PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – When snow began piling up in the Portland metro region Wednesday, hundreds of people were forced to abandon their vehicles on interstates, highways and roads when they became too slippery for drivers to navigate. 

Now, five days after 10.8 inches of snow fell in a single day, some vehicles are still waiting for drivers to retrieve them — either from the side of the road or tow lots. 

For drivers whose vehicles were towed away, the city of Portland has directions on how to get them back. 

Drivers can use the AutoReturn website to search for their vehicle by either the license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), or the date it was towed and the make and model of the vehicle. This step will tell owners where their towed vehicle is currently located. 

Once a driver finds their vehicle, they should then gather the following items and email them to tow@police.portlandoregon.gov

  • Valid identification that includes a signature and photo 
  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of operator’s license – or bring someone along who has an operator’s license 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced Thursday it will not issue citations for vehicles that were towed because they were blocking a lane of travel or impeding access during the snowstorm. They said this will save drivers $270. However, vehicle owners will be responsible for all charges and fees. 

PBOT said any vehicle parked illegally could be towed, even in the icy and snowy conditions. 

“Abandoned vehicles that block travel lanes can slow down emergency responders and the snowplow operators who make safe passage for them,” PBOT said. 

The parking and towing citations will be waived in Portland until noon on Tuesday, Feb. 28. 

For vehicles towed in Beaverton, people can call Code Compliance at (503) 526-2270 or the Beaverton Police Department at (503) 526-2260 to find out which tow company hauled the vehicle.