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Junk (Inoperable) Car & Vehicle Rules

  • Inoperable cars stored on property are considered junk storage under Seattle's Land Use Code.

What Is It?

Inoperable vehicles stored on private property are considered junk storage under the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC). Under our code, an inoperable vehicle is one that can’t be safely driven or moved under its own power; for example, a car with flat tires, missing body parts, a missing or dead battery, or severe body damage. Under city codes a vehicle doesn’t need to be licensed in order to be operable.

What It Isn’t

This ordinance does not cover:

Rules to Follow

Our ordinance requires that you store junk vehicles inside a building or remove them from your property. You can’t store a junk vehicle outside on your property.

Read the Code


The first-time penalty for violating this ordinance is $150. The penalty for additional violations is $500. Fines are higher in certain zones. Inspection charges may also apply.

What Do You Want To Do?

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