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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.   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. 

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 if you do not prevail at your hearing.  If you cannot afford to get your vehicle out of storage, you should 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.  Find out more about our Tow Hearing Procedures, including what to expect and what to bring to your hearing.

Hearing Location

SFMTA Customer Service Center
11 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, excluding holidays.

TO CONTEST A TOW ORDERED BY SFPD

To contest a tow ordered by the SFPD, you must appear in person at the police department.  For more information visit SFPD's tow page.  To listen to a recorded message with SFPD tow information call 415.553.1619.

San Francisco Police Department at Hall of Justice
850 Bryant Street, Room #154
San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, excluding holidays.

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.  Find out more about our Tow Hearing Procedures.


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 waivers or first tow reductions by contesting the validity of the tow.  If you feel you are eligible and would like to request a low-income of first tow reduction of tow fees, you may do so when you claim your vehicle.