Your car got towed. It happens – perhaps you’re busy and didn’t pay attention to where you parked. Or you’re miffed (ok, irate) and a little in denial about the fact that those hateful orange envelopes keep showing up on your windshield, so you just let the situation fester. Now your car’s gone and you’re pretty sure you know why.
Any one of three bodies of law enforcement have towed your car – the New York Police Department, the Sheriff’s office, or the City Marshall. The good news is that all of these hauls end up in the same place, the NYPD tow pounds in the borough where they found your car. You can give yourself peace of mind by locating your towed car online – the NYCServ eService Center of NYC.gov has a Find Towed Vehicle page where, with your plate number, State of registration and car type, you can see to where your vehicle has been impounded.
If your car was towed in Queens, chances are it ended up here: 42-02 56th Road, Maspeth, NY GMP, (under the Kosciusko Bridge at 56th Road and Laurel Hill, right before the BQE heads into Brooklyn). Hours for retrieval are: Mon-Fri: 8 am – 6 pm and Saturday: 7 am – 3 pm.
The Find Towed Vehicle page will also tell you who has towed your car, which is important information relative to what your violation is and how you go about retrieving your vehicle.
The possible scenarios are as follows.
1 – This is a Violation Tow, because you are parked illegally, but you have no outstanding tickets. If so, the NYPD has taken your car and you can pick it up at the Tow Pound and pay your fees (your ticket plus the towing costs) there.
2 – This is a Judgement Tow, performed because you’re illegally parking and have at least $101 in outstanding parking violations. In this case, you may have been towed by any of the three municipal departments previously mentioned. If you’ve been towed by the NYPD or the Sheriff’s office, you will have to go first to one of the NYC Department of Finance‘s Business Centers and take care of your fines and fees. These will consist of the cost your original ticket(s), the fine for being over 100 days late on it(them), the execution fee and the towing and possibly storage costs.
In Queens, the Business Center is at 144-06 94th Avenue, Jamaica GMAP, open 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday. It may, however, be more convenient for you to go to the Business Center in Manhattan, which is located at 66 John Street, 2nd Floor GMAP, open 8:30am – 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. (You can go to any one of the City’s Business Centers.) All methods of payment are accepted. This cannot be taken care of online or via phone because upon payment you will be issued a Vehicle Release (proof of payment) form to take to the Tow Pound, and in some cases, time is of the essence.
If your car has been towed by the Marshall’s Office, the procedure is to contact them first. They will either have you pay them directly or send you to the Business Center.
If you’ve been picked up by the offices of the Sheriff or Marshall, you have ten days to pay your fines and fees in full, but be sure to contact them right away to let them know this is moving forward, because if they do not hear from you within 72 hours, they will begin the process of preparing your vehicle for public auction.
You may wish to refer to our earlier article on the efficacy of NYC parking apps.