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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

Do You Need Insurance to Get Your Car Out of Impound?

car being towed

There are several reasons why your car might get impounded, such as driving without registration or a valid driver’s license. If your car gets towed and impounded, you will need to take steps to get it back, including paying fines for towing and impound.

Dealing with a towed and impounded vehicle can be stressful. If your car has been impounded, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to get it back. In most cases, you must show proof of insurance to reclaim your car from an impound lot. But what do you do if you do not have car insurance? It will be extremely difficult to get your car out of impound. In short, you will not be able to get your car out without insurance.


What happens when your car is impounded

Your car may get impounded for lots of reasons. If you get pulled over for a serious traffic violation, such as driving without insurance or a DUI, a law enforcement officer will likely have your car towed. Once impounded, your vehicle can usually remain in the tow lot for up to 30 days, but it depends on the state. You must get your car out of impound within that period, or the towing company might be legally allowed to sell it or scrap it.


Reasons why your car might be impounded

There are a variety of reasons why your car might get impounded. In most cases, your car can get impounded if you get pulled over, and the officer decides that you should not be driving or cannot legally drive based on a law you violated. Here are a few potential situations that can lead to your car getting impounded:

  • Parking illegally: If your car is parked illegally or parked in a spot blocking traffic, it may get towed to an impound lot.

  • Not having car insurance: Car insurance is a legal requirement to drive in almost every state. If you get pulled over and do not have an active car insurance policy, your car may get towed and impounded.

  • Not having a driver’s license: Every state requires you to have a valid driver’s license to drive. If you get caught driving without a license, your car will likely be impounded.

  • Driving an unregistered car: Your car needs to be registered with the DMV in your state for you to drive legally. If you get pulled over driving an unregistered vehicle, it is possible that your car could get impounded. Note that having no registration is not the same as having an expired registration, which will typically result in just a ticket.

  • Driving recklessly: If you get pulled over for driving recklessly, which includes speeding at a much higher rate than the posted limit, your car may get impounded.

  • Driving under the influence: Drivers who get pulled over for a DUI/DWI will usually get their car impounded. Getting your car out of impound after a DUI/DWI can be especially difficult because you may lose your driving privileges.


Can the police tow your car for not having insurance?

Yes, the police can tow your car if you are caught driving without insurance in many states. If you are stopped by the police and found to be driving without insurance, you may receive a ticket and a fine. In some cases, your car may also be towed and impounded by law enforcement. This means your car will be taken to a special lot until you can prove you have insurance.


Can I get my car out of impound without car insurance?

If your car is impounded because you don't have insurance, your options to get it back are limited. In most states, you are required to have insurance to drive your car off the lot. Your best bet is to quickly get an insurance policy that meets the state's minimum coverage requirements. Once you have insurance, you will also need to pay the impound fee to get your car back.

Even if the impound lot doesn't ask for proof of insurance, you still need insurance to legally drive your car home. So, it's important to get insurance as soon as possible.


Can I get car insurance while my car is impounded?

In most cases, you need insurance to get your car out of impound. However, if you live in a state where insurance is not required, you may be able to show alternative proof of financial responsibility. This could include a deposit with the DMV.


If you need insurance quickly, many insurance companies allow you to purchase a policy online and download ID cards within minutes. You can even buy insurance on the weekends. Just make sure to choose the right policy and coverage amount for your needs.

Some insurance companies also have mobile apps that include digital ID cards, so you don't need to print anything out. This can be helpful if you need to show proof of insurance at the impound lot to get your car back.

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