Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle begins as a civil matter, and we understand how frustrating the Demand Letter process may seem. Please understand this matter can become criminal - but the Demand process must take place first. The Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle Demand Letter Process is not one that the Austin Police Department put in place to make matters more difficult, or to discourage reporting.
These steps are required by Travis County District Attorney's Office to first allow for the safe return of the vehicle within a reasonable period of time, and, if not, to establish a criminal intent on the part of the other person to deprive an owner of their vehicle. This must be established first before police can legally recover your vehicle and make an arrest.
The Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle Demand Letter Process most often results in your vehicle being returned peacefully. For most victims, this is the first and most important priority. Many choose not to continue with filing criminal charges after their vehicle is returned. This is also your choice.
A properly completed demand process will also reduce liability to you and to police officers who may have to conduct a dangerous, high-risk traffic stop involving the person you know and others inside that vehicle at the time it is recovered.
To download or print the Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle Demand Letter instructions and fill-inthe-blank demand letter, visit our website at: www.austintexas.gov/department/auto-theft
You can also stop by any Austin Police sub-station and request Demand Letter Process Instruction form, which includes a fill-in-the-blank demand letter.