Impounded Vehicle Sales

General Information

The Utah State Tax Commission may sell any impounded vehicle that is not recovered by the legal owner within 30 days of the date of seizure (See Utah Tax Code §41-1a-1103). These sales are performed by way of public auction at the impound yard where the vehicle is located. As required by Utah law, the date, time, location, and description of available vehicles are provided to the public regularly.


Certificates of Sale are prepared in the name of the impound yard prior to the sale. If the vehicle is sold at auction, the DMV provides a new Certificate of Sale to the new owner at the time of sale. However, that may not be possible in the outlying regions of the state, in which case the impound yard signs over the Certificate of Sale originally issued to them. The DMV records the new owner of the vehicle and liability is the responsibility of the new owner. If the purchaser of a vehicle is an individual other than the impound yard or a licensed Utah motor vehicle dealer, sales tax is collected at the time of sale.

The DMV can accept checks for the state portion of the sale proceeds. The impound yard may collect their portion using the method that works best for them. If the purchaser of the vehicle subsequently sells the vehicle, they should report the sale to the DMV to clear their legal responsibility for the vehicle. For instructions on reporting a sale, see Buyer and Seller Responsibilities.


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