3OYS: Valley man could be fined $500 after ATV he sold is abandoned

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Gary Canady may be retired but he's still pretty active.

"My hobby since I've been retired from the Air Force has been wildlife photography," he said. "So, I get out quite a bit. I'm certainly not a couch potato."

He captured many of his photographs while out riding his 1984 Honda ATV.

It was that little three-wheeler that Canady decided to list for sale on Craigslist several years ago. He said he sold it to a man who showed up with cash in hand.

"He and another guy came, and they packed it up and put it in the back of the truck," Canady recalled. "I gave them a handwritten bill of sale and I thought that was the end of it."

But Canady said when he tried to renew the registration for his motorhome, which he uses as a residence in an Apache Junction RV park, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division refused.

State transportation officials told Canady they found an abandoned ATV in the desert and he was the registered owner.

Since he had removed the license plate when he sold the ATV years earlier, he presumed they tracked him down through the vehicle identification number.

The state told Canady he must pay a $500 fine for the removal of the abandoned three-wheeler from the desert before he can get registration tags for his motorhome.

"It's almost like extortion," Canady said, noting he was not the one who left the vehicle in the desert. "It really is. There's no other word I can think of."

Canady said when he contacted the Motor Vehicle Division for an explanation, the agency demanded he pay the fine or provide proof of the sale.

Canady said he can't afford the fine on his small pension from the U.S. Air Force.

As for proof, he said he has none. He accepted $300 in cash from the buyer and watched the ATV be taken away in the bed of a pickup truck.

3 On Your Side contacted the Motor Vehicle Division and was also told that Canady had to provide proof that he did not own the vehicle when it was abandoned.

3 On Your side reiterated that Canady does not have proof and asked the Motor Vehicle Division to waive the $500 fine considering the circumstances.

The state agreed to review the case. 3 On Your Side will provide an update when a decision is made.

When selling a vehicle that is registered in Arizona, sellers are asked to provide the state Motor Vehicle Division with a "sold notice." The document formally notifies the state of the new owner of the vehicle and relieves the seller of responsibility.

Arizona motorists who trade their vehicles at car dealerships are also encouraged to fill out the form.

Click here to fill out a sold notice online.