Motor and Other Vehicles

Abandoned Motor Vehicles

SECTION 31-42-3

§ 31-42-3. Notification of owner and lienholders.

(a) A police department which takes into custody an abandoned motor vehicle shall notify within fifteen (15) days of it, by registered mail, return receipt requested, the last known registered owner of the motor vehicle and all lienholders of record that the vehicle has been taken into custody. The notice shall describe the year, make, model, and serial number of the abandoned motor vehicle The notice shall set forth the location of the facility where the motor vehicle is being held, inform the owner and any lienholders of their right to reclaim the motor vehicle within three (3) weeks after the date of the notice, upon payment of all towing, preservation, and storage charges resulting from placing the vehicle in custody, and state that the failure of the owner or lienholders to exercise their right to reclaim the vehicle within the time provided shall be deemed a waiver by the owner and all lienholders of all right, title, and interest in the vehicle and consent to the sale of the abandoned motor vehicle at a public auction.

(b) If the identity of the last registered owner cannot be determined, or if the registration contains no address for the owner; or if it is impossible to determine with reasonable certainty the identity and addresses of all lienholders, notice by one publication in one newspaper of general circulation in the area where the motor vehicle was abandoned shall be sufficient to meet all requirements of notice pursuant to this chapter. The notice by publication can contain multiple listings of abandoned vehicles. The notice shall be within the time requirements prescribed for notice by registered mail and shall have the same contents required for a notice by registered mail.

(c) The consequences and effect of failure to reclaim an abandoned motor vehicle shall be as set forth in a valid notice given pursuant to this section.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1971, ch. 234, § 1.)