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Frequently Asked Questions

It has to be “visibly” inoperable and the courts have decided that expired tags or inspections make no bearing on that.  Additionally, there is no law or ordinance that prevents a car from being legally parked indefinitely.

You cannot leave a trailer of any kind on the street unattached from a motor vehicle.

If a vehicle is left on the street in violation it can be tagged immediately.  Once tagged, the vehicle is left for 48 hours for the owner to fix the problem or remove the vehicle from the street.

You cannot claim property from the side of the road.  The vehicle must be impounded and proper notice must be given to the registered owner.  This allows the registered owner the opportunity to claim the vehicle before it is sold at auction.

Not all neighborhoods have opted into the ordinance that does not allow parking in the yard (City Code Chapter 12-5-29 FRONT OR SIDE YARD PARKING). City of Austin Code is responsible for enforcement of this ordinance. 

City Ordinance allows one vehicle per licensed driver.  Code Enforcement enforces this ordinance and they can be reached by calling 311 or (512) 974-5750.

You cannot move a vehicle without permission from the owner.  Any reputable wrecker company will not tow a vehicle unless they have permission from the titled owner of the car.  Please call 512-974-8119 and request APD to tag and tow the vehicle.  We will ask you to fill out a Private Property Affidavit with the description and location of the vehicle.  This notarized form gives APD permission to come onto the property and tag the unwanted vehicle.  After the vehicle is tagged, the officer will return after 48 hours and if it is still on scene, a pick up order will be issued to the wrecker company to impound the vehicle.  There is no charge to the owner of the property or the owner of the vehicle.  Certified letters will go out to the registered owners notifying them that the vehicle has been impounded and will be sold at auction if not redeemed.

The Police Department does not enforce HOA rules however they will tag the vehicle if it is in violation of a City Ordinance.

The definition of an abandoned vehicle is one that is either A) parked illegally because it is:

    * more than 18” from the curb
    * facing the wrong way on the road “Left Wheel to Curb”
    * parked on city easement, left unattended on a controlled access highway
    * an unattached trailer on the street
    * an overweight vehicle whose gross weight exceeds 9,000 lbs on a street with 30 mph speed limit or less
    * for sale on the street

Or B) is mechanically inoperable on the street with characteristics that include:

    * up on jack stands
    * flat tire(s)
    * wrecked
    * health
 

The laws affect any junk car if it is visible from any PUBLIC area, I.E. street/sidewalk/alley/etc.  Covering it with a cover does NOT prevent it from being seen.