If a Car is Blocking Your Driveway in Los Angeles, Get it Towed

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We keep track of which posts on the Melrose Village Blog are viewed the most, and we have noticed an interesting thing.  Nearly every week, one of the most widely-read posts is one from last November titled, “If your driveway is blocked, what do you do?”

We suspect that this post is found by people searching the Internet because they have just discovered that their own driveway is blocked, and they cannot get their car in or out.  That is a very frustrating thing, as we know from first-hand experience.

So we are reprinting the article below, to remind everyone of what we wrote previously, and to get the information back out onto “the Internets” so that it is easy to find for people doing searches.

And remember:  Driveway blockers deserve no mercy.

Melrose Village is a very popular area, with people coming here from all over the world to visit our stores, restaurants, and theaters. Most of the visitors behave well – but there are some exceptions.

One complaint we hear regularly is from residents who can’t get in or out of their driveways – because a car is blocking the way. Blocking someone’s driveway is not just rude, it’s illegal. If it happens to you, you can get the car towed.

Just call L.A. Parking Enforcement at (213) 485-4184.  When the recorded message starts, press 2 to reach a live operator.

We have found that Parking Enforcement is very prompt and effective. (Perhaps because they generate revenue for the City, which is very much needed, especially these days.) On the few occasions we have called to get a car towed, Parking Enforcement officers have arrived in less than an hour.

If you don’t want to have the car towed, but you do want the offending parker to know that they should not have blocked your driveway, you can ask that the car be given a ticket.

You don’t need to be there for Parking Enforcement to give out just a ticket. But you do need to be present to get a car towed, so that you can show you are a resident, and that your driveway is being blocked.

We are sometimes asked if we have any qualms about getting someone’s car towed. The answer is No, Not At All. That obnoxious parker is preventing someone from getting to work, a meeting, or an appointment. And what if there were an emergency, but you could not even get out of your driveway? Towing is exactly what that person deserves. And if the shoe were on the other foot, do you really think that person would hesitate to have your car towed?

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31 Responses to If a Car is Blocking Your Driveway in Los Angeles, Get it Towed

  1. Bob Abrahams says:

    Thanks for this.
    Sometimes I’ll see someone park partially blocking a driveway and point out that they can be ticketed for that. Often they will say “Oh, they can get out.”. Maybe they can. Maybe they can’t – due to the narrow street, the width of their car, a car on the other side of the driveway. In any case, blocking ANY part of the driveway can result in a ticket.
    By the way, at the Parking Enforcement number, the menu selection for reporting someone blocking the driveway is “2.”

  2. Nancy V. says:

    I have used this service a couple of times. They are prompt. And I was very happy to
    have an unobstructed driveway again.

  3. Patty M. says:

    Speaking of partially blocking the drive way, when everyone says ‘drive-way’ does that extend to the alley between buildings as well? We have a constant problem with people leaving their cars parked in the alley that is used to access the tenant garages in the back of the fourplex. They take up half the space and you’re left to very carefully creep past their car to get in and out.

    I wasn’t clear if parking enforcement would get involved since technically I believe the alley is a private drieway, not public property. Can anyone shed some light on this? There are no parking signs posted but they are constantly ignored.

  4. J. Streit says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I found he number to call much quicker here than trying to navigate the city parking website. I, too get many repeat offenders blocking my driveway and it is exactly as you all above have said, it’s difficult if not dang near impossible to get out. Please keep this article posted! I’m sure many others will appreciate the help, as well! Cheers.

  5. Saskia van der Meer says:

    Thanks for the information. I did indeed find this article because I thought I’d better get a number as this happens a lot in our area. The latest incident occurred when someone down the street lent her car to a (former) friend who brought it back at night, couldn’t find a spot, and so decided to almost entirely block my neighbor’s driveway. Cost: $295. Somehow people think it’s okay to block a driveway at night, figuring they’ll move before anyone needs to get out in the morning. Guess they don’t think about people doing shift work, emergencies, or someone coming home late.

    • Alex says:

      Just happened to me. Returned back home with my family and found two (!) cars left on drive-ways blocking two entries at once. I had to drop off my family, park my car outside on the street (yes! there was enough spots to park properly!), and returned to my apartment to find the phone number to call. During this short time both cars vanished before I made a call. But this situation is happening all the time — someone is stopping in the drive-way while waiting for someone to pick-up. That is also annoying, but at least someone stays in the car and moves it away when asked.
      Just for the future, added this number to my seed dial.
      Thanks!

  6. slb says:

    Thanks so much for the info! It’s now 11:15am on a Sunday and the car that decided to completely block our driveway last night, still hasn’t gotten their lazy arse up. So now they are getting towed.

  7. B says:

    Thanks for the info! The driving to my apartment building is currently blocked and I just gave this number a call. They are sending someone out right now!

  8. Pingback: Car Blocking Your Driveway? Get It Towed Immediately! | Melrose Village Blog

  9. Jose says:

    This happened to me last night (sunday). Noticed a car parked around 6;30 didn’t think anything from in because sometimes my next door neighbor’s friends do it for about 5 min to drop something off or do something quick at his place. An hour later the car was still there so we asked and it wasn’t his. My neighbor went around and asked others if it was theirs. We couldn’t find who the owner was. So at 7:30 we called parking enforcement, around 8:30 we called again and they said someone was on their way but don’t know in how long they will be there. Finally a lady came around 9 who visited her friend at an apartment around the corner and we just lied to her and said we reported her to the police and that a tow truck was about to come. SHORTLY after she left tow truck came by and just left because the truck was gone. Is there anyone else I can call in the Los Angeles area other than parking enforcement? She was there from 6:30-9 and they never showed up. I’m glad it wasn’t blocking a car but, what if it was? What else can I do besides calling parking enforcement?

    • A few tips:
      1) Call L.A. Parking Enforcement IMMEDIATELY when you see a car blocking your driveway. Don’t wait or just assume the problem will solve itself.
      2) If Parking Enforcement has not arrived in one hour, call them back and ask if they can give you an estimate of when they will arrive.
      3) If cars blocking driveways is a continuing problem in your neighborhood, contact your LAPD Senior Lead Officer and your City Council member’s office to ask for additional help.

  10. Figg gig says:

    Thank you so much! I’m in Silverlake, but had the same problem! Now fixed, 3 hrs on a Friday night after a long week of work.

  11. sam goldstone says:

    Called to report a vehicle blocking my driveway. They were here within 10 minutes and gave it a ticket. If the vehicle is here in the morning its getting towed.

  12. Annie C says:

    I live in another part of LA but found your blog. Thank you for this info, I’ve had this happen twice and didn’t know what to do…now I do.

  13. MarleneS2013 says:

    can I post a sign stating ” do not block driveway”? is there a law or rule behind this ?
    Do you happen to know how to make parking with parking permits per household?

    • You can try posting a sign that says, “Do not block driveway.” As long as the sign is on your property, we don’t see any problem with posting one.

      Regarding your question on parking permits per household, it’s not clear what you are asking. If your block does not already have permit parking, and you would like to get permit parking established there, contact your City Council member for information. In the Melrose Village neighborhood, that is Paul Koretz.

  14. Lori says:

    Thank you! I appreciate your advice. Now I know I’m right to complain about that inconsiderate person who lives across the street with plenty of room in front of his house but has to park just on the right side of my driveway with the rear in MY driveway. Also blocking the street where I put the trashcans out.

    Can I please get some feedback on this: It is customary to put our trash containers out the night before trash day. A few weeks ago I had our trash cans out just down our driveway onto the street. My son pulled up in front of our house and was on the phone, this was around midnight. The guy that always parks there now pulled up and got out of his car and proceeded to move our trashcans just completely blocking our driveway.
    My son got out of his car and told him to put the cans back where they were and don’t be moving our cans …. etc. etc. Well, that guy is not only inconsiderate but feels he is entitled to park as such.. Exactly like that white car in that picture above…..

    Well can anyone relate to this…. I really am sick of neighbors doing things like this to us. Oh, but if the shoe was on the other foot.
    Thanks, Lori,

  15. Joanna says:

    Our driveway is blocked all the time, every weekend — especially Sunday, as we live around the corner from the flea market at Fairfax High School. I have always been hesitant to call to get the cars towed, because I am fearful of revenge by the angry driver. It seems to me that if a person is so indifferent or aggressive that he or she will block the driveway of a residence, then that person is likely to be angry and to take it out on the homeowner who obviously is responsible for getting the car towed.

    • Get over your fears! We have heard of many residents who have gotten cars towed for blocking their driveway, and we have never heard of any acts of revenge. From what we have seen, some of the driveway-blockers are completely unaware that they had even blocked another person’s driveway, because they were distracted by talking to friends, texting, or rushing to meet someone.

      The only way people will learn to stop blocking your driveway is if you show them that there are consequences to doing so. Don’t be a doormat. Protect your driveway – and your sanity.

      You might also do what a few residents have already done and put up a sign warning that cars blocking the driveway will be towed immediately. That can make a difference.

      • Towed says:

        Tonight I got towed by my neighbor. I truly had no idea I’d parked in front of their driveway and they towed me so now I can’t get to work in the morning and I’m out roughly $500 after ticket, towing, night impound fees, and release fee. What an incredibly unneighborly thing to do. It would be one thing if it cost $150 or so but almost $500 is a lot to, say, a single mother with two jobs raising kids. Think before you do this to someone. They might have made an honest mistake.

        Revenge crossed my mind but I believe in the rule of law. You might not have as much luck with other people.

      • TheHomestDood says:

        @Towed single mother? Guess you’ve learned an expensive lesson in being considerate to your neighbors. If you had any relationship with them and they had you towed then I’d agree with you. But if they don’t know you, you had it coming.

      • Kali Kross says:

        @Towed How do you not know you’re blocking someone’s driveway? If you don’t have the capability to discern a driveway from a curb, perhaps you don’t belong on the road. And using the single mother gimmick doesn’t help your case. It just confirms that making poor choices is a pattern in your life.

  16. Silverlaker says:

    Thanks for this! Someone parked behind my car and left their car touching my back bumper. I can’t get out (and they will have left a nasty scratch in the paint) so I called parking enforcement right away. F them!

  17. I get this all the time too. I have 2 pop-up, drive through churches, a shopping center and a few rude neighbors I have to deal with. Does anyone know the rule about butting up to the side of a driveway opening? I will get 2 cars that will park right on each edge not allowing me enough room to back out and allow a safe turn, as well as, creating blind spots. I have been trying to find if there is something on the books regarding how many inches to allow.

    • It’s been my experience that it depends on the LADOT officer involved. Some won’t even give a ticket unless the car is well past the edge of where the sloped portion matches the normal-height curb. And some won’t tow unless the vehicle is farther into the driveway than the edge of the driveway as it extends on the house side of the sidewalk. And I agree with you that when cars intrude on both sides it’s hard to get in and out on many of our narrow streets.

  18. Maddy says:

    Someone parked their car INSIDE!!! my property. parking enforcement won’t do anything because it’s not on the city streets. any advice?

    • I know this reply is pretty late, but someone did that to me a few years back and I called one of those private tow companies to tow. They are more than willing to pick up a car, as long as the home owner is there. Someone actually parked their car in my driveway on private property and left. Since I had no place to park, I blocked them in to wait for the truck and he finally came had his nerve to honk to get out. He drove across my neighbors grass through to their driveway to get back to the street.

  19. Kimberly says:

    This post is still at the top of the google list of searches about this subject, thank you so much for the help. I recently moved into a new home and people keep trying to ‘fit’ their car into a spot that doesn’t exist. I have been patient but enough is enough.

  20. Tim says:

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22500.htm has a list of all the parking codes in CA VC22500(e) covers this. I live up in the hills and have no driveway but a pathway to get to the front door. As the sole entryway to the home, and obstruction is also illegal and would prevent emergency services from rendering aide to occupants of the home.

  21. Alex says:

    what about people who block your driveway because they are picking someone up or dropping someone off? my guess is the only way around this is to post a sign to not park in driveway because calling enforcement might take to long…

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