Report an Abandoned Vehicle

To report abandoned vehicles parked on the street for over 72 hours (3 days), you can:

Report On OAK311

Once a call for service is received, a Police Service Technician goes to the scene and investigates the complaint. One of several outcomes will occur:

  • The vehicle may be towed away on first check, using several California Vehicle Code Sections such as Expired Registration over Six Months, Five or More Unpaid Parking Tickets, or Missing Vehicle Parts Needed to Operate.
  • The vehicle may have a Courtesy Warning Sticker applied to the windshield giving notice that the vehicle tire mark must be broken within the next 72 hours...the Police Service Technician records the vehicle’s odometer reading and marks a tire for recheck after the 72 hours have passed. If the vehicle tire mark remains unbroken after 72 hours have passed, the vehicle will be towed. The Police Service Technician may determine that the vehicle is not abandoned and clearly is driven on a regular basis. If this is the case, no further action will be taken.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

An Abandoned Vehicle Parked on Private Property or a Private Street?

This is a vehicle abatement issue. Please provide OPD with the location, description and license plate (if known).

  • Call - Vehicle Abatement Detail at (510) 777-8538 and leave a voicemail message; or
  • Email
  • If a vehicle is blocking your driveway and you can’t get out, call police non-emergency at (510) 777-3333. An officer will be dispatched to cite and/or tow the vehicle as appropriate.
  • If a car is parked in your parking stall, talk to your apartment manager or property manager. Oakland Police will not tow in this case.
  • Click here for more information about vehicle abatement

A Vehicle That Was Towed Away Has Come Back....What happened?

All vehicles towed by the Abandoned Auto Detail can be retrieved by the owner after a fee is paid to the City and the tow company. Apparently the vehicle’s owner has not abandoned it, after all.

Can My Neighbor Always Park Their Vehicle in Front of My House?

Briefly, yes:

  • Anyone can park a vehicle on a public street as long as that person parks in accordance with the California Vehicle Code.
  • Private property does not extend to the public street in front of one’s home.

What Will Happen If the Vehicle’s Owner Removes the Courtesy Warning Sticker and Does Not Move the Vehicle?

A Police Service Technician recorded the odometer reading and marked a tire when they issued the Courtesy Warning Sticker. Whether or not the Courtesy Sticker is still on the vehicle’s windshield, the Police Service Technician will return after 72 hours and check the vehicle for compliance by examining the odometer reading and tire marker.

What Should I Do If My Vehicle Has a Warning Sticker on It?

  • You must drive the vehicle at least one mile during the 72 hours following the time the sticker was applied, to comply with the law.
  • If you drive the vehicle one mile or more in the 72 hours after application of the
    sticker, no further action will be taken.

Commercial Vehicle Enforcement

  • Extra-Legal Load Permits - Extra-legal load permits shall be obtained from an authorized permit company. Click here for a list of authorized permit companies. The OPD's commercial vehicle enforcement unit (CVEU) does not directly issue extra-legal load permits. City/Port heavy container permits are not issued by these companies.
  • City/Port of Oakland Heavy Container Permits - Joint City/Port of Oakland Heavy Container Program permits are issued by the CVEU. For information on this program, use this Port of Oakland link: comprehensive truck management program resources.
  • Contact - Please leave a message with any questions at 510-777-8615 and your call will normally be returned in 2-3 business days (not including weekends/holidays).

The OPD Vehicle Enforcement Unit works to improve Oakland’s neighborhoods and enhance Oakland’s physical assets by addressing the problems of abandoned vehicles on public and private property and aggressively pursuing parking citation scofflaws. Visit the City of Oakland Parking Page here.