Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 24. Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Removal.


Subchapter I. Administrative Provisions.

§ 50–2401. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the terms used shall have the same meaning as those defined in § 50-2421.02.


(Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 2, 36 DCR 4575; Feb. 28, 1996, D.C. Law 11-95, § 4, 42 DCR 7180; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-267, § 3, 48 DCR 1248; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 13(c)(1), 50 DCR 6579.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-831.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-267 rewrote pars. (1)(D) and (2).

D.C. Law 15-35 rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 13(c)(1) of the Removal and Disposition of Abandoned, Dangerous and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 15-104, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5534).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 13(c)(1) of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).

Effective Dates

Section 12 of D.C. Law 8-24 provided that the act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the District of Columbia to override the veto) as provided in § 1-206.02(c)(1), and publication in either the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations; or by November 1, 1989, whichever occurs later. D.C. Law 8-24 was effective September 9, 1989.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 15-35: Section 15 of D.C. Law 15-35 provided: “This act shall apply to all vehicles impounded after its effective date. This act shall also apply to all vehicles impounded prior to its effective date provided that notice is sent to the owners and lien holders in accordance with the provisions of subsections 7(b) or (c), as is applicable.”

Effect of repeal provisions: Section 14 of D.C. Law 15-35 provided: “Any repeal of a law or regulation by this act shall not invalidate any enforcement action, adjudication, or any other action made or taken pursuant to such law or regulation.”


§ 50–2402. Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division established.

(a) There is established an Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division of the Department of Public Works (“Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division”), which shall be responsible for the removal of any abandoned or dangerous vehicle from any public or private property including any public space. The Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division shall:

(1) Determine whether the vehicle is an abandoned or dangerous vehicle in accordance with § 50-2421.02;

(2) Determine whether the vehicle has been stolen and relinquish custody of the vehicle to the Metropolitan Police Department, if the vehicle has been stolen;

(3) Place or mail, as applicable, the appropriate warning notice described in §§ 50-2421.04 and 50-2421.05;

(4) Impound any abandoned or dangerous vehicle, if appropriate;

(5) Mail the impoundment notice required by § 50-2421.07(b) to the owner and lienholders of any impounded vehicle;

(6) Sell or dispose of unclaimed impounded vehicles, including all items of personal property left therein, pursuant to § 50-2421.10;

(7) Repealed; and

(8) Repealed.

(b) The Mayor shall use personnel who are charged with private or public space inspection, sanitation inspection, and traffic and parking enforcement responsibilities to investigate and place warning notices on abandoned and junk vehicles.

(c) The Mayor shall encourage all District government agencies and residents to identify and report abandoned and junk vehicles to the Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division and shall, within 90 days of September 9, 1989, implement an educational campaign to accomplish this task.


(Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 3, 36 DCR 4575; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 3003, 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 13(c)(2), 50 DCR 6579.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-832.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-331.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-35, in subsec. (a), substituted “any abandoned or dangerous vehicle” for “any abandoned or junk vehicle” and “space” for “highway” in the introductory paragraph, rewrote pars. (1), (3), (5), and (6), inserted “or dangerous” after “abandoned” in par. (4), and repealed pars. (7) and (8).

Cross References

Nuisance, abandoned vehicles, see § 6-804.

Regulation of taxicabs, vehicle impoundments, see § 50-331.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 13(c)(2) of the Removal and Disposition of Abandoned, Dangerous and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 15-104, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5534).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 13(c)(2) of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).

Short Title

Short title: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 50-2401.

Effective Dates

Section 12 of D.C. Law 8-24 provided that the act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the District of Columbia to override the veto) as provided in § 1-206.02(c)(1), and publication in either the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations; or by November 1, 1989, whichever occurs later. D.C. Law 8-24 was effective September 9, 1989.

Editor's Notes

Effect of repeal provisions: Section 14 of D.C. Law 15-35 provided: “Any repeal of a law or regulation by this act shall not invalidate any enforcement action, adjudication, or any other action made or taken pursuant to such law or regulation.”

Application of 15-35: Section 15 of D.C. Law 15-35 provided: “This act shall apply to all vehicles impounded after its effective date. This act shall also apply to all vehicles impounded prior to its effective date provided that notice is sent to the owners and lien holders in accordance with the provisions of subsections 7(b) or (c), as is applicable.”


§ 50–2403. Junk vehicles; nuisances. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 4, 36 DCR 4575; Oct 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 13(c)(3), 50 DCR 6579.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-833.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 13(c)(3) of the Removal and Disposition of Abandoned, Dangerous and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 15-104, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5534).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 13(c)(3) of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).

See note § 40-812.1.

Short Title

Short title: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 50-2401.

Effective Dates

Section 12 of D.C. Law 8-24 provided that the act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the District of Columbia to override the veto) as provided in § 1-206.02(c)(1), and publication in either the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations; or by November 1, 1989, whichever occurs later. D.C. Law 8-24 was effective September 9, 1989.

Editor's Notes

Effect of repeal provisions: Section 14 of D.C. Law 15-35 provided: “Any repeal of a law or regulation by this act shall not invalidate any enforcement action, adjudication, or any other action made or taken pursuant to such law or regulation.”

Application of Law 15-35: Section 15 of D.C. Law 15-35 provided: “This act shall apply to all vehicles impounded after its effective date. This act shall also apply to all vehicles impounded prior to its effective date provided that notice is sent to the owners and lien holders in accordance with the provisions of subsections 7(b) or (c), as is applicable.”


§ 50–2404. Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division Fund. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 5, 36 DCR 4575; Nov. 13, 2003, D.C. Law 15-39, § 602, 50 DCR 5668.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-834.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 602 of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-105, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5613).

For temporary (90 day) deposit of monies from the Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division Fund into the General Fund, see § 604 of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-105, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5613).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 602 of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-149, September 22, 2003, 50 DCR 8360).

For temporary (90 day) deposit of monies from the Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division Fund into the General Fund, see § 604 of Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-149, September 22, 2003, 50 DCR 8360).

Short Title

Short title: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 50-2401.

Short title of subtitle A of title VI of Law 15-39: Section 601 of D.C. Law 15-39 provided that subtitle A of title VI of the act may be cited as the Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division Fund Amendment Act of 2003.

Effective Dates

Section 12 of D.C. Law 8-24 provided that the act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the District of Columbia to override the veto) as provided in § 1-206.02(c)(1), and publication in either the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations; or by November 1, 1989, whichever occurs later. D.C. Law 8-24 was effective September 9, 1989.

Editor's Notes

Section 604 of D.C. Law 15-39 provided: “Upon the effective date of this title, any monies that are in the Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division Fund shall upon its dissolution be deposited into the General Fund.”


§ 50–2405. Jurisdiction over Blue Plains Impoundment Lot.

Within 90 days of September 9, 1989, the Mayor shall transfer jurisdiction of the Blue Plains Impoundment Lot from the Metropolitan Police Department to the Department of Public Works to store and auction abandoned vehicles and submit a feasibility study with recommendations on the use of private contractors to store and auction abandoned vehicles.


(Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 8, 36 DCR 4575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-835.

Effective Dates

Section 12 of D.C. Law 8-24 provided that the act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the District of Columbia to override the veto) as provided in § 1-206.02(c)(1), and publication in either the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations; or by November 1, 1989, whichever occurs later. D.C. Law 8-24 was effective September 9, 1989.


§ 50–2406. Rules.

Within 90 days from September 9, 1989, the Mayor shall, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, issue rules to implement the provisions of this act. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.


(Sept. 9, 1989, D.C. Law 8-24, § 11, 36 DCR 4575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-836.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) provisions for the removal and disposition of abandoned, dangerous, and unlawfully parked vehicles, see §§ 2 to 12, 14, and 15 of the Removal and Disposition of Abandoned, Dangerous and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 15-104, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5534).

References in Text

“This act”, referred to in the first sentence, is D.C. Law 8-24.

Effective Dates

Section 12 of D.C. Law 8-24 provided that the act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the District of Columbia to override the veto) as provided in § 1-206.02(c)(1), and publication in either the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations; or by November 1, 1989, whichever occurs later. D.C. Law 8-24 was effective September 9, 1989.


Subchapter II. Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles.

§ 50–2421.01. Short title.

This subchapter may be cited as the “Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Act of 2003.”


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 1, 50 DCR 6579.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2624.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see §§ 2 to 12, 14, 15, of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.02. Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter, the terms:

(1) “Abandoned vehicle” means any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that is left, parked, or stored on public space for more than 48 hours or on private property for more than 30 days, and to which at least 2 of the following apply:

(A) The vehicle is extensively damaged, including fire damage;

(B) The vehicle is apparently inoperable, including a vehicle missing its transmission, motor, or one or more tires, and which is not undergoing emergency repair;

(C) The vehicle serves as harborage for rats, vermin, and other pests; or

(D) The vehicle does not display valid tags or a valid registration sticker.

(2) “Dangerous vehicle” means any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that, as a result of the presence of rats, vermin, or other pests, exposed glass or metal shards, or other dangerous condition poses an imminent hazard to the public health, safety, or welfare. Any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that is in a wrecked, dismantled, or irreparable condition, or destroyed by fire, is per se a dangerous vehicle.

(3) “Department” means the Department of Public Works.

(4) “Director” means the Director of the Department of Public Works.

(5) “Impounded” means any vehicle in the custody of the Department of Public Works or stored at a private storage facility at the direction of the Department as a result of the vehicle:

(A) Having been removed from its location for:

(i) Violating § 50-2421.03;

(ii) Having 2 or more unsettled notices of infraction against it, as authorized by § 50-2201.03(k); or

(iii) Having been parked in violation of a traffic regulation other than overtime parking of less than 24 hours, as authorized by 18 DCMR § 2421; or

(B) Having been transferred from the custody of the Metropolitan Police Department to the custody of the Department of Public Works.

(6) “Motor vehicle” or “vehicle” means any device designed to be propelled by an internal-combustion engine, electricity, or steam.

(7) “Physical characteristics of an abandoned vehicle” means any 2 of the conditions set forth in paragraph (1) of this section.

(8) “Private property” means real property, including real property owned or under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, other than public space.

(9) “Public space” means all the property owned or under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, between lines on a street, as such property lines are shown on the records of the Surveyor of the District of Columbia, and includes any roadway, tree space, sidewalk, or parking between such property lines.

(10) “Unclaimed vehicle” means an impounded motor vehicle not reclaimed within the applicable time periods set forth in § 50-2421.08.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 2, 50 DCR 6579.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2401, § 50-2402, § 50-2421.05, and § 50-2701.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 2 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.03. Unlawful acts.

It shall be a violation of Chapter 23 of this title for any person to park, leave unattended, or store:

(1) An abandoned or dangerous vehicle on public space;

(2) Any motor vehicle on private property without the consent of the property owner; or

(3) An abandoned or dangerous vehicle on private property, even with the consent of the property owner, unless the vehicle is:

(A) Kept in a lawful enclosed structure or building completely shielded from the view of individuals on the adjoining properties; or

(B) Lawfully stored or kept on the property of a business engaged in the lawful repair, storage, salvage, or disposal of vehicles.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 3, 50 DCR 6579.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2421.02, § 50-2421.04, § 50-2421.05, § 50-2421.07, and § 50-2421.09.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 3 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.04. Removal of abandoned and dangerous vehicles from public space; penalties.

(a) The District government, or any towing company at the direction of the Department shall remove an abandoned or dangerous vehicle parked, left, or stored on public space in violation of § 50-2421.03(1), as follows:

(1) An abandoned vehicle shall be removed 48 hours after a warning notice has been conspicuously placed on the vehicle. The warning notice shall be placed at the first sighting of a vehicle that meets the physical characteristics of an abandoned vehicle. The warning notice shall indicate the date and time it was placed and the date and time that the District is authorized to remove, impound, or dispose of the vehicle if the vehicle is not moved. The notice shall also include a statement indicating the vehicle will not be towed if the owner or other authorized person certifies to the Department that the vehicle is undergoing emergency repair. The notice shall provide a telephone number, and website if any, that will inform the owner how to accomplish the certification.

(2) A dangerous vehicle shall be immediately removed without the placement of a warning notice.

(b) If more than one basis exists for removing a vehicle, whether stated in this subchapter or in any other law or regulation, the shortest removal period shall apply, including removal without a warning notice.

(c) No vehicle shall be removed from public space pursuant to this section until a notice of infraction is conspicuously placed on the vehicle.

(d) Except as provided in this section, it shall be unlawful for any person, except the owner, a person authorized by the owner in writing, an employee of the District government in connection with the performance of official duties, or a tow crane operator who has valid authorization from the District government, to do any of the following:

(1) Tamper with, remove, or attempt to tamper with or remove any vehicle owned by another person;

(2) Tamper with, remove, or attempt to tamper with or remove any vehicle that is on public space and to which a District government warning notice that relates to the removal of the vehicle has been affixed; or

(3) Remove, mutilate, or attempt to remove or mutilate the warning notice.

(e) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, shall be prosecuted by the Office of the Corporation Counsel, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 4, 50 DCR 6579; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 276(a), 60 DCR 2064.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2402.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “of not more than $500” in (e).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 4 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 276(a) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 50–2421.05. Removal of abandoned, dangerous, and unlawfully parked vehicles from private property.

The District government or any towing company at the direction of the Department shall remove a motor vehicle parked, left, or stored, on private property in violation of § 50-2421.03(2) or (3), as follows:

(1) A vehicle parked, left, or stored without the consent of the property owner shall be removed immediately after a notice of infraction is issued and conspicuously placed on the vehicle.

(2) A dangerous vehicle shall be removed, with or without the consent of the property owner, immediately after a notice of infraction is issued and conspicuously placed on the vehicle.

(3)(A) An abandoned vehicle shall be removed, with or without the consent of the property owner, 45 days after a warning notice has been mailed by first class mail to the last known address of the property owner, as indicated on the records of the Office of Tax and Revenue. For the purposes of this subsection, notice may run concurrently with the period of time required to establish that the vehicle is abandoned, as defined in § 50-2421.02.

(B) The warning notice shall, at a minimum, indicate the make and model of the vehicle, the date that the vehicle was observed on the property, and the date that the District is authorized to remove, impound, or dispose of the vehicle if the vehicle remains unenclosed on the property.

(C) The warning notice shall be mailed after the first sighting of a vehicle that meets the physical characteristics of an abandoned vehicle. A notice of infraction shall be conspicuously placed on the vehicle prior to its removal. The notice shall also include a telephone number, and website if any, that will inform the owner how to contact the Department to certify that the vehicle is not abandoned.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 5, 50 DCR 6579.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2402.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 5 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.06. Post-removal disposition of certain vehicles without further notice.

Except for vehicles removed after traffic accidents, the Department may, without further notice, dispose of a dangerous vehicle or abandoned vehicle removed from the public space or private property pursuant to any District law or regulation if the vehicle does not display a valid vehicle identification number and recognizable registration.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 6, 50 DCR 6579.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2201.03 and § 50-2421.07.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 6 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.07. Impoundment of vehicles, notice to owners and lienholders.

(a) The Director is authorized to impound any vehicle removed from public space or private property pursuant to any District law or regulation. A vehicle subject to impoundment shall be taken to a District government impoundment facility, or a storage lot owned or operated by a towing company, as shall be determined by the Department.

(b) Except for vehicles disposed of pursuant to § 50-2421.06, the Department shall send an impoundment notice, by first class mail, to the last known address of the owners of record of the vehicle, and any lienholders of record, as that information is indicated in the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles or in the records of the appropriate agency of the jurisdiction where the vehicle is registered. If the vehicle was seized from private property, notice shall also be sent, by first class mail, to the owner of that property, as indicated in the records of the Office of Tax and Revenue.

(c) The impoundment notice required by subsection (b) of this section shall be mailed no later than 5 days after the vehicle is received at an impoundment or storage facility and shall:

(1) Describe the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of each vehicle;

(2) Indicate the reason why the vehicle was impounded;

(3) If impounded for violating § 50-2421.03, indicate the nature of the violation;

(4) Advise the owner and lienholders of the procedures for reclaiming the vehicle and the applicable reclamation period for doing so; and

(5) Warn the owner and lienholders that the vehicle will be sold, or otherwise disposed of, if those procedures are not completed by the expiration of the reclamation period.

(d) If the address of the owner or lienholders cannot be determined, the Department shall publish an impoundment notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the District within 10 days after a vehicle is received at an impoundment or storage facility. If the mailed notice is returned as undeliverable within 14 days after mailing, an impoundment notice shall also be published. The published notice may contain a listing of more than one vehicle and shall:

(1) Describe the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle;

(2) Provide a telephone number or website address that will inform the owner or lienholders of the vehicle reclamation procedures; and

(3) Indicate the date by which the vehicle must be reclaimed.

(e) For the purposes of § 50-2302.05, the mailing of the impoundment notice shall constitute service of the notice of infraction for violations of this subchapter. The notice of infraction shall be considered issued, within the meaning of § 50-2302.05, on the 5th day after the impoundment notice is mailed.

(f) The Director shall determine whether each impounded vehicle has been reported to law enforcement agencies as stolen, and shall record the vehicle identification number for each impounded vehicle in a database format that can be accessed by law enforcement personnel. The database shall be established by fiscal year 2005 at the latest.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 7, 50 DCR 6579.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-2724, § 50-2402, § 50-2421.08, and § 50-2421.15.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 7 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.08. Vehicle reclamation periods.

(a) An impounded vehicle removed from public or private property pursuant to this subchapter shall be reclaimed within 28 days after the impoundment notice sent pursuant to § 50-2421.07(b).

(b) All other vehicles impounded pursuant to this subchapter, or pursuant to any other law or regulation, shall be reclaimed within 28 days after the date of the impoundment notice sent pursuant to § 50-2421.07(b).

(c) If the address of the owner and lienholders of an impounded vehicle is unknown, the vehicle shall be reclaimed within 14 days after the publication date of reclamation notices published pursuant to § 50-2421.07(d).


(Oct 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 8, 50 DCR 6579.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-2724 and § 50-2421.02.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 8 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.09. Procedures for reclaiming impounded vehicles; lien; penalties.

(a) An owner or lienholder, or a person duly authorized by either, may reclaim an impounded vehicle stored at a District government impoundment facility at any time prior to the expiration of the applicable reclamation period, by:

(1) Repealed;

(2) Repealed;

(3) Repealed;

(4) Making a payment in accordance with § 50-2201.03(k)(5);

(5) Furnishing proof of entitlement to possession of the vehicle;

(6) Paying to the District government, or the towing company, as directed by the Department, a towing fee of $100 and a storage fee of $20 per day; provided, that the towing fee shall be $275 and a storage fee of $20 per day shall be imposed if the size or the weight of the impounded vehicle requires the Department or an outside contractor to use special equipment to tow the vehicle; provided further, that the towing fee shall be $1,000 if the vehicle was impounded pursuant to a violation of 18 DCMR § 2405.3(e).

(b) Fines and penalties due for parking tickets issued to a vehicle and the towing and storage fee charges due pursuant to subsection (a)(6) of this section shall constitute a continuing lien against the impounded motor vehicle. The lien thus created shall be an automatic lien, which is perfected as of the first date that the fines, penalties, or fees are due and shall be a prior and preferred claim over all other liens.

(c) Any person who has paid a fine for parking, storing, or leaving an abandoned or dangerous vehicle on public space, and who, after reclaiming the vehicle, thereafter again parks, stores, or leaves that vehicle on public space in violation of § 50-2421.03(1), shall be prosecuted by the Office of the Corporation Counsel, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 9, 50 DCR 6579; June 22, 2006, D.C. Law 16-139, § 11, 53 DCR 3682; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-279, § 302, 54 DCR 903; Sept. 18, 2007, D.C. Law 17-20, § 6073, 54 DCR 7052; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 276(b), 60 DCR 2064; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 6013, 60 DCR 12472.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-2724, § 50-2201.03, and § 50-2702.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-139, in the lead-in language to subsec. (a), substituted “impounded vehicle stored at a District government impoundment facility” for “impounded vehicle”.

D.C. Law 16-279, in subsec. (a), repealed pars. (1), (2), and (3).

D.C. Law 17-20, in subsec. (a)(6), inserted “; provided further, that the towing fee shall be $1,000 if the vehicle was impounded pursuant to a violation of 18 DCMR § 2405.3(e)” following “to tow the vehicle”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $500” in (c).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 rewrote (a)(4).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 9 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6073 of Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-74, July 25, 2007, 54 DCR 7549).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 276(b) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6013 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6013 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.


§ 50–2421.10. Disposal of unclaimed vehicles; penalties; auction admission fees.

(a) The Department may, consistent with reasonable business practices, sell or otherwise dispose of an unclaimed vehicle.

(b) If an unclaimed vehicle is sold at a public auction or through other means pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the purchaser shall take title to the vehicle free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership by others, receive a sales receipt, and be entitled, upon application and the payment of all applicable fees, to a certificate of title and registration; provided, that all other eligibility requirements are met.

(c) The Department shall retain the proceeds of the sale or disposition of any vehicle an amount that represents reimbursement for the costs of sale, the costs of towing and storing the vehicle, the costs of furnishing notice and other related enforcement activities, the payment of such liens as were declared null and void, and the remainder shall be deposited into the General Fund.

(d) Except for vehicles enclosed on private property or located on the property of a business engaged in the lawful repair, storage, salvage, or disposal of vehicles, any person who purchases a vehicle that has been sold for salvage only from the Department, and who, thereafter, leaves, stores, or parks the vehicle on public space or private property, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor prosecuted by the Office of the Corporation Counsel, and shall be subject to a fine for each offense of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisonment for a period not to exceed one year, or both.

(e) The Director is authorized to establish a non-refundable cost-based auction admission fee. The proceeds from this fee shall be used to offset the costs of all vehicle auctions held on the day of the auctions. The proceeds from the fee shall be deposited into the General Fund.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 10, 50 DCR 6579; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 9101, 58 DCR 6226; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 146, 59 DCR 6190; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 276(c), 60 DCR 2064.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-2724 and § 50-2402.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-21, in subsec. (c), deleted “from” following “retain”; and, in subsec. (e), substituted “all proceeds in this subsection” for “the remainder”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “the day of the auctions. The proceeds from the fee” for “that day, and all proceeds in this subsection” in (e).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not to exceed $5,000” in (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 10 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 276(c) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 50–2421.11. Owners and lienholders remedy.

An owner or lienholder who fails to reclaim a vehicle within the time prescribed shall nevertheless be entitled to recover the fair market value of any vehicle disposed of pursuant to this subchapter if:

(1) The owner or lienholder requests a hearing with respect to the notices of infractions that provided the basis for the impoundment of the vehicle;

(2) The hearing is requested within 60 days after the issuance of the notices of infraction;

(3) A hearing examiner dismisses the notices of infraction or finds no liability; and

(4) The owner or lienholder establishes the vehicle’s fair market value by a preponderance of the evidence; provided, that if the District has sold the vehicle, the price paid by a good faith purchaser, other than the owner, shall establish a rebuttable presumption of the fair market value of the vehicle.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 11, 50 DCR 6579.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 11 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.12. Rulemaking authority.

The Directors of the Department of Public Works (“DPW”) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) are authorized, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, to promulgate, amend or repeal rules, or establish or modify cost-based fees that are within the scope of their individual authority in order to implement the provisions of this subchapter, through separate or joint rulemakings. If the District enters into contracts with towing companies, or other contractors, that provide for such companies to receive full or salvage title to unclaimed vehicles, the Director of DPW or the DMV may promulgate rules to implement the transfers consistent with the provisions of this subchapter.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 12, 50 DCR 6579.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 12 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.13. [Reserved].


§ 50–2421.14. Effect of the repeal of provisions.

Any repeal of a law or regulation by this subchapter or section 13 of D.C. Law 15-35 shall not invalidate any enforcement action, adjudication, or any other action made or taken pursuant to such law or regulation.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 14, 50 DCR 6579.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 14 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).


§ 50–2421.15. Applicability.

This subchapter and section 13 of D.C. Law 15-35 shall apply to all vehicles impounded after October 28, 2003. This subchapter and section 13 of D.C. Law 15-35 shall also apply to all vehicles impounded prior to October 28, 2003, provided that notice is sent to the owners and lien holders in accordance with the provisions of § 50-2421.07(b) or (c), as is applicable.


(Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-35, § 15, 50 DCR 6579; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 81, 52 DCR 2638.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354 validated a previously made technical correction.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 15 of Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-171, October 6, 2003, 50 DCR 9163).