University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Washington Administrative Code

Title 478 WAC – University of Washington


Chapter 478–116 WAC: Parking and Traffic Rules of the University of Washington, Seattle

WAC 478–116–351: Motorized vehicles--Immobilization and impoundment.


(1) In addition to issuing citations for violations of these rules, authorized agents of transportation services and UWPD may immobilize or impound any motorized vehicle parked on campus in violation of these rules. The expenses of immobilization, impoundment, and storage shall be charged to the owner or operator of the motor vehicle, or both, and must be paid before the motor vehicle's release. Grounds for immobilizing or impounding motor vehicles shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  (a) Blocking a roadway so as to impede the flow of traffic;

  (b) Blocking a walkway, trail, sidewalk, or crosswalk so as to impede the flow of pedestrian traffic;

  (c) Blocking a fire hydrant or fire lane;

  (d) Creating a public safety hazard;

  (e) Blocking another legally parked vehicle;

  (f) Parking in a marked "tow-away" zone;

  (g) Failing to pay a fine imposed under this chapter following notice of nonpayment to the registered permit holder and/or registered owner of the motor vehicle;

  (h) UWPD has probable cause to believe the motor vehicle is stolen;

  (i) UWPD has probable cause to believe the motor vehicle contains or constitutes evidence of a crime and impoundment is necessary to obtain or preserve such evidence; or

  (j)

When a driver is arrested and/or deprived of the right to
leave with the driver's motor vehicle and UWPD is responsible for
safekeeping of the vehicle.

(2) Not more than one business day after immobilization or impoundment of any motor vehicle, the university shall mail a notice of immobilization or impoundment to the permit holder and/or registered owner of the motor vehicle and to any other person who claims the right to possession of the motor vehicle, if those persons can be identified. Similar notice shall be given to each person who seeks to redeem an immobilized or impounded motor vehicle. If a motor vehicle is redeemed prior to the mailing of the notice, the notice may not be mailed. The notice shall contain the date of immobilization or impoundment, reason for the action, the location of the motor vehicle if impounded, redemption procedures, and an opportunity to contest the immobilization or impoundment as provided in WAC 478-116-415.

(3) A sticker will be attached to a motor vehicle that is immobilized which shall include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  (a) Date and time of immobilization;

  (b) Reason for immobilization;

  (c) Instruction for motor vehicle release; and

  (d) Notification that the motor vehicle will be towed within seventy-two hours of the date/time indicated on the sticker if the motor vehicle remains immobilized.

  Motor vehicles that remain immobilized seventy-two hours after the immobilization device was placed on the motor vehicle will be impounded. Impoundment of these motor vehicles will follow the procedures outlined in WAC 478-116-361.

(4) Impounding or immobilizing a motor vehicle does not remove the obligation for any fines associated with the violation or other outstanding citations. All fines, fees, and the cost of the immobilization and impoundment (e.g., booting, towing, storage fees) must be paid prior to the removal of an immobilization device or the release of an impounded motor vehicle.

(5) Impounded motor vehicles shall only be redeemed by the registered owner who has a valid driver's license or a person authorized by the registered owner who has a valid driver's license and who produces proof of authorization and signs a receipt for the motor vehicle.

(6) Any person seeking to redeem a motor vehicle impounded or immobilized under this chapter has the right to contest the validity of the impoundment or immobilization, the amount of applicable booting, towing, and storage fees and shall have the motor vehicle released upon requesting a review provided in WAC 478-116-415, and paying any outstanding fines, towing, and storage charges.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.560 and 28B.20.130. 11-13-058, § 478-116-351, filed 6/14/11, effective 8/8/11.]