Tompkins County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors (now Board of Representatives) of Tompkins County 4-30-1973 by L.L. No. 3-1973. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Traffic Safety Board — See Ch. 80.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 162.
For purposes of this chapter, a motor vehicle shall be deemed to be an abandoned vehicle if left unattended:
A. 
With no number plates affixed thereto, for more than six hours on any highway or other public place.
B. 
For more than 24 hours on any highway or other public place, except a portion of a highway or public place on which parking is legally permitted.
C. 
For more than 48 hours, after the parking of such vehicle shall have become illegal, if left on a portion of a highway or public place on which parking is legally permitted.
D. 
For more than seven days on property of another if left initially without permission of the owner.
The Sheriff of the County of Tompkins is hereby authorized to contract with any municipality within the County of Tompkins for the purpose of removing and disposing of abandoned vehicles. If such a contract is executed between the Sheriff and the various municipalities, the Sheriff shall be designated as the agent in said contracts of said municipalities while removing and disposing of vehicles abandoned in said municipalities. Any moneys derived from the sale of said abandoned vehicles, less the expense of removal, storage charges and sale, shall be held by the county for a period of five years and thereafter paid into the general fund of the county in the same manner as if the county were the municipality entitled to the custody of the vehicle, as prescribed by Subdivision 5 of § 1224 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection B of this section, when the county obtains custody of an abandoned vehicle, it shall make an inquiry concerning the last registered owner to the jurisdiction which issued the number plates affixed to the vehicle, or to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, if there were no number plates affixed. Such inquiry shall be made on Form DP-208, or on such other form as may be required by the jurisdiction which issued the number plates.
B. 
Inquiry concerning the last registered owner shall not be required when the abandoned vehicle is one which was left without number plates affixed and which is of a wholesale value, taking into consideration the condition of the vehicle, of $100 or less.
C. 
When the County has custody of a large number of vehicles, it may, with the approval of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, submit the request for information in such other form as may be prescribed by the Commissioner. Requests for such approval should be mailed to Department of Motor Vehicles, Abandoned Vehicles Unit, 504 Central Avenue, Albany, New York 12206.
A. 
If an inquiry is required under § 160-3, and the identity of the owner is ascertained, a notice shall be sent to such owner (and to any lienholder made known to the county by the state licensing authority) before title may be acquired by the county. If such vehicle is unclaimed, title shall vest in the county five days from the date such notices are mailed. Notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, in the form prescribed in Subsection D of this section.
B. 
If an inquiry is required under § 160-3 and the identity of the owner cannot be ascertained, title to the vehicle shall vest in the county without any additional notice being required, when notice of such fact is received.
C. 
If an inquiry is not required under § 160-3, title to the vehicle shall vest in the county immediately.
D. 
Form of notice to owner:
NAME AND ADDRESS OF LOCAL AUTHORITY
Mr. John Doe
Date
10 Any Street
Anytown, New York
Vehicle Plate No.
Year and Make
Vehicle Identification Number
Dear Sir:
  The above described vehicle was taken into custody as an abandoned vehicle after being left unattended within the jurisdiction of this (county, city, town, village).
  Pursuant to Section 2224 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, you are liable for the costs of removal and storage of the vehicle. The (county, city, town, village) shall acquire title to this vehicle unless it is claimed within five days of the above date. In such event, the vehicle will be sold, and any funds remaining after the costs of removal and sale will be held, without interest, for the benefit of the owner for five years.
  Your failure to claim this vehicle will not absolve you of your liability to pay the removal and storage charges for the vehicle, and you may be required to pay any portion of such charges which exceed the proceeds realized from the sale of the vehicle.
  You may claim this vehicle or obtain additional information concerning this matter by (calling) (contacting) (appearing at)
________________________
________________________
Very truly yours
A. 
Number of plates. The county shall remove and store number plates for 30 days, after which plates shall be destroyed. A list of all destroyed plates, with the name of the last registered owner of the vehicle, shall be submitted monthly to the Department of Motor Vehicles Division of Data Preparation and Control, The South Mall, Swan Street, Albany, New York 12228.
B. 
Ownership documents. Registration, title and other ownership documents shall be retained by the county for a period of six months, after which they shall be disposed of in a manner approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles or his agent.
C. 
Vehicle identification number plates.
(1) 
If a vehicle is sold for reuse on a public highway, vehicle identification number plates shall not be removed.
(2) 
The vehicle identification number plates of all vehicles sold for scrap or parts shall be removed by the county and forwarded to the Division of State Police at the State Campus, Albany, New York 12226.
A. 
Whenever a vehicle is sold pursuant to the provisions of § 1224 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the appropriate official or employee of the county shall issue a bill of sale substantially in the form prescribed in Subsection B of this section. Bills of sale shall be numbered consecutively as issued, and a copy shall be maintained by the county for one year after the date of sale.
B. 
Bill of sale.
Form of bill of sale:
NO._____________________
COUNTY OF TOMPKINS
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
BILL OF SALE
The vehicle described below was sold on the below date as an abandoned vehicle, pursuant to the provisions of § 1224 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. Notice of sale was sent to the last registered owner, if known, as required by law.
Make
Year
Type
Color
Cylinders
Vin
Date of Sale
Amount
Name and Address of Last Owner: ____________________
__________________________
Name and Address of Purchaser: ____________________________
______________________________
____________________________
(TITLE)
DATED:________________________
STATE OF NEW YORK
)
) ss:
COUNTY OF TOMPKINS
)
On this ____________ day of _______________________, nineteen hundred ________________________,
before me personally came _____________ to me personally known,
who, being by me duly sworn did depose and say that he (she) is the __________________________
of the _____________________________ and that he (she) is duly authorized and empowered to execute this instrument and that he (she) has signed his (her) name hereto by the virtue of the power vested in him (her).
___________________________
NOTARY
A. 
The county shall maintain a book of registry for abandoned vehicles in substantially the form prescribed in Subsection B of this section.
B. 
Form of book of registry: (See next page).