Ticket & Tow FAQs
Q: Where can I find my car?
A: If your car has been ticketed and 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 city's impound lots BEFORE traveling to the lot to verify that they have your vehicle -- and to learn what documents you will need to get your vehicle.
To find your car use the Police Impound Lot locator. 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.
During the winter months the city has two towing lots. Visit stpaul.gov/impound to find where your car is located.
- 1129 Cathlin Street (across from the State Fairgrounds): 651-603-6895
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
- 830 Barge Channel Road: 651-266-5642
If your car was parked south of the Mississippi River, or east of Lafayette Road and south of I-94
Please note: Impound lots are extremely busy during a Snow Emergency, staff may be unable to answer the phone at times.
Q: What will I need to reclaim my vehicle from a tow lot?
A: To reclaim a vehicle from a tow lot only the registered vehicle owner can claim the vehicle and must bring the following documentation:
- Proof of ownership for the vehicle
- Proof of insurance for the vehicle
- Cash, Visa or a MasterCard to pay the fees
- Your keys!
Q: Who can I call if there is a parked vehicle that has not moved during a Snow Emergency?
A: Per city ordinance, all vehicles parked on the street may not be parked in the same spot for more than 48 hours. During a Snow Emergency, the city has extra parking enforcement efforts. There are nearly 40 plow routes across the city during a Snow Emergency. Snow ticketers follow plow routes beginning at 9 p.m. for Night Plow Routes and 8 a.m. for Day Plow Routes. If vehicles have not been moved during the current Snow Emergency, residents can call the ticketing office at 651-266-9800 (press option 5) during the Clean Up Phase to report vehicles that have not been moved. Please give the vehicle description, license plate and address location whenever possible.
To report vehicles that have not been moved after 48 hours NOT during a Snow Emergency, please report the vehicle description, license plate and address location to the Saint Paul Police Parking Enforcement Unit at 651-266-5585.
Q: How much does a ticket cost? How much is the tow?
A: The ticket cost is $56. It will cost $275.08 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 ticketing 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: City ordinance does not allow a vehicle to be parked on the street in the same spot for more than 48 hours. If you are traveling out of town, make arrangements to not park your car on the street, and/or have needed phone numbers and an emergency plan to leave keys with a trusted friend, neighbor or family member who could move your car if needed. 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: Snow Emergencies begin at 9 p.m. the day they are declared and last 96 hours. 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.
Q. What happens if my car is damaged during towing?
A. 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. Since the city does not own, operate or insure the tow company, it is not responsible for any damages caused by the towing process and will not make payment for any alleged damage to your vehicle, or handle your claim for you. If you believe your vehicle was damaged during the tow, contact 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.