Abandoned Vehicle FAQ



Q: What is the definition of an Abandoned Vehicle in Pennsylvania? 

A: The official definition is:


(1) A vehicle (other than a pedalcycle) shall be presumed to be abandoned under any of the following circumstances, but the presumption is rebuttable by a preponderance of the evidence:
(i) The vehicle is physically inoperable and is left unattended on a highway or other public property for more than 48 hours.
(ii) The vehicle has remained illegally on a highway or other public property for a period of more than 48 hours.
(iii) The vehicle is left unattended on or along a highway or other public property for more than 48 hours and does not bear all of the following:

(A) A valid registration plate.
(B) A current certificate of inspection.
(C) An ascertainable vehicle identification number.
(iv) The vehicle has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than 24 hours.

On public roadways the Newtown Township Police Department will tag a presumed abandoned vehicle with an orange sticker then notify the registered owner by certified mail to remove the vehicle from the roadway within thirty (30) days. The Newtown Township Police Department will have a licensed Salvor remove any vehicle that is not removed from the roadway in the prescribed time by the owner. The penalty for abandoning a vehicle is a summary offense punishable:

(1) For a first offense, by a fine of $ 100.
(2) For a subsequent offense, by a fine of not less than $ 200 nor more than $ 500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.

Q: What is the procedure for removing one?

A: If you want to report an abandoned vehicle you may call our non-emergency phone number 215-328-8524 and a police officer will check on the vehicle and take appropriate action. If you have questions about abandoned vehicles, or you received a notice that your vehicle is abandoned, please call  215- 579-1000 (M-F 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).
An abandoned vehicle on private property is the responsibility of the property owner to remove. Give us a call first and we will make sure the vehicle is not stolen and make a reasonable effort to contact the owner to see why it was left on the property.  The owner of the vehicle will also be responsible for any fees incurred by the salvor for removal, storage, etc., unless an arrangement is made with the salvor.


Department Contact Information:

Corporal Brian Resta

Phone #:  215-579-1000 ext 307


PDF icon abandoned_vehicle_mv-952pp.pdf