Car Towed and Impounded in California
Has My Car been in Impounded in California?
Check this link: Los Angeles Official Police Garages (this link will open in a new window in your browser)
I don’t have a license or insurance!
This will be an issue unless and until your reinstate or actually acquire a California driver’s license and car insurance. The impounded car will be released by the police before 30 days “if the driver reinstates his or her license or acquires a California license and insurance”.
What Happened? Why did my car get impounded?
One reason could be that you were driving on a suspended license. Same goes for a driver whose license was revoked or has expired.
Unpaid parking tickets
If your car was impounded in the city of Los Angeles because of unpaid parking tickets we cannot help you in this situation. You will require a Vehicle Release Order from the Parking Violations Bureau. Please go to this website for assistance: Los Angeles Parking Violations Bureau
Lending the Car
If someone borrowed your car and their license is suspended, or they didn’t have a license to begin with, your car might still be impounded. This could happen regardless of whether or not you knew about the status of their driver’s license.
California impound fees
It is expensive to get your car out of an impound lot. You will be charged and responsible for towing and stowing charges, and any administrative charges authorized by law (Section 22850.5).
Towage and Storage Rates for the city of Los Angeles
The following website lists impound fees for cars impounded in the city of Los Angeles :
Official Police Garages – Towing and Storage Rates
Suspended License for an FTA? Fix-A-Ticket can help get your car out of impound
Do you have a suspended license because you failed to appear in court? We can help you try to get your license back so you can get your car out of the impound lot.
California impound laws
VC 14602.6 vehicle impoundment
California Law states under Vehicle Code Section VC 14602.6 :
Vehicle Impoundment: Suspended, Revoked, or Unlicensed Driver: Hearing
14602.6. (a) (1) Whenever a peace officer determines that a person was driving a vehicle while his or her driving privilege was suspended or revoked, driving a vehicle while his or her driving privilege is restricted pursuant to Section 13352 or 23575 and the vehicle is not equipped with a functioning, certified interlock device, or driving a vehicle without ever having been issued a driver’s license, the peace officer may either immediately arrest that person and cause the removal and seizure of that vehicle or, if the vehicle is involved in a traffic collision, cause the removal and seizure of the vehicle without the necessity of arresting the person in accordance with Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22650) of Division 11. A vehicle so impounded shall be impounded for 30 days.
(d) (1) An impounding agency shall release a vehicle to the registered owner or his or her agent prior to the end of 30 days’ impoundment under any of the following circumstances:
(E) When the driver reinstates his or her driver’s license or acquires a driver’s license and proper insurance.
(2) No vehicle shall be released pursuant to this subdivision without presentation of the registered owner’s or agent’s currently valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle and proof of current vehicle registration, or upon order of a court.
(e) The registered owner or his or her agent is responsible for all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment, and any administrative charges authorized under Section 22850.5.
You are entitled to have an Impoundment Hearing at the police station regarding your impounded car:
Vehicle Code 14602.6 (b)
The registered and legal owner of a vehicle that is removed and seized under subdivision (a) or their agents shall be provided the opportunity for a storage hearing to determine the validity of, or consider any mitigating circumstances attendant to, the storage, in accordance with Section 22852.
What if the impounded car is “community property”?
Two registered owners
If the impounded car is the only car a husband and wife have, and they both own it, if you can show the police this community property interest you might be able to get the car released under VC 14607.6.
California Vehicle Code Section 14607.6
California VC 14607.6 states that:
(2) If there is a community property interest in the vehicle impounded pursuant to subdivision (c), owned at the time of impoundment by a person other than the driver, and the vehicle is the only vehicle available to the driver’s immediate family that may be operated with a class C driver’s license, the vehicle shall be released to a registered owner or to the community property interest owner upon compliance with all of the following requirements:
(A) The registered owner or the community property interest owner requests release of the vehicle and the owner of the community property interest submits proof of that interest.
(B) The registered owner or the community property interest owner submits proof that he or she, or an authorized driver, is properly licensed and that the impounded vehicle is properly registered pursuant to this code.