Abandoned & Hazard Vehicle Tows

Abandoned Vehicles

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will have a vehicle towed if a vehicle is disabled or abandoned and has been parked or left standing upon a public way for a period in excess of 24 hours without authorization by statute or local ordinance. The Oregon State Police should be notified for vehicles abandoned on the State Highways. City Police are responsible for vehicles abandoned within the city limits.

The Sheriff’s Office will not remove vehicles from private property. See Removal of Abandoned Vehicles on Private Property

To report a vehicle you believe to be abandoned on a public way, contact Deschutes County Dispatch Center at (541) 693-6911. You will need to provide the call taker with:  

  • A description of the vehicle
  • License plate or VIN if available
  • Location
  • How long it has been there
  • Your name and a contact phone number or address

If a vehicle has been declared abandoned, the vehicle will be tagged and must be removed by the owner within 24 hours. If the vehicle is not removed, it will be towed. The tow company that removes the vehicle may attach a lien to the vehicle for the towing and storage charges. If it is not reclaimed within a specific time period, the vehicle will be disposed of or sold.

If your vehicle has been towed, contact the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 388-6655 during normal business hours or Deschutes County Dispatch Center at (541) 693-6911 after hours. They will be able to tell you which tow company has your vehicle. You will be required to pay towing and storage charges before the tow company will release the vehicle.

You have the right to request a hearing if your vehicle was towed or has been tagged to be towed as an abandoned vehicle. Your must submit your request in writing within 5 days of the date the vehicle was tagged. Your request must state the grounds upon which you believe the tow is not justified. Send your requests to:

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office
Civil Division/Abandoned Vehicle Hearings
63333 West Highway 20
Bend, OR 97701 

Please provide your name, address and contact telephone number where you can be reached. Hearings are set quickly and are heard by the Bend Municipal Court.

Removal of Abandoned Vehicles on Private Property

ORS 98.830 states that a person who is the owner, or in lawful possession, of private property may remove an abandoned vehicle if:

  1. The person affixes a notice to the vehicle stating that the vehicle will be towed if it is not removed. This notice must remain on the vehicle 72 hours prior to removal of the vehicle
  2. The person notifies the local law enforcement agency of the intent to have the vehicle towed.
  3. The person fills out and signs a letter that includes a description of the vehicle, the location the vehicle will be towed from, and a statement that the person has complied with #1 and #2 above.

THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE DOES NOT PROVIDE THIS LETTER.

ORS 98.835 grants immunity from civil liability to the person who tows the vehicle if the person has the form (letter) described in ORS 98.830, filled out by the person claiming to be the owner of the private property.

 

 

Hazard Vehicles

 

Immediate removal of a vehicle that is disabled, abandoned, parked or left standing unattended on a road or highway right-of-way and in such a location as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to motor vehicle traffic is known as a “hazard vehicle tow”.

If your vehicle was towed as a hazard, contact the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 388-6655 during normal business hours or Deschutes County Dispatch Center at (541) 693-6911 after hours. They will be able to tell you which tow company has your vehicle. You will be required to pay towing and storage charges before the tow company will release the vehicle.

The Sheriff’s Office is required by law to send the registered owners, lessors and security interest holders of the vehicle as shown in DMV records a notice, by certified mail, that the vehicle has been towed. If you sold your vehicle, but did not notify DMV that it was sold or provide the name of the person you sold it to, you will receive the notice that the vehicle has been towed.

The purpose of the notice is to inform the owner that the vehicle has been towed, provide information about requesting a hearing regarding the validity of the tow and that if the vehicle is not claimed, it is subject to lien for payment of towing and storage charges.

You have the right to request a hearing if your vehicle was towed as a hazard vehicle. Your must submit your request in writing within 5 days of the date the notice was mailed, not including Saturdays, Sundays or holidays . Your request must state the grounds upon which you believe the tow is not justified. Send your requests to:

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office
Civil Division/Hazard Vehicle Hearings
63333 West Highway 20
Bend, OR 97701

Please provide your name, address and contact telephone number where you can be reached. Hearings are set quickly and are heard by the Bend Municipal Court.