There are four main reasons why the city of Chicago impounds cars:
Use-related impounds: The city can impound a car if it was being used for certain illegal activities. These include:
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Driving with illegal drugs, firearms, or fireworks
- Reckless driving, drag racing or interfering with a funeral procession
- Fleeing from the police
- Soliciting prostitutes or drugs
- Playing loud music
Status-related impounds: The city can impound a car if it is being used as an illegal taxi or an illegal ambulance or if it has a fake city sticker or fake or altered temporary license plates.
Police-hold impounds: Chicago police can impound a car if they need it as evidence of a crime, or if the person driving the car is arrested.
Boot-related impound: Cars can be booted and impounded for having 3 or more overdue parking tickets.
To find out why the city impounded a car, contact the city department that issued the Notice of Violation.
Additionally, under Illinois law, a car or vehicle in any municipality can be impounded for the following reasons:
- Used to commit a crime with owner’s consent
- Used to commit a sex offense
- Abandoned or stolen or unattended vehicles
- DUI arrests if it is likely that the driver will commit the violation again
- Obstructing the highway or creating a hazard on the highway
- Driving on a suspended or revoked license without proof of insurance
Please be aware that you may have to pay a fine as well as the fees for towing and storing your impounded car.
If your car is towed and impounded by the city of Chicago and you are the title holder of the car, you will be notified by certified mail or personally served with the notice of impoundment within 10 days after the car is impounded.
Updated: June 2017