FAQ - Abandoned Vehicles

Abandoned Vehicles

Can I get my stuff out of the car?

A. If your vehicle was towed at the county's request from public property, you have 15 days from the date of the tow to retrieve your personal belongings from the vehicle without paying towing or storage costs. This does not include anything that is attached to the vehicle.

How do I file a complaint?

A. You have the right to request a hearing if your vehicle was towed, or has been tagged to be towed as an abandoned vehicle. Your request must be in writing and be within 5 days of the date the vehicle was tagged. You must also state the grounds upon which you believe the tow is not justified. Send it to:

Washington County Sheriff's Office
Attention Abandoned Vehicles Hearings Officer
215 SW Adams Avenue, MS #32
Hillsboro, OR 97123

How Do I Report an Abandoned Vehicle?

A. If a vehicle meets the above listed criteria, contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Records Department at (503) 846-2700 to report it. You will need to provide the call taker with:

• a description of the vehicle.

• the license plate or VIN.

• the location of the vehicle.

• the length of time the vehicle has been at the location.

• your name and a contact phone number or address. This information will be kept confidential and must be provided or we cannot process your complaint.

My car has been tagged, what will happen now?

A. You have 24 hours from when the car was tagged to remove it from the public right-of-way. If it is still on the right-of-way beyond that, it will be subject to towing. If it is towed, a lien will attach to the vehicle for the tow company’s towing and storage charges. If you do not reclaim it within a specific time period, it will be disposed of or sold according to law.

What about abandoned vehicles on private property?

A. The Sheriff’s Office is not authorized to tow abandoned vehicles from private property. Oregon Revised Statute 98.830 contains a simple procedure for the owner or person in lawful possession of private property to remove an abandoned vehicle from it.

See also:

What constitutes an abandoned vehicle?

A. A vehicle is considered "abandoned" if it has been on a public right-of-way for more than 24 hours and one or more of the following criteria apply:

• It appears disabled or inoperative.

• It does not belong to somebody in the immediate area.

If the vehicle does not fit one of the above criteria, then the vehicle is not considered abandoned and no time restriction exists.

Where has my car been towed?

A. Call the Washington County Sheriff's Office Records Section at (503) 846-2700. They will be able to tell you which tow company has your vehicle. The tow company will require proof of ownership and payment of towing and storage charges before they will release the vehicle.