Reasons to mark a vehicle abandoned
A vehicle can be marked abandoned for two reasons: The Alameda Police Department receives a call reporting the vehicle as abandoned or stored on the street longer than 72 hours, or if an Officer observes the vehicle as such.
Officers look for the following criteria when marking a vehicle: cobwebs, leaves, debris around the tires, debris on the vehicle, dirt, low tires, and missing and/or broken vehicle parts. Even if a vehicle is parked in front of the owner’s residence, registered and insured, the vehicle can still be considered abandoned or stored if it’s been parked in excess of 72 hours without being driven.
The Alameda Police Department will place an orange courtesy notice on the vehicle that explains the Alameda Municipal Code section. In most cases, the owner will be given 72 hours to either remove the vehicle from the street or drive it a minimum of one mile. The marking officer will return no sooner than 3 days to determine if the owner has complied.
If at the time, the vehicle has not been driven or moved, it will be towed and cited. The vehicle cannot be moved a few feet or across the street just to avoid the tow. The vehicle must be completely removed or actually driven for the officer to determine that it’s not just being stored on the street. The odometer will be checked and tires marked for proof of compliance.
Release of a towed vehicle
If you would like to claim a towed or impounded vehicle, please click below.
Reporting an abandoned vehicle
If you would like to report an abandoned or stored vehicle on a public street with the qualifying criteria of cobwebs, leaves, debris around the tires, debris on the vehicle, dirt, low tires, and/or missing and/or broken vehicle parts or if the vehicle has failed to move for more than 72 hours you may call the Abandoned Vehicle Hotline at (510) 337-8587.
If you have any other questions regarding the AVA program or a marked vehicle, you may contact Technician Marika Tsagris at (510) 337-8587 or