Understanding The Process Of Obtaining An Abandoned Vehicle Title In Colorado

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Abandoned vehicles can be a nuisance for both individuals and communities. In Colorado, there is a specific process to obtain an abandoned vehicle title. This article will guide you through the steps involved in acquiring the title for an abandoned vehicle in Colorado.

Step 1: Identification

The first step is to identify the vehicle as abandoned. This can be done by checking if the vehicle has been left unattended on public or private property for an extended period, typically more than 72 hours.

Step 2: Reporting

Once you have identified the abandoned vehicle, you need to report it to the local law enforcement agency or the Colorado Department of Revenue. They will initiate an investigation to determine the ownership of the vehicle.

Step 3: Investigation

During the investigation, authorities will try to contact the last known registered owner of the vehicle. If they are unsuccessful in locating the owner, they will proceed with the process of obtaining an abandoned vehicle title.

Step 4: Notification

If the owner cannot be located, the authorities will post a public notice at the location where the vehicle was found. This notice will provide details about the vehicle and inform the owner that they have a specific timeframe to claim the vehicle before it is considered abandoned.

Step 5: Waiting Period

After the notice has been posted, a waiting period of at least 15 days is required to allow the owner to claim the vehicle. If the owner does not come forward during this period, the authorities will proceed with the next steps.

Step 6: Auction

If the owner does not claim the vehicle within the waiting period, the authorities will arrange for an auction. The proceeds from the auction will be used to cover any outstanding fees or taxes related to the vehicle.

Step 7: Obtaining the Title

Once the vehicle has been auctioned, the highest bidder will receive a bill of sale. The new owner can then apply for an abandoned vehicle title through the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Step 8: Required Documents

To obtain the abandoned vehicle title, the new owner must submit the bill of sale, the auction receipt, a completed Application for Title or Registration, and any other supporting documents required by the Department of Revenue.

Step 9: Title Transfer

Upon submission of the required documents, the Colorado Department of Revenue will process the application and issue a new title to the new owner of the abandoned vehicle.


Acquiring an abandoned vehicle title in Colorado involves a series of steps, including identification, reporting, investigation, notification, waiting period, auction, and title transfer. By following these steps, you can legally obtain the title for an abandoned vehicle and become its rightful owner.