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.
A vehicle can be classified as abandoned if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
- On a public way in a state of disrepair as to be incapable of being driven in its present condition.
- Has not been moved or used for more than seven consecutive days and is apparently deserted.
- Has been left on the public way without state registration or a temporary state registration placard for two or more days.
- Is a hazardous dilapidated vehicle left in full view of the general public, whether on public or private property.
- This does not apply to bicycles.
Abandoned vehicles should be reported by calling the city's request line at 3-1-1.