Police Department FAQ


Can I put after-market tinting on the windows of my vehicle?
The main requirements for legal window tinting in California are:

  1. The windshield and front driver's side and passenger's side windows cannot receive any aftermarket tinting.
  2. If the rear window of a vehicle is tinted, the vehicle must have outside rearview mirrors on both sides.

The law prohibits any person from driving any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied upon the windshield or side or rear windows, with certain limited exceptions.

However, legislation signed into law effective January 1, 1999, exempts from the above prohibition specified clear, colorless, and transparent material that is installed, affixed, or applied to the front driver and passenger side windows for the specific purpose of reducing ultraviolet rays. If, as, or when this material becomes torn, bubbled or otherwise worn, it must be removed or replaced.

How long will I have to wait until the vehicle can be released?
The vehicle will be impounded for 30 calendar days. At that time the registered owner will be responsible for paying the law enforcement fees, towing and storage fees to reclaim the vehicle.

Hanford Police Department will, on request give the registered owner an Impound Hearing on the impounded vehicle.
Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Fees charged by the Hanford Police Department to release an impounded vehicle are:

With Impound Hearing:          $101.00
Without Impound Hearing:      $ 85.00

On January 1, 1995, new laws were enacted to unlicensed drivers.  These laws, California Vehicle Code (CVC) Sections 14602.6 and 14607.6 authorize law enforcement agencies to tow and impound vehicles for 30 days when driven by unlicensed, suspended, or revoked drivers.  There is a possibilty that the vehicle can be forfeited (taken from you by the State) if you have a prior conviction for driving while unlicensed, or suspended, or revoked. 

If you allow yourself or someone else to drive your vehicle unlicensed, drive with a suspended or revoked license, your vehicle can be impounded.

I don't understand. Why 30 days? I absolutely need my car
The legislature intended to provide safer roads for California's motoring public by removing the vehicle for 30 days.  A serious violation of the law calls for a serious response.  The 30 day impound begins on the calendar day that the car is towed and will be released at the conclusion of the 30th day during normal business hours.

Excuses will not help you when your vehicle is being driven by an unlicensed, suspended, or revoked driver. 

Is it illegal to use my cellular telephone while I'm driving?
California law does not prohibit the use of a hands-free wireless telephone while operating a vehicle if you re 18 years of age or over. However, the CHP recommends common sense in its use and we urge users to familiarize themselves with their cellular telephone features and follow these tips:

  • If possible, dial while the car is not in motion, such as at a traffic light or stop sign.
  • Learn to operate the phone without looking at it.
  • Never allow a phone conversation to distract you from driving.
  • Keep calls brief.
  • While talking, keep your head up and your eyes on the road, with frequent checks of side and rearview mirrors.
  • Don't take notes or look up phone numbers while driving.
  • If you must check information, arrange to call back and do your research while the car is safely stopped.

Two new laws concerning cell phone use went into effect July 1, 2008. Click here to see a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new laws.

My (brother/sister/friend) borrowed the car." or "I did not know his/her license was suspended.
Under Section 14604 CVC, the owner has a duty to ensure the person driving their vehicle possesses a valid license; however, if you allow or permit anyone, including: your wife or husband, son or daughter, or friend to drive your vehicle and that person does not have a valid driver's license, you will be responsible for all law enforcement fees and storage fees.  You will not have access to the vehicle for 30 days

Why is driving without a valid driver's license so serious?
An unlicensed driver is a potential danger to all other motorists on the roadway.  He or she may not be aware of the rules of the road or practice safe driving techniques.  A driver who is unlicensed, or has a suspended/revoked driver's license who has been ordered not to drive because of previous driving violations, continue to show a flagrant disregard for the safety of other motorists or pedestrians.

Why was my car impounded?
Your vehicle was impounded because you or another individual driving your vehicle has: A suspended license, a revoked license, or does not have a valid license.