What is my role as the custodian of the vehicle or vessel?

Please note: Vehicle includes motor vehicles, ORVs, and snowmobiles. Vessel includes watercraft.

You are responsible for contacting the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the area where the vehicle or vessel is located for authorization before moving the vehicle or vessel. This action is required because some abandoned vehicles or vessels were actually stolen or used in a crime.

You are responsible for reporting the disposition of the vehicle or vessel to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the site from which the vehicle or vessel was removed as well as entering the vehicle's disposition on the Michigan Auto Lost & Found Website. Please see Setting up an Electronic Funds Account.

You are also responsible for collecting the $40 abandoned fee if you sell the vehicle or vessel or the owner redeems it, and for forwarding $25 of that fee to the Michigan Department of State.

If the purchase price of an abandoned vehicle or vessel sold at public auction does not cover towing and storage, police agency or custodian expenses and the $40 abandoned vehicle fee, please do not remit the $25.

When a custodian is reporting he disposition of such a vehicle online, please select "transferred to custodian" and not "sold." The "sold" option should only be used when the purchase price of the vehicle covers all costs - allowing you to remit the $25.

You may have additional responsibilities based on your relationship with, and the expectations of, the law enforcement agency in the area. Some municipalities may also require you to collect additional fees.

Related Documents & Topics

If you did not find the information you need, enter a descriptive word or phrase in the Search field located in the upper right corner. Or send us an e-mail by clicking on “Contact the Secretary of State” also in the upper right corner and we will help you get the information you need.