Tows & Impounds

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.

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.

I don’t know who towed my vehicle, what do I do?
Look for signs. If you don't find any towing signs, contact the police department: 650-903-6395.
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