Contest a Tow
CONTEST A VEHICLE TOW ORDERED BY SFMTA ENFORCEMENT
If you believe your vehicle was towed in error, you may contest the validity of the tow by scheduling a hearing within 30 days of the tow. The date selected for a hearing does not need to be within 30 days.
Financial hardships or personal circumstances will NOT exempt the owner from paying the appropriate administrative fee, and all other tow fees, as a result of contesting a vehicle tow. Hearing officers will only determine if the tow is legal.
Storage fees increase daily, so you should retrieve your vehicle immediately, even if you believe the vehicle was towed in error. The only way to stop fees from accruing is to pay all fees and claim your vehicle. If you choose to leave your vehicle in storage during the hearing process, you will be responsible for all storage fees should you not prevail at your hearing.
If your vehicle is worth $500 or less and you have not retrieved it from storage, you must request a hearing within 10 calendar days of the date of the tow.
If your vehicle is still in storage and you cannot afford to get it out, please immediately schedule a hearing by calling 415.701.5400.
Schedule a Hearing
Complete the online form to schedule a hearing and/or submit a written protest. You can choose to have your hearing in person, by telephone, or submitted in writing.
SFMTA Customer Service Center
11 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, excluding weekends and holidays.
Visit the Towed Vehicles page if your tow was related to crime or an expired driver's license.
TO CONTEST A TOW ORDERED BY SFPD
To contest a tow ordered by the SFPD, you must appear in person at the SFPD listed below. A hearing will be scheduled and conducted by the SFPD.
Hall Of Justice
850 Bryant Street, Room #154
San Francisco, CA 94103
Business hours: Monday- Friday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
No after-hours service is available.
For more information visit SFPD's tow page.
NOTICE TO ALL PERSONS WHO CONTEST A TOW
If you choose to leave your vehicle in storage, while you await a hearing, and you do not prevail at the tow hearing, you will be responsible for all storage fees starting from the date the vehicle was first towed. To stop accrual of storage fees, you may remove your vehicle from storage and request a refund at your hearing. If you prevail, a refund will be mailed to you, by the SFMTA, 4-6 weeks from the date of your hearing.
At your hearing, the hearing officer determines if reasonable grounds for the tow exist. Financial hardships cannot be taken into consideration when rendering a decision. Visit First Tow to see if you qualify for a reduction.
REDUCTIONS FOR FIRST TIME TOW AND LOW INCOME INDIVIDUALS
Individual owners of towed vehicles can receive a reduction of the tow Administrative Fee if her or his vehicle has never been towed. Individual owners, whose vehicle has never been towed and who are participants in eligible low income programs, may receive an additional reduction by demonstrating eligibility. Visit First Tow for more information. These reductions will not be considered by contesting your tow.