Towing Information Resource Page

Tow Away Graphic Was Your Car Towed? - Get Answers...

To lookup the status of a towed vehicle, and find out how to recover it, contact:

SJPD Vehicle Records Assistance Line (AUTO DESK) 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.


If your vehicle was towed / impounded in San Jose, read the following information, or call SJPD's Vehicle Records Unit to hear this information in a recorded message at (408) 277-4156.

The Records Unit also answers questions about vehicles that have been repossessed, stolen or recovered and towed from private property. 

To obtain property from your towed vehicle, contact the tow company directly . 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, Master-card or Discover Card.
    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 was 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.


How to Request a Tow Hearing (San Jose Police Impound Hearing).

The registered or legal owner of the vehicle, or their agent(s) may request a tow hearing (also referred to as an impound hearing).  During a tow hearing, the tow hearing officer will review the information known to the Department at the time of the tow and determine if the tow was authorized per California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22852.

To request a Tow Hearing, contact:

San Jose Police Department Tow Hearing Unit
201 W, Mission St, San Jose, California 95110
(408) 277-5429, Tow Hearing Officer

  • Requests for a tow hearing may be made in person, by mail, email, or telephone.
  • Requests must be made within 10 days of the date appearing on the Police Department’s notice.
  • An informal hearing will take place within 2 business days of the request, excluding weekends and holidays.
  • If the registered owner or legal owner disagrees with the decision made at the hearing, the decision may be reviewed by the Tow Hearing Sergeant or Supervisor (CVC 22852(e)).


CVC Section 22852(f) does not apply to vehicles abated (removed) under the Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Program, pursuant to CVC Sections 22600 to 22668, CVC Section 22710, vehicles impounded for investigation pursuant to CVC Section 22655, or to vehicles removed from private property pursuant to CVC Section 22658.

CVC Section 22852(g) does not apply to abandoned vehicles removed pursuant to CVC Section 22669 that are determined by the public agency to have an estimated value of five hundred dollars ($500) or less. 


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