Vehicle Impound Info

Vehicle Impound FAQ

Can or should I request a hearing?

You have the right to request a hearing, however, a hearing is usually not necessary unless you are challenging the validity of the impound. You may request a hearing in writing or by calling no later than ten (10) days from the date of the vehicle impoundment. There is no fee for a hearing and an attorney is not needed. The hearing process is informal and conducted by a sworn member of the police department . Hearings may be held in person or by phone.

Why was my vehicle impounded?

Reasons your vehicle may have been impounded:

Arizona law requires law enforcement agencies to impound (“tow”) a motor vehicle when the driver is in violation of one or more or the following provisions:
• The driver is in an accident, AND is in violation of Arizona financial responsibility law AND has a suspended, revoked or cancelled driver’s license for any reason, or is unlicensed in any jurisdiction.

• The driver has never been issued a permit or license in the state of Arizona or has never been issued a license in any other jurisdiction.

• The driver’s license is suspended or revoked for any reason.

• The driver is arrested for Aggravated DUI.

• The driver is under 21 years of age and has alcohol in their body. (except when the owner of the vehicle is the parent of guardian of the driver).

Where can I find the contact information for the law enforcement agency that towed my vehicle?

You should always refer to the information that was given to you by the officer for instructions or contact the police department that impounded your vehicle with any questions you have. For your convenience we have included on our site the contact and fee information as well as acceptable forms of payment and other valid information to the best of our knowledge.

Click here for local law enforcement agency towing/impound contact information

Can my vehicle be released before 30 days?

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to have the vehicle returned to you prior to the end of the 30-days. Be aware that an early release may require a hearing.
You may be eligible to have you vehicle released early only if 1 of the following conditions or circumstances apply.

• If the vehicle was stolen at the time it was impounded
• If the owner presents satisfactory proof that the owner’s driving privilege has been reinstated
• If the vehicle is subject to bailment and was driven by an employee of a business establishment, including a parking service or repair garage, who is subject to ARS 28-3511-A or B.
• The owner or owner’s agent was not the person driving in violation at that time of the impound, AND
• The owner or the owner’s agent is in the business of renting motor vehicles without drivers AND
• The vehicle is registered pursuant to ARS 28-2166
If a vehicle meets the criteria for early release you must still get a vehicle release authorization form from the police department and you will still be liable for administrative fees and all towing and storage charges.

Who can my vehicle be released to?

Only the person(s) listed as the registered owner, co-owner, owner’s spouse (proof required) or lien holder with the motor vehicle department at the time of impound will be eligible to obtain release of the vehicle. If the vehicle was in the process of being sold, all applicable title and registration transfer requirements must be met before the vehicle can be released.

I share a vehicle with a family member, can the vehicle be released to the co-owner?

In certain situations, a vehicle may be released to another person, but only if he or she is listed on the title and registration. The co-owner may enter into an agreement with the law enforcement agency stating that he or she will not allow an individual who has been arrested for Extreme or Aggravated DUI or a minor who was in possession of alcohol, drive the vehicle within one year. If the agreement is violated, there will be no relief from the subsequent 30 day impound period.

Am I financially responsible for charges and fees when I was not driving the vehicle when it was impounded?

The owner of the vehicle is responsible for paying all fees and charges associated with the impound prior to having the vehicle released. This is true even if someone other than the owner was driving the vehicle when it was impounded. The owner may later seek civil action against the person who was driving the vehicle at the time of impound for any expenses incurred as a result of the immobilization if they wish to do so.

January 2018