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.
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. More information of what to expect and what to bring for your hearing available here.
Hearing LocationSFMTA 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.
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.
TO STOP ACCRUAL OF STORAGE FEES
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.
UNACCEPTABLE GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OF TOW FEES
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. Please take a moment to check our Standard of Review.
LOW INCOME? FIRST TOW?
Eligible low-income vehicle owners will receive an administrative fee waiver and, if applicable, up to three calendar days storage waiver and a dolly fee waiver. Visit Low-Income.
Individuals whose vehicle has never been previously towed by the SFMTA or SFPD will receive a first-time tow reduction of the administrative fee. Visit First Tow.
You cannot request low-income or first tow reimbursement by contesting the validity of the tow. If you feel you are eligible and would like to request a reduction of tow fees, you must submit your request separately. Click on the links displayed above for information and instructions.