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Alabama Code Title 32. Motor Vehicles and Traffic § 32-8-84

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(a) The following shall be considered an unclaimed motor vehicle:

(1) A motor vehicle left unattended on a public road or highway for more than 48 hours.

(2) A motor vehicle, not left on private property for repairs, that has remained on private or other public property for a period of more than 48 hours without the consent of the owner or lessee of the property.

(3) A motor vehicle, left on private property for repairs, that has not been reclaimed within 48 hours from the latter of either the date the repairs were completed or the agreed upon redemption date.

(b) A person or entity in possession of an unclaimed motor vehicle shall report the motor vehicle as unclaimed to the Department of Revenue within five calendar days from the date the motor vehicle first was considered unclaimed.  The report shall be made in a manner as prescribed by the department.

(c)(1) Upon receiving notice as required in subsection (b), the department shall place a 45-calendar day hold on the title record and no title shall be issued during that time period unless the title transaction occurred prior to the date the motor vehicle was deemed unclaimed or the motor vehicle was returned to the recorded owner or lienholder of record, if any.

(2) If the motor vehicle was returned to the recorded owner or lienholder of record, if any, prior to the conclusion of the 45-calendar day hold period on the title record, the person or entity who reported the motor vehicle as unclaimed shall report the return of the motor vehicle within five calendar days in a manner as prescribed by the department.

(d)(1) A person or entity in possession of an unclaimed motor vehicle, upon reporting the motor vehicle as unclaimed to the department, shall utilize the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) to determine the current title state of record or, if no current title exists for the motor vehicle, the most recent state of registration for the motor vehicle.  Thereafter, the person or entity shall submit a records request to the state of record within five calendar days from the date the motor vehicle was reported as unclaimed to the department.

(2) The records request shall be sent to the current title state of record in order to obtain the name and address of the owner and lienholder of record, if any.  If no current title exists, the records request shall be sent to the most recent state of registration in order to obtain the name and address of the owner.

(3)a. In the event that no NMVTIS record exists and there is evidence that could be reasonably ascertained by the person or entity indicating that the motor vehicle has been registered in another state, the person or entity, within five calendar days from the date the motor vehicle was reported as unclaimed to the department, shall submit a records request to the state of registration in order to obtain the name and address of the owner.  Thereafter, the person or entity shall send notice by certified mail with either return receipt requested or electronic delivery confirmation, within five calendar days from receipt of the title record, to the owner and lienholder of record, if any, or registration record, to the owner of record, advising the owner and lienholder of record, if any, of the location of the motor vehicle, normal business hours of the facility holding the motor vehicle, any accrued charges or fees, the daily storage rate, and the mailing address and contact telephone number of the person or entity in possession of the motor vehicle.

b. The notice required in paragraph a. shall include the following language in no smaller than 10 point type:  “If this motor vehicle is not redeemed by the recorded owner or lienholder of record within 30 calendar days from the date of this notice, the motor vehicle shall be considered abandoned as defined in Section 32-13-1, Code of Alabama 1975 .  The motor vehicle may then be sold pursuant to the provisions of the Alabama Abandoned Motor Vehicle Act as provided for in Title 32, Chapter 13, Code of Alabama 1975.”

(4) A person who fails to report a motor vehicle as unclaimed or fails to notify the owner and lienholder of record, if any, in accordance with this subsection shall forfeit all claims and liens for the motor vehicle's garaging, parking, and storage prior to the time the motor vehicle is reported as unclaimed;  provided, however, failure to report shall not result in the forfeiture of claims and liens for the towing and repair of a motor vehicle.

(e)(1) The department shall maintain and appropriately index public records of unclaimed motor vehicles reported to it pursuant to this section.  The department may provide lists of the vehicle identification numbers for such motor vehicles without fee in a manner as the department prescribes.

(2) The department shall provide notice of unclaimed motor vehicles to law enforcement.

(3) Notice shall also be provided to the person or entity who reported the motor vehicle as unclaimed if it has been reported as stolen to law enforcement.

(f)(1) The department may suspend the registration of a vehicle whose theft or conversion is reported to it pursuant to this section.  Until the department learns of its recovery or that the report of its theft or conversion was erroneous, it shall not issue a certificate of title for the motor vehicle.

(2) A title shall be issued by the department in the name of an insurance company on a vehicle that is reported stolen when a settlement between the insured and his or her insurance company has occurred.  The title shall be issued electronically in the name of the insurance company until the vehicle has been recovered, and, if recovered, the title may be issued in paper form.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Alabama Code Title 32. Motor Vehicles and Traffic § 32-8-84 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/al/title-32-motor-vehicles-and-traffic/al-code-sect-32-8-84.html


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