Vehicle Tow Release

Vehicle Release - Procedures

A vehicle registered/owned in your name was stored pursuant to the provisions of the California Vehicle Code (CVC). The procedures for release of this vehicle (CVC 22850.3) are listed below:

1. The registered owner/lien owner must appear in person with one or more of the following documents:

     * A U.S. Government or State Government issued photo identification. If the vehicle owner does not have a valid driver's license to drive the vehicle off the impound lot, the vehicle owner must bring a licensed driver with them, at the time of the requested release, who can provide their driver's license to the Orinda Police Department in order for the vehicle to be released.

     * A current vehicle registration card or evidence of title

     * A notarized letter of authorization with original signature of vehicle owner, accompanied by a U.S. Government or State Government issued photo identification and a current vehicle registration card or evidence of title will be required if the registered owner is not present

     * A rental agreement

     * Company identification for commercial vehicles

     * Letters and faxes will be accepted from lien holders, insurance companies and rental vehicle companies

     * $155.00 cash or card payment during regular business hours and through our online payment portal after hours and on weekends - SEE BELOW - checks are not accepted for a vehicle release

     * Valid proof of insurance

2. If your vehicle was impounded for having 5 or more unpaid parking citations, the citations must be paid prior to releasing the vehicle. You will be required to provide documentation showing the citations have been paid. 

3. If your vehicle was towed for not having a valid California Driver’s License (California Vehicle Code Sections 12500 VC or 14601.1 VC), your vehicle is placed on a mandatory 30-day hold. You have the right to an Administrative Hearing with a Hearing Officer to explain the events surrounding the tow and see if it is eligible for release prior to 30 days. Schedule a hearing by calling 925-254-6820 during business hours.

4, If your vehicle was towed for expired registration (California Vehicle Code Section 4000(a) VC), you will be required to provide original DMV paperwork showing registration is now current and valid. 

5. A vehicle release fee of $155.00 must be paid to the City of Orinda (CVC section 22850.5). The $155.00 release fee is an administrative fee for the release of an impounded vehicle as authorized by local City ordinance and 22850.5 or the California Vehicle Code.

The Orinda Police Department is located at 22 Orinda Way, 3rd Floor, Orinda CA 94563. Vehicle Releases may be obtained 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. For more information regarding vehicle releases, call 925-254-6820 during business hours.

To access the Payment Portal, please go to then click the Finance Page and Make a Payment from the left border. 

After Hours Vehicle Release Payment Instructions