autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Time to Title Has a Different Meaning in Corvette State Than in the Parishes of Louisiana

There are twelve states where you can't get a bonded title, and Kentucky is one of them, but the things may go way more south in Louisiana, in more ways than one.
1977 Chevrolet Corvette in Corvette museum 6 photos
1964 Chevrolet Impala found in Kentucky1968 Ford Mustang unrestored1968 Ford Mustang restored1976 Ford Thunderbird sat for 31 years1977 Chevrolet Corvette unrestored
Sometimes you have to take a look at that old car abandoned on the side of the road and make a call. But not to your buddy who has a tow truck and helps you get that relic into your barn (that would be a costly mistake), but to the police and tell them about it. Sure, it might be an interesting project for you, but who knows? Maybe one day it'll pop out at a public auction, and you'll be able to get it. But those from Louisiana have to have a huge load of patience to claim a car. Kentucky may fry a chicken, but won't cook a bonded title
While in other states police declare a car abandoned after 24 hours of sitting on the side of the road, the Kentucky government decided to try more relaxed laws. They will give three days for the owner to come and pick up their car from the side of the road or any other public place. After 72 hours, the police will ask an authorized towing company to remove the relic and take it to storage. But things won't stop there. The owner will be looked for and called to collect their vehicle. If that's not happening, the tow company can claim a title after following a specific procedure, and then sell it at a public auction. So, if you see an abandoned Pinto that fired up (pun intended) your childhood dreams, the best choice is to have the vehicle removed, and wait for the towing service to post it online for sale.

Kentucky is one of the few states that doesn't emit a bonded title for a car. So, if you want that, change the state. Even though you find an abandoned vehicle in your barn, that's not yours to keep. You have to call the police, and the boys in blue will get that relic from you. But you might have a second chance if you put a lien on the car, asking for a storage fee. It is a state where it's worth spending some time tracking down old Corvettes, since GM built them there.

Another option to get the title for a vehicle abandoned on your property would be to file a declaration of judgment suit in your county. If you can prove that the previous owner left the car and can't find them to ask for papers, the court may declare the landlord as the vehicle's owner, since they had it on their property. Yet, that procedure is not advisable to be made by an individual without a legal advisor or a lawyer. Sometimes things can go from average to bad in a blink of an eye. So, be prepared to look for the previous title holder after getting a certified mail address from the police. Firstly, though, run a search for a stolen vehicle. It doesn't matter that you found a '60s car that sat there since the '80s. No counties for old cars
As you might know, Louisiana is one of few states without counties. Instead, it has parishes, and they are, well, counties, just named differently. With their Mardi Gras event, you'd expect the people from New Orleans to be more relaxed with the laws regarding abandoned cars. Yet, they are not. Suppose you find a car, motorcycle, or any other vehicle you want to title. In that case, you have to prove that it has been continuously in your possession for ten years, if there is no bill of sale or other acquisition documents.

There might be another way, by getting a Judgment of Ownership, but that should be the last resort. The OMV (Office of Motor Vehicles) might ask the applicant to make additional efforts to contact the previous known buyer by certified mail. If the car has a lien on it, it won't move an inch without a lien release. These things might be more manageable if the vehicle is worth less than $5,000. Just be aware that there might be a lot of taxes and penalties involved, especially if the vehicle's taxes were unpaid for the last decade or so.

Considering all of the above, it is easier for a towing company to claim a vehicle and have a title issued on its name in Louisiana. That's why many people who found cars in their barns but couldn't get the old title in their hands prefer to have the vehicle removed from their property with the help of a tow car. 

Editor's note: The information in this article are not legal advice; for any requests regarding an abandoned vehicle, refer to local law enforcement agencies.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories