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Impound Unit information (for if your car is impounded)

Do I need a lawyer?
If you have received a misdemeanor, the court will require you to have a lawyer to deal with your misdemeanor.

The following information is being provided to answer the most common questions associated with vehicle impounds and the procedures for claiming vehicles after they have been released. Please keep in mind each situation is different & some exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.

Also no vehicle can be released without authorization from the Investigating Officer, Detective, ADA or County Attorney assigned to the case.
The ultimate responsibility lies with you and/or your attorney to resolve these issues.

You will need your CC# (central complaint) OR the last 6 characters of the car VIN (vehicle identification number)

My car was impounded. Now what do I do? If you are in Suffolk County, below is info about if your car is impounded.

Where is the impound located? 100 Old Country Rd., Westhampton, NY 11977

What are the impound hours? The Impound Office is open to the public M-F from 8am – 1pm.
If you are towing your vehicle from our facility you & your tow driver
need to be here NO LATER THAN 12:30pm.

What do I need to claim my vehicle? You will need to provide proof of ownership. This can be either a current & VALID registration or a title. If the registration is suspended or expired it is NOT valid & will not be accepted as proof of ownership. Unless approved by the court, ownership CANNOT be transferred in order to claim the vehicle.

You will also need photo ID. If you plan to drive the vehicle a valid license with photo is required. The impound also need to see the license of the person who drives you to the impound yard. A Learner’s Permit is NOT a license. If you only have a permit, you still need two (2) licensed drivers present.

Why do you require 2 licensed drivers? The impound will require 2 licensed drivers because this is a police facility and everyone operating a motor vehicle to or from this facility must possess a valid license in accordance with the NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law. If you plan to drive the vehicle from our facility you must also produce a VALID insurance card. The impound does not require proof of insurance on vehicles being towed. The exception to this are 509/511 seizures and impounds for VTL sections 511.2 or 511.3, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation. The impound requires proof of insurance whether you drive the vehicle or have it towed.

All my paperwork is in my vehicle. This may or may not be true; you should come prepared with the required documents. Very often the paperwork is not in the vehicle or the paperwork inside the vehicle has expired.

I took the car off the road & I cannot find my title.
If you plan to drive the vehicle you will need to re-register & insure your vehicle. If you do not plan to drive the vehicle you must go to DMV and request a duplicate title. It will take several weeks to receive the duplicate title; however the impound will accept the green receipt you receive from DMV in lieu of the title. You must still have photo ID.

I want someone else to pick up my vehicle for me. You must send them with all the required documents PLUS a signed, notarized letter from you in which you name the specific person(s) or tow company authorized to claim the vehicle for you.

What about my property that was in the vehicle? All personal property SHOULD have been inventoried by the impounding officer and sent to the Property Section in Yaphank. Their telephone number is: 852-6462. Sometimes this does not happen and you will have to come to the Impound Yard located at 110 Old Country Rd, West Hampton to pick up any personal property. Vehicles impounded as part of a criminal investigation or a motor vehicle crash that involved serious physical injury or a fatality require a release from the Inv. Officer, Detective, or ADA in order for you to claim any personal property. You or your attorney will have to request this authorization. This information does not apply to Vehicle Seizures; these will be addressed in a separate section.

What about my license plates? The impound will also require authorization to release license plates or to issue a plate letter. Plate letters will only be issued for license plates that were VALID at the time of the vehicle impound.

Will I be charged any fees? Vehicles impounded for evidentiary purposes usually do not incur fees; however, there may be exceptions so please call our office to confirm if any fees are due. Additionally, once you are notified of the vehicle release, by phone or by mail, you have five (5) business days to pick up the vehicle. After that time storage fees of $30 per business day will begin to accrue. Fees are payable by CASH or BANK CHECK ONLY. Amounts over $500 are payable by Money Order or Bank Check Only. You must bring the EXACT amount due as the impound cannot make change. There may be exceptions to this policy. Please call to confirm if any fees are due. Vehicle seizures are the exception and will be addressed in another section.

What if I do not want to claim the vehicle? If for any reason you do not wish to claim your vehicle, you may sign the title over to the County. The impound will then dispose of the vehicle according to the law.

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