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


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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52 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.

  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,

    • Dee says:

      Hello Lori,

      Did your issue get resolution? I too am having the same issue with my neighbors. I am the new kid on the block. My neighbors have 9 cars. Yes, 9 cars. They own what appears to be 2 lots. They have plenty of space to park their cars yet insist on parking directly in front of our home. Everyday all of their cars are lined up back to back not allowing anyone else to park. They also partially block my driveway and I don’t have space to place my trash cans on trash day. It’s ridiculous! Just this morning I had a difficult time backing my SUV out of my driveway because their SUV was partially blocking our driveway.

  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.

      • Sad story of revenge here… I’m not in Melrose Village but the code is written in favor of the driveway blocker in cases where garages are right on the street and driveways are more like driveway-lets. I towed a car blocking my driveway but it backfired big time. I live in a hillside neighborhood where many residents park blocking their garages. This usually works fine but there is actually a law on the books that cannot block a driveway whether it’s yours or not. The person I towed has been exacting her revenge nightly ($68/night) by anonymously calling in a blocked driveway. To ticket you don’t need to leave a name, name required only if you wish the car to be towed where you have to prove it’s your residence.

        I have tried to make peace with the woman but she is hellbent on making me pay since she had to pay the tow. Total loophole in the code. Had I known, I would have just ticketed.

      • common sense says:

        @Towed: Learn to take responsibility for your own actions. Typical obnoxious attitude of “honest mistake” does not cut it. If you are too ignorant to be courteous, then you should not be driving at all.

  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.

    • Tripple says:

      This happened to me last night. Some complete moron parked their car perpendicular across my driveway, blocking both my cars. Half his car was in my driveway, the other half in the street. When I called the city at first the claimed they could not tow if any of the car was on private property. When they sent the parking enforcement agent, she was willing to call the tow truck. Unfortunately the moron moved the car before the tow came but at least he got cited. I used to worry about revenge but you’ll never be respected in this city by anyone if you’re always afraid.

  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…

  22. Dex says:

    Does anyone know what constitutes a “drive way” in Los Angeles (I searched the CA Vehicular Code — which I suppose takes precedence over the city codes?) — In San Fran, my understanding is it’s the “cut” of the curb at the “top” of the slope” at least according to the City’s Parking Enforcement site. But I wonder if it’s the same for LA? I always assumed it was at the bottom of the slope (because cars can get in and out of a driveway or should be able to — without having to “drive off” (as it were) the elevated portion of the curb. But these assumptions and suppositions –= however logical or reasonable — may well not be the law.

  23. Marlene says:

    In City of Los Angeles if your vehicle blocks any part of the sloping edge of a driveway, i.e., the ‘apron’ portion that meets the street, you are in violation. If you are only a couple of inches over the highest portion right near the legitimate curb, you are possibly OK when the parking enforcement shows up. But if you are a foot or more over that ‘apron,’ you will likely be ticketed whether or not someone going in or out of the driveway can maneuver around somehow and not have blocked vision, too. Just don’t park anywhere that you are not totally next to an actual curb.

    • Joanna says:

      I have gotten a ticket in my driveway for this offense (I was parked there for 5 minutes while the driveway was occupied by workers ‘ trucks and at that time parking was prohibited on my street during school hours). But anyway, there is a car on the next block that parks in the “apron” literally every single day since they moved in – over a year. Not that it really matters, but it infuriates me every day when I drive by that they don’t get ticketed for this. It must be some arrangement with the parking authorities.

  24. Tom says:

    We have an unusual problem ….
    We live on one of the few un-permitted streets between La Brea and Fairfax. Our neighbor owns 3 large vehicles – 1 flatbed truck, 1 RV (from the 70s), and 1 RV trailer (also from the 70s). The RV is about 20 ft and the trailer has got to be about 25 feet. They are both wider than normal vehicles and our roads are narrow, and when parked near our driveway we cannot see if cars are coming. At least 1 collision has occurred because of this. Several other neighbors have made complaints and I do think the RV was towed – but he got it out of the impound and just kept parking it there. Firstly, we are trying to get our street to be permitted like the surrounding streets are (will this help? Or will he get a permit for the RV/Trailer?), but in the mean time, is there any city code preventing or limiting RV and Trailer parking on public streets?
    PS no one lives in the RV or the Trailer – he uses them for “storage” so you can image the eye sore! – but I can only find city zoning that prevents people form living in trailers, not from parking them. Any help would be VERY appreciated!

  25. Mary Sosa says:

    What if its not my driveway but the next door building and it’s used to pull out my trash bin?

  26. Wendy says:

    My neighbor across the street from my driveway has a dirt lot and he used to park his car there. There is no clear marking or apron for the two parking spaces. My neighbor decided to fence off the driveway which is facing a narrow public alley. At any time only one car can pass through. People started parking along fence and I have a hard time backing out of my driveway. I heard parking across from a driveway in a narrow street is a vc violation. Anyone has a the code? Thanks.

  27. Mike from Melrose Place says:

    Thanks for this information; I just called them, but it took them too long to arrive (if they arrive at all). In this case, the offending/obnoxious/arrogant parker directed me to move as I was standing in the “No Parking” section of handicapped parking in a retail lot adjacent to my building. I thought perhaps she needed it to unload something for a few minutes, but she left her Porsche Cayenne parked there for about an hour. 30 minutes in, a valet parked in the handicapped space adjacent (no handicapped authorization apparent) – so they would have gotten a two-fer had they arrived. On a Saturday, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel for parking enforcement on Melrose Place. Perhaps their management has been p$rsuad$d not to monitor this street.

  28. annoyed says:

    just experienced my new neighbor parking ON my driveway setback in front of my garage at 10pm. Ridiculous. Could not believe how stupid this girl was. (we eventually found the idiot) We all tried getting it towed but was unable to reach any towing company to come because it was after business hours. Not sure if we called this number, but for future references… are they 24/7?

  29. Terry says:

    My neighbor runs a scrap metals business with four pick up trucks. Almost everyday he uses my driveway to load metals from one of his truck to another. It driving me sane but he can load them before parking enforcement arrives. This is not mention those full size trucks of his pose a hazard because they block my view to my left and right when I back out from my driveway. I dare not talk to him because he has lot of friends that back him up

  30. nuisance says:

    Does this number work for the San Fernando valley area? Van Nuys to be exact, I found another number for parking enforcement, called and reported the car twice, parking enforcement never shows up. This person parks in the alleyway ,where the garage doors to the house she goes to is, which is right behind my car, makes it difficult for me to pull out since I have her car behind me and my neighbors cars on each side of my car. She parks overnight, sometimes stays two days straight there.

    • G Henry says:

      Theres an APP for that! MyLA311
      You can also call “311” and get all city services.

      But, here is a link for all traffic related issues.

      A tree limb fell? Call 311.
      Someone dumped a couch in the alley? 311
      Someone illegally dumping oil or chemicals in the gutter? 311
      The sidewalk/street in front of your home broken & dangerous? 311
      A bee hive is attacking your pets and kids?311 (911 if it’s immediately lethal!)
      A pipe burst and water is running down the street? 311
      The power go out in your neighborhood? 311
      Report animal cruelty? 311

      BUT – CALL 911 for immediate dangerous situations that also require city services.
      1) A live power line is down in the street.
      2) Dogs are attacking people, or running down a busy street or freeway, it puts people in immediate danger.

  31. G Henry says:

    Two cars have been permanently parked in front of my home for a MONTH. Fed up. They are getting towed today.
    Did you know that vehicles parked longer than 72 HOURS on public streets can be towed? (“Abandoned Vehicle”)
    Personally think that’s a little excessive, but in neighborhoods where street parking is at a premium…

    Here is a link for all traffic related issues.

    MyLA311 – the APP for ALL CITY SERVICES!!!

    Or simply call “311”!
    A tree limb fell? Call 311.
    Someone dumped a couch in the alley? 311
    Someone illegally dumping oil or chemicals in the gutter? 311
    The sidewalk/street in front of your home broken & dangerous? 311
    A bee hive is attacking your pets and kids?311 (911 if it’s immediately lethal!)
    A pipe burst and water is running down the street? 311
    The power go out in your neighborhood? 311
    Report animal cruelty? 311

    BUT – CALL 911 for immediate dangerous situations that also require city services.
    1) A live power line is down in the street.
    2) Dogs are attacking people, or running down a busy street or freeway, it puts people in immediate danger.

  32. Andrea says:

    Thanks for the info of car blocking driveway. I have an interesting and very annoying situation. I live on a busy street( Highland Av) and my neighbor moves my garbage cans in front of my active driveway so that she can park her car. As soon as the sanitation truck picks up the garbage she immediately moves the cans thereby blocking my exit or entrance . She is completely unreasonable . Btw, there are parking spots available 2 doors down! Any suggestions??

  33. Claud says:

    One question: why is it that the person blocking my driveway must get all my information such as my name and address? According to parking enforcement driveway blockers have a right too get all my info. Is this something new, because I’ve never been asked for my info to be given out to them.

  34. Rose says:

    Hi i live in the city of Compton and i always get my driveway blocked. Who can i call.? I tried to call the sheriff dep. and they never came. Also tried to call the parking enforcement and it was the same.. what can i do??

  35. Ray C says:

    Its unfair to demand that a blocked driveway victim be present to have the offender towed. Los Angeles can be a dangerous city with retribution always a possibility. If the offending vehicle is illegally blocking a driveway, just tow it without r putting the owner of the driveway at unnecessary risk. Other. iT cities do not require this exposure if you call parking enforcement for relief. Grow up LA.

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