Generally, if your vehicle is impounded, you are required to submit paperwork including your driver’s identification, the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and evidence of car insurance to have it released. But if you don’t have insurance, you need an insurance policy before you can reclaim your car. Thus, it is generally not possible to get car out of impound without insurance. The best solution is often for you to buy an insurance policy.
How to Get Car Out of Impound Without Insurance
Securing the release of a vehicle from an impound lot involves navigating bureaucracy, financing, and patience. This process gets challenging since the vehicle was towed due to no car insurance available. You will be expected not only to settle the lot’s charges but also to purchase proof of an insurance policy for the vehicle.
Below are the general steps to get car out of impound:
1. Contact the impound lot
Reach out to the impound lot to find out how long your vehicle must be retained there before you can claim it.
2. Get approval for your vehicle release agreement
Follow the required procedures to fulfill the necessary conditions. Prepare your vehicle release agreement, detailing the terms of transfer, liability release, and any outstanding obligations. Ensure that the agreement complies with legal requirements and consult with a legal professional if needed. Once the agreement is prepared, submit it for approval, providing any additional supporting documents or payments as required.
3. Prepare your identification and proof of ownership documents
Documents needed to release a car from impound include:
- Proof of registration
- Proof of identification, such as an ID or driver’s license
- Proof of vehicle ownership (for example. car title)
4. Get an auto insurance policy
Your best option is to get an active car insurance policy that meets at least your state’s minimum coverage requirements. Get your car insured as soon as possible so that you can use the new policy to get your car back.
5. Pay the cost of vehicle retrieval
Ensure you have sufficient funds for towing, the cost of impound, and any other mandatory charges (note that cash may be required to settle the towing fee). The longer it takes you to get the car released from the impound, the more the fees accumulate. Therefore, it helps to get it released early to avoid storage fees.
While these steps generally cover what’s necessary to reclaim your vehicle from the impound lot, make sure to always verify if there are any extra stipulations before you set off.
Can police tow your car for no insurance?
Police can tow your car if you have no insurance. If you’re pulled over and the police officer discovers that your car has no insurance, they will generally take one or more of the following actions: issue a warning, issue a citation, or impound your vehicle.
A compilation of fines for driving without insurance by state according to WalletHub shows that you can be fined as little as $50 and up to $5,000 depending on your state. Not only that, you can also be jailed for at least 1 month or up to 1 year.
Unless you reside in a state that does not mandate auto insurance or permits drivers to waive coverage, you are obligated to possess at least a minimum level of liability insurance.
Does getting your car impounded affect your insurance?
If your car is impounded, it does not affect your insurance rate, whether it’s towed by authorities or due to mechanical problems.
What happens to cars seized for no insurance?
If you are unable to pay the impound fees or provide proof of auto insurance, either the impound lot will sell your car at an auction to cover the fees, or they will scrap the vehicle and use the proceeds to settle your fees. Furthermore, if you have an outstanding car loan, you are still responsible for making the remaining payments even if the impound lot sells or scraps the vehicle.
Your best option is to retrieve your car from the impound lot as soon as possible. Typically, lot owners retain a vehicle for 30 days before taking possession, but this timeframe can vary depending on the company and location.
What if your car is financed?
If your car is subject to a lease or financing agreement, it will typically be sent to an auction by the impound lot since the vehicle is technically owned by the lender. In such cases, you may not have the same level of permissions as you would if you owned the car outright without any liens.
On the other hand, if the vehicle is owned outright and there are no liens on it, the next steps depend on the reason for impoundment and the regulations set by your state. If the impoundment was a result of a traffic violation or other similar circumstances, contact your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) or the relevant state agency responsible for authorizing impounds. Inquire about the timeframe before the vehicle is taken to auction. Generally, this period is longer than in the case of repossession. However, if the window of time provided is not sufficient to transfer the vehicle’s title to another person (if permitted at all, as your state may have restrictions in place due to past evasion cases), it might be necessary to prioritize addressing the underlying legal issue causing the impoundment rather than solely focusing on the release of the vehicle from impound.