What you can do if you arrive at the moment the tow truck is towing your car in New York


When a vehicle is being towed in New York, there is a procedure to avoid it.

When a vehicle is being towed in New York, there is a procedure to avoid it.

Photo: hedgehog94/Shutterstock

There are many reasons a vehicle may be towed in New York State.but most of them are related to the fact of parking incorrectly. In these cases, drivers unknowingly give the authorities the chance to enforce the laws by taking the vehicle, a sanction that forces them to carry out a recovery process that can be associated with high fees and fines.

However, if a person manages to arrive on time 鈥 that is, before the tow truck starts up 鈥 the law allows them to stop the seizure of the vehicle and even recover it despite having to comply with the corresponding sanctions.

How do I keep my car from being towed in New York State?

According to New York City Department of FinanceheState traffic laws allow drivers to stop a towing process in progressas long as you follow a few steps:

1. First of all, it is necessary to be on time; that is, the owner must be present at the time the car is being towed and the tow truck has not yet started moving.

2. If you arrive on time, the laws establish that you can request the release of the vehicle by identifying yourself with your current driver鈥檚 license and offering data associated with the registration, property title and current insurance. You may also be required to present your vehicle keys.

3. If the vehicle is rented, the driver must present all the documentation related to this type of contract. This same requirement applies in cases in which the vehicle is owned by a business or company and is in the possession of a commercial driver with a CDL license.

4. Once all the corresponding information is identified and provided, the owner or driver of the vehicle can request that it be unhooked from the tow truck and released. Despite having this advantage, the driver must agree to pay a release fine, in addition to complying with all the penalties that may arise from the act.

To get an idea of 鈥嬧媡he fines associated with these types of events, drivers can consult the list provided by the Department of Finance.

What should I do if I don鈥檛 arrive on time?

If the tow truck has already gone on its way, taking the towed vehicle with it, the situation will be very different. In this context, the driver or owner will have to locate the vehicle first in order to recover it. In the specific case of New York City, people in this situation can call 311 or use the towed vehicle locator. You can also call 212-NEW-YORK (out of town) or TTY 212-639-9675 (if you are hearing impaired).

In that city, This type of sanctions can be applied both by the local police and by the Marshal/Sheriff鈥檚 office. Calling both offices can also help you quickly locate your vehicle, thus avoiding fines and additional charges for leaving it in a warehouse.

What are the reasons for the authorities to tow a vehicle in New York?

Although most of the reasons vehicles are towed in New York are related to parking, the Department of Finance offers a more complete and specific list. Among the most common reasons are:

1. The owner or driver owes $350 or more in parking citations.
2. The vehicle was double parked.
3. Vehicle was parked at a fire hydrant.
4. The driver did not pay the parking meter fee.
5. The vehicle was parked in an intersection or tunnel.
6. The vehicle was parked in a driveway.

Why is it so important to stop a tow in progress or recover a vehicle after it has already been towed?

throughout the United States a towed vehicle is always associated with fees to pay that can increase considerably if the driver takes time to retrieve it. These fees are normally associated with the time spent in the warehouse where the authorities take it and are added to the additional fines and penalties that may result from the fact.

For that reason, when the vehicle has already been towed, it is important to locate it as soon as possible. This process can be complicated on holidays (New Year鈥檚, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas), so drivers should be more careful to abide by the rules during such holidays.

When drivers fail to recover the vehicle 鈥 mostly because of accumulated fees 鈥 the authorities are forced to auction itputting it in the hands of a new owner who can buy it for a reduced value.

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