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My Car has been towed - now what?

Posted by Donald Turner | Jan 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

“My car just got towed – what's next?”

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Finding out what the next step is depends on why your car got towed, and from where. This blog post discusses what to do if your car gets towed after an arrest.  Note that vehicle repossession is a separate matter from towing, and may have different requirements before you can recover your vehicle.

If you are arrested while driving a car, or are in possession of a car, it is likely that your car will be towed from the scene.  Generally, officers cannot leave a vehicle unattended if they're arresting the driver and will call a towing company to come pick up the car.  Once you are taken into custody, and if you are granted a bond, you will likely receive towing information on where your car is located. (Click HERE for information on How to Bond out of Jail)

Many jurisdictions will require you to get a release, generally called a Vehicle Release Form, from the police agency that impounded or towed your car.  In order to receive this form, the following is typically required:

  • Valid picture identification (i.e. a current driver's license, a state-issued ID, military ID, passport, etc.)
  • Current vehicle registration
  • Original title

If the registered owner is not available to pick up the vehicle but instead sends a representative, the representative must have an Authorization Release Form, which needs to be notarized and includes the specifics of the vehicle. 

How much will it cost to recover my vehicle?

The Georgia Department of Public Safety has capped the fees that towing companies can charge, but certain cities may set a lower maximum fee within their city limits than the state standard. If your car was towed, please inquire about the ordinances of the city where this took place.

Impound lot

The maximum towing rates and charges per state law are as follows: 

Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000 pounds or less

Not to exceed $150.00

Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,001 pounds to 20,000 pounds

Not to exceed $250.00

Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 20,001 pounds or greater – per unit charge

Not to exceed $400.00

Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 20,001 pounds or greater – combination unit

Not to exceed $750.00

The maximum storage rates and charges per state law are as follows:

Storage for the first 24 hours, beginning at the time the vehicle is removed from the property

No charge

Storage for any day the impoundment facility is closed and the owner is unable to claim the vehicle

No charge

Daily storage fee for vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,001 pounds or less

Not to exceed $15.00

Daily storage fee for vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,001 pounds to 20,000 pounds

Not to exceed $20.00

Daily storage fee for vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 20,001 pounds or greater – per unit charge

Not to exceed $25.00

Daily storage fee for vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 20,001 pounds or greater – combination unit

Not to exceed $50.00

If your car has been impounded in Fulton County, click here for more helpful information:

http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/impound-recovery

As always, we are here to answer any additional questions you may have - 770-594-1777.

About the Author

Donald Turner

Don has been practicing law for 40 years. During that time, he has built extensive relationships within the medical, legal and law enforcement communities throughout northern Georgia....

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