How to Get Your Impounded Vehicle Back in Chicago

Andrew Lu

Your car was impounded following a DUI arrest or some other reason. Now you’re out of custody and looking to get your impounded vehicle back in Chicago. Here are some things you’ll want to know:

Obtaining the Release of Your Impounded Vehicle

You can secure the release of your impounded vehicle in Chicago by appearing in person
at the City Department of Finance building. The building is located at 400 West Superior and you’ll want to look for the Revenue Payment Center. The office is typically open between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The office is closed on Sundays and holidays.

If you provide proof of ownership (e.g., title, vehicle registration), valid identification (e.g., driver’s license), and pay the various fees and penalties, you can get your car back. Keep in mind that impoundment due to a narcotics arrest may require an additional release by the Chicago police.

Some of the expenses you can expect to pay are the administrative penalties, towing fees, and storage fees.

Administrative Hearing

The various fees and penalties associated with an impounded car can be very expensive. So if you want to challenge these expenses, you can request a hearing.

You may want to contact an attorney at this point, as the hearing will involve legal matters like determining whether there was probable cause for the impoundment, timelines for filing paperwork, and an actual administrative hearing in which you argue your case before an adjudicator.

If you go this route, you’ll want to make sure the expenses of the attorney are less than the fees you would have had to pay to get your car back in the first place.

Forfeiture Process

If your vehicle was seized for forfeiture or impounded for unlawful drugs, your vehicle may not be subject to release without a release from the appropriate law enforcement body. To find out whether your vehicle is subject to forfeiture, you can contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 746-7146.

In the case of a forfeiture, you’ll likely have to go through a forfeiture probable cause hearing. As with most hearings, it may be a good idea to work with an attorney.

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How to Get Your Impounded Vehicle Back in Chicago