Ohio and Oklahoma Have Specific Ways to Title an Abandoned Car


Would you bother trying to get your name on a title for a, let’s say, Geo Metro with a broken engine? I wouldn’t, not even if it were in running condition. I would just call the police and tell them that there is an abandoned vehicle on my property. But if I’d open a shed locked for years behind my newly acquired home and find a ’68 Charger, I would give an arm and a leg to get it. Anyway, the states of Ohio and Oklahoma make that possible, and here are some directions.With its unusual flag

Ohio is the only state that doesn’t have a rectangular flag. It’s just another facet of the inventive people from Buckeye State. If you are chewing a pack of gum, remember that it was invented in Toledo by Amos Tyler. Ohio is also the state of the first police car, dating back to 1899. Maybe they needed it faster than anyone else, since John William Lambert created the first truyl practical gasoline-powered American automobile in Ohio City in 1891. He crashed it, all right, but he didn’t abandon it, like other Ohio residents nowadays.

Unlike in most other states, Ohio residents need to title their vehicles at any local clerks instead of BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles). They can also go through the entire process by mail. But they can’t do the same when an abandoned vehicle is involved. Since the bonded title process doesn’t work here, the solution is via court orders.

For that, the petitioner has to ask a clerk’s office if there is any lien on the vehicle, which will cost them about $5. Also, he must send a certified letter to the owner or the lienholder telling them that they intend to petition the court for a Certificate of Title. If there is no answer, they must keep the return receipt since the court will ask for it. After going through a number of forms, an appointment with the Ohio State Highway Patrol must be set, as they need to come and take a look at the car. 

Upon inspection, police will provide a form the court requires. With all these in their hands, the petitioner will have to visit the Clerk of Courts General Division, pay another $45 and receive a pack with forms and instructions. If all these are done right, the petitioner will appear in front of the Common Pleas Court Judge. With the decision in their hands, they will file that to the Clerks of County General Division. The final step is to return to the Clerks of Courts Auto Title and apply for a Certificate of Title.The OK state

There are things to like and dislike about what came out of Oklahoma. We all use two inventions from this state: the shopping cart made by Sylvan Goldman, and the parking meter – Carl C. Magee created that in 1935. Also, we cannot forget that Garth Brooks was born in Tulsa.

In Oklahoma, the law considers a vehicle abandoned on private property if left unattended for at least 48 hours. If any member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has reasonable reason to believe a vehicle is abandoned on public property, highway, or the sides of the road, they have the authority to remove it. So, watch where you park. 

If an abandoned vehicle is auctioned by a towing company, all of its previous liens and fees imposed by the state will be canceled. But if one wants to claim a vehicle that sits on their property, a lien may be placed on it according to Oklahoma laws. The local government changed these in 2017, and you can consult them in the PDF below.

Basically, the petitioner has to visit the Oklahoma Registered Property to find out about the vehicle’s owner. After that, they have to wait ten days for an answer. After finding the address of the last known owner, the petitioner may move on and send two notices of possessory lien by both 1st class U.S. mail and certified mail with return receipt. They must add a photo of that vehicle in the envelopes, and wait for 60 days for an answer. If there is none, a notice of sale must be sent ten days before the sale date, and an announcement posted in two public places. 

In the end, if nobody shows up at the auction, the petitioner is the lucky owner of the vehicle found in their yard and may proceed on completing the paperwork. Just a friendly warning, though. Vehicles acquired through the Title 42 lien process may be subject to delinquent fees and taxes due to the State of Oklahoma. Thus, it might be better to hand over the vehicle to a towing company and buy it from there. Or hire an attorney.