Impound Vehicles

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office impounds vehicles pursuant to ORS 809.720 for the following offenses: 

  • Driving while suspended or revoked 
  • Driving while under the influence of intoxicants 
  • Operating without driving privileges 
  • Driving in violation of license restrictions 
    • This includes juveniles driving with provisional licenses driving during prohibited hours or with too many persons as passengers 
    • Also includes driving with a partially reinstated license (hardship permit) outside of allowed times or locations
  • Driving uninsured

Notice of Impounded Vehicle

Within 48 hours of a vehicle being impounded for the above-listed offenses, the Sheriff’s Office is required to send a notice to the owners, lessors or security interest holders of the vehicle as shown in DMV records. If you sold your vehicle, but did not notify the DMV that it was sold or provide the name of the person you sold it to, you will receive the notice that the vehicle has been towed.

The purpose of the notice is to inform the owner that the vehicle has been towed, the location of the vehicle, amount of the charges, how to request a hearing regarding the validity of the impoundment of the vehicle and that if the vehicle is not claimed, it is subject to lien for payment of towing and storage charges.

Release of Impounded Vehicles

The registered owner, lessor or security interest holder as shown by DMV records is entitled to get the vehicle out of impound. If you are not shown on DMV records as the registered owner, you must: 

            • Register the vehicle if you have the title and bill of sale and bring the DMV Notice of Transaction 
            • Bring your purchase contract to the Sheriff’s Office as proof of ownership, If you purchased the vehicle from a dealership 
            • Bring with you the signed title and/or bill of sale and Oregon Trip Permit if the out-of-state registration is expired, if you own       a vehicle purchased from out-of-state

Impound releases can be obtained from the Sheriff’s Office at 63333 West Highway 20 in Bend or at the Sheriff’s Offices in Lapine, Sisters or Terrebonne. You must bring the following:

  • Proof that a person with valid driving privileges will be operating the vehicle 
  • Picture identification
  • $100 administrative fee in cash only 
    • Tow fees are paid directly to the tow companies. They do not accept checks. Please contact the tow companies directly regarding payment by credit cards. NOTE: Tow companies may charge an extra fee if you request to pick up your vehicle after they are closed. 
  • Proof of insurance


To satisfy the insurance requirements you must provide a motor vehicle liability insurance policy or card issued by an insurance company. The insurance policy or card must contain: 

            • The name of the insurance company and telephone number 
            • An effective date 
            • An expiration date 
            • A description of the vehicle or vehicles covered 
            • The name of the person insured

The existence of the insurance policy may be confirmed prior to releasing the vehicle. It is a misdemeanor to forge proof of insurance, offer proof of insurance knowing or having reason to believe it is forged, or falsely certify the existence of insurance.

The registered owner, lessor or security interest holder will be required to sign a Sheriff’s Office release agreement. Any registered owners, lessors or security interest holders that are not available (out of state, county, etc) can contact the Sheriff’s Office to make arrangements to fax the release.

Hearings

A person who receives notice, who is entitled to lawful possession, may request a hearing to contest the validity of the impoundment (reason for the tow). The request must be in writing not more than five calendar days from the mailing date of the notice and sent to Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Civil Division, 63333 West Highway 20, Bend, Oregon 97701. All hearings are conducted by the Bend Municipal Court.

Personal Property in Vehicle

Personal property will be released from the vehicles at the time of the impound. This does not include anything that is attached to the vehicle. Once the tow company takes possession, you must contact the tow company regarding your personal property. The Sheriff’s Office cannot authorize the release of your personal property. Paperwork such as a title, registration, sales contract and insurance card will be released by the tow company.