Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV) occurs when a person allowed access to, or with permission to operate your vehicle for any period of time, for any reason, refuses to return it with intent to permanently deprive you of the vehicle. APD follows the policy set forth by the Travis County District Attorney which states:

According to Title 7, Chapter 31 of the Texas Penal Code, in order to secure a conviction for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • A person intentionally or knowingly;
  • Operates another’s car, boat, airplane, or other motor-propelled vehicle;
  • Without the effective consent of the owner.

The crime of UUMV Texas is a State Jail Felony, which carries a punishment range of confinement in a Texas state jail facility for 180 days to 2 years, and up to a fine of $10,000.

For example, you allow your friend to borrow your car to buy groceries one afternoon, but the friend then refuses to give you your vehicle back.

This is not immediately considered an auto theft. The vehicle owner must go through a demand process before a criminal investigation or police response can begin.

The process is as follows:

  • You must complete a UUMV Demand Letter.
    • The letter must specify date and place the vehicle must be returned (within 10 days).
    • It must be sent to the last known address of the “offender.” 
    • Must be sent via certified mail.
  • 10 days after confirmed delivery of the letter, if the vehicle has not been returned, you may schedule an appointment with and APD Auto Theft Detective.

Here are the detailed directions and letter templates :