Dundalk, MD asked in Criminal Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland

Q: I need to know if I should go to the police to file a report concerning a car/ tags that is missing?

its a bit complicated, the car title and tags are in my name, the person I had an agreement with has disappeared and I can't locate the car. I don't want to be responsible for the expenses if the car is towed to the county lot.

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Unless the agreement included a date the person was to return the car back to you, and they deliberately failed to do so with the intent to deprive you of the vehicle, then there is no crime to report (theft or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle), so going to the police will not likely help, unless you are concerned with the welfare of this person and are reporting them missing and in danger for some reason.

You might go to the MVA and cancel the registration and file an affidavit declaring the vehicle is no longer in your possession and disclaim ownership and ask to cancel the title—but I’m not sure they would cancel the title. So long as the vehicle is in your name, you may be potentially held liable for damages caused by it, so it would be better to maintain insurance if you remain the titled owner. You can try to locate the vehicle and take it back; then you can sell or keep it.

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