How To Get An Abandoned Vehicle Title In AZ

Abandoned Vehicle Titles

When you want to find a deal on a car, you can do a variety of things. You can scour the internet looking for the best deal possible. You can also give a home to an abandoned vehicle.

But what do you do when you find an abandoned vehicle in Arizona? Certainly, you can’t just have it towed and call it your own.

To legally obtain an abandoned vehicle title in AZ, you need to follow a few basic steps. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you will know how to obtain a vehicle title for an abandoned vehicle in Arizona. 

What Is Considered an Abandoned Vehicle?

First and foremost, determine if the vehicle is indeed abandoned. Arizona law labels a vehicle as an abandoned vehicle if it is a trailer, vehicle, or semitrailer left on private or public property for a period of time. If no one claims it, then you can call it abandoned. 

The individual who owns the private property where the owner abandoned the vehicle has the first opportunity to claim an abandoned vehicle. The towing company that requests the opportunity to eliminate the vehicle has the second opportunity. 

In short, the individual who wants the vehicle must have custody and knowledge of the lost, unclaimed, stolen, seized, or removed from a public road by public legal authorities. 

Once you’ve determined a vehicle is indeed an abandoned vehicle in Arizona, then you need to follow these basic steps. 

Step 1: Fill Out an Abandoned Vehicle Report

After you’ve located an abandoned vehicle, begin the abandoned vehicle process by calling the local police department. Locate the vehicle’s VIN number, and then share this number with the police. This number will help the police determine if the vehicle is a stolen vehicle.

You can find the VIN on the inside of the driver’s side door typically. 

If the vehicle is not a stolen vehicle, fill out an abandoned vehicle report. You can find this report on the Arizona Department of Transportation website. Look specifically for Form 46-4402. 

Once you’ve contacted the police and determined the vehicle isn’t stolen, you will have to wait 30 to 60 days to see if the owner claims the vehicle. The police will post a public notice regarding the vehicle. This notice will give the owner 30 to 60 days to claim the vehicle. 

Once this time has passed, you can request that the police department list the vehicle as abandoned. You will need the vehicle’s VIN when you make this request. 

Step 2: Have An Inspection Done

You will need to contact an approved authorized third party that will inspect the vehicle before you can claim it. You can find a list of qualified third parties at the Arizona Department of Transportation. During the inspection, the inspection company will look for the following things: 

  • An intact VIN plate
  • Correct rivets holding the VIN plate in place
  • A secondary VIN that matches the VIN on the VIN plate
  • A clear VIN on the customer’s registration and title that matches the given vehicle’s VIN
  • The required equipment on the vehicle as required by the Arizona Revised Statutes

A qualified inspection company will know how to obtain this information. Furthermore, they’ll have keen eyes that help them see if the vehicle has been tampered with. 

Step 3: Complete and Mail In Necessary Documents

At this point, you need to complete the necessary documents as provided by the Department of Transportation. You can then mail the $10 processing fee with the documents. 

Give yourself some time for the entire process. While finding the vehicle may take just a few days, the process for obtaining a title legally will take a couple of months.

After you’ve waited 60 days, you will receive the Authorization of Transfer of Ownership in the mail. The motor vehicle department will use your most recent mailing address, so make sure you have the correct address on file. 

This final step will occur only if no one proves they own the vehicle or has financial responsibility for the vehicle. That sixty days can feel like an eternity, but it’s worth it once you discover you own a new vehicle for virtually no money. 

Make sure you activate your AZ motor vehicle department account at to ensure you receive the proper documents. 

Step 4: Wait for Processing Finalization

The Department of Motor Vehicles will ultimately send a letter and bond receipt to the Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Enforcement. The letter will give the County Treasurer the authority to issue you registration and title for the abandoned vehicle. 

An investigator may also contact you to verify that your title application information is correct. After you talk with the investigator, take the authorization letter and bond receipt to your county treasurer. Here you can pay your fees and apply for the certificate of title. 

You can also register your new-to-you vehicle at this time. And thus you’ll have a title for an abandoned vehicle. You will now legally own the vehicle that you waited so long for. 

Obtain an Abandoned Vehicle Title in AZ

Obtaining an abandoned vehicle title in AZ takes patience and time. But in the end, it’s worth the wait and time. You will own a vehicle that someone didn’t want. 

You will also have a vehicle that cost you more time than money. If you follow the appropriate steps, you’ll find yourself with a vehicle that you can use for years to come. 

Did you find an abandoned vehicle? Do you need help with transferring the title? Our experts can help you with this process. 

We specialize in expediting the process and making sure you have a clean title for the vehicle you want. Give us a call or contact us today. Let us help you find the title for an abandoned vehicle. 


GG&D provides complete full service vehicle registration & title services. Driver License & ID Services available at all GG&D locations.


GG&D Motor Vehicle Services, LLC was a founding member of the 3rd Party Motor Vehicle Association. We offer vehicle title transfers, license plate replacement, motor vehicle registration, duplicate titles, notary services, temporary permits and other MVD Arizona services. GG&D has locations in Phoenix, Glendale, and Mesa. Find a location near you!

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