Vehicles impounded for expired registration or subsequent to arrest require a release from the Police Department prior to obtaining the vehicle from the tow yard. The release will be provided to the current registered owner through DMV – or current legal owner as verified through DMV. If you are not the registered owner, you will need to obtain a notarized letter authorizing release of the vehicle to you. The registered owner will need to identify you and the vehicle in the notarized letter. The letter must include your driver's license number, description of the car (make, model, year) and either the vehicle license plate number or vehicle identification (VIN) number.
There is a $200 fee required to obtain a release. The registered owner must have a valid CA Driver’s License; if they do not possess a valid license, they will need to bring someone with a valid CA Driver’s License with them when obtaining the vehicle release. If the vehicle was towed due to expired registration, all fees must be paid to DMV and paperwork provided to the Police Department prior to obtaining a release from the Police Department.