Oregon has one of the strictest auto insurance requirement laws in the nation. Just about every state in the United States requires a car to have insurance. Each state has different laws and limits. The fines vary greatly from one state to the next. Fines for driving without insurance and driving while suspended in Oregon range from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars. In addition, the cost of the towing of your car ranges from $200 to $500. The towing company can also charge you administrative and storage fees, depending on how long it takes you to get your car out of impound. This could range in the thousands. You will find that it is always cheaper to keep your car insured!
Now, your car is in impound. How do you get it out?
Regardless of the reason your car was impounded, this is a time-consuming and difficult situation, and we will offer you some pointers here and get back on the road as quickly as possible.
Look at the impound slip and find out what police department impounded the vehicle. Give them a call and find out what they will require you to provide before they will disclose which impound yard (typically a towing company) has your car. They will require that you provide proof of insurance. Ask if they will accept a faxed copy of the proof of auto insurance. Be sure you get the fax number. They may make you bring an original copy. Also, they will not release a car to a suspended driver. You will need to find someone willing to drive your car home that has a valid license.
Call and get a quote for insurance. Remember that your car must be registered in your name. We can insure you even if you have a suspended license, so don't let that stop you. Just make sure you have a licensed driver to drive your car home.
Purchase your insurance from an independent agent that can immediately provide you with the proof of insurance and SR22 if necessary.
Take your proof of insurance to the law enforcement agency and be prepared with enough money to pay the release certificate fee. The certificate will inform you which towing company has your car and their phone number.
Call the tow yard and find out how much are the towing, administrative and storage fees required to release your car.
Go down to the tow yard with the fee, the release certificate from the police department, your registration, proof of insurance and a license driver to get your car.
Remember, if your car was towed for no insurance, driving while suspended or DUI, you will be required by the DMV to carry a minimum of liability insurance for up to 3 years under SR22 requirements. If your insurance lapses for any reason, you will have 30 days to obtain car insurance again to avoid suspension of your license. Don't get caught getting your car impounded all over again.
An additional thing to consider. Just because your car is worth less than all the costs to get it out, does not mean you should just ignore the towing company. They can still sue you for their costs exceeding what they are able to get for selling or auctioning off your car. Be sure to contact them and come to an agreement. It will cost you less in the long run.