Riverside Police Department
Traffic Bureau FAQs
Please click on a question for an answer:
Q: How can I find out where the vehicle is located and retrieve my property?
If your vehicle has been impounded by the Riverside Police Department, 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 remove property from the impounded vehicle, the registered owner must be present and possess a valid government-issued picture identification card. Please contact the tow company directly to make arrangements.
Vehicle information may be obtained at the Magnolia Police Station, 10540 Magnolia Avenue, Suite B, or at the Orange Police Station, 4102 Orange Street, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The most common reasons a vehicle is towed and impounded are for offenses relating to:
Driving under suspension/revocation of a drivers license.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Parking violations where the registered owner cannot be found.
Investigation and evidence.
Officer's request (i.e. recovered stolen, traffic hazard, accident and abandonment).
If the conditions listed above are met, a Vehicle Release Form will be issued for a fee of $20. If the vehicle was reported stolen, the $20 fee will be waived. After you have received a Vehicle Release Form, 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.
Q: Someone was driving my vehicle and it was impounded. What do I do now?
If your vehicle has been impounded because it was being operated by an unlicensed driver or someone driving with a suspended license, the vehicle will be held for 30 days (California Vehicle Code Section 14602.6). In most cases, the 30-day holding period will not be waived. The registered owner, or lien holder, of an impounded vehicle is entitled to have an impound hearing to determine the validity of the tow within ten (10) business days of the date of impound. A vehicle hearing appointment can be made by calling (951) 351-6398. Hearings are held Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. You have the option to request to have your hearing conducted over the phone.
After the 30 days have passed, the registered owner will need to obtain a Vehicle Release Form. In most cases, the 30-day holding period will not be waived. If the impound of the vehicle is upheld, the registered owner is responsible for the Vehicle Release Form fee even if the vehicle was released early. The registered owner must provide the Police Department the following documentation in order to claim the vehicle out of impound:
A valid government-issued picture identification card and/or a valid California driver license. If the registered owner is unlicensed, he/she must be accompanied by a driver with a valid California driver license.
Department of Motor Vehicles paperwork showing current vehicle registration or a one-day moving pass.
Proof of current vehicle insurance.
If the conditions listed above are met, a Vehicle Release Form will be issued for a fee of $372. After you have received a vehicle release form, 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.
Q: What if my vehicle has been impounded because it was used in a crime?
If your vehicle has been impounded because it was used in a crime or is evidence of a crime, contact the hearing officer at (951) 351-6398. Be sure to have your license plate number available and the hearing officer will refer you to the detective investigating your case.
Q: Where can I obtain a Vehicle Release Form?
A Vehicle Release Form may be obtained at the Magnolia Police Station, 10540 Magnolia Avenue, Suite B, or at the Orange Police Station, 4102 Orange Street, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Vehicle Release Form requirements are as follows:
1. The registered owner must be present with a valid government-issued picture identification card and/or a valid California driver license.
If the registered owner is unlicensed, he/she must be accompanied by a driver with a valid California driver license.
2. Department of Motor Vehicles paperwork showing the current vehicle registration or a one-day moving pass.
3. Proof of current vehicle insurance.
4. Pay the Release Form fee, which is contingent to circumstances surrounding the impound. Accepted payment forms: Cash, Credit, or Debit cards.
Q: I am the registered owner of an impounded vehicle and unable to come to the Police Department to obtain a Vehicle 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 Vehicle Release Form, the registered owner may (with written, notarized authorization and proper identification) authorize someone else with a valid California drivers’ license to pick up the vehicle.
Q: The registered owner of the vehicle is in jail/prison and would like to release the vehicle to me. What should I do?
If the registered owner is in jail/prison, he/she and a Sheriff’s Custody Deputy must sign a written letter authorizing the vehicle to be released to a designee who possesses a valid California driver license. The designee must then present the Riverside Police Department this signed document, along with current vehicle registration, proof of current vehicle insurance, and their valid California driver license to obtain a Vehicle Release Form. The designee will be responsible for paying all fees associated with the release of the vehicle.
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 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. Involved parties may obtain a copy of the report by filling out a copy request form and paying a $12 fee at the Magnolia Police Station, 10540 Magnolia Avenue, Suite B, or at the Orange Police Station, 4102 Orange Street, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.In our continuing effort to improve the processing and delivery of traffic collision reports, we have partnered with LexisNexis and have implemented online availability to purchase these reports. For an additional $10.00 convenience fee, involved parties can purchase a Traffic Collision Report through the LexisNexis eCrash website at https://ecrash.lexisnexis.com/search.
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
Vehicle inspections are conducted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a $15.00 vehicle inspection fee. After a “fix-it ticket” has been signed off, you may take the “fix-it ticket” to Traffic Court, located at 13800 Heacock Avenue, Bldg. D #201, Moreno Valley, California, or to Riverside Superior Court, located at 4100 Main Street, Riverside, California, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You may also call (951) 222-0384 for more information.
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: Who do I call if I am aware of 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
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 U.S. military identification card; or a current passport.
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:
Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00a.m. and 5:00p.m. Supplemental reports may be written at the station or brought in. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What is a Safety Cite?
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
8181 Lincoln Ave.
Riverside, CA 92504