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How to get your towed car back

How to get your towed car back

Some common reasons for getting towed include street sweeping, illegal parking, and five or more overdue parking tickets.

Step
1

Find your car

While the Transportation Department handles ticketing, the Public Works Department manages towing for street sweeping.  In most cases, private companies working for Public Works tow your car for parking in violation of the street sweeping regulations.

If you know your license plate number, you can search our online database or call the Boston Police Department at 617-343-4629 to find out which company towed your car.

If you don’t know your license plate number, call Boston Police at 617-343-4629, or Transportation at 617-635-3900. Please provide the make, model and color of vehicle, the address where it was towed from, or other important information, and ask for assistance. You can also contact Tow operators in Boston directly.

Step
2

Get your car and pay your tow fees

Once you find the private tow company that has your car, you can go and pick it up. Tow operators take cash, as well as debit and credit cards. At most, these companies can charge you:

  • $90 for the tow
  • $35 for each 24-hour period they store your car
  • $2-3 for a fuel surcharge

If the car is picked up by someone who isn’t a registered owner, the tow company may only take cash.

Step
3

Pay your parking ticket

To avoid a late fee, within 21 days you will also need to pay  or appeal the $40 street sweeping parking ticket ,which will be stuck under your windshield wiper. Learn how to pay a parking ticket.

Step
1

Prepare for your visit to the City tow lot

Cars towed by the Boston Transportation Department for illegal parking are most often taken to the Transportation Department Tow Lot.

BTD charges a $90 tow fee, along with a storage fee of $3 per hour, up to $15 a day. You can pay with cash, a money order, a cashier’s check, or a debit or credit card.

There is also a kiosk at the BTD tow lot that you can use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To use the kiosk, you need to meet these requirements:

  • you must pay with a credit or debit card
  • you need to know your license plate number
  • your car can’t have a revoked registration or insurance, and
  • you need a valid license, and the name on your license needs to match the name on your credit or debit card.
Step
2

Go to the City tow lot

The Transportation Department Tow Lot is located at:

200 Frontage Road
Boston, MA 02118

The tow lot is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The kiosk is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Step
3

Pay your parking ticket

To avoid a late fee, within 21 days you will also need to pay or appeal your parking ticket, which will be stuck under your windshield wiper. Learn how to pay a parking ticket.

Step
1

Before you get started

Cars towed by the Boston Transportation Department for five or more overdue parking tickets are most often sent to the Transportation Department Tow Lot.

We charge you a $90 tow fee, along with a storage fee of $3 per hour, up to $15 a day. You can pay with cash, a money order, a cashier’s check, or a debit or credit card.

There is a kiosk at the tow lot that you can use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To use the kiosk, you need to meet these requirements:

  • you must pay with a credit or debit card
  • you need to know your license plate number
  • your car can’t have a revoked registration or insurance, and
  • you need a valid a license, and the name on your license needs to match the name on your credit or debit card.

If your car wasn’t towed but it has a boot on it, you can get that removed from your car. Find out how to remove a boot.

Step
2

Go to the City tow lot

The Transportation Department Tow Lot is located at:

200 Frontage Road
Boston, MA 02118

The tow lot is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The kiosk is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Step
3

Pay outstanding tickets and fees

To get your car back, you need to pay all of your overdue parking tickets and fees. You can make your payment at the City of Boston Tow Lot when you come to get your car.

Contact:
Transportation
617-635-4680
1 City Hall Square
Room 721
Boston, MA 02201-2026
United States
Shouldn't have been towed?

If your vehicle has been towed for parking illegally on a City of Boston street, you can have a walk-in hearing within five days of the tow, or schedule a hearing with the Parking Clerk. Call 617-635-4410 for more information.

You are not eligible for a hearing if your vehicle has been towed for five or more overdue tickets. You can only have a hearing with the Parking Clerk if you were towed from a public way in Boston.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Contact the Transportation Department tow line at 617-635-3900.