Wrecker Services: Questions Regarding the Release of a Vehicle
595:25-7-2. Release and holding of vehicle
(a) Release. The Class AA wrecker operator shall at all times have a capable person available to release impounded or stored vehicle within one (1) hour. As per 47 O.S. § 955, any vehicle impounded by law enforcement shall not be released to the owner until that owner provides proof of valid insurance or an affidavit of nonuse on the roadway. In the event an insurer or a representative of the insurer who has accepted liability for the vehicle requests the release, no proof of valid insurance or affidavit of nonuse on the roadway shall be required.
1) My car has been impounded by law enforcement. How can I find out what wrecker service has my car?
Go to Find a Vehicle application.
2) What must the owner of a vehicle show the wrecker service operator to get his vehicle released?
As long as law enforcement has no holds on the vehicle, the owner, upon presentation of one (1) of each of the following: proof of ownership, identification, and insurance (if required by law):
- Proof of ownership may be:
- Print out tag agency showing them as the registered owner or,
- Title registered in owner's name or,
- Title properly signed by the seller, dated, notarized (if required on title) and the owner's name filled out on the title or,
- An Oklahoma, other state, or Tribal title or registration, not expired, Digital or Electronic verification shall be accepted or,
- Verification from originating law enforcement agency or,
- Once all the previous steps have been taken, documents that support ownership may be accepted or an authorization from the DPS Wrecker Services Division may be requested.
- Proof of identification may be:
- Oklahoma driver license or,
- Oklahoma identification card or,
- Other state driver license or,
- Other state or federally issued photo identification or,
- Other documentation recognized by the Department and Division
- Proof of Insurance may be: (Insurance may not be in owner’s name)
- Valid insurance verification form, not expired with VIN of vehicle listed or,
- Valid insurance policy not expired with VIN of vehicle listed or,
- Valid affidavit of non-use and vehicle cannot be driven from facility.
- Digital or Electronic verification shall be accepted.
3) What can I do, as the owner of vehicle, if I am unable to go to the wrecker service to pick up my vehicle?
As long as law enforcement has no holds on the vehicle, a person representing the owner, upon presentation of, a notarized letter from the owner permitting said person to act on behalf of the owner, with year, make, model and vehicle identification number of the vehicle and proof as listed in the paragraph above.
4) As lien holder of an impounded vehicle, what must I show the wrecker service operator to get the vehicle released to me?
You must present to the wrecker operator proof of being a lien holder [42 O.S. § 91A]. Proof would be a printout from a tag agent showing you as the lien holder as listed on the title, or a title showing you as the registered lien holder. You would also need a Hold Harmless Affidavit filled out authorizing whoever you choose to pick up or tow the vehicle. You will have to show proof of insurance or provide an affidavit of nonuse signed by you. When a nonuse affidavit is provided, if the vehicle is driven from the storage, the driver may be subject to a violation of law due to the affidavit specifies nonuse. Towing or hauling may be the best resource.
5) As a lien holder, do I have to buy a license plate for a vehicle if it is expired?
Yes, lien holders are not exempt from having to buy a license plate when law enforcement placed a hold on a vehicle for taxes due the state.
6) What if the lien holder is also a Used Car Dealer; must they purchase the license plate if law enforcement placed a hold on the vehicle for taxes due the state?
Yes, Used Car Dealers are not exempt from having to purchase a license if the license is expired past its grace period. Dealers are exempt from keeping license plates up to date while on their dealer lot.
7) What should I do if I am involved in an accident and I want the wrecker service, called by law enforcement rotation, to take my car to an auto body shop or my home instead of back to the wrecker service storage lot?
First, if possible, advise the officer at the scene of your request so that he may relay the information to dispatch, and they in turn can relay the information to the wrecker service. When the wrecker service arrives on the scene, speak to the wrecker driver to make sure he knows the address of where you want your vehicle to go and make sure he/she knows who will be paying them when they arrive at the destination you requested. If no one is at the location to pay the driver, they will take the vehicle back to their storage facility and you will be charged for the extra mileage and storage of the vehicle.
8) How can I get my utility trailer released out of impound when I do not have a title or registration?
Wrecker Services may release an unlicensed utility trailer with a bill of sale. If the trailer was purchased from a dealer, the owner should have a Manufacture Statement of Origin (MSO). Also, Wrecker Services could release the trailer if the towing vehicle and trailer were towed into the lot together and the owner is the same for both units, with documented ownership of the towing vehicle.