Vehicle Impounds

Information about a towed vheicle

A vehicle impounded by the Forest City Police Department will be towed and stored by a local private company. Costs for towing and storage are established by the towing company. Impounded vehicles will be released back to the owner only during normal business hours of the tow company. Impounded vehicles can only be released to the titled or registered owner or lien holder unless arrangements were previously made with the tow company. If your vehicle has been towed, information about the release of the vehicle can be obtained by calling the police department at 641-585-2113.

Why was my vehicle towed

The police department will tow a vehicle at a motor vehicle accident as required for traffic safety. Disabled and abandoned vehicles will be towed. Disabled vehicles on public property which are deemed to be a hazard to traffic will be towed. Disabled vehicles on public property, which are not a traffic hazard, may be left for up to 24 hours providing the owner/operator contacts the police department and an officer deems the vehicle not to be a hazard. Disabled vehicles on private property will be towed if the vehicle interferes with a business at anytime, or if the vehicle has been left on private property more than 24 hours without the property owners consent (Decision made by the property owner). Illegally parked vehicles may be towed. Vehicles which have received two prevous parking tickets, and these tickets have not been paid, will be towed upon the third violation. When an officer makes an arrest, a vehicle may be towed depending on the circumstances of the arrest. Vehicles which are evidence in a criminal matter may be towed as well.

How long will my vehicle be held

In most cases, vehicles will be returned as soon as costs are paid during normal business hours of the tow comapany. Costs include any parking tickets associated with the vehicle, as well as tow and storage fees. When a vehicle is being held as evidence in a criminal matter, the vehicle will be held until the County Attorney decides the vehicle can be released. In cases where insurance is not attached to a vehicle, the vehicle may not be released unless insurance is provided or a trailer is used to remove the vehicle.

What if I don't pick up my vehicle

If a vehicle is not released from impound during the first few days after being towed, the police department will send a certified notice to all owner and lien holders of the vehicle. Any owner or lien holder may then take possession of the vehicle upon payment of all costs associated with the impound. If, 10 days after the certified notice is sent the vehicle has not been claimed, the police department will begin abandoned vehicle proceedures as establised under Iowa Code section 321.89. (The police department is only required to send a certified notice of the impounded vehicle and does not require the owner sign the notice receipt before the police department can dispose of the vehicle). Upon meeting the requirements of Iowa Code, the police department will begin a sale process of impounded vehicles. This process will usually begin within 2-3 weeks of the vehicle being towed. Once a towed vehicle is established as an abandoned vehicle the owner is the subject to penalties under Iowa Code 321.89.