Abandoned Vehicle Laws NC

Abandoned Vehicle Laws in NC

What the North Carolina law currently says

If you are currently dealing with an abandoned vehicle left on your property and are trying to figure out how to register an abandoned vehicle  you’ve come to the right page.

The law is clear on this subject.

In North Carolina there is a clear law defining, first of all, what an Abandoned vehicle is.

NC Statutes § 20-137.7.1:

“Abandoned vehicle” means a motor vehicle that has remained illegally on private or public property for a period of more than 10 days without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property.

So there you have it, if a vehicle remains on any property for more than 10 days without expressed permission from the owner, then it is considered “abandoned” and at this point you can take the next steps depending on what you would like to do with said automobile.

How to Get Title for Abandoned Vehicle

  • Call your local law enforcement. Request for them check the VIN number to make sure the vehicle has not been reported as stolen. More than likely the officer will then ask to schedule a time to view the vehicle at your property. If it comes back that it is not stolen than you may proceed otherwise it is then in the hands of law enforcement to deal with the stolen vehicle.
  • At this point you’ll need to consider about whether this vehicle is worth the effort in try to gain the title, because according to the following law, it may be considered a “junked motor vehicle”:

    A “junked motor vehicle” is an abandoned motor vehicle that also:a. Is partially dismantled or wrecked; orb. Cannot be self-propelled or moved in the manner in which it originally was intended to move; orc. Is more than five years old and appears to be worth less than one hundred dollars ($100.00); ord. Does not display a current license plate. Source.

  • Next, you must find out whether there are any liens attached to the vehicle. You may investigate this matter by asking the county recorder.
  • Now you’ll need to file a “REPORT OF UNCLAIMED VEHICLE” or NC DMV LT-260 which clearly states at the top: “The motor vehicle described below has been unclaimed for 10 days and is hereby reported to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles as required by law. (G.S. §20-77(d))”You will need to fill out this form in its entirety and have it notarized before sending it in. Usually within a month you should receive a DMV response regarding the LT-260.
  • You’ll need to go through the process of notifying the owner and any and all lien holders on the vehicle.
  • If all goes well you will need to apply for an abandoned vehicle title through the North Carolina DMV using the form LT-262 and supply the $10 fee to the DMV when you bring in the form.
  • Wait until the waiting period elapses and hopefully you will obtain the title.

This process can obviously take many twists and turns and if all the forms aren’t done perfectly, chances are you will have to redo them and go through waiting periods many times over. This can all be a very painstaking process if you aren’t familiar with the many variables that come in, for example if the car does contain a lien on it, OR if the need arises to put a bond on the car.

To get the advice of a North Carolina expert that is NOT government paid, and who actually cares about you the individual in need of an abandoned vehicle title, it is highly recommended that you seek out Martha and Kristian at Auto Title Pros based out of the Charlotte area. Website here. They handle all North Carolina cases and they will be happy to talk with you.


Remember, in this America, counties have the right to make laws that are sometimes different or require other steps. Check with your county law in regards to abandoned and unclaimed vehicles.


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