If your vehicle was impounded by an officer of the Chandler Police Department please carefully read the information the officer provided you when the vehicle was impounded.  This page provides some additional information concerning this topic.

If your vehicle was impounded by another law enforcement agency, you must contact that agency directly for assistance in obtaining the release of your vehicle. If your vehicle was impounded as evidence of a crime by the Chandler Police Department, the information provided on this page does not apply to you.

Why was my vehicle impounded?

Arizona law (ARS 28-3511) requires a law enforcement officer to impound a motor vehicle when the officer determines the vehicle operator:

  • Has a suspended, revoked license for any reason
  • Has no driver’s license and no record of ever having one
  • Is arrested for Extreme DUI or Aggravated DUI
  • Is under 21 and has any amount of alcohol in their system
  • Is involved in a motor vehicle crash while having a Cancelled, Suspended, or Revoked license, and does not have vehicle insurance.
  • Is in violation of ignition interlock requirement

Can I get my vehicle back before the 30 days are up?

Yes. Under certain limited circumstances you may be able to have the vehicle returned to you prior to the 30-day impound period.

Do you qualify to release your vehicle early?

State law dictates these conditions to release a vehicle early – personal hardships cannot be considered:

  • You must have been listed as an owner on the title in the MVD computer at the time of impound
    • If you sell the vehicle or change the name on the title after the vehicle was impounded, the new owner will not qualify for an early release
  • If your vehicle was impounded for a suspended/revoked/cancelled or no driver’s license:
    • The registered owner was the driver and their driver’s license has been reinstated and presents proof satisfactory that their driving privilege has been reinstated. Simply bring proof that your license is now valid to the Chandler Police Department with all other required documentation.
    • The registered owner or their spouse was not the driver, and is willing to appear in person with a valid driver’s license to sign an agreement stating they will only allow the vehicle to be driven legally by a driver with a valid driver’s license
  • If the vehicle was reported stolen at the time it was impounded.
  • If your vehicle was impounded for extreme/aggravated DUI or a driver under 21 with alcohol in their system:
    • The vehicle will not be released early if the registered owner was the driver
    • The registered owner or their spouse was not the driver, and is willing to appear in person with a valid driver’s license to sign an agreement stating they will only allow the vehicle to be driven legally by a driver with a valid driver’s license
  • If your vehicle was impounded for an ignition interlock violation:
    • If the registered owner was the driver, and has had the interlock installed while in impound, present documentation showing the device is now installed
    • The registered owner or their spouse was not the driver, and is willing to appear in person with a valid driver’s license to sign an agreement stating they will only allow the vehicle to be driven legally by a driver with a valid driver’s license
  • If the vehicle was a rental and was being driven by a renter pursuant to ARS 28-2166.
    • An employee of the rental agency with proper credentials and identification must present all required documents along with a valid rental contract and a letter on company letterhead authorizing the employee to recover the vehicle on the company’s behalf
  • If an employee of a parking service, repair garage or business was operating the vehicle (“subject to bailment”) when it was impounded, the registered owner may claim the vehicle with proper documentation
  • If you are the lien holder (Repossession information)
    • Lien holders must meet the requirements of Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 28-3512.D, E, F and G. The lien holder must have been listed as the lien holder on the MVD record at the time of the tow or impound in order to be granted a release. The lien must still in force in order for the lien holder to qualify.
    • Must provide a Repossession Affidavit and Power of Attorney/Hold Harmless form to obtain a release. Documents must be the original notarized documents. If the vehicle is being repossessed prior to the 30 days the “Agreement of Operation” statement must be included.

In certain circumstances the spouse of the owner may enter into a written agreement with the Chandler 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 next time the vehicle is impounded.

In addition, the vehicle shall be released 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 period if all of the following conditions are met:

  • 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
  • The person pays all administrative, 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
  • The person presents foreclosure documents or an affidavit of repossession of the vehicle.

Can I have a hearing about the vehicle impound?

  • Yes, hearings are conducted on a walk-in basis only. Appear in person at the Chandler Police Desert Breeze Substation (251 N Desert Breeze Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226) Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. with all the required paperwork (See below)
  • When must I request a hearing should I want one?
  • You can show up in person (see above) or request a hearing in writing. The request must be made or received by the Chandler Police Department no later than ten (10) days from the date of the vehicle impoundment. If your request is received after the ten day period, a hearing will not be granted.

Do I need to have a hearing?

  • Most people who do not meet one of the exemptions allowing for the vehicles early release will not request or need a hearing.

How is the hearing conducted?

  • Hearings are conducted by a Chandler Police Department Impound Hearing Specialist.

Early Release Hearing Steps

  • Determine if you qualify to release your vehicle early (see above). If you do not meet the requirements for an early release you must wait the full 30 days to get your vehicle back.
  • Appear in person at the Chandler Police Desert Breeze Substation (251 N Desert Breeze Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226) Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Hearings are handled on a walk-in basis only – no appointments can be made
  • You will appear before a hearing officer – cases cannot be discussed on the phone
  • Bring required payment and documents (see below)
  • If the hearing officer releases your vehicle, you may claim it from All City Towing
  • Contact All City Towing at 480-833-7278 to verify where the vehicle is stored
  • Pay towing and storage fees:
  • Do not call or go to the Chandler Police Main Station in downtown Chandler. You cannot make arrangements to obtain your impounded vehicle at the Main Station.

Except for stolen or improperly impounded vehicles, the vehicle owner is responsible for all administrative, towing and storage fees regardless of when the vehicle is released.

Required Documents for Hearing

You must bring these documents to your hearing:

  • $150.00 cash (exact amount) No other forms of payment will be accepted
  • This fee is set by state law and applies to every vehicle impounded under ARS 28-3513
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Proof of current insurance for the impounded vehicle valid at the time of the hearing
  • Valid and current vehicle registration – any suspensions or expired tags must be fixed
  • Your copy of the vehicle impound report that was provided on the day the vehicle was impounded or sent via mail.
  • Upon payment of the fee and presentation of valid driver license, vehicle registration and insurance, you will be given a release form that you must take to the towing company. The towing company will not release your vehicle without the authorization of release from the Chandler Police Department.
  • At the towing company, you must pay all associated towing and storage charges. Payment is made directly to the towing company. If you cannot go 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.

You might need to bring these to your hearing:

  • Marriage License (if you are the spouse of the registered owner & your name is not on the title)
  • Ignition Interlock installation documentation (if you are required to have an interlock)
  • A new license plate (if your impound form indicates your license plate was impounded you must obtain a new plate, or temporary paper license plate)

How long will my vehicle be impounded?

The law requires that vehicles impounded under the above conditions be held for a period of thirty (30) days before being released. In some cases your vehicle may be released sooner if permitted by the statute.

How much will it cost to get my vehicle back?

In order to have your vehicle returned, certain charges or fees required by Arizona law must be paid prior to release. Those charges include an administrative fee of $150.00, paid directly to the Chandler Police Department prior to receiving authorization for release of your vehicle. Applicable towing, storage and any gate charges are paid directly to the tow company.

How do I get my vehicle back?

On or after the 30th day of impound OR if you get your license reinstated OR you meet certain requirements, your vehicle will generally be eligible for release to you. In certain cases where the driver of the vehicle is not the owner, the vehicle may be released with conditions to the owner.

Who can have the vehicle returned?

The owner, owner’s spouse or lien holders 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 of Operation with the police department. The owner is still responsible for paying all fees and charges in order to have the vehicle released.

What if I own the vehicle but have not yet transferred the title into my name? Can I still get the car back?

Yes after 30 days, but you must first completely meet all legal title and registration requirements and have the title transferred into your name before the vehicle can be returned to you. This can be done through the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department. If the Vehicle is registered out of state, you must either register the vehicle in Arizona or deal with the state in which it is currently registered.

What will happen if I cannot claim my vehicle?

Arizona law allows tow companies to file for an abandoned title to seek ownership of the vehicle if it is left unclaimed at the tow yard for more than 10 days past the 30-day impoundment period. If you have difficulty paying for the tow and storage fees, you should contact the tow company if you wish to retain ownership of your vehicle.

  • You could be charged an abandoned vehicle fee.
  • To request more time to recover vehicle after the release, contact the Motor Vehicle Department Abandoned Vehicles Unit at (602) 712-8406.

If the owner (who was the driver) had a suspended license, can they get their vehicle back prior to the 30-day period if their license is restored to a valid status?

Yes. The owner would have to prove that their license had been restored and driving privileges reinstated. The owner would present this proof of a valid license with proof of a valid registration and proof of insurance and upon payment of the administrative fee, the vehicle would be released. The owner would then go to the towing company, provide proof of release, proof of ownership and identity, pay all towing/storage fees and retrieve their vehicle.

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 and all towing/storage fees 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 your vehicle without the release authorization paperwork from the Chandler Police Department. You must follow the claim process as outlined above.

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 trial is not relevant.

What will I have to prove in a hearing?

That you are the vehicle’s registered owner or lien holder and are able to provide a valid driver’s license, insurance and registration.

Is there a charge for the hearing?

No.

Do I need an attorney for the hearing?

No. The hearing process is informal and brief. If you are Spanish speaking, an interpreter will be provided to assist you.