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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 24 hours (BMC 11.33.060(A)(25)), and is deemed to be an unauthorized/abandoned vehicle after 24 hours (RCW 46.55). This includes: motor homes, travel trailers, boat and utility trailers.

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

You can report it to the Bellingham Police Department. 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 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 for the vehicle. The RSV will chalk the tires of the vehicle and place a red tag (a warning notice) on the vehicle. The red tag is to notify the owner of the vehicle that a complaint has been received and that they have 24 hours to remove the vehicle from the area.

What happens after a vehicle has been red tagged?

Abandoned Vehicle

We try to give the owner of the vehicle ample time to be notified and make arrangements to move the vehicle before the vehicle is towed. A RSV will recheck the area for the red-tagged vehicle within 7 days (normally on the same day of the week the red tag was placed on the windshield). If it is found at the same location and has not been driven the vehicle will be impounded. Note: In order to be considered moved, a vehicle must pass through an intersection. Vehicles that appear to have been pushed ahead or back will be removed. It is a good idea to have the vehicle totally removed from the block prior to the day(s) you expect the RSV to re-check the vehicle.

Will a vehicle be removed after only 24 hours?

A RSV, Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) or Police Officer may remove vehicles that have been red tagged on prior complaints from the right of way after only 24 hours. Vehicles that are being red tagged multiple times will be removed after only 24 hours.

Can I request more time to move the vehicle?

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

What do I do if my vehicle has been removed?

The registered owner and/or Legal owner of the vehicle will receive a notice of vehicle impoundment from the Bellingham Police Department. 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. The vehicle may be removed and sold at public auction after 96 hours. The following Tow Companies are utilized to remove unauthorized/abandoned vehicles:

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

Hortons Towing Co
4056 Bakerview Valley Rd
(360) 733-1230

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