Advisory: Hardship fund available for retrieval of towed and impounded vehicles for victims of auto theft and others living on a low income

News Article
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has established a hardship fund to help victims of auto theft and those living on a low income so they can more easily retrieve their towed and impounded vehicles within Portland city limits.
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(April 29, 2024) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has established a hardship fund to help victims of auto theft and those living on a low income so they can more easily retrieve their towed and impounded vehicles within Portland city limits. Money for the fund comes from a $5 surcharge on tows collected as part of the city’s towing contracts.

Those requesting a towing hardship must apply within 5 business days of the tow and before you've retrieved your vehicle. The city will pay up to $300 in towing and storage fees for applicants who qualify, while the fund lasts. Funds are paid to the towing/impounding company, not a reimbursement to the applicant. Find additional details, required documentation, and a link to the online application on PBOT’s website at Portland.gov/towing-hardship.

PBOT’s Towing Administration staff will review and issue a determination within 3 business days, although extenuating circumstances could extend this timeline.

If approved, PBOT will cover up to $300 directly to the towing/impounding company on behalf of the registered vehicle owner for towing and storage fees. PBOT issues a voucher to the tower via Auto Return and to the vehicle owner via email. Vehicles can typically be picked up within the hour.