Somebody’s left a junker on your street, how do you get rid of it?

If it appears abandoned, call your police department if the car is in a city. If it’s outside of city limits, call the CHP if it’s on a public road or public property and the Sheriff’s Office if it’s on private property or a private road.

CHP Officer Jon Sloat said the CHP gets about 10 to 15 calls a month reporting abandoned vehicles, down from the about 50 a month eight to 10 years ago. He attributed that drop to more people taking their clunkers to junkyards or donating them to charities for the tax writeoffs.

Once notified, the police agency will tag the vehicle and let it sit for at least 72 hours before having it towed away. Sloat said the tow yard will notify the registered owner by certified mail that he has 30 days to claim the vehicle before they get rid of it. He said the owner is liable for any fees owed the tow company and the CHP could press a misdemeanor charge of abandoning a vehicle.

If the car is obviously a junker, Sloat said, the tow yard can dispose of the car right away.

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  1. Dennis Hagemann

    I have several vehicles on my property in Mendocino County and have contacted the Sheriff and other County offices. They told me it’s my problem and couldn’t help me.

    December 16th, 2010 8:36 am

  2. kyle

    What do you do if the car’s on private property, dumped illegally, and the Sheriff refuses to take any action?

    December 16th, 2010 9:25 am

  3. smartcookie

    Thank you for this, it is a public service. You’re preaching to the choir though, they need to post this in 3 languages one everyone’s door.

    December 16th, 2010 9:48 am

  4. Patrick

    Sell it for scrap. Call round and find a scrap dealer that will take it.

    December 16th, 2010 10:13 am

  5. kvb

    You left off the “Junk your Jalopy” program run by Sonoma County. We recently took advantage of it and it worked quite well. For more info, get the PDF under the What’s New section at the following site: http://www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/index.htm

    December 16th, 2010 10:58 am

  6. Paul B

    If you have abandoned cars on your property, just call and tell them there is a strange car with boxes and wires inside, it’s not yours and you don’t know whose it is.

    The SWAT team will be there quickly.

    December 16th, 2010 11:00 am

  7. Amy R

    In Sonoma County, check with county Permit resources division. They run the abatement program for vehicles on private property in unincorporated areas. They also usually have an amnesty day once a year at a local junk yard where you can drag the car there yourself and junk it.

    December 16th, 2010 11:38 am

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