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Abandoned, Immobile or Unattended Vehicles

Motor vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers, and combinations or parts of those objects that are abandoned, immobile or unattended on public and private property in Tennessee require the finder to follow this procedure to locate owners or sell unclaimed automobiles at auction.  Private individuals are NOT allowed to go through the procedure for abandoned, immobile or unattended vehicles.  As detailed in step one of this procedure, you must fill out this form, and mail it to the Department's Vehicle Services Division within three business days of taking the vehicle into custody.

An abandoned vehicle is:

  • more than four years old and left unattended on public property for more than 10 days;
  • in obvious state of disrepair and left unattended on public property for more than three days;
  • illegally on public property for more than 48 hours;
  • remaining on private property without consent of the owner/property manager for more than 48 hours; or
  • stored, parked or left in a garage, trailer park, or storage or parking lot for more than 30 consecutive days.

An immobile vehicle is:

  • incapable of moving under its own power due to accident, mechanical breakdown and weather conditions or other emergency.

An unattended vehicle is:

  • interfering with or impeding the orderly flow of traffic on public or private property in the absence of its owner or authorized driver; or
  • left on public or private property due to the arrest of the driver.