Abandoned Vehicles

  • To file a report of an abandoned vehicle, call 311 or submit your request online through Worcester 311.

Service Requests


  • Upon notification of a potentially abandoned vehicle, Worcester Parking Control Officers visit all reported locations to determine validity of report. This includes both public and private streets and any City-owned property.
  • When a vehicle is "deemed to be abandoned" it will be green-tagged and scheduled for removal. The vehicle is removed after 72 hours if the problem has not been "fixed" or the vehicle is not moved to a private property.
  • A vehicle is deemed abandoned if it has not moved in 72 hours and has no plates, an expired registration, missing wheels, broken windows, filled with junk, etc...
  • If the vehicle in question poses a safety hazard of any kind (parked in front of a fire hydrant, in a crosswalk, on the sidewalk, broken glass all around, near a school, etc...), the 72-hour rule is superseded by the safety issue and the vehicle is towed immediately.


  • The vehicle will be towed after 72 hours from the date the vehicle was tagged.
  • Tow company will store the towed vehicles for 30 days.
  • After the 30 days from the date the vehicle was towed the vehicle becomes the property of the tow company.
  • Any registered owner desiring to reclaim the vehicle must obtain a release slip from the Worcester Parking Administration Office after paying the $500 fine (first time offender) or $700 (second time offender).
  • If the registered owner is in need of time over the 30 days, please contact the tow operator directly.

Abandoned Vehicle Hearings

  • A hearing is scheduled for the last registered owner of each towed vehicle.
  • The fine is $500 for first time offender and $700 for second time offender, whether or not the registered owner wishes to reclaim the vehicle.
  • If the owner fails to appear, s/he is considered "guilty by default."
  • If the last registered owner claims s/he sold, gifted or donated the vehicle, it is required that s/he show proof that s/he is no longer the owner, by providing a certified copy of the Bill of Sale and a copy of the front and back of the Title, which would include the address and signature of the new owner.

Registry of Motor Vehicles

If the registered owner is found responsible their license and registration is "marked" at the RMV and prevented from doing any business with the Registry (renew driver's license; register or renew the registration on any other vehicle) until such time as the account is cleared with the City of Worcester.

Have a Question?

  • Within a reasonable time frame, the last registered owner of each towed vehicle is called to a hearing with the Parking Administrator. Unless it can be proven with proper documentation (a copy of the front and back of the title showing to whom the vehicle was sold or traded) that the ownership of the vehicle was legally transferred, the last registered owner is held liable for a fine of $500 (first time offender) or $700 (second time offender). If paid within the thirty (30) day holding period, the vehicle may be reclaimed.

  • Abandoned vehicles should be reported to Worcester 311 at 311. The reporter is expected to give an exact location of the vehicle (house number and street OR the two (2) intersecting streets), its make, model and color and a plate number, if there is one on the vehicle as well as the condition of the vehicle.

  • When a vehicle is "deemed to be abandoned", a green tag is placed on it, warning the owner that if the vehicle is not removed from the streets within seventy-two (72) hours, the City will tow it away and they will be subject to a $500 fine (first time offender) or $700 (second time offender). The impounded vehicle is held for 30 days. If it goes unclaimed, it is disposed of by our towing contractor.

  • Those who fail to appear for their hearing are found "guilty by default". Along with those who appear, are found guilty and fail to pay the fine (a generous thirty [30] days is allowed in which to pay), additional action is taken to insure that the fine is eventually paid. That action involves "marking" the violator in the Registry of Motor Vehicles. This ‘mark' signifies that the violator is in debt to the City of Worcester and he or she is prevented from doing any further business with the Registry until this debt is settled. This includes the renewal of a driver's license or the registration or re-registration of any other vehicle. This may also subject the violator to surcharges by the Registry.

  • If a plate number is reported, it is first checked to determine if it is an active registration. If it is, no action is taken.

    If there is no plate on the vehicle or the plate is found either to be expired, attached or revoked with the insurance cancelled, a Parking Control Officer is dispatched to verify the information and evaluate the vehicle on site. If one of the criteria is met, the vehicle is green tagged with a seventy-two (72) hour window for the owner to move the vehicle off the street.

    Each day, the towing contractor is supplied a list of all the vehicles that were tagged the previous day. When the seventy-two (72) hour ‘grace' period has expired, the towing contractor visits the location of each green-tagged vehicle. Those that are found to still be on the street are towed to a storage facility where they are held for thirty (30) days, pending possible reclamation by the owner.

  • Once the violator appears at the Parking Administration Office and pays the fine and any surcharges added by the Registry, the ‘mark' is removed.

  • A vehicle is considered to be abandoned if it meets both of the following two (2) criteria:

    1. It has not moved for seventy-two (72) hours; AND
    2. It is "deemed to be abandoned". This includes a vehicle with:
      • no license plates; or
      • an attached license plate (a plate that differs from the one recorded at the Registry of Motor Vehicles for that vehicle); or
      • an expired vehicle registration (NOT an expired inspection sticker!); or
      • a revoked registration with the insurance cancelled.

    Additional factors such as flat tires, broken windows or "filled with trash" will signal a problem but one of a) through d) above must apply.

Contact Information

Transportation & Mobility
76 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

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Phone: 508-929-1300 ext. 49500
Fax: 508-453-2888
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Office Hours:
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8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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