Vehicle Impoundment Frequently Asked Questions
Your vehicle will be impounded by the Gilbert Police Department for violation of Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) §28-3511 when the following occurs:
- The driver is in an accident, AND has no proof of insurance, AND has a suspended, revoked or cancelled driver’s license for any reason, or has never been issued a driver’s license. OR
- The driver’s license is revoked or suspended for any reason. OR
- The driver has never had a driver’s license or permit issued in Arizona or by any other jurisdiction. OR
- The driver is arrested for either Extreme DUI or Aggravated DUI. OR
- The driver is under legal drinking age and has any alcohol in their body. OR
- The driver was operating a vehicle without a certified ignition interlock device when he/she is subject to an ignition interlock device
Frequently Asked Questions
For how long will my vehicle be impounded?
Vehicles impounded under ARS §28-3511 must be stored for a period of thirty (30) days before being released. The law allows for some exceptions, and you may be eligible to have the vehicle released sooner. For example, if your driver’s license is reinstated by the Motor Vehicle Division or the courts, your vehicle may be released before the thirty (30) day required hold period.
How much will it cost to get my vehicle back?
Arizona law requires the owner to pay for all towing charges as well as storage fees. Storage fees are $15.00 per day. These charges are due to the towing company that removed and is storing your vehicle. In addition, pursuant to ARS § 28-3514, the owner is liable for an administrative fee of $150.00 paid with cash to the Town of Gilbert.
How do I get my vehicle back?
Only the Gilbert Police Department can release your vehicle. On or after the 30th day of impound, your vehicle will generally be eligible for release to you.
To receive the release paperwork, follow these steps:
- You must pay an Administrative Fee of $150 with cash to the Town of Gilbert. Upon payment of the fee you will be given a copy of a release form that you must take to the towing company.
- At the towing company, you must pay the towing and storage fees. Payment is made directly to the towing company by cash, money order, certified check or credit card. If you arrive at the tow yard to reclaim your vehicle outside of regular business hours, you may be charged a gate fee. *Arizona Law does not require the tow companies release vehicles after normal business hours. You must also present proof of your identity and 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 an abandoned title to the vehicle.
What if someone else, other than the owner, was driving the vehicle when it was impounded? The registered owner is responsible for responsible for all administrative and towing fees associated with impound. To retrieve your vehicle you must present a valid driver’s license, current vehicle registration, and proof of mandatory auto insurance.
If I own the vehicle but have not transferred the title into my name, may I retrieve my vehicle? All legal title and registration requirements must be completed through the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division before the vehicle can be returned to you at the end of the 30-day impoundment period. If the vehicle is registered in another state, you must either register the vehicle in Arizona or contact the state in which the vehicle is registered. The vehicle will not be released without proof of registration and mandatory automobile insurance.
What will happen if I cannot claim my vehicle?
Under Arizona law, the towing company may file for an abandoned title and seek ownership of the vehicle if it is left at the tow yard unclaimed for more than ten (10) days past the mandatory thirty (30) day impoundment. If you have difficulty in paying for the towing and storage, you should at least contact the towing company if you wish to retain ownership of your vehicle.
Can I get my vehicle back before the 30 days are up?
Under certain limited circumstances, you may be able to have the vehicle returned to you prior to the end of the 30-day period. In some cases this may require a Post Storage Hearing.
You may be eligible to have the vehicle released early only if you meet one of the following conditions or circumstances:
- If the owner presents satisfactory proof that the owner’s driving privilege has been reinstated (Note – if this applies to you, bring proof that your license is now valid).
- If the vehicle was reported stolen at the time it was impounded.
- If the vehicle is subject to bailment under ARS §28-3511(A)(2) and was driven by an employee of a business establishment including a parking service or repair garage.
- If ALL OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY – the owner or owner’s agent was not the person driving in violation at the time of the impoundment, AND the owner or the owner’s agent is in the business of renting motor vehicles without drivers, AND the vehicle is registered pursuant to ARS §28-2166.
In certain situations, the spouse of the owner may also enter into an agreement with the Gilbert Police Department stating they will not let a driver arrested for Extreme or Aggravated DUI, or a minor in possession of alcohol to drive the vehicle within one year. If the agreement is violated, there is no relief available from the 30 day impound period within the next year.
In addition, the vehicle may be released to the lien holder or repossession agent identified on the MVD record before the end of the 30 days.
If the owner was driving on a suspended license but has since had the license restored to valid status, can the vehicle be released prior to the 30-day period?
Yes. The owner would have to prove that this had been corrected and their driving privileges reinstated, at which time we will release the vehicle upon payment of an administrative fee of $150 and towing and storage charges.
Would I still have to pay fees and charges if the vehicle is released early to me?
Yes, the owner is still liable for the administrative fee ($150) 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 is not allowed to release an impounded vehicle without paperwork from the Gilbert Police Department. You must follow the claim process outlined above.
If I am found “not guilty” on my criminal or traffic charges will that affect the impoundment of my vehicle? No not if the vehicle was impounded according to Arizona law and within Gilbert Police Department procedures.
Information and instructions for requesting a post storage hearing for vehicles impounded under ARS §28-3511
Do I need to have a post-storage hearing? Yes, you are entitled to a hearing to determine the validity of the impoundment. If the impoundment is found to be appropriate under ARS §28-3511, the $150 administrative fee and towing/impound fees must be paid to retrieve the vehicle. If the impoundment is found to be inappropriate, the Gilbert Police Department is responsible for towing and storage fees; however, tow fees related to a standard 28-872 vehicle tow may still apply and are the owner/interested party’s responsibility.
When must I request a hearing?
A request for a Post Storage Hearing must be received by the Gilbert Police Department within ten (10) days from the date of the vehicle
Impoundment notice. If your request is received after the ten day period, we will not grant you a hearing on this matter.
The hearing can be requested by leaving a telephone message at (480)-635-7511 with your contact information. A Gilbert PoliceDepartment Tow Hearing Specialist will contact to answer questions and schedule a Post Storage Hearing, if warranted.
How is the hearing conducted?
Post Storage Hearings are conducted by Tow Hearing Specialists at the Gilbert Police Department at 75 East Civic Center Drive, Gilbert AZ. Hearings cannot be conducted over the telephone and must be prescheduled. There will be no walk-in hearings.
What will I have to prove in a hearing? You must show why the vehicle was improperly impounded by the Gilbert Police Department or there are lawfully and mitigating circumstances permitting the early release of the vehicle. If you have any documentation it must be provided to the hearing officer prior to or at the hearing.
Is there a charge to have a hearing?
There is an administrative hearing fee of $150 required and collected at the time of vehicle release.
Do I need an attorney for the hearing? No an attorney is not required, but you may bring an attorney if you wish. Only the registered owner, the owner’s spouse, or the lien holder may request the hearing.
The Post Storage Hearing is solely for the purpose of determining the validity of the impoundment or to determine whether the vehicle may be released before the end of the 30-day period.
The Gilbert Police Department will assign the hearing officer.
If the hearing officer finds that the impoundment was inappropriate, the Gilbert Police Department will be responsible for the towing and impound fees related to ARS 28-3511. Tow fees related to a standard 28-872 vehicle tow may still apply. If the hearing officer finds that the impoundment was appropriate under ARS §28-3511, the registered owner or interested party must pay a $150 Administrative Fee and must pay towing and storage charges to the towing company in order to have the vehicle released.