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Vehicle Impounded?



If your vehicle was towed per ARS 28-3511, it has a hold period. This means it must stay in impound for hold period. Do not contact the towing firm for vehicle release. DPS will notify registered vehicle owners within three (3) business days of the impound with a copy of the Vehicle Removal Report and information regarding post storage hearing scheduling. For more information about a post storage hearing and releasing of a vehicle, please call the DPS Impound location that is listed on the lower half of the VEHICLE REMOVAL REPORT under the “Impound/Seizure Information” section. 

Impound Hearing

If a peace officer removes and either immobilizes or impounds a vehicle pursuant to  ARS 28-3511, the immobilizing or impounding agency may provide the owner, the spouse of the owner or any other person providing indication of ownership or other interest in the vehicle, immediately before the immobilization or impoundment, with the opportunity for an immobilization or post storage hearing. The hearing will determine the validity of the immobilization or storage or consider any mitigating circumstances relating to the immobilization or storage or release of the vehicle before the end of the 20-Day immobilization or impoundment period.

A hold may be released early if:

– the vehicle is a stolen vehicle

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

– the owner was operating the vehicle at the time of removal and either immobilization or impoundment and presents proof satisfactory to the immobilizing or impounding agency that the owner’s driving privilege has been reinstated

– all of the following apply:

– the owner or the owner’s agent was not the person driving the vehicle pursuant to  ARS 28-3511, subsection A

– the owner or the owner’s agent is in the business of renting motor vehicles without drivers

– the vehicle is registered pursuant to  ARS 28-3511

– there was a rental agreement in effect at the time of the immobilization or impoundment. At the time or the end of the hold, the registered owner must go through the regular release process


A vehicle shall not be released after the end of the immobilization or impoundment period unless the owner or owner’s agent presents all of the following to the impounding or immobilizing agency:

– A valid driver’s license issued by this state or by the owner’s or owner’s agent’s state of domicile.

– A current vehicle registration or valid salvage or dismantle certificate of title.

– Evidence that the vehicle is in compliance with the financial responsibility requirements of the Mandatory Motor Vehicle Insurance section, referenced in Chapter 9, Article 4.


Abandoned Vehicle Definition

According to Arizona law, an “abandoned vehicle” is a vehicle, trailer or semitrailer that is subject to registration and has been abandoned on public or private property, whether lost, stolen, abandoned or otherwise unclaimed.

Qualifying to File for an Abandoned Vehicle

A person must have knowledge and custody of a vehicle that is either

  • lost

  • stolen

  • abandoned or otherwise unclaimed that has been seized according to law

  • removed from a public highway or public property by order of a law enforcement officer

The owner/operator of a commercial repair facility, public garage or parking lot may use the abandoned vehicle process when the vehicle was left without a verbal or written contract.

Example: MVD receives a request from a tow company to file a vehicle as abandoned. MVD sends notice to the owner, lien holder and any other interested party providing information that they have 30 days to reclaim the vehicle. If the vehicle is not claimed, ownership may be transferred free and clear to the towing company.

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