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Abandoned Vehicle



What is an abandoned vehicle?
A vehicle is considered abandoned if it has been in the same public location for at least three consecutive days. Most often, it will be damaged or missing critical components, such as the engine, wheels, tires or plates.

You may be able identify a vehicle as abandoned if:
  • It has been in the same location for at least three consecutive days
  • Is missing the engine, wheels, tires or any other part of the vehicle that make it inoperable
  • Has a broken window or windshield that limits visibility
  • Has one or more flat tires
  • Does not have valid license plates
  • Is not registered
  • Note: This doesn’t include any vehicle kept within a building when it is not in use

How to report an abandoned vehicle
To report an abandoned vehicle, call your local police department with the location and description of the vehicle.


How to obtain to title an abandoned vehicle
If you want to claim ownership and title an abandoned vehicle, you must request an application packet from the Special Title Section at an MVC Agency. You must state whether the vehicle was found on public or private property.

In order to operate an abandoned vehicle on New Jersey roads, it must first pass a state inspection process.

If you own a repair facility and a vehicle was abandoned on your property, you may have it removed and stored or you may sell it at a public or private sale.

For more information or to request an information packet, contact:

NJMVC Special Title Section
P.O. Box 017
Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0017
(609) 292-6500 ext. 5069


Public agency guide to abandoned & unclaimed vehicles
A vehicle abandoned on public property must either be offered for sale at public auction or junked. A junk title will only be issued if the vehicle is inoperable or cannot be put in safe operational condition except at a cost in excess of the value of the vehicle.

Download the public agency guide and related forms to dispose of abandoned or unclaimed vehicles:

NOTE: Changes have been made to this procedure effective April 1, 2010. These changes are highlighted in the Public Agency's Guide to Abandoned & Unclaimed Vehicles [pdf].

For more information or to request an information packet, contact:
NJMVC Abandoned Unit
P.O. Box 017
Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0017
Phone: (609) 292-6500 ext. 5069







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New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
P.O. Box 160
Trenton, NJ 08666
(609) 292-6500 or toll free in NJ (888) 486-3339
TTY (609) 292-5120

Last Updated: April 11, 2012