Low GraphicsThu., Apr 24, 2014Contact UsSiteMapSearch Tips
City of Mountain View Home
Homepage ... | Police Department Home | Traffic | Parking & Towing
Parking & Towing
Handling Tickets


E-mail story
Print friendly format

Mountain View Police Department
1000 Villa Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650-903-6344

Directions & Map

Hours
General Business:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.)

Walk-in Crime Reports:
7 a.m. - 7 p.m. (7 days)




Submit your questions, suggestions, compliments,concerns, or track your existing request online.

Parking & Towing

There are two general categories of parking in the city:  On-Street/Public parking and Private Property.

On-Street and Public Parking
To avoid citations when parking on a public roadway and in public parking lots, pay attention to time limits, fire lanes, and limitations indicated by painted curbs or signs.

Time limits, where restricted, are posted on signs and/or indicated by painted curbs.

Fire lanes are marked, generally by a red curb. Parking in these areas is prohibited at all times. MVPD enforces fire-lane parking restrictions on both city owned or private property.

Abandoned Vehicles
Mountain View tries to keep city streets free of abandoned vehicles, which reduce the number of available parking places and can be unattractive in our neighborhoods. If a car is parked in the same location, on a public road, for more than 72 hours, it may be considered abandoned and get towed. If you have a non-operable vehicle on a public road, you need to tow it to a repair facility or your home. Note, however, there are no ordinances prohibiting unattractive vehicles.

Private Property Parking
Generally, restriction of parking on private property is the responsibility of the property owner. Exceptions that MVPD enforces are handicapped and fire-lane regulations.

Business and apartment owners may restrict parking on private property to employees, customers or residents. Cars can be towed from private parking areas only if tow-away zone signs are posted at each entrance to the parking lot.

Often property owners hire a tow company. Owners may authorize the firm to tow violators without a request from the business. This means tow companies may drive by, at any time, to spot violators and collect tow income. Otherwise, property owners must initiate a tow. In either case, your car might disappear without warning, at your expense, if you violate posted signs on private property.


Photo: Car Tow
Towing
If signs restricting parking are posted, cars on private property may be towed. Cars on public property may be towed if:
  • They block a driveway.
  • Five or more parking tickets have been issued.
  • Vehicle registration expired over six months.
  • Abandoned vehicle (has not been moved for 3 or more days).
If your vehicle is not where you parked it, look for a tow-away zone sign that indicates where to call. If none, call police non-emergency incidents (650-903-6395) to find out if your car has been towed.

How do I Get my car back after it's been towed?
If it was towed from private property, you will need to contact the tow company (see signs posted). If it was towed from public parking zones, the registered owner must come to MVPD (Directions & Map), 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (7 days a week). Bring valid drivers license and be prepared to pay the release fee ($150.). MVPD accepts cash, check, money order or credit card.

Should I contact the police...
When there's a chronic handicapped parking problem at a specific location?
Yes. Phone the Traffic Hotline: 650-903-6146, so we can monitor the location to make sure handicapped spaces are being properly used.

When I see the same car parked in the same place for a long time?
Yes. Call the Abandoned Vehicle Hotline: 650-903-6358.

When a parked car blocks my driveway?
Yes. Phone non-emergency incidents: 650-903-6395. The vehicle can be cited and/or towed.

When a parked car violates posted signs on my private property?
No, do not call the police department. Call the towing company indicated on your signs.

When my car needs repairs and won't be moved for more than a day?
If your car will be on public property for more than 72 hours, you should have it towed to avoid the expense of city-ordered towing and storage.

When I see a commercial vehicle double parking or otherwise violating parking regulations?
Yes. Phone non-emergency incidents: 650-903-6395.
Painted Curbs

Red
No parking any time.

Yellow
Loading zone, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

No stopping except to load or unload passengers (3 minute limit), or materials (20 minute limit).

White
Passenger loading zone, 24x7.

No stopping except to load or unload passengers (3 minute limit).

Blue
Handicapped parking only.

Green
Time limit: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Sunday & holidays

Parking limited to time on posted signs.

Dividing Line

Warning
Move Your Car
It is unlawful to park a vehicle on a public street, without moving it, for more than 72 hours.

Dividing Line

Contacts
Was my car towed?
Look for tow-company signs. If none, then call:
650-903-6344.

Car blocking your driveway?
Non-emergency Incidents
650-903-6395.

Abandoned Vehicle?
On public property only:
Abandoned Vehicle Hotline
Report online.
650-903-6358

Questions about Abandoned Vehicles?
650-903-6745

Report Traffic or Parking Problems?
Traffic Hotline
650-903-6746

Other Issues?
Ask Mountain View
650-903-6344

More Police Contacts
Search

My car was towed but I contest the validity of the authority to store the vehicle.  What can I do?
Pursuant to 22852 CVC, the registered or legal owner, or their agent, may request a post-storage hearing to review the validity and authority to store the vehicle.  The request may be made to the Department in person, by mail or by telephone but must be made within 10 days of the date the "Notice of Stored Vehicle" form was mailed to the owner.  Please call 650-903-6741 for further information or to request a hearing.

My car was towed/impounded.  How do I get it back?
Instructions in English and Spanish will be sent to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle.  In general, the registered owner must come in to the Department to obtain a vehicle release.  The registration must be current and the owner must provide identification.  A $150 fee is charged by the Department, which is in addition to whatever fees the storage yard charges.   If the owner does not have a valid driver's license, a person with a valid license must accompany the owner to the Department to obtain the release.

How do I get my car back after it's been towed?

Towed from private property: contact the tow company, per posted signs, which are required for private-property towing.

Towed from public parking zones: registered owner must come to the police department, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (7 days a week). Bring a valid drivers license and be the release fee ($150). The department accepts cash, check or money order.

Don't know who towed your car? Look for signs. If you don't find any towing signs, contact the police department: 650/903-6395.


How long can I park my car on a public street?
On public roads, a vehicle must be moved from at least 1,000 feet (approx. 2/10ths of a mile) every 72 hours. If a vehicle is parked longer, the police department may tow it, at the owner's expense.

If I spot an abandoned vehicle on a public street, what should I do?
Call the Abandoned Vehicle Hotline: 650/903-6358. Provide vehicle description, license plate number (if any) and location. It's also helpful to leave your name and number.

What qualifies as an abandoned vehicle?
Any vehicle that has not moved from the same spot for over 72 hours, or is visibly inoperable because it's missing essential parts, such as wheels, transmission or engine, may be considered abandoned. If it is parked on a public roadway, it may be towed at the owner's expense.