What should I do if I sell the abandoned vehicle or vessel at auction for more or less than the towing and storage fees plus the abandoned fee?

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

Your minimum bid price should be enough to cover all the fees, including the $40 abandoned fee and any fees that may be required by the municipality. Whenever a vehicle or vessel is redeemed by the owner or sold at auction, $25 must be submitted to the Michigan Department of State and $15 must go to the towing agency.

If the purchase price of an abandoned vehicle or vessel sold at public auction is less than all applicable fees (e.g., towing and storage, police agency or custodian expenses and the $40 abandoned fee), you are not required to remit the $25 abandoned fee.  When reporting the disposition of such an abandoned vehicle or vessel online, please select "transferred to custodian" and not "sold." A disposition of "sold" should only be used when the purchase price of the abandoned vehicle or vessel is more than all applicable fees.

If you sell the vehicle or vessel for more than the towing, storage and other fees, the proceeds must be applied in the following order of priority:

(a) Towing and storage charges.
(b) Expenses incurred by the police agency or the custodian of the vehicle or vessel.
(c) Payment of the $40 abandoned fee ($25 to the Michigan Department of State and $15 to the towing agency.
(d) Send any extra money to the Department of Treasury's Unclaimed Property Division, which will pay the amount of any debt on the vehicle or vessel to any secured party and attempt to send the balance to the owner of record as kept by the Secretary of State.


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