There are two general categories of parking in the city: On-Street / Public Parking and Private Property.
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 either city owned or private property.
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. To report an abandoned vehicle, please call our Abandoned Vehicle Hotline at 650-903-6358, or send us a message through AskMV.
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.
If signs restricting parking are posted, vehicles on private property may be towed. Vehicles on public property may be towed if:
If your vehicle 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), 7AM to 7PM (7 days a week). Bring a valid drivers license and be prepared to pay the release fee of $155.00. MVPD accepts cash, check, money order or credit card. Read our FAQs to learn more.
All vehicles towed by Mountain View Police must have a release form issued by the police department before the tow company can release them. Eligible vehicles are released in person to the registered owner ONLY of the vehicle at Mountain View Police Department.