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Inoperable and Abandoned Vehicles

City of Rockford’s Property Maintenance Code Section 302.8 regarding inoperable vehicles states that all inoperable vehicles whether on public or private property and in view of the public, have been declared a public nuisance and are therefore prohibited.

An “inoperable motor vehicle” means any motor vehicle from which, for a period of at least 7 days or any greater period fixed by ordinance, the engine, wheels or other parts have been removed, or on which the engine, wheels or other parts have been altered,
damaged or otherwise so treated that the vehicle is incapable of being driven under its own motor power.

The City has authorization to remove such vehicles located on private property at the property owner’s expense. Inoperable vehicles pose threats to the community as they:

  • Contribute to blight.
  • May become a home for rodents, mosquitoes, insects, and other unsanitary vermin.
  • May be a fire hazard if they contain flammable substances.
  • Contain fluids that, if leaked, may contaminate the environment and contribute to storm water pollution.
  • May pose a danger due to loose, sharp, or jagged parts,to the public, particularly small children who may be playing nearby.

Many individuals park inoperable vehicles on their property with the eventual plan to make them road-worthy. Unfortunately,
they reduce property values, contribute to blight, and pose a threat to the public. Below are some options available to homeowners to prevent an ordinance violation related to inoperable motor vehicles:

  • The vehicle may be placed in an enclosed garage.
  • Contact a local towing company and have the vehicle removed.
  • Repair or remove your vehicle from the property.

Abandoned motor vehicles on private property pose additional challenges to property owners.  To remove an abandoned motor vehicle from private property, the City recommends that owner’s of multi-unit residential dwellings and commercial/industrial properties should have parking areas posted by a Illinois Commerce Commission licensed towing contractor who can be contacted to remove unauthorized vehicles. Residents and business may also contact the Illinois State Police District 16 Headquarters at 815-239-1152 and request to speak to a Trooper about other removal options.

For inoperable motor vehicles located on private property, please contact Neighborhood Standards at 779-348-7160. You can also e-mail Neighborhood Standards at NSComplaints@rockfordil.gov or submit a complaint online by clicking here to enter our Service Request portal.

For inoperable and abandoned motor vehicles located on the street or in an alley, please report to the Rockford Police Department at 815-966-2900.