Updates on City of San José Services and/or Operations . (English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文)

Vehicle Abatement

For residents who own an unwanted car stored on their property, the Code Enforcement Division provides free tow and disposal service

Our service provides removal of vehicles that are:

  • Abandoned
  • Stored in the public right-of-way
  • Unregistered
  • Inoperative

Report a Concern

Important Note: Please be advised, that all non-essential services including the Vehicle Abatement Program, have been temporarily suspended.  Parking Compliance staff is currently being redeployed to address COVID-19 related priorities and therefore not available to respond to Vehicle Abatement concerns.  Thank you for your understanding.  

Use our Service Request form or download the San José 311 Mobile App.

  • Please allow at least fifteen (15) business days for a Parking Compliance Officer to initiate an investigation into your concern.
  • Service Request status updates are sent out as Parking Compliance Officers respond to, take action on and bring to close Service Requests.
  • These updates are sent out as notifications and e-mails, but can also be viewed by accessing the Service Request detail page and referencing the comment section through San José 311.

Vehicle Movement

  • It is illegal to leave a vehicle parked for more than 72 consecutive hours on a public street without it being driven at least 1/10th of a mile.
  • When a vehicle is reported or observed to be abandoned or stored, a courtesy tow warning notice is typically placed on it, so that the vehicle owner has the opportunity to correct the violation.
  • While the goal is for the vehicle to be moved through voluntary compliance, vehicles remaining in violation may be subject to a citation and/or towed.

Vehicle Registration / Inoperable Vehicles

In the State of California, it is also illegal to operate a vehicle without current registration.

  • Vehicles parked on a public street with vehicle registration expired over 6 months may be subject to tow.
  • Inoperable vehicles (missing essential parts, such as an engine, wheels, etc.), may also be tow eligible.

Towed Vehicles

If you think your vehicle may have been towed, check the Police Department's vehicle impound website.

How to Request a Tow (Post-Storage) Hearing

The registered or legal owner of a vehicle, or their agent(s), may request a tow hearing (also called a post-storage hearing). A tow hearing will review the evidence used to make the decision to tow the vehicle.

To request a tow hearing, contact:

Department of Transportation – Tow Hearings
200 E. Santa Clara Street, San José, CA  95113
(408) 975-3718

  • Requests for a hearing may be made in person, by mail, or by telephone.
  • Requests must be made within 10 days of the date on the PD notice.
  • An informal hearing will take place within two business days of the request. 
  • If the registered or legal owner disagrees with the decision made at the hearing, it may be reviewed. File a claim with the City Clerk: (408) 535-1260.