Towing / Vehicle Impound & Release Info
Having your vehicle towed and impounded is typically unpleasant, regardless of the circumstances. This information will give you a better understanding of what to expect and how to redeem your vehicle. It is in your best interest to get your car out of impound as soon as you can to limit the storage fees which accrue daily.
Why was my vehicle towed?
There are a number of reasons vehicles are towed:
If your vehicle is no longer where you left it, there is a good possibility it was parked in a private lot and a tow company removed it and impounded it under a contract with a private business. This is known as a Private Property Impound. The Sheriff’s Office has little to no involvement in this type of impound but we are able to confirm it has been impounded.
If you parked illegally (i.e. in a handicap spot, loading zone, expired meter, etc.), your vehicle was probably cited for illegal parking and impounded.
If you were involved in an accident and your vehicle was removed from the scene, your vehicle is being stored at a tow company. Towing charges will need to be paid by you or your insurance company but your vehicle is not impounded as long as you were not involved in a criminal act such as driving under the influence or a crash involving critical injury or death.
Your car was considered abandoned as defined under MCL 257.252 and a law enforcement agency impounded your vehicle.
If your vehicle was used in the commission of a crime, a law enforcement agency impounded your vehicle and it is being stored at a tow company under contract with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office or at a Sheriff’s storage facility.
Where is my vehicle being stored?
If your vehicle was impounded as a Private Property Impound it is at the tow company under contract with the private business. If your vehicle was impounded by a law enforcement agency your vehicle is being stored at one of the towing companies under contract with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office listed below.
|Brewer’s Inc.||(734) 665-8888||1763 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor 48105|
|Wall Street Towing||(734) 485-2055||876 Railroad St., Ypsilanti 48197|
|Don’s Body Shop||(734) 449-4485||7986 Coyle Rd., Whitmore Lake 48189|
|Manchester Towing||(734) 428-9538||18481 W. Austin Rd., Manchester 48158|
|Sakstrups Towing||(734) 971-5400||5600 S. State St., Ann Arbor 48108|
|Triangle Towing||(734) 761-5696||2040 Federal Blvd, Ann Arbor 48103|
If my vehicle was impounded, how do I get it back?
If there is an investigative hold on your vehicle it cannot be released until the hold has been lifted by the law enforcement agency.
You will be directed to go to the tow company storing your vehicle. Once you arrive, the tow company will contact Metro Dispatch. An employee from Metro Dispatch will send a vehicle release to the tow company via email as long as there are not any type of "holds" or restrictions on the vehicle.
IMPORTANT – you must provide proof of ownership of the vehicle (title or registration) or have authorization from the owner before the vehicle is released. If you are the owner, you must possess a valid drivers license and have valid insurance on the vehicle.
If you are unsure where you vehicle is located and you know your VIN or Plate information, you can look up your vehicle on the Secretary of State Abandoned Vehicles search website.
Can I contest the tow or impound?
You may file a petition with the court having jurisdiction over the location from which the vehicle was removed.
You must do this by mail or in person at that court within 20 days from the date of the notice sent by the Secretary of State.
That notice includes a petition requesting a hearing with the court.
The courts charge a fee equal to $40 plus the accrued towing and storage fees, which must be paid when filing the petition.
Before the hearing, you may redeem your vehicle by posting a bond with the court equal to $40 plus the accrued towing and storage fees. If you do not redeem the vehicle, storage charges may continue to accrue.
If you do not request a hearing, you may redeem your vehicle by paying the towing, storage and abandoned vehicle fees to the vehicle’s custodian.
If you do not redeem your vehicle, after 20 days the vehicle is legible to be sold in an auction.
What if the tow company provided poor customer service?
In an effort to meet our mission of providing quality service, the WCSO has established a Towing Complaint Hotline. This hotline is for citizens to report poor customer service from a contracting tow company. We understand having a vehicle impounded can be a stressful event and receiving poor customer service from a tow company can make matters worse. We require our contracting partners to provide quality service and want to hear from you if you experienced poor customer service. Please call (734) 973-4969 to leave a message and someone will return your call.
Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office Towing Bill of Rights
In an effort to keep the public informed and protected, the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office has developed a Tow Bill of Rights.