Riverside Police Department

Traffic Bureau Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q:  My car was impounded, what do I do?  Vehicles may be impounded for several reasons.   

If your vehicle was impounded as a result of being abandoned, a traffic hazard, expired or suspended registration, or the driver was arrested, the registered owner must bring proper identification, current registration and proof of insurance to the Police Department.  Bring all DMV paperwork showing current registration or a one day moving pass. This must be done Monday through Friday, between 8:00a.m. and 5:00p.m.  If the vehicle is currently registered, a release will be issued for a fee of $20. If the vehicle was reported stolen, there is no fee.  After you have received a vehicle release, arrangements can be made with the tow company to pay their fees and have the vehicle released.  For additional information regarding the release of a vehicle under the above circumstances, please contact the Records Bureau at (951) 826-5700.

If your vehicle was impounded because it was used in a crime or is evidence of a crime, contact the Tow Coordinator at (951) 351-6398.  Be sure to have your license plate number available and they can refer you to the officer handling the case.

If your vehicle was impounded because it was being operated by an unlicensed driver or someone driving on a suspended license, it will be held for 30 days (per California Vehicle Code Section 14602.6). In order to get a vehicle release, you must meet the following requirements: 1) The registered owner must be present with a valid form of identification; 2) The vehicle registration must be current or you must possess a Deposit of Fees receipt issued by the DMV and a temporary moving permit; 3) You must show proof of current insurance, and 4) You must pay the release fee of $372 in the form of Cash, Credit or Debit.  If the registered owner is unlicensed, he/she must be accompanied by a licensed driver.

In most cases, the 30-day holding period will not be waived. However, if there are extenuating circumstances, an appointment can be made with a hearing officer within ten (10) days of the date of impound. A determination will be made on the hold status. Hearings are conducted Monday through Thursday between 8:00a.m. and 4:00p.m. in the Traffic Bureau. Appointments can be made by calling (951) 351-6398.  The registered owner is still responsible for the release fee regardless if the vehicle was released early from a 30 day hold.

Q:  What does CVC 14601.1 mean?

This is the California Vehicle Code www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html section for driving a vehicle with a suspended license.

14601.1(a) CVC - No person shall drive a motor vehicle when his or her driving privilege is suspended or revoked for any reason other than those listed in Section 14601, 14601.2, or 14601.5, if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Knowledge shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department to the person pursuant to Section 13106. The presumption established by this subdivision is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.

Q: Someone was driving my vehicle and it was impounded. How can I find out where the vehicle is located and retrieve my property.

You may find out where your vehicle is being stored by calling the Police Department at (951) 826-5700. Please allow 24 hours from the time of impound for processing. Please have your license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), or police report number available when you call.  In order to get property out of the impounded vehicle, the registered owner must have valid identification and contact the tow company directly to make arrangements. 

Q:  I am the registered owner of an impounded vehicle and unable to come to the Police Department to obtain a release form.  How can I get my car?

If circumstances arise and the registered owner is unable to come to the Police Department to obtain a release form, the registered owner may (with written, notarized authorization and proper identification) authorize someone else with a valid CA drivers’ license to pick up the vehicle.

Q:  The registered owner of the vehicle is in jail/prison and wants to release the vehicle and/or property located in the vehicle to me.  What should I do?

If the registered owner is in jail/prison, the inmate and a Sheriff’s Custody Deputy must sign a written letter authorizing the vehicle to be released to a CA licensed designee. This signed form, along with current registration, proof of insurance and a valid CA drivers’ license, must be brought to the Police Department to obtain a release form.

Q:    I was involved in a traffic collision.  How long does it take to get a copy of the police report?

To obtain a copy of the collision report, contact the Records Bureau at (951) 826-5700.  It may take five (5) to ten (10) working days for a collision report to be ready for release. Collisions involving major injuries may take longer due to extensive follow-up investigations.  You may obtain a copy of the report by filling out a copy request form and paying a $12 fee.

Q:  Where can I get a "fix-it ticket" signed off?

A “fix-it ticket” can be signed off at either of the Riverside Police Department facilities:

·     4102 Orange Street

·    10540 Magnolia Avenue, Suite B

Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00a.m. and 5:00p.m. We will gladly inspect the vehicle and, if the problem is one that we can sign off, we will. There is an $15.00 vehicle inspection fee. A citation may be signed off by any police officer in California. It does not require the inspection be done by the issuing agency.

Q:  What do I do with my "fix-it ticket" after it is signed off?

You take the “fix-it ticket” to Traffic Court, located at 13800 Heacock Avenue, Suite D, Moreno Valley, California, (951) 341-8876 or 4100 Main Street, Riverside, California, (951) 955-4600.

Q:  How do I contest a parking citation?

On the back of the parking citation, you will find instructions that will assist you in filing a response if you feel you were incorrectly cited.

Q:  How do I contest a traffic citation?

On the face of the citation you will find the address of the traffic court, as well as the date and time you are scheduled to appear. You can appear in court to contest your traffic citation.

Q:  Who do I call if I am aware of immediate traffic hazards?

Call our Police Communications Center at (951) 354-2007 to report immediate traffic hazards.

Q:  Who do I call to report on-going traffic problems?

If the problem is happening right now, you may call the Police Communications Center at our non-emergency line, (951) 354-2007 and a Parking or Traffic Officer will be dispatched as soon as possible.

For a reoccurring issue, you may call 311, or go online at http://crmweb.riversideca.gov/ to report the problem. 

Q:  How do I obtain a driver's license?

Drivers’ licenses are obtained through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at (800) 777-0133 or www.dmv.ca.gov.

Q:  What is considered proper or valid identification?

Proper identification consists of: current California driver's license; current out-of-state drivers’ license; current California Department of Motor Vehicles identification card; current military identification card; current passport; or VISA.

Q:    I was involved in a traffic collision, but I don’t agree with the findings and/or information in the police report.  What can I do?

You may make a supplemental report at the front counter of either of the Riverside Police Department facilities:

·     4102 Orange Street

·    10540 Magnolia Avenue, Suite B

Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00a.m. and 5:00p.m. Your supplemental report will be attached to the original report written by the officer and your insurance company will take it from there.  

Q:    I was involved in a non-injury collision.  When I called the police, why wouldn't they send out a police car?  Or, a police officer came to the scene but didn’t take a report.

Non-injury collisions do not require a police report.  Drivers are instructed to move their vehicles out of traffic.  Once safely moved to the side of the roadway, they should exchange drivers’ license, vehicle and insurance information.  The drivers are then required by state law to contact their insurance companies and provide them with the information regarding the collision.  The insurance company will take it from there.  

Q:    There was a major collision on the street near my house.  The police had the street closed for hours.  Why did it take so long for them to re-open the street?

Major and fatal traffic collisions are some of the most detailed police reports written.  Highly accurate measurements are taken of the roadway, vehicles, and evidence located in the area.  These measurements are later used to create scale drawings and diagrams of the collision scene.  This information can be used to reconstruct the collision to help determine which party was at fault and why the collision occurred.

Q:    How do I schedule a child restraint (car seat) inspection?

The Riverside Police Department Traffic Education Unit provides monthly fitting stations at the Magnolia Police Facility.  Additionally, through collaboration with Inland Empire Safe Kids, Riverside County Injury Prevention Services and California Highway Patrol, inspections are also offered through community events.  Any questions can be addressed by Traffic Education Coordinator, Nicolle Defries, at (951) 826-5674 or email at ndefries@riversideca.gov.

Q:  What is a Safety Cite?

Bike Cite

The Traffic Bureau encourages positive reinforcement to promote the proper use of traffic safety equipment (helmets and pads) and safety rules (bike riding, pedestrian and vehicle).  Children are “cited” for their positive behavior and offered a chance to win a new bicycle.


 Q:  Why do you have checkpoints?

The traffic bureau’s goal is to reduce the number and severity of impaired driver related traffic collisions, to increase DUI arrests and to educate the public on the tragic costs of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  DUI/Drivers’ License Checkpoints are visible and effective methods of reducing the incidence of drinking drivers.  These enforcement efforts are publicized to deter people from driving impaired and to encourage sober designated drivers.

Chief of Police Sergio G. Diaz

Quick Links
Traffic Information
(951) 351-6099
Lincoln Station:
8181 Lincoln Ave.
Riverside, CA 92504
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For Non-Emergencies
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