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Impound FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions about 30 Day Impounds

Can I allow someone else to get my vehicle out of impound BEFORE the 30 days has expired?
No. Only the registered owner of the vehicle or the spouse of the registered owner (with an original marriage license or certified copy) can get out the vehicle before the 30 days. After the 30 days has expired, the registered owner may bring someone with a valid driver’s license to the appointment with all other required documentation. See the Claiming Your Vehicle information page for a list of documents.

What if the 30 days has expired and I own the car but my driver's license is not valid?
You may bring an agent at the time of the scheduled appointment. They must present a valid driver’s license from their State of Domicile, proof of registration and proof of insurance for the vehicle being requested. The owner of the vehicle must also be present and provide a valid government form of Id. A fee of $150.00 will be collected at the time of release. The fee can only be paid by Money Order or Credit Card (Visa or Master Card). Credit cards accepted only if the card holder is present and no credit cards will be taken over the telephone.

If I transfer ownership or add a new person or company onto the registration, can they get the car out early?
No. If ownership is changed during the impound period, this will require the vehicle to be held in impound for the full 30 days and then released to the new owner AFTER the 30 days has expired.

What if I own the vehicle but have not yet transferred the title into my name? If the vehicle was not registered to you at the time it was impounded, and you put the title in your name after the impound, the vehicle will only be released to you AFTER the 30 days has expired. If you sell, transfer title, or add a new person on the registration after your vehicle is impounded, the vehicle will remain impounded for the full 30 days due to the change in ownership.

My car was involved in a collision and, due to damage, it is not drivable. Does it still have to have a valid registration before the police can release it?
Yes. A current vehicle registration or a valid salvage or dismantle certificate of title is required by law. Contact the motor vehicle division for more information.

What will happen if I cannot claim my vehicle?
Under Arizona law the towing company may file for an abandoned title and seek ownership of the vehicle if it is left at the tow yard unclaimed for more than ten (10) days AFTER THE 30 DAYS HAS EXPIRED. On the 41st day of impound they may apply for abandoned title, and it will take some time for that to be granted by MVD. However, if you have difficulty in paying for the towing and storage, you should contact the towing company as soon as possible if you wish to retain ownership of your vehicle.

What if someone other than the owner was driving the vehicle when it was impounded?
The owner of the vehicle is responsible for paying all fees and charges in order to have the vehicle released. If someone else was driving, you may have to seek civil action against the driver for any expenses you incur as a result of the impound.

Would I still have to pay fees and charges if the vehicle is released early to me?
Yes, the owner is still liable for administrative charges and all towing and storage fees up to the actual date of release.

At the end of the 30-days, can I just go to the towing company and get my vehicle?
No, the towing company is not allowed to release an impounded vehicle without paperwork from the Tempe Police Department. You must follow the process listed on the Claiming Your Vehicle information page.

If I am found "not guilty" on my criminal or traffic charges will that affect the impound of my vehicle? No. The impound is based on the probable cause the Officer had at the time the vehicle was impounded.

The police towed my vehicle and I believe it was towed in error. Who do I talk with about that?
If you believe an error was made, and the vehicle should not have been impounded, go to the "Request a Hearing" link and follow the instructions to see if you qualify for a hearing.
Except for properly reported stolen vehicles, or improperly impounded vehicles, the vehicle owner is responsible for all fees relating to the impoundment, including vehicles eligible for early release.
Providing false or misleading information is a crime and the Offender will be prosecuted.

If you have not been able to get the information you need from the website, you may contact us at 480-350-8465.