Each week, Scottsbluff Police Cpl. Krisa Brass will answer questions submitted by Star-Herald readers.
Send questions for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving your question at 308-632-9057.
Question: My neighbor has 2 junk cars parked on my street for over two years now, is this legal? Also, I see a lot of unlicensed or out-of-state licensed vehicles in my neighborhood? What are the registration requirements for out-of-state and abandoned vehicles? Does the city enforce these laws for abandoned vehicles?
Answer: These are good questions and luckily, I have a few answers! Having junk cars parked on the street is not legal. A junk vehicle is a vehicle that is inoperable, which can be as simple as a few flat tires or as extreme as having a missing engine.
As for unlicensed vehicles, Nebraska state statute prohibits vehicles with either no plates, fictitious plates, expired plates, and expired in transits from being parked on the streets, alleys, or public parking lots.
It is also illegal to leave your vehicle parked in a private lot for more than seven days without permission, leave your vehicle parked on public property where parking is prohibited, or leave your vehicle on any street, alley, or municipal lot for more than 10 days.
Each of the above violations can be reported to the Scottsbluff Police Department. If the reported vehicle is found to be in violation, it will be tagged for tow and reasonable attempts will be made to contact the owner. If the violation is not corrected within the specified time frame on the tow notice, the vehicle will be considered abandoned and can then be towed at the request of the police department. Vehicles found to be obstructing a street, intersection, or alley will be towed immediately as they create a public safety hazard.
As for out of state vehicles, I am going to assume we are talking about people who are now living within the state of Nebraska but have vehicles with out of state plates. If this is the case, a person who moves to Nebraska must register the vehicle if they reside in the state for more than 30 days. There are several exceptions to this rule. Those exceptions include; a non-resident full time student, military personnel and his/her spouse, or a non-resident certified by the Department of Labor who is engaged in temporary agricultural employment. In these cases, people are allowed to keep the out of state plates on the vehicle.
Although patrol officers do try and address parking complaints on a regular basis, we do experience a high call volume and can’t always address them all. If you have concerns regarding violations in your neighborhood, feel free to call the non-emergency number to make a report.