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Can the police department tow my car from my driveway for expired plates by calling it abandoned

Carthage, IL |

I'm in Illinois and the town I'm in has no additional ordinance other then the Illinois vehicle code statute. My understanding of the statute is the police can not remove my vehicle from my driveway as abandoned unless the owner gives written consent (which my landlord has not because he's trying to sell us the building). They have no ordinance about expired plates but the officer is telling me it falls under the definition of abandoned because it can't be operated, but the definition states if the car has so many parts damaged or removed that it can not operate by its own power. The vehicle is in great shape and runs fine, we just aren't using it right now and don't see the need to insure and plate it. Can the local police force us to do so?

I've thought about the town "needing money" and it seems very unlikely since they came in under budget in every aspect last year and are trying to spend more money this year since there is such an abundance of it. Also, again I have already checked and the town has no additional ordinances about abandoned, nuisance or junk cars. When I spoke to the officer the only basis he gave me for his ability to do this was the illinois vehicle code statute which clearly states "the abandonment of a vehicle anywhere in this state is unlawful EXCEPT on property of the owner or bailee of such abandoned vehicle" and "no removal of a vehicle from private property shall be done except upon express written instructions of the owners or persons in charge of the private property upon which the vehicle is said to be trespassing." The officer is not trying to ticket of fine us for the car, he wants to tow it from my driveway. Unless I am not understanding correctly the law clearly states he can not touch it or ticket it.

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Attorney answers 1


I do not know if this is what is going on in your Illinois town? But in this down economy perhaps some local planning trustees are attempting to create revenues through stepped up efforts to get all cars tagged or to get those not properly tagged cited with tickets.

Check to see if the town council has tried to apply rules on abandoned, nuisance, and junked cars in such an effort.

Just a suggestion....

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