Vehicle releases may be obtained from the Records Bureau, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.  Releases for recovered stolen vehicles may be obtained outside of these hours by contacting the on duty Sergeant at 707-584-2600.

What is necessary before a release is issued:

  • Current registration (all fees paid that are due -reg and parking) and a moving permit if the smog is holding up the registration process.
  • The registered owner or an authorized representative (call our Records Bureau at 707-584-2600 for specifics on what documents are needed to be authorized) with photo ID.
  • Licensed driver:  If the registered owner or authorized representative does not have a valid license they must bring someone with a valid license to obtain the release. That person will be the one authorized to drive the vehicle from the tow yard.
  • $176.00 EXACT CASH, Cashier's check or money order.

Frequently Asked Questions about Towed or Impounded Vehicles:

How Do I Request a Tow Hearing?

Tow Hearings are conducted pursuant to CA Vehicle Code Section 22852. The Tow Hearing will only address issues concerning the validity of a tow and possible early release of a vehicle impounded for 30 days. Discussion concerning Officer actions prior to the tow/impound, probable cause, search and seizure, guilt or innocence or any details about the pending criminal case will not be discussed. You should direct those issues to a criminal defense attorney.

Tow hearings may be scheduled weekdays by visiting the Records Bureau or by calling Records during business hours at (707) 584-2600. The hearing may not be granted if this request is made 10 or more days since the date of tow/impound.

If a VALID REQUEST for a post storage hearing is received, the hearing shall be conducted within two business days after receipt of the request for the hearing(excluding holidays).

If you wish to meet with the Hearing Officer, open, print and complete the attached questionnaire. You will bring this completed form with you when you schedule an appointment.

Click here to open the Adobe Acrobat document: Request for Tow Hearing Form

Why Did the Police Tow/Impound My Vehicle?

·  Driver arrested: When the driver is arrested and booked at the jail the officer may tow the vehicle.

·  Registration expired: If the registration is expired for over 6 months the vehicle may be towed.

·  Evidence Impounds: If your vehicle was used in a crime it is subject to impound for evidentiary purposes.

·  30 Day Impound: The driver of the vehicle has never had a license or was driving with a suspended license. Before you loan your car to anyone, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure he/she is properly licensed.

·  Recovered Stolen Vehicle: If your car was stolen, and we recover it, we will tow it at your expense it if we cannot get a hold of you. You will not be charged the $176 administrative fee if we have to tow your previously reported stolen vehicle, but the tow company will charge for the towing and storage.

·  Parked for over 72 hours without moving: It is illegal to leave your car parked on a city street for more than 72 hours without moving it. Generally, we will respond to a complaint about an abandoned vehicle and may store it any time after 72 hours. If the vehicle has been subject of a longer formal "abatement process" and towed pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 22669A, the registered owner is not charged the $176 administrative fee.

Can I Get Belongings From My Impounded Vehicle?

Yes. If you are the registered owner of the towed vehicle and present your identification at the tow yard, you may remove your personal property. YOU DO NOT NEED ANY PAPERWORK FROM PUBLIC SAFETY. 

In no circumstance will you be able to remove anything that is connected to the vehicle. (i.e. bolted, screwed, snapped into place or otherwise attached). This includes, but is not limited to any components of the sound system. This specifically includes a Stereo or CD face plate. If you have a Bluetooth device for your cell phone or if you have a radar detector, etc, you can take those - UNLESS the device is connected by wiring with the exception of the power cord plugged into an accessory outlet. 

Property is only released by the tow company during business hours. Call ahead of time and make an appointment to retrieve items from the vehicle. Tow companies must allow you access within a reasonable time, usually no later than the next business day. They may charge a gate fee for after hours or weekend access to your car. You should have no expectation of immediate access when you call and showing up at the business without an appointment is not advised.

How Do I Get My Car Out of Impound?

The Records Bureau issues vehicle releases during normal Records Bureau business hours, Monday-Friday between 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. The Records Bureau is not open on weekends or holidays and, with the sole exception of recovered stolen vehicles, no vehicle will be released by anyone except the Records Bureau. Once you receive the required "CHP-180" release form from our Records Bureau, the tow company may release the vehicle following the payment of their fees.

 Regardless of why it was towed, all registration fees must be current and, there can be no outstanding parking citations when the release is requested.

The current registered owner must be present and sign the release paperwork. If the R/O is out of the area, personal arrangements to fax a release authorization can be arranged.

If you purchased a vehicle from the Registered Owner but failed to register the vehicle into your name, the car will not be released until you have gone to the DMV and completed this transfer. You may find details at the DMV web site by clicking: TRANSFER OF VEHICLE OWNERSHIP.

If the registered owner is unlicensed or has a suspended/revoked driving privilege, the owner must bring TWO other licensed drivers to the department to obtain the release form. (One driver drove the owner to the station, the other driver will drive the vehicle away from the tow yard.)

If your car was impounded due to operation by an unlicensed or suspended license driver and is being held for 30-Days, you may either wait the full month or you may request a hearing to explain why an unlicensed person was driving your vehicle and why it should be released early. Generally, your car being stolen is the only legitimate excuse not knowing if the person you allowed to drive was properly licensed.

Request for Tow Hearing Form

What Will The Impound Fees Cost?

Pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 22850.5 and City of Rohnert Park Resolution #95-152, an administrative fee of $176.00 must be paid to the City of Rohnert Park prior to obtaining a written release for your vehicle. This fee must be paid at the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Main Station during Records Bureau hours (M-F, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm,) excluding holidays.

Payment will be accepted by cash (exact amount in paper currency only,) cashier's check or money order.

Providing proof current registration and proper identification (driver license, State issued Identification Card or a Military I.D.) is your responsibility.

The vehicle can only be released to the current registered owner or their authorized representative (please call the Records Bureau at 707-584-2600 to determine how to designate an authorized representative).

If you are the new owner and have not yet completed the DMV registration in your name the vehicle will not be released to you until you complete the registration process with DMV, even if you have a bill of sale or were driving the car at the time of the tow.

The Public Safety Department is not involved in the establishment of fees and charges by the tow companies. These tow companies are independent businesses and the Public Safety Department will not interfere with their operations. If you feel that you have been the victim of illegal business practices, you may call the Sonoma County District Attorney, Department of Environmental/Consumer Law at (707) 565-2311.

What If My Car Was Towed Mistakenly?

If you believe that the tow was in error, you have the right to a post-storage hearing pursuant to CA Vehicle Code 22852.  Please contact the Records Bureau at 707-584-2600 to schedule a hearing.