Impound Compliance FAQ
What is an abandoned vehicle?
Under IC §49-102, an abandoned vehicle is defined as any vehicle (i. e. automobile, motorcycle, boat, RV, trailer, etc.) that has been left within the limits of a highway, or upon private property without consent of the property owner for at least twenty-four hours (24) hours. Examples of abandoned vehicles include any and all unauthorized vehicles that have been left on a public roadway.
A vehicle shall not be considered abandoned if its registered owner/operator is unable to remove it from its current location and has notified Law Enforcement and requested assistance.
I suspect a vehicle is abandoned. Who do I contact?
To report an abandoned vehicle, you must provide the following information in order for your request to be processed by Vehicle Impounds.
- A comprehensive description of the vehicle including the make, model, color, and any distinguishing features (e. g. missing license plates, shredded tires, missing or broken windows/doors, etc.)
- The vehicle’s license plate state and number (if the vehicle has plates)
- The location of the vehicle (include cross streets and nearby addresses)
- The length of time the vehicle has been parked without moving
- Your contact information (name, address, and phone number)
The City of Boise now allows you to report abandoned vehicles online. First time users will need to set up an account. Please select "Reporting Party" when selecting "Contact Type."
My vehicle was marked as abandoned and towed. How do I claim it?
Notices are mailed out to the registered owner on all abandoned vehicles towed. If you find that your vehicle has been marked by Vehicle Impounds and towed, send an email or call (208) 570-6120. We will connect you with the tow company that has your vehicle so you can make arrangements to retrieve it from their lot.
What if I sell a vehicle that is later abandoned by the new owner?
If you have not filed a Release of Liability Statement, as required by Idaho law after selling or transferring a vehicle, you may receive a citation and be held liable for the same penalties, in addition to the towing and storage charges (additionally, you can also be held liable for traffic accidents and parking tickets involving the vehicle).
Release of Liability forms are printed on the bottom of title certificates or on the back of vehicle registrations. They can also be found at your county assessor's motor vehicle office or online.
My vehicle was towed to the city impound lot. How do I claim it?
To claim a vehicle impounded at the City lot, you must first verify that it has been cleared for release by contacting the Vehicle Impounds at (208) 570-6120. If the vehicle has been cleared for release, you may schedule an appointment for pickup with an officer. All vehicle release appointments are scheduled Tuesday through Thursday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- If a tow fee is required to claim your vehicle, please provide payment in the form of cash in the exact amount or a credit card. A copy of the towing invoice will be provided to you.
- Additionally, if the vehicle is in non-running condition, you are required to have the vehicle towed from the premises. For all releases, please bring valid photo identification, any tools needed (e. g. air compressor, jumper cables, etc.), spare keys (if keys are not accessible), or other items you feel are required as water and electricity are not available. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make it to your appointment at the scheduled time, please call (208) 570-6120 immediately and reschedule.
Can a vehicle be towed immediately?
The City of Boise may immediately tow under “extraordinary circumstances” in any situation where the vehicle:
- Blocks or impedes traffic
- Causes a hazard that has the potential of impeding any emergency vehicle.
- Impedes snow removal or other road maintenance
- Has been stolen, but not yet reported as recovered
- Is not registered or displays an expired license plate registration sticker
- Has been in an accident and remains on the highway
- The driver has been arrested
To report a vehicle that meets any of the above criteria, please contact non-emergency dispatch at (208) 377-6790.
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