How to Re-title an abandoned vehicle ? Suggestions

Joined
May 25, 2005
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Hi all,
I've been reading about applying for a title on abandoned vehicles in Colorado. I'm currently working for an apartment complex and a nice not wrecked Early 2000s Mercedes ML 450 has been sitting for 3 months. Has anyone on Bitog successfully done this? According to local rules "abandoned " is anything on private property that has sat longer than 48 hours without owner approval. I'm trying to get a jump on this as a scrap car company occasionally shows up and they junk everything they tow. Supposedly in Colorado you have to call a tow company, then they have to hold it for 60 days to allow the original owners to claim it. Then have the local Sheriff's office run the vin to make sure it's not stolen etc. Then you can apply for a new title on the vehicle. Has anyone ever done this. The steps seem a little daunting as i don't know if the tow company would want to hold it that long. Supposedly the original owners would get the impound fee, I wouldn't pay it. All help appreciated.
 
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The tow company will likely charge you storage at $30-$50/day for that 60 days plus the cost of a tow. I’d evaluate whether it’s worth it based on those expenses and the fact that maybe it’s got some sort of expensive engine/trans damage that kept it from moving in the first place. Maybe the person got arrested and is just sitting in jail waiting on a court appearance? Might not be the kind of person you want to explain the abandoned vehicle process to when they get out and see you driving their car! I’d pass.
 
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Hi all,
I've been reading about applying for a title on abandoned vehicles in Colorado. I'm currently working for an apartment complex and a nice not wrecked Early 2000s Mercedes ML 450 has been sitting for 3 months. Has anyone on Bitog successfully done this?

Long story, short: I "pulled a title out of thin air" on a '97 Ranger that I have. A storage owner bought a storage unit that had a '97 Ranger in it. It was in there when he purchased the storage units and wanted it out. I bought it for $200 off of Craigslist and found out that it had come from California and was then parked in the storage unit and was abandoned. I wanted it for parts, but it was in too good of shape for parts, so I wanted to license it. My state DMV wouldn't touch this project, so I contacted the Vermont DMV. It's a cash grab for the state, but they will give you registration and a license plate through the mail without the vehicle ever being in their state. Certain rules apply (vehicle must be 15+ years old, I think), but you send them the cash, they send you the license plate and registration. You don't get a title from Vermont, but you then go to the DMV in your state and apply for a title. You can use the Vermont tag for a year before it expires.
Now, I can't wait for all the replies that say this method doesn't work, but I now have a '97 Ranger outside that is my daily driver. When I first got the Vermont license plate, I also walked into the local police station with the license plate, told them the whole story (they'd never heard of this), and had them run the tag through their system. It was all legit and they told me "happy motoring". I also asked them what would happen if I run into a cop with the mentality of Barney Fife and he decided to harass me because I had a Kansas address with a Vermont license plate. They told me not to worry about it.
YMMV and good luck.
P.S. At the time, I think the Vermont DMV opens fairly early in the morning. Call early.
 
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AutoMechanic

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Mechanics lean. That is what a buddy of mine did for a ton of vehicles left on his lot when he was selling the place. They were left in the 90s and early 2000s and never came back for. So what that does is he files with the DMV then they sent a notice to the last known address of the owner of each vehicle and they had 15 days to move it or it was his or he could sign it over to the auction company as well. Well all the owners had moved out of country so he got all the vehicles saved the ones he could. There was 10-12 vehicles and two semi trucks. I actually seen one of them going down the road recently the 1985 Ford Ranger I noticed it was the same because of the faded hood and door. That’s how it works in Virginia anyway so you maybe a little different.
 

97prizm

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My dad suggested to try to look up the owners with the vin and see if I could offer them some cash. I know with identity theft and whatnot the dmv wont give out personal information. The owner moved out three months back, so I'd have no idea where they moved to. Half the time some of the abandoned vehicles like these have minor repairs needed.
 
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I'm a bit skeptical about the part where the original owner gets the storage bill for the mandatory 60-day hold. People who abandon cars aren't generally the type to get a bill like that and pay it. If I were the owner of the impound, that car wouldn't be going anywhere until the storage bill was paid.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
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Kentucky
Long story, short: I "pulled a title out of thin air" on a '97 Ranger that I have. A storage owner bought a storage unit that had a '97 Ranger in it. It was in there when he purchased the storage units and wanted it out. I bought it for $200 off of Craigslist and found out that it had come from California and was then parked in the storage unit and was abandoned. I wanted it for parts, but it was in too good of shape for parts, so I wanted to license it. My state DMV wouldn't touch this project, so I contacted the Vermont DMV. It's a cash grab for the state, but they will give you registration and a license plate through the mail without the vehicle ever being in their state. Certain rules apply (vehicle must be 15+ years old, I think), but you send them the cash, they send you the license plate and registration. You don't get a title from Vermont, but you then go to the DMV in your state and apply for a title. You can use the Vermont tag for a year before it expires.
Now, I can't wait for all the replies that say this method doesn't work, but I now have a '97 Ranger outside that is my daily driver. When I first got the Vermont license plate, I also walked into the local police station with the license plate, told them the whole story (they'd never heard of this), and had them run the tag through their system. It was all legit and they told me "happy motoring". I also asked them what would happen if I run into a cop with the mentality of Barney Fife and he decided to harass me because I had a Kansas address with a Vermont license plate. They told me not to worry about it.
YMMV and good luck.
P.S. At the time, I think the Vermont DMV opens fairly early in the morning. Call early.
This actually does work, but a few states are catching on, and will not accept a Vermont registration as proof of ownership unless said registration has a Vermont address.

I had a buddy buy a 1993 Jaguar here in KY a couple months ago, but the title he received from the seller had been signed but never transferred (it already had a transfer reported and signed for, but guy never took it to the DMV for actual transfer and pay taxes). My buddy didn’t know better and assumed he could add another transfer on the second line, but I think that’s only for dealers. Title was out of state so it became a huge hassle. Long story short he was SOL and local DMV wouldn’t touch it. Seller was no help getting it resolved and kept dragging his feet.

Had my buddy look up the Vermont title loophole, I used to live in VT so had heard about it but never used it. He filled out the form, calculated and mailed in the appropriate sales tax (based on low retail NADA value), bill of sale, and sent in a VIN inspection from the local sheriff. I’m not entirely sure that latter step is necessary but can’t hurt. Never even had to call the VT DMV, three weeks later he had new Vermont plates in the mail, and a registration and year decal. Since Vermont doesn’t issue titles for vehicles >15 years old, the registration serves as proof of ownership and you can use it to get tags/title in your own state, or just drive on the VT plates for a year.

There’s reports on the internet of PA, OH and possibly other states not accepting them with local address on a Vermont registration. I told my buddy if they give him any flak (which in KY, is highly unlikely) to just make up a story about being a snowbird and living there half the year or something…
 
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97prizm

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So an update on this. I spoke with the owner of the tow company that tows vehicles from our property. He said he'd work with me. Colorado puc requires tow companies to "dispose " ie crush abandoned vehicles or sell them for the impound fee. Total crap in my opinion
 
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