If the DMV permits him to register the car in the first place, how can a police dept. refuse to let him claim the vehicle? 6 Answers as of July 18, 2011

A friend (illegal alien) was stopped and given a ticket for going 30 mph in a 25 mph zone. His car, registered and insured in his name, was impounded. He was told by the local police that they could only release the car to someone with a CA licence and that person must also be the registered owner of the car. He currently has an Internat'l licence from another country. If the DMV permits him to register the car in the first place, how can a police dept. refuse to let him claim the vehicle?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
They can't. If it is his vehicle it should be released. He may just need someone else with him to drive it away.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/18/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
CAN they? Of course. They did already. Im not sure why the car was impounded, and that can be argued about, but now that it has, only the registered owner can bail it out. Storage charges are accruing, so do it quickly. He can take with him a person with a valid CA license to drive it away He may have to seek a court order for vehicle release if the police or impound yard refuses to release to him, whether right or wrong in doing so. Hell need an attorney for that.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/15/2011
Attorney at Law
Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
If he is driving on a suspended license or without a California license while being a California resident, the car can be impounded, regardless of "international licenses," which are not valid here unless accompanied by some other valid license.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
To Whom It May Concern: I disagree with the information given to your friend. I believe it is untruthful. The car can be released to anyone with a valid license who accompanies your friend. It is probably just some typically corrupt policy, designed to try to steal another car through so-called policy or procedure. Think about it - so, anyone who's license is suspended as a result of a criminal case has to forfeit their car?! That's asinine. Try again. Call the police department again. Your friend can seek a Court Order, too. He could always sign the car over to a friend, who could register it prior togetting it out of impound. It is a shame to have to combat the sleaziness of the police with all of those shenanigans, butsometimes, unfortunately,it is just easier(not to mention quicker and cheaper)to accomplish your objective, rather to stand on principle.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2011
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
They can. The vehicle code says the vehicle will only be released to someone with a valid CA license. What your friend can do is bring someone who has a valid CA license, and the two of them, together, can get the car out.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    There is a Vehicle Code Section, I don't have it in front of me, that allows the police to confiscate a vehicle of a driver who does not have a California license. California does not recognize International Driver's Licenses. Hurry, after 1 month they will sell the vehicle to recover the impound fees which are prohibitive!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
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