Last Updated on October 31, 2022 by Lawrence Berezin
Towing for NYC parking tickets is absurd.
I think towing a vehicle for an alleged parking violation is downright medieval. To Clarify, unless there is a risk to public safety or your car blocks a driveway. Likewise, a current practice that is doubly hideous is booting first and removing the vehicle two hours later.
Are you kidding me?
Here’s a valuable blog post for those who aren’t worried about towing or don’t own a car but love saving money every month. Check out these 76 money-saving tips. You’ll be glad you did
Now, on to the business of removing a car for cash.
Here is a bunch of helpful stuff you should know about towing
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) licenses private companies that remove cars that:
- block private driveways
- park on private property
- immobilized after an accident
- broken down
- Some companies are exempt from licensing, but their trucks must sport an “exemption sticker.”
- Most importantly, tow trucks with “exemption stickers” are not permitted to remove a consumer’s vehicle.
- Moreover, the New York Police Department takes vehicles that violate NYC parking rules.
- The NYC Sheriff’s Office and NYC Marshals employed by the City of New York take vehicles whose owners have outstanding parking and red light camera judgments totaling more than $350.Visit the Department of Finance website for more information about towed vehicles
More important stuff to follow
- DCA also licenses private companies that boot cars parked in private lots or on private streets when the cars violate posted parking rules.
- When hiring, look for licensed companies.
- In other words, you should visit the check license page or call 311 to ensure the firm is licensed. Meanwhile, If you use an unlicensed company, you may not be able to get your money back.
- Before you allow a private truck to hook your car, check the driver’s side of the vehicle for the company’s name, address, phone number, and DCA license medallion. The medallion is a metal plate.
- The truck is either unlicensed or violates licensing rules if this information is not displayed. File a complaint with DCA
- Keep a record of the truck’s medallion number. In addition, every driver must carry their DCA driver’s license. If you complain about a specific driver, get their license number and file a complaint with DCA.
Carefully check the forms you sign.
- Sign only an Authorization to Tow form or towing bill receipt issued by the licensed towing firm. You are not required to sign an Authorization to Repair form to get your car towed.
- Always read the forms carefully before you sign them. Likewise, get the details in writing for any work to be performed. But never sign a blank document.
- Be sure the tow truck driver gives you a copy of the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Towing, as required by law.
If you are in an accident on any street or highway in New York City, or if your car breaks down on the road in New York City, you must use the DCA-licensed towing company authorized by the police to tow your vehicle. Be sure the authorization you sign specifies towing only, not repairs or other services. The towing company must take your car wherever you say, within New York City. You cannot call your roadside assistance program or towing company.
- If your car breaks down, call a DCA-licensed tow company of your choice. Unlike rates charged by the City’s DARP program, which is regulated, firms you choose can charge market rates.
- If time permits, call around different towing firms to compare prices. An inexpensive or free towing service may be available from an auto club, your insurance company, or your car’s manufacturer.
The owner of the private lot can authorize the removal of your car if a posted sign reserves the lot for its customers only.
Stopping a Tow in Progress
The owner of the vehicle being towed, or a person entitled to possession, can request the release of the vehicle before the tow truck is in motion.
In that event, the car must be unhooked and released and a binding agreement must be executed in which the owner consents to pay the vehicle release penalty.
The owner must present a current driver’s license and the registration, title, insurance identification, and car keys. If the vehicle is a rental, you must produce a rental agreement and car keys. If it is a company car, you must present your company identification.
To review the City of New York’s parking summons penalty schedule, visit our fines page.
- The City’s rotation tow program (ROTOW) regulates fees for recovered stolen or abandoned vehicles.
- DCA governs the City’s DARP and ROTOW programs.
More helpful information
- A shopping center or other private property – Look for a posted sign with the name and number of the company that pulled your vehicle. If you can’t find a signal, call the local police precinct. Call the company to retrieve your vehicle. The owner can authorize the boot or the removal of your car from:
- Driveways that you blocked – Call the local police precinct.
- The street for a parking or traffic violation – Visit the Department of Finance website or call 311
- In a parking lot or on a private street (booted) – Look for a sign saying which booting company applied the boot or wheel lock. Contact the company to have the boot removed. The company must remove the boot within 30 minutes, must accept payment by credit card, and may charge no more than $25.
Some more helpful tips
- The maximum fee remains $25 for a private lot.
- There is no maximum rate for booting on private roads. However, signs must conspicuously post the fees at all entry access streets that intersect with public streets. The booting fee for private streets must be on file with DCA.
- The local police precinct or 311 will inform you whether johnny law took your car.
- Contact DCA to file a complaint about a private towing or booting company.
- Visit the “Check License Page” or call 311 to determine whether a company is licensed.
- Call the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to file a complaint about auto repairs at (518) 474-8943.
Sincere thanks to the NYC Division of Consumer Affairs towing services web page. It is the source of all this helpful information.
All of New York City is designated a tow-away zone. Moreover, the law does not require notice. Captain Hook is one heartless hombre.
Most importantly, it is critical to know the parking rules. But, just in case Captain Hook grabs your chariot, here is an excellent guide to everything you need to know if the heartless hombre tows your car.
The information in this guide is straight from the Evil Empire source, in collaboration with Captain Hook.
David Pine says
You are wrong. The NYPD does not boot vehicles with outstanding fines. Please correct the article. Thank you.
Lawrence Berezin says
That’s what my wife tells me every day.
Thanks for the heads-up. Appreciate it.
Queens Girl says
Last week I went to get physical therapy for the first time in Forest Hills Gardens, the private area in Forest Hills (residential and business). I was given a street parking permit which I displayed on my dashboard. I parked in a “No Parking” spot in front of the business as I did not feel well obviously. I’m exempt from these parking signs with my Nyc Disability Parking Permit I also had displayed on my dashboard.
To my astonishment when I finished therapy I had a fat BOOT on my car and a sticker saying I had to pay $138. I called the number asap. When the guy who worked for the company came and I asked him why I received a boot when I had the permit allowing me to park and my handicap permit for the “No Parking”, he told me private streets are exempt from NYC rules and disability plaques don’t count on “their streets”. I was shocked to hear this. Privacy ok, but the rich don’t respect disability laws?? Are they exempt from honoring the NYC permits? Please tell me he gave me misinformation.
He gave me a blank look, a sarcastic apology and told me I still had to pay this ridiculous fee that was not posted anywhere.
If I read correctly on their site, DCA states the fee needs to be posted on the street signs correct? (None of the signs have them). Also what does it mean when the site states the fee should be no more than $25 and there is no maximum but should be logged with DCA?
What are my rights of any?
Please advise. Thank you.
Lawrence Berezin says
Hi Queens Girl,
Something smells rotten in Forest Hills Gardens. Here’s a quote from their parking policy:
Forest Hills Gardens is a private community. On-street parking is permitted only for residents and their guests. The parking regulations are in place to preserve the aesthetics of the community and to assure ample parking for residents.
Who is permitted to park on our streets?
The following vehicles may park on our streets with a current FHGC Parking decal or a properly executed parking pass or note.
· Owners of homes, land, or cooperative apartments, including resident members of their immediate families.
· Tenants in private houses and apartments, including resident members of their immediate families.
· Guest of residents while they are visiting.
· Customers or clients of commercial or professional establishments within the Gardens while at the establishment. These vehicles require a “Commercial Parking Pass” authorized by the FHGC and supplied to the customer by the commercial establishment.
· Congregants of churches located within the Gardens during hours of worship or functions.
· Contractors, service organizations or individuals while performing services for residents or establishments within.
If your permit was properly issued, you certainly had a right to park on Forest Hill Garden private streets. The next question is whether your PPPD allowed you to ignore the no parking rule. If so, you parked legally. If not, you were subject to ticket, boot, and tow.
The DOT website says: “The City permit allows the driver to park at most curbsides on city streets including in all “No Parking” zones (except those marked as taxi stands)…” It is not clear whether a “city street” includes a “private street.” I don’t know the answer to this question. If it were me, I’d start by contacting the management corporation and see what they have to say:
Forest Hills Gardens Corporation
2 Tennis Place
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Please let me know the outcome.
Hey Larry, if I got my vehicle towed for being parked on a street that they paved, and it says “you will not be penalized”, should i owe no fines? i need to go pick up the car tomorrow from the pound, so any info is greatly appreciated.
Lawrence Berezin says
I hate relocation towing and despise towing for tickets.
My experience with relocation tows (your tow is a relocation tow) is that a car is usually moved to a parking space on a nearby street, not the pound. I wonder why the car was towed to the pound?
In any event, generally, there is no penalty for relocation tows.