All Texans have experienced this, I'm sure. We drive around and see a car on the side of the road. We think nothing of it at first. But then we see it again the next day. Then again the following day and we start to think; is that vehicle abandoned?

Michael Fortsch via Unsplash
Michael Fortsch via Unsplash

If you've ever wondered to yourself "when is a vehicle considered abandoned?" well I have an answer for you!

According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles- it looks like the consensus is 48 hours. There's actually a lot of scenarios in which you may find a vehicle that you suspect is abandoned that will be considered abandoned after 48 hours like:

  • If it's left unattended on public property
  • If it's remained illegally on public property
  • If the owner of the private property did not consent to having the vehicle there
  • If it's been left unattended on a "right-of-way of a designated county, state, or federal highway"
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A vehicle is considered abandoned after 24 hours if the vehicle is left unattended on "the right-of-way of a turnpike project constructed and maintained by the Texas Turnpike Authority division of the Texas Department of Transportation or a controlled access highway".

And a vehicle is considered abandoned after 11 days if the vehicle has been impounded and the "delinquent administrative penalty has not been paid". You can find out more here.

It wasn't too long ago that our host, Buzz Adams, mentioned a car on the side of the highway. He mentioned this car was out there for at least three days. Well, after he mentioned the vehicle on air, the next day the vehicle was no longer there. Did someone make a call? Did authorities hear about it and decided to tow it? Or did the owner of the car remember where they left the car and went back to retrieve it? We may never know!

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