Removal of Vehicles From Public Property


If an unauthorized vehicle is actually parked on private property, the California Vehicle Code authorizes the owner or person in lawful possession of any private property to, subsequent to notifying the police, cause the removal of that vehicle to the nearest public garage, if there is in plain view at all entrances to the property, a sign prohibiting public parking. [22658(A) CVC].


Property Owners


The sign must:

  1. be a minimum of 17 inches by 22 inches in size
  2. state that the vehicle will be towed at the vehicle owner's expense
  3. display the telephone number of the police department (960-8811).

Note: If you cause the removal of a vehicle from private property and the sign requirement has not been met, you could be liable for any storage or towing charges.


  1. Telephone HBPD Records at (714)-536-5641 and provide the following information:
    • Your name, address and phone number
    • Property address where the vehicle can be found
    • Name, address and phone number of the public garage where the vehicle will be towed to
    • the Vehicle's License Plate Number, (VIN #), Model and Color
  2. Obtain a PPI (private property impound #) from the clerk
  3. Advise a tow service of your choice of the PPI# and the information listed in #1
  4. After the vehicle has been towed, a written notice must be delivered to the registered and legal owner advising:
    • that the vehicle has been removed
    • grounds for its removal
    • mileage of the vehicle at the time of removal
    • the name and address of the location where the vehicle was taken to
  5. Deliver a copy of the notice (in #4) to the proprietor of the garage.

NOTE: The registered/legal owner's information could be located within the vehicle or by contacting the local California Department of Motor Vehicles office.

In the event the registered/legal owner could not be ascertained and the vehicle is not returned to the owner within 120 hrs. of its removal, 22853 CVC requires that the person causing such removal send a written report of such removal by mail to the Department of Justice at Sacramento and shall file a copy of such notice with the proprietor of the storage facility. The report shall be made on a form furnished by the department.

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Contact Information

City of Huntington Beach
Police Department
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA
Request non-emergency police service:
(714) 960-8825
General Information:
(714) 960-8811
Fax: (714) 536-5605
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