About This Article
If you want to get the title to an abandoned vehicle, keep in mind that the process can be pretty complicated, and there are generally fees involved. To get started, locate the vehicle’s VIN number, which is typically located on the lower left corner of the dashboard. Then, give the VIN number to your local DMV so they can track down the vehicle’s owner. If they’re able to find the owner and the owner is willing to sell the vehicle, you can purchase the title from them. If the owner isn’t found, you’ll need to hire an attorney and ask the courts to award you a new title to the vehicle. For more advice, like what to do if the owner is found but they’ve lost the title to the vehicle, read on!
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Doctor of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013.
Updated: March 29, 2019