On September 16, 1987, the City of Chicago established a vehicle immobilization program, better known as the boot program. Vehicles become boot-eligible if a registered owner:
If the debt is not paid within 24 hours of booting, the vehicle is eligible to be towed to a City auto-pound. In addition to a boot fee, towing and storage fees are incurred once a vehicle has been impounded.
All final determinations of parking, red light, automated speed enforcement, and compliance violations issued to any vehicle registered in the name of the registered owner must be paid before the owner's booted or towed vehicle will be released. Once a vehicle reaches the boot eligibility status, payment for all tickets is necessary or the vehicle(s) will remain boot eligible. Entering into a qualifying payment plan will also remove a vehicle from the boot eligible list.
You can contact the City of Chicago's Ticket Help Line at 312.744.PARK (7275) to inquire about the amount necessary to claim your booted or towed vehicle. You can be informed of the location of your towed car, but full satisfaction of the ticket debt must be made before you can retrieve the vehicle. Additional information regarding towed vehicles is also available on-line.
You may remit payment for your booted vehicle at one of the Department of Revenue’s Payment Processing Centers. For your convenience, payment for vehicles towed due to outstanding tickets can be made directly at the auto-pound that has your vehicle. Payment must be made by cash, credit/debit card, cashier’s check, or a money order issued by the United States Postal Service. Other forms of payment, including personal checks, will not be accepted for booted or towed vehicles.
If your vehicle is towed to a City Auto Pound and no interest or action is taken the vehicle will be kept on premises for 15 days after the registered owner is notified by certified mail of the impending action. Failure to claim the vehicle or request a hearing within 15 days from the date of notice can result in the vehicle's sale or destruction. A 15 day extension can be requested by calling 312.744.PARK (7275).
Note: The signing over or involuntary surrender of your vehicle to the City does not waive or decrease your outstanding debt owed the City.