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Junk Vehicles

Thurston County receives several calls each day from citizens who are concerned about junk vehicles -- for good reason. Junk vehicles are an eyesore and a hazard to the environment.

How Thurston County responds to a junk-vehicle situation depends on whether the caller wants to remove a junk vehicle from his or her own property, or to lodge a complaint about a vehicle elsewhere in the neighborhood. Below are answers to common questions about Thurston County's junk vehicle program. (Junk vehicles are also referred to as "hulk" vehicles.)

What is a Junk Vehicle?

In Thurston County, junk vehicles are defined as any inoperable, abandoned, disassembled, or extensively damaged vehicle with two or more of the following conditions:

  • A build-up of debris, moss or weeds on, in, under, or around the vehicle that obstructs use.
  • Damage to the frame.
  • More than one missing or shattered window or windshield.
  • More than one inoperable or missing headlight or taillight.
  • More than one flat tire.
  • A missing or inoperable engine or transmission.
  • A missing wheel, tire, body panel, door, hood or other obvious body part, not including a bumper.
  • A missing license plate.
  • A license plate that has been invalid for more than 60 days.
  • A missing driver-side mirror.
  • Evidence that the vehicle has not been moved in at least 60 days.

The definition does not include special-interest vehicles, vehicles undergoing active restoration, farm machinery, or prominently displayed ornamental machinery.

There's a junk vehicle on my neighbor's property. Is there anything Thurston County can do about it?

Enforcement of the county junk vehicle law is done on a complaint basis. After a complaint is received, an enforcement officer visits a home or location and determines if the vehicle qualifies as "junk/hulk." The property owner is given 30 days to remove the vehicle. If the property owner fails to remove it in 30 days, a $513 civil fine may be written. (Whether fines are actually levied depends on whether the property owner cooperates in removing the vehicle.)

To report a violation of the junk vehicle law in unincorporated Thurston County (i.e., not in a city), call the Thurston County Hulk Vehicle Line at (360) 709-3083 or submit an on-line junk vehicle complaint form.

How Do I get Rid of a Junk Vehicle on My Own Property?

The answer depends on whether you have the title (own) the vehicle.

There's a junk vehicle along a public road. Whom should I call?

If the abandoned vehicle is on a state route or highway, call the Washington State Patrol at (360) 586-1999. If the vehicle is on a county-owned street, call the Roads and Transportation Services Department at (360) 786-5495. If the vehicle is on a city-owned street, call the city.

Contact Us

Questions? Call the Thurston County Hulk Vehicle Line at 709-3083 and leave a message to be called back, or contact Robert Manns at mannsr@co.thurston.wa.us.

 

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