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 7:00 am and 3:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, excluding holidays.
- 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, 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 additional 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 statute 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 back?
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 relevant.
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 released.
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 authorization.
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.