Notice: Towing Fees Waived for Victims of Auto Theft Press Release. Click here to read more.
SERVICE ALERT: At this time, the city's main impound facility located at 6700 Pulaski Highway is not open to the public. To retrieve a vehicle from the Pulaski Highway facility, you MUST call 410-396-9958 to schedule an appointment. The only customers we are assisting at this location are those who have scheduled appointments to pick up a vehicle.
What is the Towing Division?
The Baltimore City Department of Transportation’s Towing Division is the body responsible for managing the towing of vehicles on all City property, including but not limited to roads, alleys, and public parking lots. The Towing Division authorizes third parties, formally known as medallion towing companies, to carry out towing duties on public property.
Why do we need a Towing Division?
Towing is responsible for removing vehicles in streets or alleys on behalf of City entities and residents. When residents call 311 to report abandoned or nuisance vehicles, the Towing Division handles the removal of these vehicles from City rights-of-way. Towing also works on behalf of City agencies including the Baltimore Police Department and the Department of Housing and Community Development. Towing may also work to remove vehicles in cases of accidents, police custody, and unpaid tickets.
What are medallion towing companies?
Medallions are third party vendors of City towing services. Medallions follow the same rules and protocols as City towing crews. Medallions also offer services to Baltimore Police. As per contract, the closest medallion tower will respond within 20 minutes of a police dispatch call.
Note: Towing companies working for private parties are not accountable to the Towing Division; these companies are regulated by the Baltimore City Board of Licensing for Towing Services.
Where do I go if my car has been towed?
The addresses and operating hours of Towing's two impounding facilities are listed below. At this time, you must call the phone number below and schedule an appointment to retrieve your vehicle from the Pulaski facility (which is undergoing extensive repairs).
Pulaski Facility (appointment only)
6700 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, MD 21237
Hours: Monday - Saturday 8:30am - 3:15pm; closed Sundays and holidays
410 Fallsway, Baltimore, MD 21202
Hours: Monday - Friday 7am-8:00pm; closed weekends and holidays
How do I find out if my vehicle was towed?
You may check if your vehicle was towed by calling 311. You may also call the Pulaski Highway impound lot at 410-396-9958 from Monday to Saturday, 8:30am-3:30pm (excluding Sundays and Holidays). You may call the Fallsway Location at 410-396-4613 if your vehicle was parked along City gateways during peak travel times (such as 7-9am or 4-6pm, though posted parking restriction times may vary).
Why was my vehicle towed?
A vehicle may be towed for the following reasons:
- Blocking traffic/peak lanes
- Parked in violation of posted signs
- Involved in police arrest/towing
- Confirmed to be abandoned (see Abandoned)
- Overdue parking tickets (see Scofflaw)
How do I retrieve a towed vehicle?
You will need to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle in the form of a current registration card or title, title receipt, or registration receipt. We also require the owner’s valid driver’s license, state ID, or passport. Note: If you only possess a temporary license or do not have a current Driver’s License, please provide any two forms of identification listed below.
- Notarized birth certificate
- Signed social security card
- Government-Issued photo ID
- Current school or work photo ID
- Voter registration card
Note: If your vehicle is not in operable condition upon retrieval (poor condition, missing tags, expired registration), you must cover the cost of removing the vehicle from the impound location. You may arrange for a private towing service to retrieve your vehicle. (Lien holders: See section on releasing a vehicle to third parties.)
What happens if I do not retrieve my vehicle?
In accordance with the Maryland Vehicle Law, §25-202, §25-205, and §25-206: The law provides that the City must send notice via certified mail to the last known registered owner and any secured parties within 7 days after taking the vehicle into custody. If the owner or secured party fails to reclaim the vehicle within 11 working days after receipt of the notice, then the owner or secured party is deemed to have waived all right, title and interest in the vehicle, and to have consented to its sale at public auction.
There is no exception to the law. The owner is responsible for any related fines and or fees, (such as violations, citations, towing, preservation, or storage fees) resulting from taking or placing the vehicle in custody. If the vehicle is sold in an auction, the owner may have a flag fee put on other active tags associated with their name if the price of the sale at auction does not cover the outstanding balance with the impound. If you have an outstanding flag fee, you must pay that before your flag is lifted with MVA.
My car was damaged while in Towing custody. How can I file a claim?
If your car was damaged at the Impound, you can file a claim at the Pulaski Facility before you leave the lot upon retrieving your vehicle. Claim forms are available at the office. Ask a Towing agent to provide the claim forms.
My vehicle was towed mistakenly—How can I contest the fines or fees?
As the owner of an impounded vehicle, you are entitled to a hearing to contest the validity of the towing and any associated fees if you were ticketed. You may request a hearing on-site when you redeem your vehicle or visit Parking and Fines at:
200 Holiday Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
You must attend the hearing to contest the towing and fees.
What if I return to my vehicle as it is being towed?
Once the vehicle is raised from the location in which it was parked the vehicle must be towed. For safety reasons, Towing staff are forbidden from engaging in arguments with vehicle owners.
What happens if my vehicle was stolen? Will I have to pay the fees?
You will need your police report to retrieve your vehicle; all towing fees will be waived. Please contact Parking and Fines with a copy of your police report for any citations incurred while the vehicle was stolen. Note: You will still be liable for pre-existing citations.
How do I release a vehicle to my insurance company or designated representative?
Under normal circumstances, you would have the option to visit a DOT facility to sign a release; this is currently not available due to COVID-19 safety protocols. Instead, you may contact a Towing agent via email with a notarized release letter giving the Division authority to release your vehicle to the insurance company or designated representative. The letter in this email should contain the vehicle's year, make model, and identification and/or tag number. You must also include a copy of the owner's ID and vehicle title or current registration.
If you are the vehicle owner’s insurance company or designated representative, you must present a signed notarized letter containing the vehicle's year, make model, and identification (VIN) and/or tag number. You must also include a copy of the owner's ID and vehicle title or current registration. You may email these documents to a Towing agent. Note: You must first contact us by phone at 410-396-9958 to begin the process.
To retrieve a vehicle as a lien holder you must complete and submit the following items:
- Hold harmless letter
- Front and back of the title
- Owner’s purchasing contract
- Repossession paper (notarized)
My car is gone but it’s not in Towing custody; Should I report it stolen?
Your vehicle may have been relocated. Relocations are performed to clear the street for work by various agencies. This may be done in an emergency without an opportunity to notify the public with posted signs. Call 311 to confirm before reporting the vehicle stolen.
Note: Your vehicle may have been towed by a private tow truck company if it was involved in an accident; call 311 for information on your vehicle's storage facility.
Did the city issue a parking ticket prior to towing my vehicle?
Though tickets are typically issued before a vehicle is towed, there will be circumstances where a ticket is not issued prior to or at the time of towing. In cases of police involvement, accidents, traffic impediment, or scofflaws, a vehicle may be towed without the need for a ticket; towing fees may apply.
How do I pay tickets associated with my towed vehicle?
You should follow the instructions on the violation/citation. You may contact Parking and Fines with any questions or concerns. However, all outstanding citations will be included in your vehicle release fee at the impounding facility. If you pay your outstanding citations with Parking and Fines while your vehicle is in Towing custody, you may have to wait for your ticket transaction to finalize before your payments are reflected in Towing’s records.
We recommend that you pay your tickets, citations, and other penalties at the Towing facility when retrieving your vehicle. All remaining outstanding tickets will be bundled in your Towing release payment, which lowers the likelihood of overpayment.
How much will it cost to redeem my vehicle?
Towing and storage charges may be paid with all major credit cards. Cash and checks are not accepted. Below is our current list of towing fees:
- Vehicles east of Charles Street: $130
- Vehicles west of Charles Street: $140
- $15/day after 2 days (temporarily waived)
- Initial storage charge: $50
- Administrative fee: $40
Are there any special conditions for release (such as crimes or MVA flags)?
Vehicles impounded in relation to criminal activity cannot be released until you have contacted the proper agency (such as Baltimore Police). You must present a flag release form to retrieve a vehicle flagged by MVA.
How does Towing handle abandoned vehicles?
A vehicle on public property may be deemed abandoned and towed under certain circumstances. Vehicles that show signs of abandonment (damage to the vehicle, missing parts, missing or expired tags or registration) may be marked for towing upon inspection by a traffic enforcement officer; residents may request a vehicle is inspected by calling 311. Once a vehicle is deemed as abandoned, a 48-hour warning will be issued; if the vehicle has not been moved from the location, it will be towed.
What is a scofflaw vehicle and why are they booted?
Scofflaw is the term used to refer to vehicles that are delinquent on three or more citations. Any vehicle on a City roadway with three or more unpaid citations that are all over 30 days old may be booted at any time. Upon booting, the vehicle owner will have 48 hours to unlock their vehicle before it is towed. However, a vehicle may be towed early for any of the following reasons:
- The vehicle has escaped booting in the past
- The vehicle owes over $1,000 in outstanding fines
- The vehicle is parked improperly or in a restricted area
- The City cannot affix the boot to the vehicle
- The owner is found tampering with the boot
Please note that some fines and fees are assessed by the Parking and Fines section. Towing will not be involved with a booted car until the end of the 48-hour boot period, after which all fines and fees will be consolidated into one bill; this will be due when the owner retrieves their vehicle from the impound.
How do I unlock a booted car?
To unlock the boot on your vehicle, you may call the 24/7 PayLock hotline at 877-590-3757 and pay with a credit or debit card; we suggest this, as you will be able to release your boot without assistance. For more information on PayLock and booted vehicles, refer to the Parking and Fines section at this link.
Why would the police tow a vehicle?
The Baltimore Police Department acts independently from Transportation and may have medallions tow vehicles under special circumstances. Police may tow a vehicle that is abandoned in a public right-of-way and impeding the flow of traffic; a vehicle that is involved in a criminal investigation; a stolen vehicle that has been located and confiscated; among other reasons. A full policy on police tows can be found here (Policy 902).
How does the vehicle auction process work?
Vehicles not retrieved 11 working days after notice of impoundment may be sold at public auctions. No exceptions can be made to this policy under any circumstances.
If you want to take part in these auctions you must first register as a buyer at this link (Copart website). You will then be able to view the vehicles in person. Vehicles will be sold on a Maryland VR-112 Bill of Sale unless otherwise noted. You may process your payment with Copart by Epay, wire transfer, or credit card. We cannot guarantee the vehicles will run; you must remove the vehicle within 48 hours of payment (via tow if necessary). The City may reject any bid for any reason; no bids below $74.00 will be accepted.
Vehicle Auction listings can be viewed here.
|Important Towing Documents|
|Towing Release Authorization Form|
|Towing Repo Affadavit|
|Towing Repo Hold Harmless|
|Towing Repo Paper|
|Towing Statement of Claim Form|