How do I get a car towed?
July 3, 2007 9:00 AM   Subscribe

DC Parking Filter: If there is a car in my parking spot, do I need to call the police first, or can I just call and get the car towed?

I just moved to Adams Morgan, where parking is at a premium, so it seems that people park in my spot instead of on the street. I'm going to go buy a cone, but for now, how do I get this car towed? I called the police, but it's been three hours and I've had no response. Can I just call a towing company and have them move the car? I've always had parking garages before, never alley spots...

posted by echo0720 to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
No, you have to call the police to come and ticket the car, and then it can be towed. I say this having had to do this myself while living in SW DC.

(Caveat: that was 6 years ago, but I can't imagine that things have changed)

The police took an hour to come, and the station was perhaps 3 blocks away, so I would expect your experience isn't unusual.
posted by mjbraun at 9:10 AM on July 3, 2007

I had to call the police when a car was left parallel parked in front of my driveway once, blocking me in. They towed it away.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:35 AM on July 3, 2007

As mjbraun says, a car has to be ticketed before it is towed. If you have already called 311, try following up by calling your local precinct as they can be more responsive than 311 at times.
posted by peeedro at 9:51 AM on July 3, 2007

Just thirding mjbraun and peedro - must be ticketed first. We've had a serious issue about this sort of thing in my condo's parking garage over the past couple weeks, so my info on this is pretty current. Damn inconvenient though; good luck!
posted by CaptApollo at 9:53 AM on July 3, 2007

If you rent, you can also call your landlord. I'm not sure if your spot is street or private property, if it's private property your landlord should be able to just call a towing company, or should at least have a standard procedure for dealing. (WTF is with people anyway? We had someone repeatedly parking in a numbered spot inside a freaking parking garage.)
posted by anaelith at 10:02 AM on July 3, 2007

If it's a private spot and you post a sign that tells them where it's going to be towed, I think you can have a private towing company patrol your spot.
posted by electroboy at 10:04 AM on July 3, 2007

I guess it is more complicated that I first said. From here:
An owner of private property may have a vehicle towed from the property as long as a sign notifying the public that a vehicle is subject to be towed is prominently posted on the property.
Without the sign, the police still need to ticket and request a tow.
posted by peeedro at 10:22 AM on July 3, 2007

Call the Third District Traffic Enforcement Officer and cut out the middleman. The main number there is (202) 673-6815. Ask for the traffic enforcement officer. Each district has one. I believe each works day shift only, so try and call now. If you have any other questions, shoot me an E-mail.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:22 AM on July 3, 2007

Also, I hate to say this, but get a boyfriend or husband or male friend to call. You might get quicker results.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:23 AM on July 3, 2007

Offstreet parking - call the landlord and find out who their preferred towing company is. Then just call as needed. Car illegally parked on the street blocking access - you have to call the police. Make sure the "You Will Be Towed" sign is visible and legible, because either way, it's a huge pain.
posted by theora55 at 2:19 PM on July 3, 2007

« Older What is the travel book series that boasts...   |   In the Shadow of Itunes Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.