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CODE-INQUIRY: Abandoned Vehicles

What is an abandoned vehicle?

A vehicle can be deemed abandoned if:

1.  It is located on public property illegally.

2.  Has not been moved for three (3) days (if on public property).

3.  Constitutes a hazard or obstruction to the movement of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

4.  It is located on private property without the consent of the owner (or person in control of the property) for more than forty-eight (48) hours.

5.  The engine, transmission or differential has been removed or that is otherwise partially dismantled or inoperable and left on public properties.

6.  If at least three (3) model years old, is mechanically inoperable and is left on private property (publically visible) for more than twenty (20) continuous days.

7.  Located on public property without a valid license plate.

What is the abandoned vehicle complaint procedure?

Departmental Violations Procedures

  • The inspector verifies that the vehicle is considered abandoned according to Indiana State Law.
  • Vehicles on public property are issued a red tag and can be towed after three days.
  • If the vehicle owner has not complied within 72 hours and it has been red tagged, we are authorized to tow it.
  • Vehicles on private property are issued a yellow tag advising the owner that the vehicle must be proven operable or removed within 20 days.
  • If it has been yellow tagged for 20 days being on private property, we can then red tag it and after 3 days, we are authorized to tow it.
  • If the property owner or agent signs an abandoned vehicle removal waiver, the yellow tag process can be eliminated and we can put a red tag on the vehicle.  The form can be found online.
  • After we tow the vehicle and if the vehicle is valued at under $500, the vehicle is sold for scrap immediately. If over $500, the vehicle will be auctioned if unclaimed.

How do I get more information on Abandoned Vehicles?

For 311:

For abandoned vehicle complaint, please ask these questions for the CRM service request: 

  • Where is the car located? Specific address preferred.
  • Is this address public or private property? Example: Gas Station vs. Parked in front of resident's home
  • IF PRIVATE PROPERTY: See Abandoned Vehicle Waiver Article
  • What is the color of the vehicle?
  • What is the make and model of the vehicle (Ford F150, Toyota Corolla, etc.)?
  • How long has the vehicle been there? 
  • Are there any flat tires on the vehicle?
  • When did you last see it move?
  • What makes you believe the vehicle is inoperable?
  • Do you know if the owner of the vehicle is deployed on military service? Deployed armed forces members are exempt from this complaint enforcement. 
  • Optional: What is your contact information, in the event that the inspector would like to follow-up?
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