Information About Your 30-Day Impounded Vehicle
If your vehicle was impounded by the Mesa Police Department for a 30 day
impoundment, please read the information the officer gave you at the time of
impoundment for instructions. If your vehicle was impounded by another law
enforcement agency, you must contact that department directly for assistance
in obtaining the release of your vehicle. If your vehicle was impounded as
evidence, these procedures DO NOT apply. Please contact the
division handling your case for more information on a vehicle
impounded as evidence.
What you should know about the 30 Day
Vehicle Impound procedure
- In most cases you must wait 30 days before your vehicle
can be released.
- You can ONLY arrange to have your vehicle released by
contacting the Mesa Police Department. The towing company
CANNOT release the vehicle back to you without permission
from the police department.
- In some cases you may be able to get your vehicle back
before the end of the 30 days, but you will still have to
pay all fees and charges.
General Impound Information
How do I get my vehicle back?
On or after the 30th day of impound your vehicle will
generally be eligible for release to you. To have it released,
follow these steps:
- Come to the Mesa Police Headquarters in downtown Mesa,
at 130 North Robson, between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm, Monday
through Friday, excluding
- Contact with the Mesa Police Department does not
guarantee release of the vehicle the same day. An
appointment may be required.
- Bring with you a valid driver's license, valid
registration, and proof of current financial responsibility.
Please note that you may have to go to court or the Motor
Vehicle Division first if your license was suspended, revoked
or cancelled. Your vehicle registration is invalid if it is
expired or cancelled. We cannot release your vehicle
to you until these documents are valid and current.
Note: if your driving privilege cannot be restored by the
end of the 30 day impound period (for example, it has been
suspended for one year), you may bring a fully licensed
driver with you, on the 30th day or after, to drive the
vehicle upon release. You must still have valid
identification, valid vehicle
registration, and proof of current financial responsibility
before the vehicle will be released.
- At the Police Department, an administrative fee
of $150.00 will be collected before you receive a release
for your vehicle by cash, credit or debit only.
- At the towing company, you must pay the
towing and storage fees to include the flat rate tow charge
and $15 per day storage fee. Payment is made
directly to the towing company. If you come to the tow yard
at other than normal business hours, you may be charged an
gate fee. You must also present proof of your
identity and vehicle ownership to the tow company.
- If you do not claim your vehicle within ten (10) days of
the available release date, the towing company may file for
abandoned title to the vehicle.
Why was my vehicle impounded?
Please refer to
Arizona Revised Statute 28-3511.
How long will my vehicle be impounded for?
The law requires that the vehicles impounded under this
be stored for a period of thirty (30) days before being
released. You may be eligible to have the vehicle released
early if you meet one of the conditions or
circumstances listed under
Arizona Revised Statute 28-3512.
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, the owner may have to seek civil action against the
driver for any expenses incurred as a result of the impound.
What if I own the vehicle, but have not yet
transferred the title into my name? Can I still get the car
Yes. You must first meet the legal title and registration
requirements and the vehicle can be released to you on the
30th day or after.
If I am found "not guilty" on my criminal or traffic
charges, will that affect the impound of my vehicle?
No. As long as the officer impounded your vehicle according
to the law and our procedures, the outcome of any subsequent trial is not
Who can have the vehicle returned?
Under the law, the owner, owner's spouse, their agent, or
lien holder are the only persons who can have the vehicle
released. If you are the vehicle's owner and your license is
still not valid at the end of the 30 day period, you must
present valid registration and insurance, valid identification and have someone with
you who has a valid license in order to have your vehicle
Who can act as my agent to get my vehicle back?
An agent is someone who is legally entitled to act for you,
such as your attorney or someone you have given legal power of
attorney. A friend or relative cannot be called your agent,
unless they have notarized documentation giving them appropriate
If the owner had a suspended license, can they get
the vehicle released prior to the 30 day period if their license is restored to
a valid status?
Yes. The owner would have to prove that the suspension had
been corrected and their driving privileges reinstated. With
valid proof of registration and insurance, we will release the
Will I still have to pay fees and charges if the
vehicle is released early to me?
Yes. The owner is still responsible for the Police administrative fee 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 will not release an impounded vehicle
without paperwork from the Mesa Police Department. You must
follow the claim process as outlined above.
Is a hearing process available for an early release
on my vehicle?
Yes, you may schedule a hearing if you are the registered
owner, spouse, or anyone other than the owner, identified on the
department's record as having an interest in the vehicle at the
time of removal and impoundment. If you do want a hearing, you
may make a request to the Mesa Police Department in writing, in
person, or by telephone by calling 480-644-6080.
What will I have to prove in a hearing?
Generally, hearings are only for the purpose of contesting
the impound. In order to have your vehicle released prior to the
30 days required by law, you must be able to prove that certain
special circumstances exist. See the question above regarding
how a vehicle may be released early.
When must I request a hearing?
We must receive your request for a hearing no later than ten
(10) days after the date of the vehicle impoundment notice. If your
request is received after the ten day time period, we will not
grant you a hearing on this matter.
How is the hearing conducted?
The hearings for impounds are conducted by a member of the
Towing Unit in the Mesa Police Department. Hearings are
generally held over the telephone.
Is there a charge to have a hearing?
No, there is no fee or charge for a hearing.
Do I need an
attorney for the hearing?
No, an attorney is not required. The
hearing process is informal and rather brief. If you have
questions or complaints, please contact the Mesa Police
Department Towing Unit at (480) 644-6080.