Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

Can you claim a storage lien against a vehicle title?

So, how do you file for a storage lien on a vehicle or claim storage abandonment? It’s crucial to be aware that in most states, this process is restricted to licensed automotive facilities with proper authorization.

Licensing and Authorization Requirements
Towing companies, however, are exempt, given they are licensed and have verification that the tow was conducted appropriately. This verification may come from a police request or a signed contract from the property owner in the case of towing from private property.

Exceptions to the Storage Exemption
While there may be exceptions to the storage exemption, private individuals without proper authorization cannot arbitrarily impose storage fees or declare a vehicle abandoned.

The Misconception of “Finders Keepers”
In most states, labeling a vehicle as abandoned doesn’t mean you get to keep it. Instead, the proper procedure involves surrendering it to the state for auction.

Seeking the vehicle title legitimately
If you’re trying to obtain a title for a vehicle, the recommended approach is not through claiming abandonment or filing a storage lien. Unless you are a licensed automotive facility with a repair order authorization, the court order title process is the most secure method.

Court Order Title Process
By filing a petition with the court to be declared the owner of the vehicle through a court order, you can ensure a legitimate transfer of ownership. This court order supersedes DMV rules, making it a foolproof method when supported by a valid story.

Avoiding sketchy practices
Attempting to make a sketchy claim on a vehicle through fabricated paperwork, such as abandonment or mechanics lien, is likely to backfire. The DMV conducts audits, and invalid paperwork can lead to revoked titles even after they have been issued.

The legitimate route
For those who have acquired a vehicle through purchase, gift, or property left on their premises, going through the court order process is the legitimate and foolproof way to establish ownership. For more detailed information, visit our website at

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