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Removal of Abandoned and Dangerous Vehicles

Car parked on the street

DPW’s inspectors circulate throughout the District looking for abandoned and dangerous vehicles to investigate then remove from public and private property. Dangerous vehicles may be removed from public and private property immediately, once they have been ticketed. Abandoned vehicles will be removed within five business days from public space and 45 days from private property.

“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 one of the following applies:

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

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

(C) The vehicle does not display valid tags or a valid registration sticker; except, that a vehicle shall not be deemed an abandoned vehicle under this subparagraph solely because the vehicle displays expired tags or registration sticker, unless the tags or registration sticker expired at least one year before any enforcement action is taken under this subchapter, which shall be measured concurrently with the period of time required to establish that the vehicle is abandoned, as described in the lead-in language of this paragraph.

 “Dangerous vehicle” means a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that, due to at least one of the following conditions existing for at least 24 hours, poses an imminent hazard to the public health, safety, or welfare:

(A) The vehicle is extensively damaged, including damaged by fire or exposed broken glass or metal shards are present; or

(B) Another dangerous condition that poses an imminent hazard to public health, safety, or welfare is present.

Note: DPW personnel may enter private property in some circumstances where an abandoned or dangerous vehicle is involved to eliminate threats to public safety, as governed by “The Removal and Disposition of Abandoned and Other Unlawfully Parked Vehicles Reform Act of 2003.”

How You Can Help

Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 737-4404
Contact Fax: 
(202) 671-0642
Contact TTY: 
(202) 673-6833
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:15 am - 4:45 pm