Ca Dmv Abandoned Vehicle: What You Need To Know In 2023

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Abandoned vehicles can be a problem in many areas, including California. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has established regulations and procedures to handle these abandoned vehicles. If you come across an abandoned vehicle in your neighborhood or on your property, it’s important to understand the steps to take to resolve the issue. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to deal with abandoned vehicles in California in 2023.

What is Considered an Abandoned Vehicle?

According to the CA DMV, a vehicle is considered abandoned if it is left unattended on public or private property for a period of more than 72 hours. This includes vehicles parked on the street, in parking lots, or even on your own property without your permission.

Reporting an Abandoned Vehicle

If you come across an abandoned vehicle, you should report it to your local law enforcement agency or the appropriate authority in your area. They will initiate an investigation and take the necessary actions to remove the vehicle. Provide them with as much information as possible, such as the vehicle’s make, model, license plate number, and location.

The CA DMV’s Role

The CA DMV plays a crucial role in handling abandoned vehicles. Once a vehicle is reported as abandoned, the DMV will conduct an investigation to identify the owner. They will check the vehicle’s registration records and attempt to contact the owner to resolve the issue.

Vehicle Removal Process

If the owner cannot be identified or fails to respond to the DMV’s attempts to contact them, the vehicle will be considered abandoned. The DMV will then authorize the towing and impoundment of the vehicle. The vehicle will be held in an impound lot until the owner claims it or it is sold at an auction.

Claiming an Abandoned Vehicle

If you believe that you are the rightful owner of an abandoned vehicle, you can contact the DMV to initiate the process of claiming the vehicle. You will need to provide proof of ownership, such as the vehicle’s registration or title, and pay any applicable fees and fines.

Disposing of an Abandoned Vehicle

If the abandoned vehicle remains unclaimed after a certain period of time, the DMV will arrange for its disposal. The vehicle may be sold at a public auction, scrapped, or donated to a charitable organization.

Penalties for Abandoning a Vehicle

Abandoning a vehicle is illegal in California and can result in penalties. The owner may be fined, and their driving privileges may be suspended. Additionally, the owner may be responsible for any towing and impoundment fees incurred during the process.


Dealing with abandoned vehicles can be a nuisance, but it’s important to follow the proper procedures to resolve the issue. By reporting abandoned vehicles to the appropriate authorities and cooperating with the CA DMV, you can help keep your community clean and safe. Remember to always follow the latest regulations and guidelines set by the CA DMV when dealing with abandoned vehicles in 2023.