Traffic Services (Vehicle Removal/Towing & Special Events Enforcement)


While the Bureau of Traffic Services is best known for the towing or relocation of vehicles, they routinely provide critical support services for many large scale civic events and emergency operations. This includes the posting of temporary parking restrictions and the delivery of security barricades and other temporary structures used for traffic and crowd control.

Traffic Services also manages the program that utilizes contractor tow trucks from the private sector  to keep abandoned vehicles off of city streets. Chicago once had a great backlog for towing abandoned vehicles. But that changed in 1989 when the City initiated an innovative program that assigned the towing of junk vehicles to private towing firms. 

As a result, the backlog was cut dramatically and the glut of abandoned vehicles has been greatly reduced.

As for vehicles towed for other infractions, the City established an information sharing partnership with the insurance industry to greatly increase the chances that a towed vehicle can be located and eventually reunited with its owner.

If your vehicle has been towed and impounded by the City of Chicago Police Department, visit their website at or click on the following link: Relocated & Towed Vehicle/Department of Finance.

Also, for traffic information, please visit the Department of Transportation website at

Abandoned Vehicle

Tow trucks owned by the City of Chicago performed abandoned vehicle removals until 1989, when the City implemented a privatization program that contracted a private firm to perform this work. The abandoned vehicles are taken to auto pound 3S or 3N where they are -- if not redeemed by the owners -- sold for scrap. Please call 311 to locate your car. Since this privatization program began, more than 500,000 abandoned vehicles have been towed and impounded.

Auto Pound Locations

Here is a listing of Chicago's auto pounds.

Check Status of Abandoned Vehicle Complaint

Check status of an abandoned vehicle complaint made through a 311 Service Request.

City Festivals/Film Locations

Towing Enforcement for City Festivals + Film Locations Temporary parking restrictions are posted with at least 24 hours notice when necessary to accommodate street festivals or location shooting of films, television programs or commercials. Festivals are coordinated by the Mayor's Office of Special Events (312-744-3315); film production assistance is provided through the Chicago Film Office (312-744-6415).

Common Towing Questions

Common questions related to towing

Illegally Parked Vehicles

Chicago uses tow trucks to remove illegally parked vehicles from bus stops, crosswalks, loading zones and other no-parking sites and tows them to a city auto pound.

Towing Information; Towing Process

Overview information about the City of Chicago towing process.