Thursday, January 30, 2014

Avoid abandoned vehicle fees after selling your car

Abandoned vehicle fees are listed on the ADOT website. By Doug Pacey
ADOT Office of Public Information
Selling a car can be exhilarating. Often times, it means a new car is in your future. But before you make your way to a dealership for a new ride, you should immediately file a Notice of Vehicle Sale with the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Division. There are plenty of good reasons for this, not the least of which is to avoid an Abandoned Vehicle fee.

Never heard of it? Well, it’s not a common occurrence, but it has happened enough to unsuspecting owners that we wanted to provide a reminder and general information to Arizona vehicle owners.

A property owner or law enforcement may have a car towed that has been abandoned or unclaimed – this can occur in parking lots, on the side of the road or an apartment complex, for example – for an extended period of time or as a result of a vehicle accident. Once MVD receives the request from the tow company to file the vehicle as abandoned, MVD sends notice to the owner, lien holder and any other interested party providing information that they have 30 days to reclaim the vehicle. If the vehicle is not claimed ownership of the vehicle may be transferred free and clear to the towing company.

The owner of record of an abandoned vehicle may be charged an abandoned vehicle fee when they attempt to submit a driver’s license application or attempt to register another vehicle. The fee is $500 if the vehicle is abandoned on private property, public land or within the right-of-way of any street or highway. It is $600 if left at a national forest, state park land, Bureau of Land Management land or state trust land.

It is possible to waive the Abandoned Vehicle Fee. The owner must submit proof to MVD that the vehicle was sold or transferred prior to the date of abandonment. MVD may consider the following examples as proof:
  • Copy of the sold notice sent to the MVD prior to the abandonment 
  • Copy of the bill of sale dated prior to the abandonment 
  • Copy of the notarized Certificate of Title, reflecting the transfer of ownership 
  • Copy of the sales contract from a dealership, reflecting the vehicle was used as a trade-in 
To complete a Notice of Vehicle Sale, call MVD or visit This releases your liability, should the vehicle be processed as an Abandoned Vehicle.
Posted by Angela DeWelles   |  Labels:  Abandoned-Vehicle-Fee, Guest-Post


The Arizona Ombudsman – Citizens Aide helps you resolve ongoing issues with State Agencies.

Civil Rights

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés) y otras normas y leyes antidiscriminatorias, el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT) no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, edad o discapacidad. Las personas que requieran asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles de ADOT en Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más antes posible para asegurar que el Estado tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.