- Frequently Asked Questions
Abandoned Vehicle Auction - Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where do the vehicles come from? How can you legally sell the vehicles and property? Where does the NAF property come from?
The vehicles were all abandoned on Fort Drum. The Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) works with the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) to address this issue by removing the vehicles and selling them to cover the incurred cost of removal – towing, tow trucks, storage, labor, letters, and various supplies and resources. DES tags vehicles determined to be abandoned, after three days a tow order is issued to DFMWR and the vehicles are towed and secured, certified letters are then sent to the last known registered owners and any lienholders notifying them. Following various U.S. Codes, Army Regulations, and Financial Management Regulations the vehicles become U.S. Government property if unclaimed and can be sold at auction at that time.
The Non-Appropriated Funds (NAF) property typically comes from various FMWR programs. NAF property can legally be sold at a public auction in an “as-is” serviceable condition.
2. How does the auction work? How do I bid? Can I bid on more than one item?
It is set up as a silent auction so no one knows who has bid what amount – all bids are sealed and everyone is submitting their best offer based on their assessment of the item. The vehicles are all open for everyone to look them over thoroughly. A sticker with the three-or-four-digit “lot number” is located on each item to help identify which item is which and to sort the bids after the auction closes.
If you would like to place a bid you fill out a bid form and envelope completely for each item you are bidding on by providing your day-time phone number (you must be available by phone M-F, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. the week or two following the auction so you can accept or pass on an item you are a top bidder on), write in the three-or-four-digit lot number and which vehicle you are bidding on, enter your bid amount, seal it in an envelope, and then submit the bid to the MWR employees. It is then time stamped (if there is a tie bid, whoever bids first wins), dated, signed, and secured for opening and review the following Monday. All bids must be received by 4:00 p.m. Saturday – you can NOT come back and look at the vehicle after the auction ends.
You may bid on as many items as you would like, however, we can only discuss the items you are the top bidder on when you are called and you must decide at that time to either accept or pass on the item. You can take as many items as you would like if you are a top bidder on multiple items and you can pass on multiple items or all additional items once you have accepted an item or multiple items.
3. How do I get a title for a vehicle I purchase from the auction?
Once you pay for the vehicle you receive a Standard Form 97 (SF97) and Bill of Sale from our Financial Management Branch (10783 Chapel Dr.) that you take to the local DMV which allows you to get a title.
4. Do the vehicles have keys? How do I get keys?
Some of the vehicles do but most of them do not. If they have keys it is marked on the lot number sticker that is on the vehicle’s windshield. To get keys you typically must go to a dealership with your proof of ownership and they can get a new key using the vehicle’s VIN – cost varies depending on the year, make, and model of the vehicle.
5. Do the vehicles run? Do the vehicles have liens?
All of the vehicles are sold as-is and FMWR makes no warranty as to the condition of any vehicles. Many of them run and some may not – we only tow the vehicles to the lot and actually do not know if they run. Everyone has the opportunity to look the vehicles over thoroughly before placing a bid. If FMWR was informed by the Military Police that the vehicle has a lien there is a second sticker on the vehicle disclosing this.
6. When will I be called? How do I pay? How long do I have to get the item once my bid is accepted?
Bids will be opened the following Monday and the highest bidder will be notified by phone starting on Monday or Tuesday. Typically you are called within two weeks of the end of the auction.
Once you are notified by phone and accept your item you may pay over the phone with a credit card or in person with cash or money order at the FMWR building – 10783 Chapel Dr. (which is also where you complete and pick up your paperwork). You then have 48 hours to pick up your item from the lot by calling 315.783.5783 to schedule a pick-up time – typically hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. but later times may be arranged on a case-by-case basis by calling.
7. How do I pick up my vehicle from the auction lot after I pay?
You are responsible for removing your vehicle from the lot within 48 hours of purchase or a $20/day storage fee will start. You must call ahead to make sure the lot will be open – Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. are normal hours of operation. You must bring your SF97/Bill of Sale with you for your vehicle to be released. Since the vehicle will be unregistered and you may not know if it runs or not we recommend using a car hauler trailer or towing the vehicle. Outdoor Recreation (315.772.8222) rents car hauler trailers to DoD cardholders and the Auto Skills Center (315.783.5783/315.772.7902) offers towing services on and off post starting at $90 on-post/$110 off-post.
8. Can civilians from the local community come to the auction?
Yes. Anyone from the local community can attend the auction by being vetted at the Visitor Control Center which is located just outside the LTG Paul Cerjan main gate at the end of Interstate 781. You will need your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance at that time. This typically takes a few minutes but can sometimes take upwards of 30+ minutes if busy. A map is posted on the website to help with finding the auction lot at the corner of Tigris River Valley Rd. and Restore Hope Avenue.
9. Is there a minimum bid? Is there a list?
Yes all items have a minimum bid. Typically it is set at $500 for the vehicles but some items will be marked with higher or lower minimum bids. If the vehicle is unmarked, the minimum bid is $500. The minimum bid for the NAF property items will all vary but will be marked.
The auction list will be available on the website and a limited number of copies will be printed and available at the auction. The auction list also shows the minimum bid for each item.
Fort Drum Automotive Skills Center holds semi-annual silent auctions for privately-owned vehicles that have been abandoned on Fort Drum. These auctions are usually held in the spring and fall. They are conducted IAW Federal Law 10 USC 2575 and applicable DoD and DA regulations concerning disposition of abandoned personal property.
All vehicle sales are AS-IS. VEHICLES SOLD AT AUCTION MAY BE SUBJECT TO LIENS which may be reflected on state title records. DFMWR will disclose whether it is aware that a vehicle is subject to a lien, but DFMWR MAKES NO WARRANTY AS TO THE CONDITION OF ANY VEHICLES SOLD OR WHETHER STATE TITLE RECORDS MAY BE SUBJECT TO LIENS. BUYERS ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING STATE TITLE AND REGISTRATION TO VEHICLES PURCHASED AT AUCTION."
Abandoned Vehicle Auction Lot Map
Next Auction: May 11, 12 & 13 2023 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.