The Impound Compliance division of the City of Boise’s Code Compliance and Community Resources team performs a variety of functions involving the processing, towing, and storage of vehicles in violation of Idaho State Code (IC), Title 49. This includes vehicles impounded due to collisions, arrests, charges of driving under the influence, and being abandoned.
This division does not handle vehicles impounded for evidence purposes or involved in an active police investigation. For questions regarding evidence vehicles, please contact the Boise Police Department at (208) 570-6123.
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 Should I Contact to Report it?
To report an abandoned vehicle, you must provide the following information in order for your request to be processed by Impound Compliance:
- 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 has recently launched a new online system that allows you to report abandoned vehicles online. First time users of this system will be required to set up an account. Please select "Reporting Party" when selecting "Contact Type" during account registration.
- Login here. First time user? You'll need to create an account.
- After logging in, click "APPLY > CODE COMPLIANCE SERVICE REQUEST" in the top menu bar.
- Review and accept the online disclaimer and complete the form.
Alternatively, you can report an abandoned vehicle by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (208) 972-8150 and selecting the option for "vehicle impounds" from the options menu.
What is the Process for Handling Abandoned Vehicle Reports?
Our process for handling abandoned vehicles is outlined in IC §49-1804, and consists of three steps:
Respond – We begin by sending an officer from Impound Compliance out to the location provided by the reporting party.* Once the officer arrives, they examine the vehicle, check to see if it has been reported stolen, and mark it to assess whether it truly is abandoned (see above for abandoned definition). The officer will then label the vehicle with a notice to provide an alert that this vehicle, if not moved within forty-eight (48) hours, will be towed.
Review – An officer will return to the location of the marked vehicle to review the situation at least forty-eight (48) hours after the initial response. If the vehicle is found to have been moved, the City of Boise cannot legally determine the vehicle to be abandoned, and it may not be towed. However, if the markings indicate the vehicle has remained in the same place, the vehicle will be deemed abandoned by Impound Compliance.
Resolve – If the vehicle is determined abandoned, the officer will contact a tow company licensed to perform non-consent tows, and the vehicle will be immediately taken to their impound lot. Impound Compliance will then send an official notice and corresponding paperwork to the vehicle’s current registered owner, alerting them to the location of their vehicle with instructions for claiming it.
*Please note: Due to the volume of abandoned vehicles reported to Impound Compliance, it may be up to four business days before an officer can fully resolve the situation. Your patience is appreciated.
Are There Any Circumstances where a Vehicle can be Towed Immediately?
Yes, per IC §49-1803, Impound Compliance may immediately tow under “extraordinary circumstances” in any situation where the vehicle
- Is blocking or impeding traffic
- Is causing a hazard has the potential of impeding any emergency vehicle
- Is impeding any 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 Impound Compliance and an officer will be sent to remove it. Outside of normal business hours, please contact non-emergency dispatch at (208) 377-6790.
My Vehicle was Marked as Abandoned and Towed. How do I Claim it?
If you find that your vehicle has been marked by Impound Compliance and towed, send an email to email@example.com or call (208) 972-8150 and select "Vehicle Impounds" from the options menu. 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 at http://www.itd.idaho.gov/dmv/Vehicleservices/vs_forms.htm.
A bicycle, E-bike, E-scooter, or any part thereof, that is left or remains unattended or unused in a public place for seventy-two (72) consecutive hours is considered abandoned. Click Here to report an abandoned bicycle.
If you believe your bicycle may have been removed by the City, you can fill out an Abandoned Bicycle Retrieval Form for more information on claiming a bike.
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 Property Release Administrator at (208) 570-6123. 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 10:00 AM and 2:00 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) 570-6123 immediately and reschedule.
I Have a Question that Has Not Been Addressed Here.
For any additional information not provided here regarding impounded vehicles please contact any of the following:
- The City of Boise Impound Compliance Division at (208) 972-8156
- The City of Boise Code Compliance and Community Resources (CCCR) at (208) 972-8193
- The Boise Police Department Property Release Administrator at (208) 570-6123
- The Department of Transportation Titles Division at (208) 334-8663
For other helpful information specifically regarding abandoned vehicles please refer to the Idaho Transportation Department Abandoned Vehicle Guide and Idaho State Code Title 49, Chapter 18: