Junk Vehicles

Junk Vehicle

Read the Code: SMC 10.66

What is it?

Junk Vehicles are considered a public nuisance because they are more than just an eyesore. They detract from the residential aspect of the neighborhood and reduce the property values. They can be hazardous to children and often have sharp edges, broken glass and are up on unsteady jacks, etc. They are often left in open areas where they are noticed by many people and have toxic fluids and other material there are often found to be on the ground.

Junk Vehicle means a vehicle certified under RCW 46.55.230 as meeting at least three of the following requirements:

  1. Is three years old, or older
  2. Is extensively damaged, such as broken windows, or missing wheels, tires, motor, or transmission
  3. Is apparently inoperable
  4. Has an approximate fair market value equal only to the approximate value of the scrap in it. Scrap value is currently approximately $60

What it Isn't

Junk vehicles are more than just an ugly car you are tired of seeing. Exceptions to Chapter 10.16 include vehicles that are completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property; or stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler or licensed vehicle dealer and is fenced according to the provisions of RCW 46.80.130.


Failure to comply may result in a citation of $513 a day or order the removal, at the cost to the owner (see abatement.)


  1. After notice has been given of the City's intent to dispose of the vehicle or after the appeal hearing has been held, resulting in authority to remove, the vehicle or part thereof shall be removed at the request of a law enforcement officer or limited commission officer and disposed of to a licensed motor vehicle wrecker or hulk hauler with notice to the Washington State patrol and the state department of licensing that the vehicle has been wrecked.
    1. Any vehicle or part thereof impounded pursuant to this chapter shall be processed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington.
  2. Any registered disposer under contract of the City for the impounding of vehicles shall comply with any administrative regulations relative to the handling and disposing of vehicles as may be promulgated by the local authority or the director.
  3. Failure to remove as a result of a hearing examiner order may result in a class I civil infraction. Costs of removal may be assessed against the registered owner of the vehicle if the identity of the owner can be determined, unless the owner in the transfer of ownership of the vehicle has complied with RCW 46.12.101, or the costs may be assessed against the owner of the property on which the vehicle is stored, subject to SMC 10.66.
  4. The impounding of a vehicle shall not preclude charging the violator with any violation of the law on account of which such vehicle was impounded.
  5. In addition to, or in lieu of, any other state or local provisions for the recovery of costs, the City may, after removal of a vehicle under this chapter, file for record with the County auditor to claim a lien for the cost of removal and any and all outstanding fines and collection costs, which shall be in substance in accordance with the provision covering mechanics' liens in chapter 60.04 RCW, and said lien shall be foreclosed in the same manner as such liens.

Junk Vehicle Affidavit Request

Contact Information

If you have general code questions or issues please call 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489), or by email.