The DC Department of Public Works (DPW) boots or tows vehicles in the District of Columbia that have two or more 61-day-old, unpaid tickets. A boot is a device attached to the vehicle's wheel to immobilize it. The boot can be safely removed only by DPW. A booted vehicle is subject to towing immediately, if the outstanding tickets and boot fee remain unpaid. Boots are normally removed less than 2 hours after fines have been paid.
A vehicle may be towed by DPW or the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) if it is parked so as to create a traffic or safety hazard. Information on fees for booted or towed vehicles is available at: DC DMV Fees
To release the booted or towed vehicle, you must pay the boot or tow fee and all outstanding parking tickets.
- Pay ticket and boot fees online.
- Pay ticket, boot, and tow fees in person at the DC DMV Adjudication Service.
You can get a printout of all boot, tow, and tickets fees at the service window, and pay at the cashier’s window.
- If you have a major credit/debit card, you can pay tickets and tow fees at DPW’s One Stop Customer Service Centers at the Blue Plains Impoundment Lot # 4 and 15th Street Impoundment Lot # 5. At the One Stop Centers, if your vehicle tags have expired, you can also renew your vehicle registration online in order to drive the vehicle off the impoundment lot. Call 311 or (202) 737-4404 to determine at which impoundment lot your vehicle is located.
Note: Until you pay the tow and ticket fees, you may remove only these items from your vehicle: cash, checkbook, driver license, perishable items, medicine, and tools necessary for livelihood.
Impoundment lots and hours of operation can be found on DC DPW’s website.
Once you pay any storage fees owed, you must retrieve your vehicle that day, or additional storage fees will be charged ($20 per day for most vehicles). These additional storage fees cannot be paid at One Stop Centers; they must be paid in person at DMV Adjudication Services. To avoid this inconvenience, please retrieve your vehicle the same day you pay any outstanding storage fees.
Retrieving a Towed Vehicle
Once you have made all necessary payments, you must present your payment receipt, vehicle registration, and valid driver license to the impoundment lot. If you are not the registered owner of the impounded vehicle, you must have a notarized statement authorizing you to pick up the vehicle.
If your vehicle is leased, you must also show the leasing agreement or contract at the impoundment lot.
You may not retrieve any vehicle that has expired vehicle tags. You must renew the vehicle’s registration and bring the renewal documentation and/or vehicle tags to the impoundment lot, or have the vehicle towed.
You can renew the vehicle’s registration online at the Blue Plains Impoundment Lot One Stop Customer Service Center.
If you do not claim the vehicle from the impoundment lot, it will be auctioned or sold as scrap.
Impoundment lots and hours of operation can be found on the DPW website.