Vehicle Impound Information

Tow Away GraphicIf your vehicle has been impounded by the San Jose Police Department, you should contact the SJPD's Vehicle Records Unit at 408-277-4156.  This Unit also handles questions relating to vehicles that have been repossessed, stolen or recovered and towed from private property.  Contact the tow company directly to obtain property from your vehicle. This department does not issue property releases.

The SJPD Vehicle Records Unit is located at 201 West Mission Street, near the intersection of San Pedro and Mission Streets in San Jose, California. 

For Vehicle Records Unit hours of operation, please check this link:

Vehicle Records Unit

If you are interested in obtaining a vehicle release, the following conditions must be met:

  • You must be the registered or legal owner of the vehicle.
  • The vehicle must be currently registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • You must have a valid driver's license or bring a licensed driver with you.
  • You will need identification for yourself.
  • A vehicle release fee is required.  This fee must be paid in the form of cash, cashier's check or money order, payable to the City of San Jose, or the following credit/debit cards – Visa, MasterCard or Discovery.
    Click here for the current LIST OF FEES

Additional tow charges will be required by the tow company.  Click here for the current LIST OF FEES. Tow companies will accept cash, personal check or credit cards as a form of payment. Please contact the tow company for the exact amount of the charges.

If your vehicle has been towed because the driver was unlicensed or has a suspended license, the vehicle is subject to being held for 30 days.  If held for 30 days, the vehicle may be released prior to the date of release if the person driving the car at the time of the impound obtains a valid driver's license from DMV.

If you received a “Notice of Stored Vehicle” - but no longer own the vehicle, you must file a Release of Liability form with the DMV.  No contact with the SJPD is necessary.

For more information, contact the SJPD Vehicle Records Assistance Line at 408-277-4263.  This line will not be answered between the hours of 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.  Have your case number or vehicle license plate number ready.

The City of San José is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community's expectations by
providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public. Read more about the City Code of Ethics.