Boot and Barnacle Program

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Immobilization Eligibility

After a vehicle has three or more final unpaid parking tickets, a letter will be mailed to alert the registered owner that the vehicle is subject to immobilization. Immobilization can occur in the form of a boot (metal device placed onto the wheel of the car) or barnacle (flat plastic device placed on the windshield). If the fine is not paid within 21 days from the date of the notice, the vehicle will be added to the immobilization list. The owner may challenge the validity of the notice by requesting a hearing within 21 days of the date of the notice and appearing in person to submit evidence which would disprove liability. Please review the City Code for documentary evidence grounds.

The City of Evanston uses a license plate recognition technology as part of their system to enforce parking ordinances, which makes it easier to identify vehicles which are eligible for immobilization due to unpaid parking violations. The vehicle may also be immobilized when located on the public way or on any city-owned property.

After Immobilization

After an eligible vehicle is immobilized, a notice will be affixed to the vehicle in a conspicuous place. It will warn that the vehicle is immobilized and that any attempt to move the vehicle may result in its damage. The notice will explain the steps required to have the restraint removed. Unauthorized damage or removal of an immobilization device is a criminal offense.

Here are the steps for the two different immobilization methods.

If payment is made through the City of Evanston website for an immobilized vehicle, your vehicle will not be released until you contact customer service at 847-448-4311. Please follow the instructions below: 

If your vehicle has a boot:
You must contact the City Collectors Office in the Lorraine Morton Civic Center at (847)448-4311 during normal business hours, Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm. The staff in the office will walk you through the process to get your vehicle released.

If your vehicle has a Barnacle device on the windshield:
For immediate release either call the automated phone line (847) 201-2755, or go online to pay.barnacleparking.com. Once the barnacle fee and all tickets are paid by credit card you will be given instructions and a code to release the device. The device must be returned within 24 hours of release to the Evanston Police Department located at 1454 Elmwood, Evanston, IL 60201 or you will be charged the full price for a replacement. The police department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

If Payment is not made within 48 hours, including weekends, the vehicle will be towed and impounded. After that, the vehicle will not be released until the following have been paid in full: immobilization fee, towing and storage fees, and all unpaid tickets judgments. Payment can not be made by personal check.  

The owner of an immobilized vehicle has the right to a hearing to determine whether the immobilization or any subsequent towing was erroneous, if the owner requests a hearing with the director of administrative adjudication within 14 days after immobilization or 14 days of the date of the notice of impoundment, whichever is later. Hearings requested will be conducted by an administrative hearing officer. The determination of the administrative hearing officer regarding the validity of the immobilization is final. You must call customer service at 847-866-4311 or administrative adjudication at 847-448-8163 during normal business hours in order to schedule a hearing. 

After Towing

The owner of an immobilized vehicle or other authorized person may acquire the vehicle by paying the immobilization fee of $125, all fines and penalties related to the vehicle, and the fee for towing and storage. Click here for towing and storage fee information.

Within 10 days after a vehicle has been impounded, a notice of impoundment will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of the registered owner as listed with the Secretary of State. The notice shall state that the owner has the right to request a post-immobilization and post-towing hearing (see paragraph below), and that if the vehicle is not claimed within 30 days from the date of the notice, the vehicle may be sold or otherwise disposed of.

The owner of an immobilized vehicle has the right to a hearing to determine whether the immobilization or any subsequent towing was erroneous, if the owner requests a hearing with the director of administrative adjudication within 14 days after immobilization or 14 days of the date of the notice of impoundment (see paragraph above), whichever is later. Hearings requested will be conducted by an administrative hearing officer. The determination of the administrative hearing officer regarding the validity of the immobilization is final.

Here are the steps for the two different immobilization methods.
If payment is made through the City of Evanston website for an immobilized vehicle, your vehicle will not be released until you contact customer service. Please follow the instructions below: 
If your vehicle has a boot:
You must contact the City Collectors Office in the Lorraine Morton Civic Center at (847)448-4311 during normal business hours, Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm. The staff in the office will walk you through the process to get your vehicle released. 
If your vehicle has a Barnacle device on the windshield:
For immediate release either call the automated phone line (847) 201-2755, or go online to pay.barnacleparking.com. Once the payment has been completed you will be given instructions and a code to release the device. The device must be returned within 24 hours of release to the Evanston Police Department located at 1454 Elmwood, Evanston, IL 60201 or you will be charged the full price for a replacement. The police department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  
If Payment is not made within 24 hours, including weekends, the vehicle will be towed and impounded. After that, the vehicle will not be released until the following have been paid in full: immobilization fee, towing and storage fees, and all unpaid ticket judgement.  
Here are the steps for the two different immobilization methods.
If payment is made through the City of Evanston website for an immobilized vehicle, your vehicle will not be released until you contact customer service. Please follow the instructions below: 
If your vehicle has a boot:
You must contact the City Collectors Office in the Lorraine Morton Civic Center at (847)448-4311 during normal business hours, Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm. The staff in the office will walk you through the process to get your vehicle released. 
If your vehicle has a Barnacle device on the windshield:
For immediate release either call the automated phone line (847) 201-2755, or go online to pay.barnacleparking.com. Once the payment has been completed you will be given instructions and a code to release the device. The device must be returned within 24 hours of release to the Evanston Police Department located at 1454 Elmwood, Evanston, IL 60201 or you will be charged the full price for a replacement. The police department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  
If Payment is not made within 24 hours, including weekends, the vehicle will be towed and impounded. After that, the vehicle will not be released until the following have been paid in full: immobilization fee, towing and storage fees, and all unpaid ticket judgement.