top of page
  • Writer's pictureMitch Tandeske

The Motor Vehicle Release Form: A Guide

Understanding the Motor Vehicle Release Form (link to free download below):

1. Purpose and Scope:

The Motor Vehicle Release Form serves as a legal instrument through which a vehicle owner grants explicit permission for another individual to take control or possession of their motor vehicle, the contents within it, or both. This authorization is often required in situations where the vehicle is in the possession of a towing company, impounded, or under the control of law enforcement and the registered owner is unable to appear in person to retrieve the vehicle, its contents, or both.

2. Scenarios Requiring the Release Form:

  • Vehicle Impoundment: When a vehicle is towed or impounded due to various reasons such as traffic violations or a motor vehicle accident, the owner may need to complete a Motor Vehicle Release Form to authorize its release to another person if they are not able to physically appear to take possession of the vehicle

  • Towing Company Possession: In cases where a towing company has taken possession of a vehicle, the owner can use this form to grant permission for its release to another person if they are not able to appear in person to do so.

  • Law Enforcement Control: If a law enforcement agency has taken control of a vehicle for investigative purposes, or for any other reason, the Motor Vehicle Release Form allows the owner to authorize another person to retrieve the vehicle if they are not able to appear in person to do so.

3. Notarization Requirement:

One distinctive feature of the Motor Vehicle Release Form is its requirement for notarization. Notarization is generally required by towing companies, impound yards and law enforcement agencies if the registered owner is not able to appear in person with their government issued photo ID. Notarization adds an extra layer of authentication and legality to the document. When a document is notarized, a state commissioned notary public verifies the identity of the individuals involved and ensures that they willingly signed the document. This notarized document holds greater weight in legal proceedings, enhancing its credibility. This document may be notarized with Remote Online Notarization or if you are in the greater Portland, Oregon metro area, schedule an in person mobile notary appointment with Notary of Portland.

4. Essential Information on the Motor Vehicle Release Form:

When completing the Motor Vehicle Release Form, it's crucial to provide accurate and detailed information. This typically includes:

  • Owner's name and contact information.

  • Details of the person being authorized to take control of the vehicle.

  • Vehicle details: make, model, year, and identification number (VIN).

  • Date and signature of the vehicle owner.

  • Acknowledgement by a commissioned Notary Public.

5. Legal Implications:

Understanding the legal implications of the Motor Vehicle Release Form is essential. By signing this document, the vehicle owner acknowledges and consents to the transfer of possession of the vehicle and its contents, releasing any liability that may arise after the authorized person takes control of the vehicle.


In situations where a vehicle owner needs to grant permission for another person to take control or possession of their motor vehicle, its contents, or both, the Motor Vehicle Release Form is a crucial document. Its proper completion, including notarization, ensures a legally sound and authenticated process. Knowing when and how to use this form can be instrumental in navigating scenarios involving impoundment, towing companies, or law enforcement control.

To notarize your form now with Remote Online Notarization from any location globally or to schedule an in person visit with a mobile notary call or text Notary of Portland at 971-599-3080.

Notary of Portland offers a professional mobile notary service in the greater Portland metro area and Remote Online Notarization nationwide. Our traveling notaries are trained, experienced, licensed and insured. We travel to you at the time and to the place you choose. When you need a notary at home, work or any other location, choose Notary of Portland to schedule your appointment. We will arrive on time and complete your notarization professionally and promptly.

bottom of page