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Abandoned Vehicle

Tow trucks owned by the City of Chicago performed abandoned vehicle removals until 1989, when the City implemented a privatization program that contracted a private firm to perform this work. The abandoned vehicles are taken to auto pound 3S or 3N where they are -- if not redeemed by the owners -- sold for scrap. Please call 311 to locate your car. Since this privatization program began, more than 500,000 abandoned vehicles have been towed and impounded.

A vehicle can be classified as abandoned if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • On a public way in a state of disrepair as to be incapable of being driven in its present condition.
  • Has not been moved or used for more than seven consecutive days and is apparently deserted.
  • Has been left on the public way without state registration or a temporary state registration placard for two or more days.
  • Is a hazardous dilapidated vehicle left in full view of the general public, whether on public or private property.

Abandoned vehicles should be reported by calling the city's request line at 3-1-1.


Department Main Office

Streets & Sanitation