Abandoned and Towed Vehicles
Report an Abandoned Vehicle
Retrieve a Towed/ Impounded Vehicle
What is an Abandoned Vehicle?
Per Idaho Code, 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 is an abandoned vehicle. Examples include any and all unauthorized vehicles that have been left on a public roadway.
A vehicle is not considered abandoned if its registered owner/operator is unable to remove it from its current location and has notified law enforcement and requested assistance.
Report an Abandoned Vehicle
To report an abandoned vehicle, please provide the following information:
- A detailed 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 vehicle's location (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 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 email@example.com, or calling (208) 972-8150 and selecting the option for "vehicle impounds" from the options menu.
How are Abandoned Vehicle Reports Handled?
Respond – We send an officer 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. The officer will label the vehicle with a notice stating that if not moved within forty-eight (48) hours, the vehicle 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 has 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.
Resolve – Once deemed abandoned, a tow company licensed to perform non-consent tows will take the vehicle to their impound lot. The City of Boise will send an official notice to the vehicle’s current registered owner with instructions about claiming their vehicle.
*Please note: Due to the volume of abandoned vehicles reported, it may be up to four business days before an officer can fully resolve the situation. Your patience is appreciated.
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.
Towed/ Impounded Vehicles
My vehicle is missing. Who do I call?
- Non-Emergency Dispatch can take reports of stolen vehicles and track vehicles towed within Ada County. Call (208) 377-6790.
Towed for Parking Violations
- Towed From Parks
Vehicles parked in designated parking areas of a city park after the posted time limit may be impounded pursuant to City Code.
- Unpaid Parking Tickets (Scofflaw Tows)
Per city code, accumulating unresolved citations may result in your vehicle being impounded. Vehicles may be towed upon confirmation that the registered owner has accumulated delinquent, unpaid, or otherwise unsettled and uncontested parking fines which have remained unpaid for a period of thirty (30) days totaling at least two hundred dollars ($200), or five (5) or more tickets.
My Vehicle was Marked as Abandoned and Towed. How do I Claim it?
- If your vehicle has been towed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (208) 972-8150 and select "Vehicle Impounds" from the options menu. We will connect you with the tow company so you can make arrangements to retrieve it from their lot.
When 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 Impound Compliance at (208) 972-8150 and an officer will be sent to remove it. Outside of normal business hours (M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.), please contact non-emergency dispatch at (208) 377-6790.
Request a Tow Review
If you feel your vehicle was towed in error, you have the right to a Vehicle Tow Review. Upon request, our Tow Review Committee will review the circumstances behind the tow in question to determine if it was legal, valid, and in compliance with city code.
- Submit a Tow Review request online or mail your request to “City of Boise Parking Services, P.O. Box 500, Boise, ID 83701”
- Requests must be submitted in writing within thirty (30) days of the tow. Tows older than 30 days will not be reviewed.
- Requests must include:
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your mailing address
- The valid license plate number of the vehicle to be reviewed
- Date of the tow
- Location of the tow
- The reason you believe the vehicle was towed in error
Please be as specific as possible and attach any pertinent information or documentation, including receipts or photographs. Additional information will not be accepted after the Tow Review Committee has made their decision.
You will be notified of the Tow Review Committee’s decision, in writing, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the request. All decisions are final.
- If the committee determines that the tow was made in error, the City of Boise may require the towing agency to provide a partial or full refund.
- Any fines or penalties assessed by the towing agency will not be suspended or reduced due to the submission of a Tow Review request.
The City of Boise recommends you claim your vehicle from the towing agency’s lot as soon as possible, due to the daily accrual of storage fees for which the owner is liable. For this reason, it is not advised that the vehicle’s owner wait for the official Tow Review decision before claiming the vehicle from impound.
Need More Information?
For more information please contact any of the following:
- City of Boise Impound Compliance Division: (208) 972-8150
- City of Boise Code Compliance and Community Resources: (208) 972-8185
- Boise Police Department Property Release Administrator: (208) 570-6123
- Department of Transportation Titles Division: (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: