How to Obtain a Car Title for an Abandoned Vehicle in Colorado

By Owen E. Richason IV - Updated June 19, 2017
Abandoned car on the side of road

In the state of Colorado, the Department of Revenue defines an abandoned vehicle as an automobile left on private property unauthorized for a period of 24 hours, a vehicle left on public property unauthorzied for a period of 48 hours or left at a retail automobile repair shop without retrieval by the owner. To get a title to claim ownership of an abandoned vehicle in Colorado, one must follow a few preparatory steps.

Report the abandoned vehicle to the appropriate local Colorado law enforcement agency such as the city police department or the county sheriff's department. Get a police or sheriff department's report of an abandoned vehicle. Ask where the vehicle will be impounded.

Publish a notice of locating an abandoned vehicle a Colorado newspaper of the vehicle's locality. The notice publication must state the make, model, color, approximate year, vehicle identification number and license plate number, if applicable to attempt to locate the owner. Order a publication certificate from the newspaper publisher.

Download and complete the Colorado Department of Revenue's Application for Title and/or Registration from the website (See Resources). Mail the form and publication certificate to the nearest Colorado Department of Revenue's branch office along with the $8.20 registration fee, as of 2010. Receive a new title and registration through the mail from the CDR's branch office.

Take the title to the law enforcement agency storing the car in its impound yard. Provide the Colorado law enforcement agency with a copy of the new title and registration. Pay the storage/impound fee and take possession of the abandoned vehicle.

About the Author

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.

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