Last Updated on September 1, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
Your car is towed in NYC, what’s next?
I’ve written a number of blog posts about what happens when your car is towed in NYC. As time goes by, there are wrinkles added to the towing process making it even more confusing to learn how to redeem your chariot. Here are some valuable tips about towing in NYC to enter in your personal Wikipedia.
Larry’s top ten towing tips:
- All NYC is a tow-away zone by order of the NY State Legislature and published in the NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law in 1956 [Section 1204(b)]. No notice or signs required[Tweet “Your chariot can be booted AND towed if you don’t remove the boot within 48 hours”]
- Pay your judgment debt by calling the booting customer service number at 877-207-2134 or in person at a Finance Business Center.
- You’ll need proof of current insurance to get your car back from any impound location
- You’ll need the following information to redeem your car
- A valid Driver’s License,
- The original vehicle registration stub (or the title),
- The vehicle’s Insurance Card,
- A Vehicle Release form (for both Marshal and NYPD Violation Towed Vehicles with outstanding judgment debt).
- Someone else other than the registered owner may redeem a vehicle as long as they bring a notarized letter from the registered owner and the original title or registration (no copies)
- Here’s one way to locate your towed vehicle online
- Your chariot can be towed by the NYPD (violation tow), the Sheriff ($350 in judgment), and the Marshall($350 in judgment)
- If your car was illegally parked and you have $101 or more in unpaid parking tickets in judgment, you must pay Finance the judgment debt and penalties before you can get your vehicle back. Here’s how to pay:
- Go to a Finance Business Center.
- Pay the judgment debt, fines, and fees
- Ask for a Vehicle Release Form
- Take the Vehicle Release form to the NYPD impound lot, pay towing fees and get your vehicle
- NYPD impound lots accept major credit cards, cash, certified check and money orders
- New York State will not register or renew a vehicle registration if you have 3 or more outstanding tickets and/or camera violations in judgment within an 18-month period. If you have 5 or more outstanding parking tickets in judgment within a 12-month period, your registration will be suspended. You cannot obtain or renew a registration until you resolve the tickets, either by paying them or by having them dismissed at a hearing. If you pay your tickets at a Business Center you will receive:
Satisfaction of Judgment Notice – Provides proof to the DMV that your tickets have been resolved.
Registration Clearance – Is required for in-person registration or renewal at DMV. If you prefer to pay all of your parking tickets that are in judgment online, you must also renew/register your vehicle online with DMV and you will not need to obtain this form. (Note: If you pay by 6 pm, you will have to wait up to 48 hours to register your vehicle with DMV online. If you pay after 6 pm, it will take up to 72 hours.)
[Source: NYC Department of Finance]
The risk of a tow strikes fear in the minds of the driving public. We must be vigilant in guarding against this painful parking enforcement tactic by the Evil Empire.
Is there a fool-proof way to avoid a tow? Probably not because your chariot can be towed for any parking infraction at the whim and caprice of a parking ticket warrior.
However, there are some steps to reduce our exposure. For example:
- Don’t park in a high-risk parking space if you have $101 or more in outstanding parking ticket judgments. In other words, don’t park 16 feet from a fire hydrant, don’t stop temporarily in a bus stop zone, don’t double park, don’t stop in a any no standing zone and leave your car unattended for just 2 minutes, etc.
- Fight or pay your NYC parking tickets as soon as possible, despite your anger
- Don’t expect to see a tow away zone sign, a yellow painted curb, or a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow…It’s not going to happen (sorry about the rainbow thing)