INFORMATION SHEET – PROCEDURES REQUIRED TO OBTAIN ABANDONED VEHICLE TITLE IN BIG HORN COUNTY EFFECTIVE 12/12/2011
1. This process applies to abandoned vehicles – those left unattended on private property without the express consent of the property owner or lessee for at least 30 days.
“Vehicles” include cars, trailers, house trailers, and mobile homes not installed on permanent foundation.
Storage fees are computed at $5.00 per day.
Additional information is required from wrecking yards, salvage yards and towing companies.
PLEASE NOTE: Applicant will be responsible for outstanding taxes for the current year on mobile homes or house trailers.
2. The property owner (Applicant) MUST provide the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office with a WRITTEN, SIGNED, AND DATED STATEMENT describing the vehicle, its owners, and the circumstances as to how the vehicle came to be abandoned, including the last date on which their consent to “house” the vehicle ended. The Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office reserves the right to review all applications and may require Applicants for abandoned title to file an action in the County Court to obtain title, pursuant to W.S. 31-
3. ALL OF THESE STEPS MUST BE DOCUMENTED.
4. The Applicant MUST obtain a VIN AFFIDAVIT for the vehicle from a law enforcement officer. The officer provides his own form. An ODOMETER DISCLOSURE STATEMENT must also be completed.
5. An ABANDONED VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION REQUEST MUST be sent to the Motor Vehicle Licensing and Titling Office in Cheyenne (cost is $5.00), together with the original VIN AFFIDAVIT. If the vehicle is valued under $600, another form is used and remains within the Sheriff’s Department.
6. After the identification request is returned, the Applicant MUST provide the above five documents for review by the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, C/O Gwen Nelson, P.O. Box 69, Basin WY, 82410.
7. The Applicant may then proceed with the process to sell the vehicle at public auction.
8. The sale MUST be coordinated through the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Department, which will conduct the actual sale. The Applicant MUST arrange the required publication of NOTICE OF SALE (form attached) for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general publication, Basin Republican Rustler, not less than ten (10) days before the date of sale. (Approximate cost is $22.00 to $25.00 – cash only.)
9. A copy of the NOTICE OF SALE must be sent by CERTIFIED MAIL to the last known owner(s) of the vehicle at the address listed on the title, the identification request form or another source, to any lien holder of record, and to any person with interest in the vehicle. Notice MUST be mailed out at least ten (10) days prior to the sale date. The Postal Service return receipt or returned letter MUST be submitted to the Sheriff’s Office.
10. ALL SALES MUST BE CONDUCTED BY THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT. THE COST IS $10.00. ALL SALE DATES MUST BE COORDINATED THOUGHT THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, TELEPHONE 568-
11. At the completion of the sale, the Sheriff’s Department will provide a BILL OF SALE (the cost for the Bill of Sale is $7.50). A copy of the Bill of Sale and the Checklist, with attachment can be submitted to the Title Department for issuance of an abandoned vehicle title
PRIOR TO SALE: The owner of the vehicle may reclaim the vehicle upon payment of expenses arising from storage, repair, or improvements
AFTER THE SALE: The owner my be entitled to recover from the person selling the vehicle any proceeds of the sale in excess of the costs of sale and expenses arising from storage, towing, repairs, or improvements. This action MUST be brought within six (6) months of the sale.
THE APPLICANT FOR THIS ABANDONED VEHICLE IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL STATEMENTS AND CLAIMS MADE DURING THIS PROCESS.
ABANDONED VEHICLES STATUTE
(a) Any vehicle left unattended on private property without the express consent of the owner or person in lawful control of the property for at least thirty (30) consecutive days may be sold by the owner or person in lawful control of the property at public auction to the highest bidder or may be sold following an action filed pursuant to W.S. 31-
(b) After the time period provided in subsection (a) of this section has expired, the owner or person in lawful control of the property shall give a written report to the department on a form prescribed by the department containing the following information:
(i) A description of the make, year, model, license plate number and state indicator, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle;
(ii) The names and addresses of the vehicle owner or driver and any lien holders if known;
(iii) The name and address of the owner of the property where the vehicle was left unattended;
(iv) The date the vehicle was lift unattended without the express consent of the owner or person in lawful control of the property;
(v) If the vehicle is removed, the date, time and location of removal and the name and address of the person who removed the vehicle; and
(vi) The address of the current location of the vehicle.
(c) Upon receipt of the report provided in subsection (b) of this section, the department shall make reasonable efforts to identify the owner and any lien holders of record. The department shall forward the information obtained to the owner or person in lawful control of the property.
(d) The owner or person in lawful control of the property shall give a written notice of sale after the thirty (30) day time period provided in subsection (a) of this section expires but not less than ten (10) days receding the date of sale to the sheriff of the county in which the vehicle is sold and by certified mail to the owner and any lien holder of record, if they are identified through reasonable efforts. The owner or person in lawful control of the property shall publish notice of the sale once per week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the vehicle is abandoned. The notice shall contain the following:
(i) A complete description of the make, year, model, license plate number and state indicator, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle;
(ii) The amount of money claimed for expenses incident to the removal, preservation, custody, storage and sale and if the vehicle is left unattended at an establishment for service, repair or maintenance, the cost of the services; and
(iii) The time and place of the sale.
(e) All proceeds from the sale pursuant to this section may be retained by the person selling the vehicle. The owner or lien holder is entitle to recover from the person selling the vehicle any proceeds of the sale in excess of the costs of the sale and monies owed for expenses related to removal, preservation, custody, storage and sale and if left unattended at an establishment for service, repair or maintenance, the cost of the services provided an action is filed in the property court for recovery within one hundred twenty (120) days of the sale.
(f) Upon receipt of satisfactory evidence from the seller that he has complied with this section and sold the vehicle, the sheriff shall execute a certificate of sale in duplicate for a fee of seven dollars and fifty cents ($7.50) to be deposited in the county general fund. W.S. 31-
(i) A copy of the record required to be filed with the department;
(ii) A copy of the information provided by the department pursuant to subsection (c) of this section; and
(iii) Copies of the notice of sale and proof of mailing and publication required by subsection (d) of this section.
(g At any time prior to a sale under this section, the owner or lien holder of record may reclaim the vehicle upon payment of expenses incident to removal, preservation,
Picture by Ron Salyer