obtaining an abandoned vehicle title is to report the abandoned vehicle to the local authorities. You can contact your local law enforcement agency or the Washington State Patrol to report the abandoned vehicle and provide them with all the necessary details, such as the location, make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle.

Step 2: Waiting Period

After reporting the abandoned vehicle, the authorities will initiate a waiting period. In Washington State, the waiting period is typically 15 days. During this time, the authorities will try to locate the owner of the vehicle and give them an opportunity to claim it. If the owner fails to do so, the vehicle will be considered abandoned.

Step 3: Vehicle Inspection

Once the waiting period is over and no owner has claimed the vehicle, the authorities will conduct a thorough inspection of the abandoned vehicle. This inspection is done to assess the condition of the vehicle and determine if it is salvageable or should be declared a total loss.

Step 4: Obtaining a Bonded Title

If the vehicle is determined to be salvageable, you can proceed with obtaining a bonded title. A bonded title is a legal document that proves your ownership of the abandoned vehicle. To obtain a bonded title, you will need to contact the Department of Licensing in Washington State and provide them with the necessary documentation, such as the completed application form, the certificate of inspection, and proof of payment for any outstanding fees or taxes.

Step 5: Posting a Surety Bond

As part of the process of obtaining a bonded title, you will need to post a surety bond. The bond serves as a financial guarantee that you are the rightful owner of the abandoned vehicle. The amount of the bond is typically equal to the appraised value of the vehicle. You can obtain a surety bond from an insurance company or a bonding agency.

Step 6: Title Issuance

After you have completed all the necessary steps and provided the required documentation, the Department of Licensing will issue a bonded title for the abandoned vehicle in your name. This title will serve as proof of your ownership and will allow you to legally register and operate the vehicle in Washington State.


Obtaining an abandoned vehicle title in Washington State can be a complex process, but by following the steps outlined in this article, you can navigate through it successfully. Remember to report the abandoned vehicle, wait for the designated period, complete the necessary inspections, and provide all the required documentation to obtain a bonded title. With a bonded title in hand, you can enjoy the ownership of an abandoned vehicle in Washington State without any legal complications.