If you believe your vehicle was towed in Boston, then call either the Boston Police Tow Line at 617-343-4629 or the Boston Tow Lot at 617-635-3900 to locate the vehicle, or search the online towing database by license plate:
Database contains 6285 tows. There were 183 tows in the past 24 hours. Most recent tow logged at 8:48:00 AM. Call the tow line for information on cars more recently towed.
The process for recovering a towed vehicle depends on the reason it was towed.
Towing Reason Codes
Towing for street sweeping violations is overseen by the Public Works Department. Such vehicles are towed by privately-owned tow trucks to private lots (see List of Towing Contractors), which is different from towing done by the Boston Transportation Department. Though the ticketing step is handled by BTD, the towing step is handled by PWD.
If your vehicle was towed for street sweeping, you first need to locate the vehicle. To locate the private lot to where your vehicle was towed, search the online database above. Or, call the Boston Police tow line at 617-343-4629. Give them the plate number and they will direct you to your vehicle's location. Without a plate number, they unfortunately cannot determine the location.
Before releasing the vehicle, the tow operator is entitled to a maximum of $90 for the tow and a maximum of $35 per 24-hour period of storage. These charges are limited by the Mass DPU, in accordance with state law. The tow operator is also entitled to add a fuel surcharge to the $90 involuntary towing fee. The Mass DPU regularly updates the Fuel Surcharge Factor [link]. Tow operators are contractually required to accept payment in cash or any major credit card. Vehicles recovered by someone other than the vehicle registered owner or lessee, may require payment in cash.
The parking ticket is $40 which goes to the city, and can be paid online or by mail after the vehicle is released.
You may have a walk-in hearing within 5 days of the tow or you may schedule a hearing at the Office Parking Clerk. For information concerning a hearing call (617)-635-4410.
Vehicles are required to be photographed before they are towed for street sweeping by a private contractor in order to document any existing damage. If any damage occurred during towing, then you or your insurance company would file a claim directly against the tow contractor.
Vehicles towed for illegal parking are subject to a $90.00 tow fee and a storage fee of $3/hour up to $15/day. Payment may be made by cash, MasterCard, VISA, ATM card, or debit card.
Payments should be made at 200 Frontage Road between 7am and 10:30pm, Monday through Friday and between 9am and 12noon on Saturdays.
Payments can also be made for towed vehicles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the City of Boston Tow Lot Kiosk with MasterCard and Visa ONLY, provided the following requirements are met:
You must know your license plate number.
Your vehicle cannot have a revoked registration or insurance.
You are in possession of a valid driver’s license and, if paying by credit card, the name matches the name on your credit card.
Credit card transactions can be made 24/7, however, cash is only accepted during normal business hours.
If you do not meet these requirements you will not be able to obtain your vehicle from the kiosk and will have to return to the Tow Lot during normal business hours.
For more help, call the Boston Transportation tow line at 617-635-3900 (24 hours.) The city's primary tow lot is at 200 Frontage Road. To dispute a tow or boot, call 617-635-4410.
The parking ticket, which is affixed to the vehicle can be paid at the time of retrieval, online, or by mail after the vehicle is released.
Vehicles with outstanding tickets may be towed or booted. Before a towed or booted vehicle is released, all outstanding parking violations issued to the registration must be paid. In addition, there is a $90.00 seizure fee, and for towed cars there is a storage fee of $3/hour up to $15/day. Payment may be made by cash, money order, cashier check, MasterCard, VISA, ATM or debit card. Personal checks are not accepted. Once payment is received, boots are removed within approximately 90 minutes.
Payments may be made in person at Boston City Hall, Room 224 at the 2nd floor cashier window. Hours are 9am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Payments can also be made at 200 Frontage Road between 7am and 10:30pm Monday through Friday. Payments made after 7pm are subject to next-day boot removal. Payments are also accepted at Frontage Road between 9am and 12noon on Saturdays.
For more help, call the Boston Transportation tow line at 617-635-3900 (24 hours). To dispute a tow or boot, call 617-635-4410.
Vehicles declared abandoned and tagged with a green sticker should be removed from the public way and the reason(s) the vehicle was deemed abandoned be corrected immediately. Abandoned vehicles not removed from the public way are towed to 200 Frontage Road.
Vehicles may be claimed weekdays 7:00 am-10:30 pm, or Saturdays 9:00 am-12:00 pm. You must have a valid driver's license. Once the abandoned vehicle has been towed it may be disposed of at anytime.
Abandoned vehicles of substantial value may be kept longer and are therefore subject to tow and storage charges and sale at auction after 30 days.
To inquire about your vehicle by telephone, have either the VIN number from the vehicle or AVR number from the ticket ready. If you wish to recover an abandoned vehicle that has not yet been disposed of, tow and storage fees must be paid in full. Abandoned vehicles that are disposed of will be subject to additional fines and fees. Vehicles may be claimed with a valid driver's license.
Towing for trespass from private property is done by private tow companies. Private tow companies are regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. This state office will handle any disputes relative to a vehicle wrongfully towed in Massachusetts. Complaints must be submitted in writing or by fax to their consumer division [mass.gov].
Vehicles towed from a state road in Boston (those maintained by the state) are not traceable by Boston Police. In such cases, you will have to inquire with the State Police.
|State Road or Area||State Tow Line|
|South Boston and Dorchester||617-740-7710|
|Brighton, Soldiers Field Road||617-727-4812|
|Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester||617-698-5840|
|Riverway, Jamaicaway, Storrow Drive, Charlesgate||617-727-6780|
Look Up Towed Cars Online
Constituents can now search online for most cars towed in Boston.
Register for Towing Alerts
The city can now alert you when a vehicle is towed. Register for alerts to stay informed.