Technology Talk: Vehicle Impounding and Notification Enters the Digital Age

On a typical summer day in Arizona, the Peoria Police Department impounded a vehicle for a traffic violation. After processing the impounded vehicle, Rick Hyde, the vehicle impound coordinator, sent a letter to the lien holder and registered owner of the car notifying them that the car had been impounded. After four months with no response from the owner or lien holder, the car was auctioned by the impound lot.1

Shortly after the sale, Hyde received a call from an outraged lien holder wanting to know why his car had been sold without his knowledge. The lien holder never received Hyde’s letter because his office had moved locations without updating the address with the motor vehicle department. In the end, the owner lost the car, and the lien holder didn’t get a cent from the sale.