Impound Information

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If your vehicle has been impounded recently, you probably have many questions related to that circumstance. The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their respective answers. We hope this information assists you throughout this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was my vehicle impounded?

These are as follows:

The driver is in an accident, AND has no insurance, AND has a suspended, revoked or
cancelled driver license for any reason.

The driver’s operating privilege is revoked for any reason.

The driver’s operating privilege is suspended for any reason.

The driver is arrested for either Extreme DUI or Aggravated DUI and/or has failed to install court-ordered interlock device.

The driver is under legal drinking age and has any alcohol in their body.

For how long will my vehicle be impounded?

The law requires that vehicles impounded under these conditions be held for a period of thirty (30) days before being released.

In some cases you may be eligible to have the vehicle released sooner, such as if you get your license status reinstated by the Motor Vehicle Division or the courts.

PLEASE NOTE –
(1) If your vehicle was impounded by another law enforcement agency, such as the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office or the Department of Public Safety, you must contact that agency directly for assistance in obtaining the release of your vehicle.

(2) If your vehicle was impounded as evidence of a crime these procedures DO NOT apply to you.
Please contact the NPD Detective handling your case for additional information.

How do I get my vehicle back and how much will it cost?

On or after the 30th day of impound OR if you get your license reinstated, your vehicle will generally be eligible for release to you. To get it back, follow these steps:

Call 520-287-9111 to request a Post Storage Hearing.

At the time of your hearing you must:

Bring with you a VALID driver license, VALID vehicle insurance and VALID vehicle registration.

Please note that you may have to go to court or the Motor Vehicle Division first if your license was suspended, revoked or cancelled, and/or if your vehicle registration was expired or cancelled.

We cannot release your vehicle to you until these documents are valid and current.

NOTE – if your driving privileges 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 to drive the car upon release. You must still have a valid vehicle registration and insurance before the vehicle will be released.

You must pay an administrative fee of $150 to the City of Nogales. Payment must be in the form of Mastercard, Visa, or money-order ONLY.

Upon payment of the fee you will be given 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, credit card or debit card. If you come to the tow yard at other than normal business hours, you may be charged a gate fee. You must also present proof of your identity and ownership to the tow company.

If you do not claim your vehicle when it is available for release the towing company will file for abandoned title to the vehicle.

To whom can the vehicle be returned?

The owner, the owner’s spouse, their agent (such as an attorney or other designee), or a lien holder are the only persons who can have the vehicle released.

What if someone other than the owner was driving the vehicle when it was impounded?

The owner may be able to get the vehicle back prior to the 30-day period, usually by signing an agreement with the Police Department. The owner of the vehicle is still responsible for paying all fees and charges in order to have the vehicle released. If someone else was driving, you may have to seek civil action against the driver for any expenses you incur as a result of the impound.

What will happen if I cannot claim my vehicle?

If you do not claim your vehicle when it is eligible for release, the towing company will automatically file a request with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division to assume title of your vehicle. The towing company would then become the legal owner of the vehicle and may salvage or auction it. 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 is 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. This will require a 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 proof satisfactory that the owner’s driving privilege has been reinstated.

If the vehicle was reported stolen at the time it was impounded,

If the vehicle is subject to bailment and was driven by an employee of a business establishment including a parking service or repair garage, who is subject to ARS §28-3511-A or B.

If ALL of the following apply – the owner or owner’s agent was not the person driving in violation at the time of the impound, 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 enter into a written agreement with the Police Department that 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 the next time. In addition, we shall release a vehicle to a person, other than the owner, identified on MVD’s record as having an interest in the vehicle before the end of the 30 day if ALL of the following conditions are met:

(1) The person is a motor vehicle dealer, bank, credit union or acceptance corporation or any other licensed financial institution legally operating in this state or is another person who is not the owner and who holds a security interest in the vehicle; AND

(2) the person pays all towing and storage fees related to the impoundment of the vehicle unless the vehicle is stolen and the theft was reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If the vehicle was stolen and the theft was reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency, the operator of the vehicle at the time of impoundment is responsible for all towing, storage and administrative charges; AND

(3) The person presents foreclosure documents or an affidavit of repossession of the vehicle.

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 Nogales Police Department. You must follow the claim process outlined above.

When may I request a hearing?

Hearings may be requested by calling 520-287-9111 at any time during the 30 day period.

If I am found “not guilty” of 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 trial is not relevant.