DeKalb’s New Administrative Tow Fee


Effective this past February2013, the DeKalb Police Department has implemented an Administrative Tow Fee. Those who don’t pay attention to what goes on at 200 S. 4th Street may not have heard about this new towing policy yet but perhaps this is one of those things you need to pay attention to. DeKalb Police have towed 78 vehicles in just the first 42 days.

The following guidelines are used to determine which towed vehicles will be subject to the fee. If there is probable cause to believe that a vehicle was used in violation of Section 35.07 of the DeKalb Municipal Code, because one of the following offenses was committed with relation to the vehicle, the Administrative Tow Fee ($500) will be applied and the vehicle will not be released until such fee is paid. Those charges are:

  • tow_truckDriving while license suspended or revoked (unless related to an unpaid parking ticket or emissions test).
  • Driving while license is expired, more than a year.
  • Driving without a valid driver’s license.
  • Commission of an offense eligible for seizure under 720 ILCS 36-1.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating substances in violation of Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.
  • Driving while subject to an Illinois warrant for DWLS, DWLR, DWOL, DUI, or DWI.
  • Commission of a violation of the Cannabis Control Act or Illinois Controlled Substances Act, or while soliciting, possessing, or attempting to solicit or possess cannabis or a controlled substance.
  • Commission or attempted commission of Unlawful Use of Weapons (24-1), Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (24-1.5), or Unlawful Possession of Firearm/Ammunition (24-3.1), in violation of Illinois Criminal Code of 1961.
  • Use of a vehicle in commission or attempt to commit an offense in violation of Article 16 of Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 (theft).
  • Use of a vehicle in the commission or attempted commission of any other misdemeanor or felony in violation of Illinois Criminal Code of 1961.

Any motorist who is subjected to an Administrative Tow based on the above information will have a right to an administrative hearing. That hearing will be conducted within 45 days of the seizure.

At the final hearing, if it is determined by a preponderance of the evidence that the vehicle was used in the commission of the listed violation(s), the vehicle shall continue to be impounded until payment of the $500 administrative fee is paid. If the owner is found not liable, the vehicle shall be returned without penalty. Please call the DeKalb Police Department if you have questions.


  1. I’m sure we will get the “spirit of the law” type argument when asking about this one. I don’t suppose city council members take any kind of test for comprehending the citizen’s legal and constitutional rights before entering office. Call your alderman and demand they revisit the towing ordinance. Or resign.

  2. “Commission of a violation of the Cannabis Control Act or Illinois Controlled Substances Act, or while soliciting, possessing, or attempting to solicit or possess cannabis or a controlled substance.”

    So now we have the “charge” of simple drug possession being linked to asset forfeiture, regardless of whether the person being charged was driving or not. No need for any trial or conviction, local authorities only need to “ponder” the evidence.

    “Property owners bear the burden of proof, meaning they must prove their innocence, the exact opposite of centuries of Western jurisprudence. On top of that, law enforcement agencies receive 100 percent of their funds raised with civil forfeiture.”

  3. …Guess I should read the full ordinance…but who is charged with towing these cars? Is it competitively bid? Do they rotate vendors once in awhile? Visions of Lincoln Park pirates!!!

    Really glad they want to clean up crime, but let’s get the process right.

  4. Dekalb Municipal Code, Chapter 35.05.f – “Towing Policy: The Chief of Police is and shall be authorized to approve changes, amendments or modifications to the City’s official Towing Policy from time to time, without requiring approval of the City Council or amendment of this Ordinance, and shall maintain a current copy of the Towing Policy at the Police Department office, for public inspection.”

    tyranny (n) – a government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.

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