Skip to page contents
City of Bellingham, WA
Contact Us Site Map
You are here: Home) Services ) Safety ) Police ) Abandoned Vehicles

Abandoned Vehicles

Abadoned Vehicle

How long may my vehicle be parked on the city street without moving?

A vehicle may not be continuously parked over 72 hours (BMC 11.33.060(A)(25)).  This includes: motor homes, travel trailers, and boat and utility trailers in addition to cars, trucks, vans, buses, motorcycles, and motor scooters.

What can I do about an abandoned vehicle parked on my street?Abandoned Vehicle

You can report it to the Bellingham Police Department at 360-778-8800. Be prepared to give the address where the vehicle is located as well as a full description of the vehicle (make and model) and include the license plate number. Let us know how long the vehicle has been at the location.

We would also like your name and phone number so that the Retired Senior Volunteer (RSV) or officer who responds to your call can contact you if needed. Your name and phone number is kept confidential and is not given out. Anonymous complaints are accepted.

What happens when I report an abandoned vehicle?Abandoned Vehicle

In most cases a RSV will be dispatched to the location to check on the vehicle. The RSV will usually chalk a tire of the vehicle and place an orange tag (a warning notice) on the vehicle. The orange tag is to alert the owner of the vehicle that a complaint has been received and that the owner has 72 hours to remove the vehicle from its current location.

What happens after a vehicle has been orange-tagged?

Abandoned Vehicle

The owner of the vehicle is sent a notice via USPS mail to the last know address as listed in teh records of the Washington State Department of Licensing.  The notice states that the vehicle is subject to impoundment if not removed.  The owner will also receive a phone call from the Bellingham police Department if a phone number is available.

A RSV will recheck the area for the orange-tagged vehicle within 7 days (normally on the same day of the week the orange tag was first placed on the vehicle). If it is found at the same location and has not been moved, the vehicle will besubject to impoundment.

 In order to be considered moved, the vehicle must pass through an intersection. Vehicles that appear to have been moved forward or backwards less than one block will be subject to impoundment. 

Will a vehicle be removed after only 72 hours?

A RSV, Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) or Police Officer may remove orange-tagged vehicles from the highway right of way after only 72 hours based on prior complaints. Vehicles that are orange-tagged multiple times will be removed after 72 hours.

May I request more time to move my vehicle?

Yes. If there are extenuating circumstance you may request additional time to move your vehicle. Please contact the Bellingham Police Department at 360-778-8800 to request a one-time extension.

What do I do if my vehicle has been removed?

If you are the registered owner and/or legal owner, you will receive a notice of the vehicle impoundment from the Bellingham Police Department, which includes the name of the towing company.  Contact the towing company directly to redeem/claim the vehicle.  Phone numbers and addresses are listed below.

Be advised that this notice will only be sent to the last known address as listed in the records of the Washington State Department of Licensing. Washington State Law requires that registered owners keep their current physical street address on the record.

If not redeemed/claimed, the vehicle may be sold at public auction in accordance with RCW 46.55.130.

Horton's Towing Co
4056 Bakerview Valley Rd
(360) 733-1230

Johnson's Towing Co
4058 Bakerview Valley Rd
360) 733-4232

ASAP Towing
4145 Bakerview Spur
(360) 734-6465

Heston Hauling
3815 Bakerview Spur, Unit 3
(360) 312-8697

M 7/31/2015

Top of Page ^ Top of page