Vehicle Abatement

The code enforcement officer is assigned to perform vehicle abatement duties under authority provided under the California Vehicle Code and the King City Municipal Code.

The code enforcement officer is authorized to investigate complaints involving vehicle abatement and to take appropriate action within the regulated time period. This includes the removal of abandoned or inoperable vehicles from public property and issuance of citations when appropriate.

The code enforcement officer also works with the Monterey County Vehicle Abatement Service Authority for reimbursement of costs associated with removal of abandoned or inoperable vehicles.

The King City Police Department handles concerns related to abandoned or inoperable vehicles on private property. For such vehicles that are located on your own private property, you may choose to contact a tow company of your choice to have the vehicle removed as provided for under the California Vehicle Code. If you wish to report such vehicles on someone else’s private property, please contact the code enforcement officer at (831) 386-5913.

Reporting Vehicles for Abatement

If you wish to report an abandoned or inoperable vehicle on public property for abatement, you may complete our online Code Enforcement Complaint form, or you can call the King City Police Department Non-Emergency Line at (831) 385-4848 for assistance.


Officers will mark a tire in order to ensure that a vehicle is being driven and not stored on a public street. A tire is marked when a citizen complaint is received or the vehicle appears to have been parked in the same location for over 72 hours. If the vehicle is moved within 72 hours after the tire was marked, no citation will be issued and the vehicle abatement process will not be continued.

Generally, city streets, including those in residential areas, are public property unless the vehicle is blocking access to your driveway or it is determined that the vehicle has been parked there for over 72 consecutive hours, the vehicle is legally parked and cannot be cited or towed.

An abatement process must be adhered to in order to ensure the legal removal of a vehicle. On average, the abatement process takes a minimum of fifteen business days to complete. Once a vehicle has been moved, it is no longer considered abandoned and the abatement process ends. The abatement process will have to be restarted based on a new complaint.

To recover property from an abated vehicle, you must provide the towing agency with a property release. The requirements for obtaining a property release from the King City Police Department are:

  • You must be the registered owner of the vehicle and possess a valid identification with your picture.
  • No fee is charged for a property release.
  • Only personal property can be removed. Items such as car stereos/speakers and other auto parts may not ho removed.

To recover an abated vehicle from a tow agency, you must first acquire a vehicle release from the King City Police Department. The requirements for obtaining a vehicle release are:

  • The vehicle registration must be current.
  • If the registration is not current, a moving permit must be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles prior to requesting a vehicle release.
  • The vehicle will only be released to the registered owner. The registered owner must possess a valid driver’s license or Identification card. If the register owner does not possess a valid driver’s license, he/she must be accompanied by a licensed driver.
  • There is a $150.00 vehicle release fee. The fee must be paid in cash. This is a departmental fee and is independent of any fees you will be required to pay the towing agency.