Skip to code content (skip section selection)
9-92-010 Relocation of vehicles in emergencies.
9-92-020 Vehicle pound established.
9-92-030 Authority to impound or otherwise relocate vehicle.
9-92-035 Authority to impound fleeing vehicle.
9-92-040 Removal of horse-drawn carriages.
9-92-050 Towing or removal service and fees.
9-92-070 Notice to owner of impounded vehicle.
9-92-080 Release procedure for impounded vehicles.
9-92-090 Evidence of identity and right of possession required.
9-92-100 Disposal of unclaimed vehicles.
When any emergency arises necessitating the removal of any vehicle upon any public way, members of the police department and employees of the department of streets and sanitation are authorized to remove or have removed the vehicle from one location to any other location. Upon request of the commissioner of streets and sanitation, employees of the bureau of parking enforcement may remove vehicles in an emergency or under the circumstances enumerated in Section 9-92-030.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
The superintendent of police and the commissioner of streets and sanitation are authorized to establish and operate vehicle pounds, to which motor vehicles may be removed as provided in the traffic code.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
Members of the Police Department and employees of the Department of Streets and Sanitation, and employees of the Department of Aviation with respect to violations occurring at O'Hare International Airport, are authorized to issue a notice of parking violation and may authorize the removal of a vehicle from any public way to a City vehicle pound or authorized garage or other legal parking space in the public way under the following circumstances:
(a) When a vehicle upon any public way is so disabled as to constitute an obstruction to traffic and the person or persons in charge of the vehicle are by reason of physical injury incapacitated to such an extent as to be unable to provide for its custody or removal;
(b) When an unattended vehicle is unlawfully parked so as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to the normal movement of traffic;
(d) When a vehicle has been abandoned or found to be a hazardous dilapidated motor vehicle in violation of Section 9-80-110;
(e) When a vehicle illegally occupies a parking meter space for more than 24 hours;
(f) When an unattended vehicle is parked illegally in an officially designated and marked “tow zone;”
(g) When a vehicle is in violation of any provision of the traffic code authorizing towing and impoundment for that violation;
(h) When a vehicle is subject to towing or removal under the Illinois Vehicle Code, the Criminal Code of 1961, or any other law;
(i) When towing or removal is necessary as an incident to an arrest.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 9-1-99, p. 10503, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 12-12-01, p. 75777, § 5.7; Amend Coun. J. 12-4-02, p. 99026, § 5.3; Amend Coun. J. 11-5-03, p. 10746, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 12-2-09, p. 78837, Art. 15, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-21-17, p. 61755, Art. VIII, § 5)
(a) A motor vehicle involved in an unlawful attempt to flee or elude police officers shall be subject to impoundment under the procedures of this section.
(b) A police officer shall, if possible, record the vehicle make and color, and the issuing state and number of the license plate of a vehicle that the officer has attempted to stop through use of the emergency signal equipment on the officer's vehicle. If the operator of the other vehicle fails or refuses to stop, and if the police officer forgoes or abandons pursuit of the other vehicle for reasons of public safety, the officer shall report the recorded information as directed by the superintendent, for delivery to appropriate sections of the police department and the department of streets and sanitation responsible for impoundment and towing of vehicles.
(c) The police officer's report shall also include: the date, approximate time and approximate location of the attempted stop; the reason for the attempted stop; the emergency signal equipment activated by the police officer; the public safety considerations that caused the police officer to forego or abandon pursuit of the described vehicle.
(d) The police department shall send a notice of intent to impound the vehicle described in the police officer's report to the owner of record of the vehicle. The notice shall be sent either by first class mail or by messenger to the address of the owner of record as indicated in state registration records. The notice shall include the following: a statement that the operator of the vehicle failed or refused to stop when ordered to do so by a Chicago police officer; the date, approximate time and approximate location of the event, the description of the vehicle as contained in the officer's report; and notice of an opportunity to contest eligibility for impoundment. A copy of the notice shall be forwarded to the department of administrative hearings. A notice is presumed delivered upon being deposited with the United States Postal Service with proper postage affixed.
(e) An owner of record who receives a notice pursuant to subsection (d) of this section may contest eligibility for impoundment by written request delivered to the department of administrative hearings, postmarked within 14 days after the delivery of the notice. The department of administrative hearings shall set a date for a hearing on the eligibility of the vehicle for impoundment, and shall notify the owner of the date, time and place of the hearing. The hearing date must be no more than 30 days after a request for a hearing has been filed. At the hearing the police officer's report shall be considered prima facie correct. In order to disprove the vehicle's eligibility for impoundment, the owner of record must prove that (1) at the time and date of the attempted stop as described in the police officer's report, the described vehicle was not operated within the City of Chicago; or (2) at the time and date of the attempted stop, the vehicle had been reported stolen; (3) the license information described in the report does not match the listed make of the described vehicle. If the owner of record prevails, the notice of intent to impound the owner's vehicle shall be withdrawn and the vehicle shall not be eligible for impoundment under this section.
(f) If a vehicle owner receives a notice pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and (1) fails to contest eligibility under subsection (e) of this section or (2) does not prevail in the contest of eligibility, the vehicle described in the notice shall be eligible for impoundment if found on the public way within 12 months following the conclusion of the contest, if a contest was requested, or following the last date to request a contest, if none was requested.
(g) The owner of a vehicle impounded under this section shall be subject to an administrative penalty of $2,000 plus the cost of towing and storage of the vehicle.
(Added Coun. J. 3-15-00, p. 27700, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 12-15-04, p. 39840, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-16-11, p. 14596, Art. I, § 1)
Any time that a horse-drawn carriage licensed under this Code must be removed from a public way under Section 9-92-010 or 9-92-030, custody and control of the horse drawing the carriage shall be given to the commission on animal care and control as soon as is practicable. In the event no animal control officer is available to handle the removal of the horse, members of the police department and employees of the department of streets and sanitation are authorized to remove the horse from the public way.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
The department of streets and sanitation shall provide towing vehicles for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of Sections 9-92-010 and 9-92-030. The department of streets and sanitation shall be entitled to the fees provided in Section 9-92-080 when providing such towing or removal service. Private towing operators authorized to remove abandoned vehicles pursuant to a contract with the department of streets and sanitation may be authorized as agents of the city to collect such fees.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
(a) The superintendent of police or the commissioner of streets and sanitation shall safely keep any vehicle impounded pursuant to Section 9-92-030 until such vehicle shall have been repossessed by the owner or person legally entitled to possession thereof or otherwise disposed of as provided in the traffic code; provided, however, that abandoned vehicles may be impounded by private tow operators under contract with the department of streets and sanitation to remove abandoned vehicles pursuant to Section 2-100-090. Such vehicles may be removed to a city vehicle pound or a storage facility owned or leased by the private tow operator at the direction of the commissioner of streets and sanitation and shall be held or otherwise disposed of as provided in the traffic code.
(b) The superintendent of police or the commissioner of streets and sanitation shall cause to be kept an accurate record of each tow under Section 9-92-010 or 9-92-030, including the name of the police officer or other city employee from whom such vehicle was received, or, if applicable, the name of the employee of the private tow operator under contract with the department of streets and sanitation pursuant to Section 2-100-090, and the location to which the vehicle was towed, the date and time when received, the place where found, motor number, vehicle identification number, number of cylinders, year built, state license number, if any, city wheel tax license emblem number, if any, equipment and general description of condition, the name and address of the person redeeming the vehicle, the date of redemption and the manner and date of disposal of the vehicle in case it shall not be redeemed, together with towing and storage charges. The record shall be in a form prescribed by the superintendent of police or the commissioner of streets and sanitation to keep reports of all such vehicles impounded pursuant to this chapter. The reports shall be kept in the office of the superintendent or the commissioner of streets and sanitation and shall be available for the inspection of any interested party at all reasonable hours of the day.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 12-12-07, p. 16793, § 4)
(a) Whenever any motor vehicle has been impounded pursuant to the traffic code, the department of police or the department of streets and sanitation shall within ten days thereafter ascertain, if possible, from the Secretary of State of Illinois the name of the owner and of any other person legally entitled to possession of such motor vehicle by reason of an existing conditional sale contract having a lien as chattel mortgagee, or any other reason, and cause to be sent to such owner and to such other person legally entitled to possession, if known, a notice of the impoundment including a full description of the vehicle. If the impounded vehicle is currently registered with the Secretary of State's office, notice shall be sent to the owner and any other person legally entitled to possession of the vehicle by certified mail. If the impounded vehicle is not currently registered with the secretary of state's office, such notice shall be sent to the most recent registered owner at the most recent registered address by first class mail. However, no such notice need be sent to the owner of record if the owner is personally served with the notice within ten days after the vehicle is seized and impounded, and the owner acknowledges receipt of the notice in writing.
(b) Whenever the department of police or the department of streets and sanitation is not able to ascertain the name of the owner of an impounded vehicle or for any reason is unable to give notice to the owner as provided in subsection (a), the department shall immediately send or cause to be sent a written report of such removal and impounding by mail to the Secretary of the State of Illinois. Such notice shall include a complete description of the vehicle, the date, time, and place from which removed, the reasons for such removal, and the address of the vehicle pound or authorized garage where the vehicle is stored.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 2-4-92, p. 12820; Amend Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20110; Amend Coun. J. 12-4-02, p. 99026, § 5.3)
(a) Unless a vehicle is held pursuant to applicable state, federal or any other law, or a court order or warrant that authorizes the continued impoundment of the vehicle, the owner or other person entitled to possession of a vehicle impounded pursuant to Section 9-92-030 may obtain immediate release of the vehicle by paying the full amount of the applicable towing and storage fees, as provided in subsection (b), plus all amounts due for outstanding final determinations of parking, standing, compliance, automated traffic law enforcement system or automated speed enforcement system violations incurred by the owner, including all related collection costs and attorney's fees authorized under Section 1-19-020. Regardless of whether the owner or other person entitled to possession obtains immediate release of the vehicle through making full payment, such person may request a hearing before the department of administrative hearings to be held in accordance with Section 2-14-135 of this Code.
(b) The owner or other person entitled to possession of a vehicle lawfully impounded pursuant to Section 9-92-030 or Section 9-100-120 shall pay a fee of $150.00, or $250.00 if the vehicle has a gross weight of 8,000 pounds or more, to cover the cost of the towing and a fee of $20.00 per day for the first five days and $35.00 per day thereafter, or $60.00 per day for the first five days and $100.00 per day thereafter if the vehicle has a gross weight of 8,000 pounds or more, to cover the cost of storage, provided that no fees shall be assessed for any tow or storage with respect to a tow which has been determined to be erroneous.
(c) A lienholder asserting its right to possession of an impounded vehicle pursuant to its conditional sales agreement may obtain immediate release of such vehicle by: (1) paying the applicable towing and storage fees provided in subsection (b) of this section and agreeing in writing to refund to the city the net proceeds of any foreclosure sale, less any amounts necessary to pay all lien holders of record, up to the total amount of any outstanding penalties imposed under subsection (a); (2) submitting a copy of the conditional sales agreement and title certificate; (3) submitting an affidavit stating that the purchaser is in default of the agreement; and (4) submitting an indemnification certificate executed by an authorized agent of the lienholder.
(d) The requirements of subsection (a) shall apply to a lessor referred to in Section 2-14-132 (i) of this Code only to the extent of such outstanding final determinations of parking, standing or compliance, automated traffic law enforcement system or automated speed enforcement system violations for which the lessor is legally liable with respect to such impounded vehicle.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no impounded vehicle shall be released and operated on the public ways of the city without a current state registration plate registered to the impounded vehicle and unless the vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy. In addition, if an impounded vehicle is required to be licensed under Chapter 3-56 of this Code, no such vehicle shall be released without a valid City of Chicago wheel tax license emblem. The owner of an impounded rental or commercial motor vehicle may meet the wheel tax license emblem requirement of this subsection by presenting proof of ownership of the impounded rental or commercial motor vehicle and a receipt issued by the office of the city clerk showing that the owner has purchased wheel tax license emblems for the owner's rental or commercial motor vehicles in accordance with Chapter 3-56 of this Code.
(f) Any vehicle impounded by the City or its designee shall be subject to a possessory lien in favor of the City in the amount required to obtain release of the vehicle.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 11-17-93, p. 42192; Amend Coun. J. 11-10-94, p. 59125; Amend Coun. J. 12-12-01, p. 75777, § 5.8; Amend Coun. J. 7-31-02, p. 90675, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 10-6-05, p. 56698, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 11-18-09, p. 76558, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 11-17-10, p. 106597, Art. III, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 7-28-11, p. 5048, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 11-26-13, p. 67528, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 10-28-15, p. 11951, Art. III, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 11-16-16, p. 37901, Art. VIII, § 10)
No person shall be permitted to remove an impounded vehicle from the custody of the city or private tow operator who has contracted with the city to tow abandoned vehicles unless he shall furnish evidence of his identity and right of possession to the vehicle and sign a receipt for the vehicle.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
(a) Whenever an abandoned, lost, stolen, or other impounded motor vehicle, or a vehicle determined to be a hazardous dilapidated motor vehicle pursuant to Section 11-40-3.1 of the Illinois Municipal Code, remains unclaimed by the registered owner, lienholder or other person legally entitled to possession for a period of 18 days after notice has been given pursuant to Section 9-92-070(a) or (b), if, during that 18-day period, the department of police or department of streets and sanitation has sent an additional notice by first class mail to the registered owner, lienholder, or other legally entitled person, the superintendent of police or commissioner of streets and sanitation shall authorize the disposal or other disposition of such unclaimed vehicles as provided in this section; provided, however, that the registered owner may request from the department of streets and sanitation one extension of 15 days before a vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of. The department of streets and sanitation shall honor such request and shall not sell or otherwise dispose of a vehicle during the 15-day extension period.
(b) Impounded motor vehicles which remain unclaimed after notice has been provided pursuant to Section 9-92-070 shall be disposed, pursuant to the provisions of the “Municipal Purchasing Act for cities of 500,000 or more population”, to a person licensed as an automotive parts recycler, rebuilder or scrap processor under Chapter 5 of the Illinois Vehicle Code; provided, however, that such vehicles having a value that substantially exceeds its scrap value may be disposed of in accordance with subsections (c) or (d) of this section.
(c) Where the superintendent of police or commissioner of streets and sanitation determines that an unclaimed impounded vehicle has a value substantially in excess of the scrap value of such vehicle, he may cause it to be sold at a public auction to a person licensed as an automotive parts recycler, rebuilder or scrap processor. Notice of the time and place of the sale shall be posted in a conspicuous place for at least ten days prior to the sale on the premises where the vehicle has been impounded. At least ten days prior to the sale the superintendent or commissioner shall cause a notice of the time and place of the sale to be sent in the same manner as the notice sent pursuant to Section 9-92-070 to the registered owner, lienholder or other person entitled to possession of the vehicle. Such notice shall contain a complete description of the vehicle to be sold and the steps that must be taken by any legally entitled person to reclaim such vehicle.
In those instances where the notification specified in Section 9-92-070 has been returned by postal authorities due to the addressee having moved, or being unknown at the address obtained from the registration records of the state, the sending of a second notice shall not be required.
(d) The superintendent of police is authorized to reserve for the city's use such unclaimed impounded vehicles for which a notice has been sent pursuant to Section 9-92-070, as the various departments of the city may require. Any vehicle reserved for such purpose shall be added to the list of the respective department's fleet of vehicles.
(e) Disposal of a vehicle pursuant to this section shall not relieve the violator of liability for all costs, fines and penalties incurred in conjunction with such vehicle: provided, however, that with respect to disposal of an abandoned vehicle, the amount of liability for towing and storage costs shall be reduced by any amounts realized in the disposal of the vehicle in accordance with Article II of Chapter 4 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 5-22-91, p. 823; Amend Coun. J. 10-7-98, p. 78566, § 6; Amend Coun. J. 12-12-01, p. 75777, § 5.9; Amend Coun. J. 12-15-04, p. 40508, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-16-16, p. 37901, Art. VIII, § 11)