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Junk vehicles on your property

junk vehicle

Junk Vehicles

In addition to being an eyesore, junk vehicles damage the environment and attract more illegal dumping.

Do you need to get rid of an abandoned junk vehicle?

Thousands of abandoned, junk vehicles lie rusting in yards, ravines, parking lots and open spaces throughout King County. In addition to being an eyesore, these vehicles damage the environment and attract more illegal dumping. However, getting rid of an abandoned junk vehicle is not always as simple as calling a wrecking yard to haul it away.

If you have the vehicle’s title

Visit the What do I do with…? site for a list of charitable organizations that accept donated vehicles or; look in the Yellow Pages (external) under auto wreckers or; call the State Recycling Hotline at 1-800-RECYCLE for recycling disposal options in your area.

If you own the vehicle but have lost the title

Visit the State Department of Licensing - Vehicle Services Division website (external) or call 360-902-3770 to get a copy.

If you do not have title to the vehicle

The Solid Waste Division provides a service to help you complete the steps necessary to have the vehicle removed. First make sure the vehicle meets the legal definition of a "junk vehicle". To qualify, a vehicle must meet at least three of the following four conditions:

  • Be three or more years old
  • Have extensive damage
  • Be inoperable
  • Have a fair market value that is equal to the approximate value of the scrap metal

If the vehicle meets the definition of a "junk vehicle"

Contact the King County Junk Vehicle Investigators online or call 206-477-0297, TTY Relay: 711. Please tell us:

  • your name
  • the address where the car is located
  • a day time phone number and;
  • any information about the car or cars, such as the make, license plate number and/or Vehicle Identification Number, if known.

King County staff will schedule a time when they can inspect the vehicle and process a Junk Vehicle Affidavit, which can serve as the vehicle's title and allow the vehicle to be legally removed from the property and recycled.

If the vehicle does not meet the definition of a "junk vehicle"

You may need to have the vehicle impounded by a state-registered tow service.

This information does not apply to junk vehicles located:

  • On someone else’s property in unincorporated King County – contact the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review and fill out a complaint form (external) or call 206-296-6680, TTY Relay: 711
  • On a King County road right-of-way – call the Abandoned Vehicle Hotline at 206-205-0969
  • In the City of Seattle – call 206-684-8940
  • On a City of Seattle Street – call 206-684-8763
  • In Pierce County – call 253-798-3444
  • In Snohomish County – call 425-388 7163 or visit the Environmental Cleanup website (external)

It is the responsibility of the property owner to remove vehicles or to have them removed. King County cannot remove junk vehicles from private property and does not accept vehicles or major vehicle parts for disposal or recycling at county solid waste facilities.

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Updated: Nov. 16, 2016

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