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Question: I received a letter from DMV requesting I pay $500.00 for abandonment fee I am 62 yrs old and I am on SSI I let a friend drive my vehicle he was stopped and was not aware he had a suspended license. So they imounded my vehicle and requested about $300.00 for impounds and storage I did not have the money I am on a fixed income I ended up loosing my truck and now they DMV to pay $500.00 for abandonment fee I could lose my license if I dont pay it Could you help me I heard their is some type of waiver I could get if I am low income and go to court

Answer: First, I will give you a little background on why your vehicle was towed.

According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-3511. Removal and immobilization or impoundment of vehicle; Arizona crime information center database

A. A peace officer shall cause the removal and either immobilization or impoundment of a vehicle if the peace officer determines that:

1. A person is driving the vehicle while any of the following applies:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the person's driving privilege is suspended or revoked for any reason. A peace officer shall not cause the removal and either immobilization or impoundment of a vehicle pursuant to this paragraph if the person's privilege to drive is valid in this state.

So, to clarify...your friend was driving with a suspended license and was stopped by police. During this traffic stop they learned this information and towed the vehicle. The statute states "shall" impound, which means the officer does not have discretion in this matter.

The police officer who had your vehicle towed should have provided your friend with a form which has information regarding court proceedings if you choose to dispute this impound...this is due to the fact when your vehicle is towed reference ARS 28-3511, it is for 30 days.

If you are still within the 30 day period, setting up the court date would be ideal for having your vehicle released and possible having the storage fees waived.

Now, as far as the MVD is concerned, the following is taken directly from the AZDOT website...

"A property owner or law enforcement may have a car towed that has been abandoned or unclaimed – this can occur in parking lots, on the side of the road or an apartment complex, for example – for an extended period of time or as a result of a vehicle accident. Once MVD receives the request from the tow company to file the vehicle as abandoned, MVD sends notice to the owner, lien holder and any other interested party providing information that they have 30 days to reclaim the vehicle. If the vehicle is not claimed ownership of the vehicle may be transferred free and clear to the towing company.

The owner of record of an abandoned vehicle may be charged an abandoned vehicle fee when they attempt to submit a driver’s license application or attempt to register another vehicle. The fee is $500 if the vehicle is abandoned on private property, public land or within the right-of-way of any street or highway. It is $600 if left at a national forest, state park land, Bureau of Land Management land or state trust land.

It is possible to waive the Abandoned Vehicle Fee. The owner must submit proof to MVD that the vehicle was sold or transferred prior to the date of abandonment. MVD may consider the following examples as proof:

    Copy of the sold notice sent to the MVD prior to the abandonment
    Copy of the bill of sale dated prior to the abandonment
    Copy of the notarized Certificate of Title, reflecting the transfer of ownership
    Copy of the sales contract from a dealership, reflecting the vehicle was used as a trade-in

To complete a Notice of Vehicle Sale, call MVD or visit www.ServiceArizona.com. This releases your liability, should the vehicle be processed as an Abandoned Vehicle."

Unfortunately, you may not qualify for the waiver of the abandonment fee.

I would highly recommend you seek the counsel of an attorney. They may be able to help navigate you through this difficult situation and help you find a solution.

QUESTIONS

  • I received a letter from DMV requesting I pay $500.00 for abandonment fee I am 62 yrs old and I am on SSI I let a friend drive my vehicle he was stopped and was not aware he had a suspended license. So they imounded my vehicle and requested about $300.00 for impounds and storage I did not have the money I am on a fixed income I ended up loosing my truck and now they DMV to pay $500.00 for abandonment fee I could lose my license if I dont pay it Could you help me I heard their is some type of waiver I could get if I am low income and go to court

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