Abandoned Vehicle 

If you would like to report a vehicle that is abandoned on the County Right of Way, that is not blocking and not a traffic hazard, please contact Kitsap 1 at 360.337.5777.  If the vehicle is a traffic hazard or blocking please call 911.

If the vehicle is abandoned on private property the Sheriff's Office will not impound that vehicle.  If a vehicle is abandoned on private property and qualifies as a hulk (junk) vehicle you may request a hulk vehicle inspection by calling Kitsap 1 at 360.337.5777. 


(1) A law enforcement officer discovering an unauthorized vehicle left within a highway right-of-way shall attach to the vehicle a readily visible notification sticker. The sticker shall contain the following information:

     (a) The date and time the sticker was attached;

     (b) The identity of the officer;

     (c) A statement that if the vehicle is not removed within twenty-four hours from the time the sticker is attached, the vehicle may be taken into custody and stored at the owner's expense;

     (d) A statement that if the vehicle is not redeemed as provided in RCW 46.55.120, the registered owner will have committed the traffic infraction of littering -- abandoned vehicle; and

     (e) The address and telephone number where additional information may be obtained.

(2) If the vehicle has current Washington registration plates, the officer shall check the records to learn the identity of the last owner of record. The officer or his or her department shall make a reasonable effort to contact the owner by telephone in order to give the owner the information on the notification sticker.

(3) If the vehicle is not removed within twenty-four hours from the time the notification sticker is attached, the law enforcement officer may take custody of the vehicle and provide for the vehicle's removal to a place of safety. A vehicle that does not pose a safety hazard may remain on the roadside for more than twenty-four hours if the owner or operator is unable to remove it from the place where it is located and so notifies law enforcement officials and requests assistance.

(4) For the purposes of this section a place of safety includes the business location of a registered tow truck operator.

[2010 c 8 § 9062; 2002 c 279 § 6; 1993 c 121 § 1; 1987 c 311 § 6. Formerly RCW 46.52.170 and 46.52.180.]


(1) If a vehicle is in violation of the time restrictions of *RCW 46.55.010(13), it may be impounded by a registered tow truck operator at the direction of a law enforcement officer or other public official with jurisdiction if the vehicle is on public property, or at the direction of the property owner or an agent if it is on private property. A law enforcement officer may also direct the impoundment of a vehicle pursuant to a writ or court order.

(2) The person requesting a private impound or a law enforcement officer or public official requesting a public impound shall provide a signed authorization for the impound at the time and place of the impound to the registered tow truck operator before the operator may proceed with the impound. A registered tow truck operator, employee, or his or her agent may not serve as an agent of a property owner for the purposes of signing an impound authorization or, independent of the property owner, identify a vehicle for impound.

(3) In the case of a private impound, the impound authorization shall include the following statement: "A person authorizing this impound, if the impound is found in violation of chapter 46.55 RCW, may be held liable for the costs incurred by the vehicle owner."

(4) A registered tow truck operator shall record and keep in the operator's files the date and time that a vehicle is put in the operator's custody and released. The operator shall make an entry into a master log regarding transactions relating to impounded vehicles. The operator shall make this master log available, upon request, to representatives of the department or the state patrol.

(5) A person who engages in or offers to engage in the activities of a registered tow truck operator may not be associated in any way with a person or business whose main activity is authorizing the impounding of vehicles.

[1999 c 398 § 4; 1989 c 111 § 8; 1987 c 311 § 5; 1985 c 377 § 8.]