Towed Vehicles - Frequently Asked Questions

Towing Information and Fees Judgment Tickets Retrieving Your Vehicle

Towing Information and Fees

Your vehicle may be towed by a city marshal or sheriff after it has been booted for having more than $350 in parking ticket or camera violations that are in judgment. Your vehicle can be towed by the NYPD at any time if you are parked illegally or do not have valid registration or insurance.

You can request a property release for personal property, like luggage or a baby car seat. However, tires, radios, batteries, and other parts of the vehicle may not be removed. Non-owners must bring a notarized letter signed by the vehicle owner allowing them to remove personal property. If a vehicle belongs to a firm or business, proof of employment must also be presented.

Booting and towing fees include:

  • Tow fees: regular $185, or heavy duty $370
  • Boot fee: $185
  • Sheriff or marshal execution fee: $80
  • Poundage fee: 5% of all fines, including penalties and interest
  • Overnight storage fee: $20 (If the vehicle is not redeemed on the same day that it was towed, an additional overnight storage charge of $20 will be charged each night the vehicle is held.)

The accepted forms of payment are:

  • Credit or debit card in the name of the individual retrieving the vehicle
  • Cash
  • Certified check, payable to “New York City Police Department”
  • Money order or traveler's checks

You can enroll in a parking ticket payment plan if your vehicle has been towed. To do so, you must contact Republic Parking Immobilization Services (RIS). You will need to make a 20% down payment to RIS and complete and sign a parking payment plan enrollment form in order to retrieve your vehicle.

You must also provide proof that your vehicle is currently registered and insured in order for the vehicle to be released. You must pay all outstanding booting, towing, and related fees in full. These fees are not incorporated into the payment plan agreement.

Tow refunds are not sent automatically. You must file for a tow refund by completing a Parking/Camera Violations Refund Form, which is available on our website. If you have proof that your vehicle should not have been towed, such as a copy of the not-guilty decision, please submit your request form along with copies of your proof by mail. Do not submit originals.

Judgment Tickets

You must pay all judgment violations, including penalties and interest, to retrieve a vehicle towed by the Department of Finance. Towed vehicles are sold at auction if they are not retrieved within 10 business days from the towing date. Owners may either pay or dispute the violation through the Department of Finance if they believe the towing was not warranted.

If your vehicle is towed by the NYPD, you must pay the related towing fees to retrieve your vehicle. You can retrieve the vehicle without paying the parking or camera violation, unless the violation is in judgment. If the vehicle is not redeemed on the same day that it was towed by the NYPD, an additional overnight storage charge of $20 will be assessed each night the vehicle is held. If there is an outstanding judgment ticket amount of $101 or more on a vehicle towed by the NYPD, the vehicle is not released until the violation is resolved by either dismissal at a hearing or full payment of the judgment. Once the judgment ticket has been satisfied, the owner is given a clearance notice for the NYPD to release the vehicle. The tow fees still apply.

A camera violation will go into judgment if you do not pay or dispute it within approximately 75 days. A parking violation will go into judgment if you do not pay or dispute it within approximately 100 days. This means the City takes the legal step of entering a default judgment against you for the entire amount, plus penalties and interest. The City can also send your debt to a collection agency or seize your assets. If your ticket is in judgment, the total amount you owe will include the fine plus any accrued penalties and interest. If you have more than $350 of tickets in judgment, your vehicle could be booted and towed. You will receive warning notices before your vehicle is booted or towed.

To satisfy your judgment or clear your registration, you must pay your ticket in full and have no other judgment tickets outstanding. Once the judgment debt is paid in full, you can go to a Department of Finance business center or contact 311 to request a registration clearance.

Retrieving Your Vehicle

Registrants who meet any of the following circumstances must visit the Parking Enforcement Unit, located at 210 Joralemon Street, 9th Floor, in Brooklyn, to speak with an attorney for redemption instructions specific to their circumstances:

  • A deceased registrant’s surviving spouse, heir or administrator
  • A registrant who filed for bankruptcy
  • A registrant whose car cannot be properly registered

Registrants who meet any of these circumstances must appear at the Parking Enforcement Unit located at 345 Adams Street, Brooklyn, to speak with an attorney for redemption instructions particular to their circumstances. Alternatively, you can visit any Department of Finance business center.

Lien holders & third-party interests: Financial institutions holding a lien or title to a vehicle that has been booted or towed must prove their legal standing in order to retrieve the vehicle. The lien holder should contact the Parking Enforcement Unit at (718) 488-2976. Have the plate number and vehicle description ready.

Fleet or Rental Program vehicles: If the towed vehicle is registered in the Department of Finance’s Fleet or Rental Program, you must contact the Fleet and Rental Unit.

You must have current insurance to retrieve your vehicle from any impound location. Your vehicle will not be released if you do not have valid proof of insurance.

To retrieve a vehicle on your behalf, an individual must have a notarized letter from the registered owner, the original title or registration (no copies), and a valid driver’s license.

You will need the following to retrieve your vehicle:

  • A valid driver's license
  • The original vehicle registration stub (or the title)
  • Proof of insurance
  • A vehicle release form, if you paid your judgment debt at a Department of Finance business center

You will be asked to send documentation with original copies overnight to:

Parking Enforcement Unit
Legal Affairs Division
NYC Department of Finance
345 Adams Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Once your documentation is approved, the lien holder and their agent will receive a Notice to Release, which will also be sent to the sheriff or marshal restraining the vehicle. Upon receipt, the lien holder can visit a Department of Finance business center to pay the fees, then go to the pound with the Notice to Release and payment receipt to pick up the vehicle. The lien holder is not responsible for the judgment debt.