If you’re standing on the street right now pissed off, smartphone in hand desperately Googling to figure out where the fuck your car is and how to get it back, relax.
Take a deep breath. The Chop is here to help.
If you were towed at rush hour, during a ballgame, or in connection with some other special event, or if you left your car on the street overnight and it was towed, or if it was just in a spot marked ‘tow away zone’ then your car is almost certainly at the Fallsway impound lot. The city initially tows most cars to 410 Fallsway at the corner of Pleasant Street. Located under the elevated portion of the Jones Falls Expressway, it can be found on the map here.
Fallsway is open from 7 am- 7:30 pm Monday through Friday. If it’s past 7:30, you’re probably out of luck and will need to go there in the morning. But they are sometimes open at other hours for special events, and remain open 2 hours after the conclusion of Ravens home games. You can call the lot at (410) 396-4613.
If they are open, you can get to the lot via Bus lines 5, 8, 15, 19, 20, 23, 30, 35, 36, 40, 46, 47, 48, 91 or by taking the Metro Subway to the Shot Tower station and walking north a few blocks. Or call Yellow Cab- (410) 685-1212.
The Fallsway lot does not accept Visa. They also do not accept most banks’ debit cards, even if they are non-Visa. If you are paying by card, there are extra fees associated. The lot accepts money orders and certified checks, but the easiest way to pay is in cash, so go to the ATM before you visit the lot. The lot has its own ATM, which is very expensive. Your best course of action is to visit your own bank’s ATM downtown before you go. Total charges are $272-$282 ($322 for stadium events). Withdraw $300 just to be on the safe side.
You’re going to need a photo ID and either your car’s title or registration, but if the registration is in the car they are usually pretty good about letting you retrieve it and show it to them. Official Baltimore City towing webpages can be found here and here.
As bad as Fallsway is, it’s the best option. You hope your car is at Fallsway. If it is not, you can call 311 to attempt to locate it. If 311 doesn’t work on your mobile phone, dial (443) 263-2220. You can also check the status of your violation (and see how much your ticket is) on the Department of Finance page.
If your car isn’t at Fallsway, or was moved from Fallsway, it is most likely at the city’s main impound lot at 6700 Pulaski Highway (Rt 40 East). Their hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm and Saturday 9am-4pm. (410) 396-9958 Useful information about Pulaski can be found here.
*Note: This impound lot is very near Crazy Ray’s. If your car is fucked and undriveable and you don’t want it, Crazy Ray’s will pay you $400 (or more) for scrap value. It may or may not be worth it to have it towed there rather than renounce the title to the city. You’ll have to decide that for yourself.
If your car was towed from a privately owned parking lot, driveway, handicap space or similar:
If this is the case then it wasn’t the city that ordered your tow, but a private property owner. The first thing to do is to take a good look around the parking lot for a towing company sign like this one that lists a phone number and address. This will tell you where your car is. Rates vary but count on paying around $300 at least.
If for some reason you can’t find such a sign, attempt to contact the property owner/management to see if and where your car was towed. If you’re not able to contact someone immediately, your car may be at one of the following:
Greenwood Towing 1370 W. North Ave. (410) 669-1661. Greenwood’s facility is open for auto recovery 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Auto Barn 2125 West Lafayette Ave. 410-362-0117. Also open 24 hours. Accepts cash only.
Frankford Towing (410) 254-3800. 6300 Belair Rd.
Berman’s Towing 5720 Reisterstown Road, (410) 366-2000.
Whitelock Towing 2634 Flora Street (in Penn North) (410) 383-2769
These are some of the biggest players in the local towing industry. If your car isn’t at one of these it may be at a smaller local garage.
There’s no two ways about it. Towing in this town is a scam and a fucking racket. We’re sorry if you got picked, and we hope this page could at least get you going in the right direction fast and let you know what to expect. Feel free to add any comments or additional information you may have to share in the comments.