Towed Vehicles

Towed Vehicles

The SFMTA is responsible for removing illegally parked and abandoned vehicles from City streets.  A vehicle which is parked in a tow away zone will be towed to one of the City’s tow yards.  Towing helps maximize on-street parking, manage traffic congestion, and maintain clean, safe and functional streets for the public’s use. Most tow requests received from the public are for blocked driveways.  Request Enforcement or call 311 to report an illegally parked vehicle.

If you think your car is towed, immediately call AutoReturn, the City's tow service provider, by calling 415.865.8200 or search for your vehicle. Be ready to provide your license plate number, vehicle description, and suspected tow date and location.

If AutoReturn cannot confirm your vehicle is towed, your vehicle may be stolen.  To report a vehicle stolen, contact the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) at 415.553.0123.  See below for vehicle tow related to a crime or visit SFPD's tow page.

Where to Recover Your Vehicle and Pay Your Fees

You must appear in person to claim your vehicle and pay all fees before your vehicle can be released. 

AutoReturn’s Customer Service Center is located at 450 7th Street (across from the Hall of Justice) and is open 24 hours a day, every day, including holidays.  Some oversized vehicles are directly towed to a secondary facility in Daly City, so you are encouraged to search for your vehicle or call 415.865.8200 to locate your vehicle

Payment Options

AutoReturn accepts cash, ATM cards, and most major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, and Visa only). AMEX is not accepted.

Tow Fees

You must pay all fees for your vehicle to be released.  

Reduced Fees for First Time Tow and Low Income Individuals.  Individual owners of towed vehicles can receive reductions of the tow Administrative Fee if her or his vehicle has never been towed.  Participants in eligible low income programs may receive an additional reduction by demonstrating eligibility.  Visit First Tow for more information.  First Tow and First Tow for Low Income *DOES NOT apply to non-individuals or businesses, including partnerships, for-profit corporations, and nonprofit corporations

Summary of Fees
  • Administrative Fee – Passenger vehicles Under 10,000 GVW 
    • All repeat tows: $261.00
    • *First Tow: $172.00
    • *First Tow for Low Income: $86.00
  • Tow Fee – Passenger Vehicles: $208.00
  • Storage
    • First four hours: free
    • First day after first 4 hours: $58.50
    • Subsequent days: $68.25
  • Dolly (if applicable): $58.50

Towing and storage fees vary for medium and heavy duty vehicles.  Please search for your vehicle or call 415.865.8200 to receive an estimate of fees.

Citations associated with this tow, and delinquent citations, are NOT included in your invoice unless your vehicle was towed for having five or more delinquent citations.

Full list of tow fees [Español] [中國]

To Contest a Tow Not Related to a Crime

If you believe your vehicle was towed in error, you may contest the validity of the tow.  Submit a hearing request, and all supporting evidence, within the time allowed to protest. Visit Contest Tow for more information.

Vehicle Boot

If your vehicle is affixed with a vehicle boot due to delinquent citations visit Booted for more information and instructions on how to pay your fees.

Vehicle Tow Related to a Crime/Expired Driver's License 

To retrieve a vehicle towed as part of a crime investigation, including a recovered stolen vehicle, you must appear in person and OBTAIN A RELEASE from the San Francisco Police.  For more information visit SFPD's tow page.

San Francisco Police Department

​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.

To Contest a Tow Related to a Crime

You must appear in person at:

San Francisco Police Department

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.

If you choose to leave your vehicle in storage, while you await your 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.