Ticket & Tow FAQs

Q: Where can I find my car?

A: If your car has been towed because of a Snow Emergency violation, the location of the storage lot (impound) will depend on where your car was parked when it was ticketed. Please call the impound lot BEFORE traveling to the lot to verify that they have your vehicle -- and to learn what documents you will need to get your vehicle. 

If your car was parked north of I-94, or south of I-94 AND west of Lafayette Road and north of the Mississippi River, your car will be taken to the impound lot located at 1129 Cathlin Street, across from the State Fairgrounds.

If your car was parked south of the Mississippi River, or east of Lafayette Road and south of I-94, your car will be taken to the impound lot located at 830 Barge Channel Road.

To confirm the location of the lot to where your car was taken use the Police Impound Lot locator found on this page. Enter either the car's license plate number or its vehicle identification number (VIN), and press the "Find Vehicle" button.

If it is not at either lot, wait an hour and try again, as your vehicle may be in transit.

You may telephone the lots if your prefer, but during a Snow Emergency, please understand the impound lot staff is very busy and it may be difficult to reach anyone quickly.

Cathlin Street lot: 651-603-6895

Barge Channel Road lot: 651-266-5642

To reclaim your vehicle, you will need the following:

  • Proof of ownership for the vehicle
  • Proof of insurance for the vehicle
  • Cash, Visa or a MasterCard to pay the fees
  • Your keys!

Q: How much does a ticket cost? How much is the tow?

A: The ticket cost is $56. It will cost $202 to get your vehicle out of the impound lot if you pick it up before midnight the day it was towed. A $15 storage fee is added for each additional day the vehicle is left in the lot.

Q: Do the towing companies offer a drop charge to unhook the vehicle?

A: Yes, the fee is $75. The method of payment is up to the towing company. Please note, you are still responsible for paying the ticket.

Q: By the time I got outside to move my vehicle, the parking officer was just writing out a ticket for my vehicle. Why can’t the officer cancel the ticket on the spot?

A: If a snow tagging official was writing a ticket, it means your vehicle should have been moved by the time they got there. The office cannot cancel the ticket. Once they start writing tickets they are accountable for each ticket. If you have already gotten a ticket, please move your vehicle to avoid getting towed.

Q: I was called out of town unexpectedly during the Snow Emergency and my vehicle is parked on the street. What can I do?

A: Make plans for the unexpected times you will not be able to get to your vehicle during a Snow Emergency. Have an emergency plan or phone numbers of family/friends that can help you out. If all else fails and you are not able to find someone to move your vehicle, the city suggests hiring someone to tow your car to a safe location. Hiring a tow company will save you the hassle of going to the impound lot and will allow you to avoid paying ticket fees.

Q: Why can’t you just tow an offending vehicle around the corner and leave it?

A: Once the city (via the contracted tow company) takes possession of the vehicle we need to maintain control of it for safety and liability reasons.

Q: I believe I was ticketed and/or towed from a street which I don’t believe I should have been? What recourse do I have?

A: Your only recourse is to contest the ticket before a hearing officer at the Ramsey County Violations Bureau (RCVB).  Contact information for the RCVB is found on the ticket.

Q: Why did my vehicle get towed after the street was plowed?

A: Vehicles which are obstructing cleanup plowing are treated just like cars which block plowing during the night or day phases of the emergency. Consequently, the vehicle can be ticketed and towed. Technically, a Snow Emergency is in effect for 96 hours (after it goes into effect at 9 p.m. the night of the Snow Emergency declaration) to allow for the initial plowing and subsequent cleanup operations. Visit stpaul.gov/snow for more details.

Q. What happens if my car is damaged during towing?

A. If you believe your vehicle was damaged during the tow, then your recourse is with the company that towed your vehicle. You can find out who towed your vehicle by calling the Saint Paul Impound Lot at 651-266-5642. They will need your license plate number and will be able to provide you with the name and telephone number of the tow company.

If you submit a claim to the city, the city will only be able to identify the towing company and submit your claim form to them. Since the city does not own, operate or insure the tow company, it will not make payment for any alleged damage to your vehicle, or handle your claim for you. The city contracts with private towing companies who are required to carry their own insurance to cover any possible damages they may cause while they perform tows. The city of is not responsible for any damages caused during the towing process.