TRANSPORTATION CODE


TITLE 7. VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC


SUBTITLE H. PARKING, TOWING, AND STORAGE OF VEHICLES


CHAPTER 683. ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec. 683.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Department" means the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

(2) "Garagekeeper" means an owner or operator of a storage facility.

(3) "Law enforcement agency" means:

(A) the Department of Public Safety;

(B) the police department of a municipality;

(C) the police department of an institution of higher education; or

(D) a sheriff or a constable.

(4) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is subject to registration under Chapter 501.

(5) "Motor vehicle demolisher" means a person in the business of:

(A) converting motor vehicles into processed scrap or scrap metal; or

(B) wrecking or dismantling motor vehicles.

(6) "Outboard motor" means an outboard motor subject to registration under Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code.

(7) "Storage facility" includes a garage, parking lot, or establishment for the servicing, repairing, or parking of motor vehicles.

(8) "Watercraft" means a vessel subject to registration under Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code.

(9) "Abandoned nuisance vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is at least 10 years old and is of a condition only to be junked, crushed, or dismantled.

(10) "Vehicle storage facility" means a vehicle storage facility, as defined by Section 2303.002, Occupations Code, that is operated by a person who holds a license issued under Chapter 2303 of that code to operate that vehicle storage facility.

(11) "Aircraft" has the meaning assigned by Section 24.001.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933 (H.B. 3097), Sec. 2R.01, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 683.002. ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, a motor vehicle is abandoned if the motor vehicle:

(1) is inoperable, is more than five years old, and has been left unattended on public property for more than 48 hours;

(2) has remained illegally on public property for more than 48 hours;

(3) has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the property for more than 48 hours;

(4) has been left unattended on the right-of-way of a designated county, state, or federal highway for more than 48 hours;

(5) has been left unattended for more than 24 hours on the right-of-way of a turnpike project constructed and maintained by the Texas Turnpike Authority division of the Texas Department of Transportation or a controlled access highway; or

(6) is considered an abandoned motor vehicle under Section 644.153(r).

(b) In this section, "controlled access highway" has the meaning assigned by Section 541.302.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.157(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 359, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 16.06, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 683.003. CONFLICT OF LAWS; EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS. (a) Sections 683.051-683.055 may not be read as conflicting with Sections 683.074-683.078.

(b) This chapter does not affect a law authorizing the immediate removal of a vehicle left on public property that is an obstruction to traffic.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER B. ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES: SEIZURE AND AUCTION


Sec. 683.011. AUTHORITY TO TAKE ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE INTO CUSTODY. (a) A law enforcement agency may take into custody an abandoned motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor found on public or private property.

(b) A law enforcement agency may use agency personnel, equipment, and facilities or contract for other personnel, equipment, and facilities to remove, preserve, store, send notice regarding, and dispose of an abandoned motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor taken into custody by the agency under this subchapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 737 (H.B. 2630), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 683.012. TAKING ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE INTO CUSTODY: NOTICE. (a) A law enforcement agency shall send notice of abandonment to:

(1) the last known registered owner of each motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor taken into custody by the agency or for which a report is received under Section 683.031; and

(2) each lienholder recorded:

(A) under Chapter 501 for the motor vehicle;

(B) with the Federal Aviation Administration or the secretary of state for the aircraft; or

(C) under Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code, for the watercraft or outboard motor.

(a-1) A law enforcement agency that takes into custody an aircraft shall contact the Federal Aviation Administration in the manner described by Section 22.901 to attempt to identify the owner of the aircraft before sending the notice required by Subsection (a).

(b) The notice under Subsection (a) must:

(1) be sent by certified mail not later than the 10th day after the date the agency:

(A) takes the abandoned motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor into custody; or

(B) receives the report under Section 683.031;

(2) specify the year, make, model, and identification number of the item;

(3) give the location of the facility where the item is being held;

(4) inform the owner and lienholder of the right to claim the item not later than the 20th day after the date of the notice on payment of:

(A) towing, preservation, and storage charges; or

(B) garagekeeper's charges and fees under Section 683.032 and, if the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle impounded under Section 644.153(q), the delinquent administrative penalty and costs; and

(5) state that failure of the owner or lienholder to claim the item during the period specified by Subdivision (4) is:

(A) a waiver by that person of all right, title, and interest in the item; and

(B) consent to the sale of the item at a public auction.

(c) Notice by publication in one newspaper of general circulation in the area where the motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor was abandoned is sufficient notice under this section if:

(1) the identity of the last registered owner cannot be determined;

(2) the registration has no address for the owner; or

(3) the determination with reasonable certainty of the identity and address of all lienholders is impossible.

(d) Notice by publication:

(1) must be published in the same period that is required by Subsection (b) for notice by certified mail and contain all of the information required by that subsection; and

(2) may contain a list of more than one abandoned motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor.

(e) A law enforcement agency is not required to send a notice, as otherwise required by Subsection (a), if the agency has received notice from a vehicle storage facility that an application has or will be submitted to the department for the disposal of the vehicle.

(f) In addition to the notice required under Subsection (a), if a law enforcement agency takes an abandoned motor vehicle into custody, the agency shall notify a person that files a theft report or similar report prepared by any law enforcement agency for the vehicle of that fact. The notice must be sent by regular mail on the next business day after the agency takes the vehicle into custody. The law enforcement agency shall also provide the name and address of the person that filed the theft report or similar report to the vehicle storage facility or governmental vehicle storage facility that is storing the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 359, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 16.07, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 4.01, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 683.013. STORAGE FEES. A law enforcement agency or the agent of a law enforcement agency that takes into custody an abandoned motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor is entitled to reasonable storage fees:

(1) for not more than 10 days, beginning on the day the item is taken into custody and ending on the day the required notice is mailed; and

(2) beginning on the day after the day the agency mails notice and ending on the day accrued charges are paid and the vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor is removed.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 683.014. AUCTION OR USE OF ABANDONED ITEMS; WAIVER OF RIGHTS. (a) If an abandoned motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor is not claimed under Section 683.012:

(1) the owner or lienholder:

(A) waives all rights and interests in the item; and

(B) consents to the sale of the item by public auction or the transfer of the item, if a watercraft, as provided by Subsection (d); and

(2) the law enforcement agency may sell the item at a public auction, transfer the item, if a watercraft, as provided by Subsection (d), or use the item as provided by Section 683.016.

(b) Proper notice of the auction shall be given. A garagekeeper who has a garagekeeper's lien shall be notified of the time and place of the auction.

(c) The purchaser of a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor:

(1) takes title free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership;

(2) shall receive a sales receipt from the law enforcement agency; and

(3) is entitled to register the motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor with and receive a certificate of title from the appropriate authority.

(d) On consent of the Parks and Wildlife Department, the law enforcement agency may transfer a watercraft that is not claimed under Section 683.012 to the Parks and Wildlife Department for use as part of an artificial reef under Chapter 89, Parks and Wildlife Code, or for other use by the Parks and Wildlife Department permitted under the Parks and Wildlife Code. On transfer of the watercraft, the Parks and Wildlife Department:

(1) takes title free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership; and

(2) is entitled to register the watercraft and receive a certificate of title.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 190 (H.B. 883), Sec. 2, eff. May 27, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 683.015. AUCTION PROCEEDS. (a) A law enforcement agency is entitled to reimbursement from the proceeds of the sale of an abandoned motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor for:

(1) the cost of the auction;

(2) towing, preservation, and storage fees resulting from the taking into custody; and

(3) the cost of notice or publication as required by Section 683.012.

(b) After deducting the reimbursement allowed under Subsection (a), the proceeds of the sale shall be held for 90 days for the owner or lienholder of the vehicle.

(c) After the period provided by Subsection (b), proceeds unclaimed by the owner or lienholder shall be deposited in an account that may be used for the payment of auction, towing, preservation, storage, and notice and publication fees resulting from taking other vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motors into custody if the proceeds from the sale of the other items are insufficient to meet those fees.

(d) A municipality or county may transfer funds in excess of $1,000 from the account to the municipality's or county's general revenue account to be used by the law enforcement agency or, if the vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or outboard motor was located in a county with a population of less than 150,000, by the attorney representing the state.

(e) If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle impounded under Section 644.153(q), the Department of Public Safety is entitled from the proceeds of the sale to an amount equal to the amount of the delinquent administrative penalty and costs.

(f) A law enforcement agency or an attorney representing the state may use funds transferred under Subsection (d) to compensate property owners whose property was damaged as a result of a pursuit involving a law enforcement agency, regardless of whether the agency would be liable under Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(g) Before a law enforcement agency or an attorney representing the state may compensate a property owner under Subsection (f) using funds transferred to a county under Subsection (d), the sheriff, constable, or attorney representing the state must submit the proposed payment for compensation for consideration, and the commissioners court shall consider the proposed payment for compensation, at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the commissioners court.

(h) In this section, "attorney representing the state" means a district attorney, criminal district attorney, or county attorney performing the duties of a district attorney.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 359, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 16.08, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 304 (H.B. 453), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181 (H.B. 3422), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 675 (H.B. 1931), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 683.016. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY USE OF CERTAIN ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES. (a) The law enforcement agency that takes an abandoned motor vehicle into custody that is not claimed under Section 683.012 may:

(1) use the vehicle for agency purposes; or

(2) transfer the vehicle to any other municipal or county agency, a groundwater conservation district governed by Chapter 36, Water Code, or a school district for the use of that agency or district.

(b) The law enforcement agency shall auction the vehicle as provided by this subchapter if the law enforcement agency or the municipal or county agency, groundwater conservation district, or school district to which the vehicle was transferred under Subsection (a) discontinues use of the vehicle.

(c) This section does not apply to an abandoned vehicle on which there is a garagekeeper's lien.

(d) This section does not apply to a vehicle that is:

(1) taken into custody by a law enforcement agency located in a county with a population of 3.3 million or more; and

(2) removed to a privately owned storage facility.

(e) A law enforcement agency must comply with the notice requirements of Section 683.012 before the law enforcement agency may transfer a vehicle under Subsection (a)(2).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 446 (H.B. 195), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 941 (H.B. 3140), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 178, eff. September 1, 2011.

SUBCHAPTER C. VEHICLE ABANDONED IN STORAGE FACILITY


Sec. 683.031. GARAGEKEEPER'S DUTY: ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES. (a) A motor vehicle is abandoned if the vehicle is left in a storage facility operated for commercial purposes after the 10th day after the date on which:

(1) the garagekeeper gives notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known registered owner of the vehicle and to each lienholder of record of the vehicle under Chapter 501 to remove the vehicle;

(2) a contract for the vehicle to remain on the premises of the facility expires; or

(3) the vehicle was left in the facility, if the vehicle was left by a person other than the registered owner or a person authorized to have possession of the vehicle under a contract of use, service, storage, or repair.

(b) If notice sent under Subsection (a)(1) is returned unclaimed by the post office, substituted notice is sufficient if published in one newspaper of general circulation in the area where the vehicle was left.

(c) The garagekeeper shall report the abandonment of the motor vehicle to a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction where the vehicle is located and shall pay a $10 fee to be used by the law enforcement agency for the cost of the notice required by this subchapter or other cost incurred in disposing of the vehicle.

(d) The garagekeeper shall retain custody of an abandoned motor vehicle until the law enforcement agency takes the vehicle into custody under Section 683.034.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 737 (H.B. 2630), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 216 (H.B. 864), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 683.032. GARAGEKEEPER'S FEES AND CHARGES. (a) A garagekeeper who acquires custody of a motor vehicle for a purpose other than repair is entitled to towing, preservation, and notification charges and reasonable storage fees, in addition to storage fees earned under a contract, for each day:

(1) not to exceed five days, until the notice described by Section 683.031(a) is mailed; and

(2) after notice is mailed, until the vehicle is removed and all accrued charges are paid.

(b) A garagekeeper who fails to report an abandoned motor vehicle to a law enforcement agency within seven days after the date it is abandoned may not claim reimbursement for storage of the vehicle.

(c) This subchapter does not impair any lien that a garagekeeper has on a vehicle except for the termination or limitation of claim for storage for the failure to report the vehicle to the law enforcement agency.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.158(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 683.033. UNAUTHORIZED STORAGE FEE; OFFENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person charges a storage fee for a period for which the fee is not authorized by Section 683.032.

(b) An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 or more than $1,000.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.034. DISPOSAL OF VEHICLE ABANDONED IN STORAGE FACILITY. (a) A law enforcement agency shall take into custody an abandoned vehicle left in a storage facility that has not been claimed in the period provided by the notice under Section 683.012. In this section, a law enforcement agency has custody if the agency:

(1) has physical custody of the vehicle;

(2) has given notice to the storage facility that the law enforcement agency intends to dispose of the vehicle under this section; or

(3) has received a report under Section 683.031(c) and the garagekeeper has met all of the requirements of that subsection.

(b) The law enforcement agency may use the vehicle as authorized by Section 683.016 or sell the vehicle at auction as provided by Section 683.014. If a vehicle is sold, the proceeds of the sale shall first be applied to a garagekeeper's charges for providing notice regarding the vehicle and for service, towing, impoundment, storage, and repair of the vehicle.

(c) As compensation for expenses incurred in taking the vehicle into custody and selling it, the law enforcement agency shall retain:

(1) two percent of the gross proceeds of the sale of the vehicle; or

(2) all the proceeds if the gross proceeds of the sale are less than $10.

(d) Surplus proceeds shall be distributed as provided by Section 683.015.

(e) If the law enforcement agency does not take the vehicle into custody before the 31st day after the date the vehicle was reported abandoned under Section 683.031:

(1) the law enforcement agency may not take the vehicle into custody; and

(2) the storage facility may dispose of the vehicle under:

(A) Chapter 70, Property Code, except that notice under Section 683.012 satisfies the notice requirements of that chapter; or

(B) Chapter 2303, Occupations Code, if the storage facility is a vehicle storage facility.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.158(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 737 (H.B. 2630), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

SUBCHAPTER D. DEMOLITION OF ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES



Text of section effective until March 01, 2015


Sec. 683.051. APPLICATION FOR AUTHORIZATION TO DISPOSE OF CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLES. A person may apply to the department for authority:

(1) to sell, give away, or dispose of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher if:

(A) the person owns the motor vehicle and the certificate of title to the vehicle is lost, destroyed, or faulty; or

(B) the vehicle is an abandoned motor vehicle and is:

(i) in the possession of the person; or

(ii) located on property owned by the person; or

(2) to dispose of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling if:

(A) the abandoned motor vehicle:

(i) is in the possession of the person;

(ii) is more than eight years old;

(iii) either has no motor or is otherwise totally inoperable or does not comply with all applicable air pollution emissions control related requirements included in: (aa) the vehicle inspection requirements under Chapter 548, as evidenced by a current inspection certificate affixed to the vehicle windshield; or (bb) the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance requirements contained in the Public Safety Commission's motor vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program under Subchapter F, Chapter 548, or the state's air quality state implementation plan; and

(iv) was authorized to be towed by a law enforcement agency; and

(B) the law enforcement agency approves the application.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 612, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.


Text of section effective on March 01, 2015


Sec. 683.051. APPLICATION FOR AUTHORIZATION TO DISPOSE OF CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLES. A person may apply to the department for authority:


Text of subdivision effective on March 01, 2015


(1) to sell, give away, or dispose of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher if:

(A) the person owns the motor vehicle and the certificate of title to the vehicle is lost, destroyed, or faulty; or

(B) the vehicle is an abandoned motor vehicle and is:

(i) in the possession of the person; or

(ii) located on property owned by the person; or


Text of subdivision effective on March 01, 2015


(2) to dispose of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling if:

(A) the abandoned motor vehicle:

(i) is in the possession of the person;

(ii) is more than eight years old;

(iii) either has no motor or is otherwise totally inoperable or does not comply with all applicable air pollution emissions control related requirements included in the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance requirements contained in the Public Safety Commission's motor vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program under Subchapter F, Chapter 548, or the state's air quality state implementation plan; and

(iv) was authorized to be towed by a law enforcement agency; and

(B) the law enforcement agency approves the application.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 612, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1291 (H.B. 2305), Sec. 48, eff. March 1, 2015.

Sec. 683.052. CONTENTS OF APPLICATION; APPLICATION FEE. (a) An application under Section 683.051 must:

(1) contain the name and address of the applicant;

(2) state the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, if ascertainable, and any other identifying feature of the vehicle; and

(3) include:

(A) a concise statement of facts about the abandonment;

(B) a statement that the certificate of title is lost or destroyed; or

(C) a statement of the reasons for the defect in the owner's certificate of title for the vehicle.

(b) An application under Section 683.051(2) must also include an affidavit containing a statement of the facts that make that subdivision applicable.

(c) The applicant shall make an affidavit stating that:

(1) the facts stated in the application are true; and

(2) no material fact has been withheld.

(d) The application must be accompanied by a fee of $2, unless the application is made by a unit of government. Fees collected under this subsection shall be deposited to the credit of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles fund.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1287 (H.B. 2202), Sec. 67, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 683.053. DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE NOTICE. Except as provided by Section 683.054(b), the department shall give notice as provided by Section 683.012 if it determines that an application under Section 683.051 is:

(1) executed in proper form; and

(2) shows that:

(A) the abandoned motor vehicle is in the possession of the applicant or has been abandoned on the applicant's property; or

(B) the vehicle is not an abandoned motor vehicle and the applicant appears to be the owner of the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.054. CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO DISPOSE OF VEHICLE. (a) The department shall issue the applicant a certificate of authority to dispose of the vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling if notice under Section 683.053 was given and the vehicle was not claimed as provided by the notice.

(b) Without giving the notice required by Section 683.053, the department may issue to an applicant under Section 683.051(2) a certificate of authority to dispose of the motor vehicle to a demolisher if the vehicle meets the requirements of Sections 683.051(2)(A)(ii) and (iii).

(c) A motor vehicle demolisher shall accept the certificate of authority in lieu of a certificate of title for the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 612, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 683.055. RULES AND FORMS. The department may adopt rules and prescribe forms to implement Sections 683.051-683.054.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.056. DEMOLISHER'S DUTY. (a) A motor vehicle demolisher who acquires a motor vehicle for dismantling or demolishing shall obtain from the person delivering the vehicle:

(1) the motor vehicle's certificate of title;

(2) a sales receipt for the motor vehicle;

(3) a transfer document for the vehicle as provided by Subchapter B or Subchapter E; or

(4) a certificate of authority for the disposal of the motor vehicle.

(b) A demolisher is not required to obtain a certificate of title for the vehicle in the demolisher's name.

(c) On the department's demand, the demolisher shall surrender for cancellation the certificate of title or certificate of authority.

(d) The department shall adopt rules and forms necessary to regulate the surrender of auction sales receipts and certificates of title.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.057. DEMOLISHER'S RECORDS; OFFENSE. (a) A motor vehicle demolisher shall keep a record of a motor vehicle that is acquired in the course of business.

(b) The record must contain:

(1) the name and address of the person from whom the vehicle was acquired; and

(2) the date of acquisition of the vehicle.

(c) The demolisher shall keep the record until the first anniversary of the date of acquisition of the vehicle.

(d) The record shall be open to inspection by the department or any law enforcement agency at any time during normal business hours.

(e) A motor vehicle demolisher commits an offense if the demolisher fails to keep a record as provided by this section.

(f) An offense under Subsection (e) is a misdemeanor punishable by:

(1) a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000;

(2) confinement in the county jail for a term of not less than 10 days or more than six months; or

(3) both the fine and confinement.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER E. JUNKED VEHICLES: PUBLIC NUISANCE; ABATEMENT


Text of section as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 753 (H.B. 1376), Sec. 1


For text of section as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 9, see other Sec. 683.071.



Text of section effective until March 01, 2015


Sec. 683.071. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "junked vehicle" means a vehicle that is self-propelled and:

(1) displays an expired license plate or invalid motor vehicle inspection certificate or does not display a license plate or motor vehicle inspection certificate; and

(2) is:

(A) wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded; or

(B) inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than:

(i) 72 consecutive hours, if the vehicle is on public property; or

(ii) 30 consecutive days, if the vehicle is on private property.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 746, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 798, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 500 (S.B. 350), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 753 (H.B. 1376), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Text of section as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 9


For text of section as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 753 (H.B. 1376), Sec. 1, see other Sec. 683.071.



Text of section effective until March 01, 2015


Sec. 683.071. DEFINITION AND APPLICABILITY. (a) In this subchapter, "junked vehicle" means a vehicle that:

(1) is self-propelled; and

(2) is:

(A) wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded; or

(B) inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than:

(i) 72 consecutive hours, if the vehicle is on public property; or

(ii) 30 consecutive days, if the vehicle is on private property.

(b) For purposes of this subchapter, "junked vehicle" includes a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft. This subchapter applies only to:

(1) a motor vehicle that does not have lawfully attached to it:

(A) an unexpired license plate; and

(B) a valid motor vehicle inspection certificate;

(2) an aircraft that does not have lawfully printed on the aircraft an unexpired federal aircraft identification number registered under Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registration regulations in 14 C.F.R. Part 47; or

(3) a watercraft that:

(A) does not have lawfully on board an unexpired certificate of number; and

(B) is not a watercraft described by Section 31.055, Parks and Wildlife Code.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 746, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 798, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 500 (S.B. 350), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2011.


Text of section effective on March 01, 2015


Sec. 683.071. DEFINITION AND APPLICABILITY. (a) In this subchapter, "junked vehicle" means a vehicle that:

(1) is self-propelled; and

(2) is:

(A) wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded; or

(B) inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than:

(i) 72 consecutive hours, if the vehicle is on public property; or

(ii) 30 consecutive days, if the vehicle is on private property.

(b) For purposes of this subchapter, "junked vehicle" includes a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft. This subchapter applies only to:

(1) a motor vehicle that displays an expired license plate or does not display a license plate;

(2) an aircraft that does not have lawfully printed on the aircraft an unexpired federal aircraft identification number registered under Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registration regulations in 14 C.F.R. Part 47; or

(3) a watercraft that:

(A) does not have lawfully on board an unexpired certificate of number; and

(B) is not a watercraft described by Section 31.055, Parks and Wildlife Code.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 746, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 798, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 500 (S.B. 350), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 753 (H.B. 1376), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1291 (H.B. 2305), Sec. 49, eff. March 1, 2015.

Sec. 683.0711. MUNICIPAL REQUIREMENTS. An ordinance adopted by a governing body of a municipality may provide for a more inclusive definition of a junked vehicle subject to regulation under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1073, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 683.072. JUNKED VEHICLE DECLARED TO BE PUBLIC NUISANCE. A junked vehicle, including a part of a junked vehicle, that is visible at any time of the year from a public place or public right-of-way:

(1) is detrimental to the safety and welfare of the public;

(2) tends to reduce the value of private property;

(3) invites vandalism;

(4) creates a fire hazard;

(5) is an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors;

(6) produces urban blight adverse to the maintenance and continuing development of municipalities; and

(7) is a public nuisance.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1073, Sec. 2.

Sec. 683.073. OFFENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person maintains a public nuisance described by Section 683.072.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

(c) The court shall order abatement and removal of the nuisance on conviction.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.074. AUTHORITY TO ABATE NUISANCE; PROCEDURES. (a) A municipality or county may adopt procedures that conform to this subchapter for the abatement and removal from private or public property or a public right-of-way of a junked vehicle or part of a junked vehicle as a public nuisance.

(b) The procedures must:

(1) prohibit a vehicle from being reconstructed or made operable after removal;

(2) require a public hearing on request of a person who receives notice as provided by Section 683.075 if the request is made not later than the date by which the nuisance must be abated and removed; and

(3) require that notice identifying the vehicle or part of the vehicle be given to the department not later than the fifth day after the date of removal.

(c) An appropriate court of the municipality or county may issue necessary orders to enforce the procedures.

(d) Procedures for abatement and removal of a public nuisance must be administered by regularly salaried, full-time employees of the municipality or county, except that any authorized person may remove the nuisance.

(e) A person authorized to administer the procedures may enter private property to examine a public nuisance, to obtain information to identify the nuisance, and to remove or direct the removal of the nuisance.

(f) On receipt of notice of removal of a motor vehicle under Subsection (b)(3), the department shall immediately cancel the certificate of title issued for the vehicle.

(g) The procedures may provide that the relocation of a junked vehicle that is a public nuisance to another location in the same municipality or county after a proceeding for the abatement and removal of the public nuisance has commenced has no effect on the proceeding if the junked vehicle constitutes a public nuisance at the new location.

(h) On receipt of notice of removal of a watercraft under Subsection (b)(3), the department shall notify the Parks and Wildlife Department of the removal. On receipt of the notice from the department, the Parks and Wildlife Department shall immediately cancel the certificate of title issued for the watercraft.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1226, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 500 (S.B. 350), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 683.075. NOTICE. (a) The procedures for the abatement and removal of a public nuisance under this subchapter must provide not less than 10 days' notice of the nature of the nuisance. The notice must be personally delivered, sent by certified mail with a five-day return requested, or delivered by the United States Postal Service with signature confirmation service to:

(1) the last known registered owner of the nuisance;

(2) each lienholder of record of the nuisance; and

(3) the owner or occupant of:

(A) the property on which the nuisance is located; or

(B) if the nuisance is located on a public right-of-way, the property adjacent to the right-of-way.

(b) The notice must state that:

(1) the nuisance must be abated and removed not later than the 10th day after the date on which the notice was personally delivered or mailed; and

(2) any request for a hearing must be made before that 10-day period expires.

(c) If the post office address of the last known registered owner of the nuisance is unknown, notice may be placed on the nuisance or, if the owner is located, personally delivered.

(d) If notice is returned undelivered, action to abate the nuisance shall be continued to a date not earlier than the 11th day after the date of the return.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 413, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 369 (S.B. 351), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Sec. 683.076. HEARING. (a) The governing body of the municipality or county or a board, commission, or official designated by the governing body shall conduct hearings under the procedures adopted under this subchapter.

(b) If a hearing is requested by a person for whom notice is required under Section 683.075(a)(3), the hearing shall be held not earlier than the 11th day after the date of the service of notice.

(c) At the hearing, the junked motor vehicle is presumed, unless demonstrated otherwise by the owner, to be inoperable.

(d) If the information is available at the location of the nuisance, a resolution or order requiring removal of the nuisance must include:

(1) for a motor vehicle, the vehicle's:

(A) description;

(B) vehicle identification number; and

(C) license plate number;

(2) for an aircraft, the aircraft's:

(A) description; and

(B) federal aircraft identification number as described by Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registration regulations in 14 C.F.R. Part 47; and

(3) for a watercraft, the watercraft's:

(A) description; and

(B) identification number as set forth in the watercraft's certificate of number.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 720 (H.B. 787), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 683.0765. ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING. A municipality by ordinance may provide for an administrative adjudication process under which an administrative penalty may be imposed for the enforcement of an ordinance adopted under this subchapter. If a municipality provides for an administrative adjudication process under this section, the municipality shall use the procedure described by Section 54.044, Local Government Code.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 413, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 683.077. INAPPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. (a) Procedures adopted under Section 683.074 or 683.0765 may not apply to a vehicle or vehicle part:

(1) that is completely enclosed in a building in a lawful manner and is not visible from the street or other public or private property; or

(2) that is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed vehicle dealer or junkyard, or that is an antique or special interest vehicle stored by a motor vehicle collector on the collector's property, if the vehicle or part and the outdoor storage area, if any, are:

(A) maintained in an orderly manner;

(B) not a health hazard; and

(C) screened from ordinary public view by appropriate means, including a fence, rapidly growing trees, or shrubbery.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Antique vehicle" means a passenger car or truck that is at least 25 years old.

(2) "Motor vehicle collector" means a person who:

(A) owns one or more antique or special interest vehicles; and

(B) acquires, collects, or disposes of an antique or special interest vehicle or part of an antique or special interest vehicle for personal use to restore and preserve an antique or special interest vehicle for historic interest.

(3) "Special interest vehicle" means a motor vehicle of any age that has not been changed from original manufacturer's specifications and, because of its historic interest, is being preserved by a hobbyist.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 413, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1431, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 683.078. JUNKED VEHICLE DISPOSAL. (a) A junked vehicle, including a part of a junked vehicle, may be removed to a scrapyard, a motor vehicle demolisher, or a suitable site operated by a municipality or county.

(b) A municipality or county may operate a disposal site if its governing body determines that commercial disposition of junked vehicles is not available or is inadequate. A municipality or county may:

(1) finally dispose of a junked vehicle or vehicle part; or

(2) transfer it to another disposal site if the disposal is scrap or salvage only.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.