Vehicle Services

Abandoned Vehicles

Abandoned Vehicle Definition

According to Arizona law, an "abandoned vehicle" is a vehicle, trailer or semitrailer that is subject to registration and has been abandoned on public or private property, whether lost, stolen, abandoned or otherwise unclaimed.

Qualifying to File for an Abandoned Vehicle

A person must have knowledge and custody of a vehicle that is either

  • lost
  • stolen
  • abandoned or otherwise unclaimed that has been seized according to law
  • removed from a public highway or public property by order of a law enforcement officer

The owner/operator of a commercial repair facility, public garage or parking lot may use the abandoned vehicle process when the vehicle was left without a verbal or written contract.

Example: MVD receives a request from a tow company to file a 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 may be transferred free and clear to the towing company.

These are some examples of when a vehicle would not qualify for the abandoned vehicle process:

  • A person purchases a vehicle but does not have the proper documentation to complete the title transfer.
  • A vehicle is a mobile home that is 8' x 40' or larger.
  • A vehicle is left in a public garage or parking lot, under a written or verbal contract.
  • A vehicle is left in a self-service storage facility.
  • A historic vehicle is being stored or maintained on the vehicle owner's private property.
Towing Information

The Abandoned Vehicle Unit does not tow vehicles or arrange for towing. Please contact the appropriate Law Enforcement agency.

Towed Vehicle Notice:

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.