I am the current owner of a vehicle, that my father has taken to Arkansas without my permission. Can I legally go to Arkansas and get my vehicle?

I have all papers that prove I am the legal owner of the vehicle, the original paperwork from the dealer, the current vehicle registration from Texas, and proof of insurance. My father lived with me for a while and I allowed him to use the vehicle to and from work. He left Texas on a night I was away from home and went to Arkansas. I have located him and just want to go and get my car, but I want to make sure I am in my legal right.

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Criminal Law, Texas


J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT, however, i practice in this area.  If you are the legal owner to the car, then you are able to reposses it.  You could even go as far reporting it stolen.  However, i do not think you want to go that far since its your dad that took it.  If you know where the car is, then you are within your right to go retrieve it.  After all, your dad cannot report it stolen by you if you are the legal owner.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Absolutely.  If it's your car, it's your car.

You might want to make a complete set of copies, of all the paperwork, and stop by the local police station before you go get the car, just in case.  But if you have a key, there is no law that I've ever heard of that would prevent you from just getting in and driving it away -- as long as it is in lawful operating condition and has your license plates on.

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