Find previous owner of vehicle
You may be able to find the previous owner of an abandoned vehicle by applying to search the MVR's records.
If the vehicle was last registered interstate, you must apply to that state to search for the previous owner. The MVR cannot search interstate records.
Search the MVR's records for previous owner
Before you apply
To complete an application to search for abandoned vehicle details you will need to provide all of the following:
- make of the vehicle
- model and body type
- engine number
- VIN/chassis/serial number
- estimated value
- time the vehicle has been in your possession
- certificate to show there is no encumbrance on the vehicle – such as a Personal Properties Securities Register check
- your evidence of identity
- proof that you are the owner of the private property where the vehicle has been abandoned.
If you haven't been able to contact the previous owner
If you haven't been able to contact the previous owner through the details provided by the MVR, you will have to advertise in a local newspaper.
You will have to place a public notice in the NT News for two consecutive Saturdays.
The notice must state that you will transfer the ownership of the vehicle within 28 days from the date of the second notice.
It must also include all of the following:
- all vehicle details
- the location where the vehicle has been abandoned
- the length of time the vehicle was abandoned
- your contact details.
If the former owner does not contact you after 28 days of the second notice, you can then apply to transfer the abandoned vehicle to your name.
How to apply
Email your completed application to search for abandoned vehicle details and supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pay the search for last registered owner fee using Visa or MasterCard by calling 1300 654 628.
The MVR will then provide you with the name and address of the previous registered owner.
You can submit your application form to a MVR office.
You can pay the search for last registered owner fee using Visa or MasterCard, EFTPOS, cash, cheque or BasicsCard.
Send your application form to:
Motor Vehicle Registry
GPO Box 530
Darwin NT 0801
You can pay the search for last registered owner fee by sending your Visa or MasterCard details, cheque or money order.
Last updated: 28 November 2017