Impounds & how to handle them
Whether you’re driving a vehicle with no insurance, registration or without a valid driver’s license there is a good chance that you will probably be pulled over. If you decide to drive drunk there is a much higher chance of being pulled over by the police, and in both cases it’s very likely that your car will be impounded.
If you have had your vehicle impounded before you may have a very good idea of what it takes to get a vehicle out of impound but not all companies and police departments are the same. For instance in Bay County the Sheriff department does not charge a release fee but if you were to get your vehicle impounded by the Bay City Police Department then you’ll have to pay their release fee before you can get your vehicle from the tow yard.
Towing companies charges aren’t likely to be the same across the board because they have free enterprise and can charge what they see fit to a limit. Although, what is an industry standard is the way they charge for storage. In the towing industry storage is charged by “calendar days”. When they say “calendar days” it means that, if for example, your vehicle was impounded on the 4th at 11:59pm you’ll could still be charged for that day. Now that’s not to say that the company might be lenient and charge less but there is a industry standard. The prices of the days storage can vary though.
The requirements for getting your vehicle maybe different also but in most cases you’ll be required to prove your ownership of the vehicle. Our company, for example, you are required to bring a valid driver’s license. In some cases officers will issue a temporary license and that will suffice. You will be required to bring a title or valid registration to prove the vehicle is in your name. To drive the vehicle out of our yard you are required to have valid auto insurance, otherwise it can be towed out at the owners expense. And all impounds are to be paid in cash. The owners will have to call to get charges as they change every calendar day. The vehicle must be in your name or you can not retrieve it. That means if your driving your dad’s car and you get it impounded your dad will be the one that has to come and get it and pay the charges.
Abandonment of a vehicle begins the day it enters our lot. Upon entering our lot the clock begins on the abandonment process. There is a 20 day period from impounding the vehicle to when we file for what is called a TR-52. After the initial 20 days the owners will be sent a notice of abandonment. The owner should then contact the impounding company to work out a solution. If the owners decide to ignore the notice after the second 20 days the impounding police agency will then sign over paperwork for the abandon vehicle and at that time the towing company will be the owners of that vehicle. They then have the right to turn over the bill for the vehicles impound and storage fees to a collection agency for up to $1,000.00.
So if you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle has been impounded you should contact the company that has impounded your vehicle and work with them to try to find a solution. If your not sure who impounded your vehicle you can always call 911 and ask them. If it was truly impounded they will have a record of who impounded it and what tow yard has it.