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How do I find my towed car in Los Angeles?

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

There are so many reasons why your car could get towed in Los Angeles. Perhaps you parked on someone else's private property without permission or remained on public property for longer than legally permitted. These situations can result in your car getting towed without warning.

What's worse is that no one will notify you about the tow. You will go outside looking for your vehicle, only to find that it is not there. The first thing you should do in these situations is to look for public warning signage about parking in that area. Sometimes these signs will have the name and phone number of a towing company, but not always.

Most vehicles get towed in Los Angeles because of parking violations. Since these violations concern the police, it means the cars get impounded under the authority of the law. While that is bad for you from a legal perspective, it does make it easier for you to locate your vehicle. It means your vehicle is sitting in a police garage somewhere in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Official Police Garages has a website where you can conduct a public search for your towed vehicle. All you need to do is enter your license plate number and the state where it was issued or enter the Vehicle Identification Number. Click the search button, and the database will locate which police garage your vehicle was towed to in Los Angeles. The Vehicle Information Impound Center updates the database every hour. If you don't see your vehicle listed right away, check back in an hour.

If you still cannot find your vehicle listed on the website, contact the Los Angeles Official Police Garages by phone for further assistance. Sometimes the information is entered into the database incorrectly. Either that or there could have been a problem with reading your license plate or VIN.

When your vehicle is towed from private property, it won't go to a police garage. Instead, it will get brought to a nearby tow yard operated by the towing company or one of its partners. Of course, you won't necessarily know which towing company or where it is located.

You could also try talking with the property owner that had the vehicle towed. They might tell you which towing company they called. One of these two sources should help you locate your towed vehicle.


If you think that you car was stolen, contact your insurance company and submit a police report with your local station.

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