Claiming Your Vehicle/Early Release

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Provided on this page:

1.  How to determine if you qualify for an early release and what to do if you believe you qualify.
2. Instructions about how to get your vehicle after the 30 days has expired.
3. What to do if the 30 days has expired and your driver's license is still not valid.
4. An option if the 30 days has expired and you live out of state and cannot return to get the vehicle released to you.

Early Release Information:


If you meet one of the criteria below and can provide the required documents, you may qualify to have your vehicle released early

Impound for revoked or no drivers license:

1. You are the owner/driver and have reinstated your license with the court AND MVD.
2. You are the owner, were not driving, and you sign an Agreement of Operation which basically states you will not allow a driver of your car to violate 28-3511 again within the next year anywhere in the State of Arizona. The Agreement will be explained fully at the time of the release.

Impound for extreme/aggravated DUI or driver under the age of 21 with alcohol in their system:

1. The vehicle will NOT be released early to the driver if they own the vehicle
2. If the owner or spouse was not driving, and they can provide all required documents, and sign an Agreement of Operation which basically states they will not allow a driver of their car to violate 28-3511 again within the next year anywhere in the State of Arizona. The Agreement will be explained fully at the time of the release.

Impound for ignition interlock violation:

1. If the driver is the car owner, they must have a device installed in the vehicle while it is at the tow yard, and they must provide paperwork showing it was installed.
2. If the owner was NOT the driver, and they do not have an interlock restriction, no installation is required. They can provide all the required documents and sign an Agreement of Operation which basically states they will not allow a driver of their car to violate 28-3511 again within the next year anywhere in the State of Arizona.

Vehicle is a rental car and was driven by a renter at the time of impound:

1. Early release will be granted if all required documents are provided ALONG WITH the rental contract on company letterhead authorizing their assigned employee to recover the vehicle on the company's behalf. That employee must also provide credentials showing he/she works for the rental car company.

The vehicle is being repossessed:

Early release will be granted if the Lien Holder is repossessing the vehicle and can provide ALL required documents. Refer to the Lien holder and Repossession information page for release information and required documents. 

 


In all cases, the following documents are required and must be provided in person at the time of the request for early release:


1. Your valid driver’s license from your state of domicile.
2. Current insurance for the impounded vehicle
3. Current registration for the impounded vehicle. It must be current and not have a Mandatory Insurance "M/I" suspension on the plate.
4. A money order made out to the City of Tempe for $150.00, or credit card.
5. If you are the spouse and not listed on the registration, you must provide your original marriage license or a certified copy.
7. If you were required to have an ignition interlock device installed, you must have paperwork from the company showing it was installed on the vehicle which is currently impounded.
8. Rental car companies must provide the rental contract and letterhead authorizing their assigned employee to recover the vehicle on the company's behalf. That employee must also provide credentials showing he/she works for the rental car company.
9. Lien Holders, refer to the Lien holder and Repossession information page for required document information not listed above.

If you believe you may qualify for an early release you can schedule an appointment by calling our Post Storage Hearing message line at 480-350-8465, or email us at Az3511impound@tempe.gov

You can also come into our lobby to schedule an appointment

Monday through Friday between 9AM and 4PM.

  We are closed all federal holidays.


At the time of your appointment, we will review the vehicle history and your documents. If early release is authorized, we will give you the release paperwork you will need for the tow company. Early release is based on Arizona State Law and the vehicle history. We are unable to take personal circumstances/hardships into account.

Presentation of fraudulent documents is a crime. All documents will be verified, and violators will be prosecuted.



You may be eligible to retrieve your vehicle early or before the end of the thirty (30) day impound period if any of these additional conditions apply:

1. It was driven by an employee of a business (including a parking service or repair garage) and the employer's vehicle is subject to bailment (leased vehicle)
2. A valid stolen vehicle report has been filed because the vehicle was stolen (A validity hearing must be requested and conducted if you are claiming the vehicle was stolen. Refer to the "Request a Hearing" link for further information.)
3. If you believe an error was made, and you request a hearing within 10 days of the date of impound, and the Hearing Officer determines the impound was invalid. Refer to the Request a Hearing information page for further information.

 

Post thirty (30) day release information: 

To retrieve your vehicle on or after the thirty (30) days has expired you must provide the following:
1. Your valid driver’s license
2. Current insurance for the impounded vehicle
3. Current registration for the impounded vehicle. It must be current and not have a Mandatory Insurance "M/I" suspension on the plate.
4. A money order made out to the City of Tempe for $150.00, or credit card.

5. If you are the spouse, and not listed on the registration, you must provide your original marriage license or a certified copy. 

6. If you were required to have an ignition interlock device installed, you must have paperwork from the company showing it was installed on the vehicle which is currently impounded..
Presentation of fraudulent documents is a crime. All documents will be verified, and violators will be prosecuted.

What if the thirty (30) days has expired and I own the car but my driver's license is not valid, and I can't be present for the appointment or I live out of state and cannot come in for the release?
As the registered owner of the vehicle you must send a letter to the Tempe Police Department. The letter must include all the language in the sample letter (3rd Party Release sample in the sidebar) and must be signed and notarized. Along with the letter you must include a legible copy of your driver’s license or Government issued Id.

Your Agent at the time of the scheduled appointment must present a valid driver’s license from their State of Domicile, proof of registration and proof of insurance for the vehicle being requested. 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.

The towing company is prohibited from releasing this vehicle to you unless you have the Tempe Police Department release form. 


You must pay all towing and storage fees and you must show the towing company photo identification and proof of ownership in order for this vehicle to be released to you.

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