OakDOT’s Vehicle Enforcement Unit (VEU) is organized, staffed and equipped to handle three basic service areas:
As part of the City’s Fiscal Year 2021-2023 Budget and in fulfillment of recommendations in the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, City Council directed staff to transfer staff positions and resources from Oakland Police Department (OPD) to OakDOT in an effort to have civilian matter experts respond to community requests for service that were previously fulfilled through Police staff.
Each year, the City receives as many as 20,000 service requests related to abandoned vehicles and, in response, tows approximately 2,500 vehicles. Many Oakland neighborhoods considered abandoned vehicles the second most pressing issue after violent crime. To report an abandoned vehicle, please use the City's Oak 311 service request system.
The Oakland City Council has declared that “the accumulation and storage of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicles or parts thereof on private or public property is found to create a condition tending to reduce the value of private property, to promote blight and deterioration, to invite plundering, to create fire hazards, to constitute an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors, to create a harborage for rodents and insects and to be injurious to the health, safety and general welfare. Therefore the presence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle or part thereof…is declared to constitute a public nuisance which may be abated as such in accordance with the provisions” of Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) 10.64 and under the authority of California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22660
Effective February 13, 2023, the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) is responsible for enforcing OMC 10.64. This responsibility is limited to the public right of way (PROW) and City-owned property. The Oakland Police Department (OPD) continues to be responsible for abating abandoned vehicles from private property.
Since 2009, the City has used a “smart boot” solution for immobilizing vehicles. Vehicles that have five or more unpaid citations or more than $500.00 in outstanding citation fines and fees are deemed “scofflaw” and are subject to booting.
Immobilization is an effective way of holding registered owners accountable, and far less expensive and resource intensive than towing and impounding. If your vehicle has been booted, click here to learn how to pay off your fines and fees, get the boot off quickly and get back on the road.
According to the 2022 Alameda County Point-in-Time Survey, there are nearly 2,000 vehicles being used as shelters in Oakland. Vehicles used as shelters, whether automobiles and RVs, are subject to the same parking regulations as other vehicles. When vehicles being used as shelters are not moved regularly, they become vehicle encampments. The growing number of vehicle encampments, which are often concentrated in East and West Oakland, pose major challenges.
The Vehicle Encampment Detail assists the City’s Encampment Management Team (EMT), participating in scheduled encampment closure and deep cleaning operations as well as conducting vehicle encampment assessments in support of a harm reduction strategy that both acknowledges the ongoing use of vehicles as shelters while seeking to minimize the negative impacts on the shared use of the public right of way.
For general information about the City's EMT policies and activities, please click here.