SB120 - Revises the Law on the Towing of Motor Vehicles and Watercraft
SB 0120 Revises the Law on the Towing of Motor Vehicles and Watercraft
LR Number:S0521.03P Fiscal Note:0521-03
Committee:Commerce and Environment
Last Action:05/12/97 - Reported Do Pass H Motor Vehicles Committee Journal page:H1920
Title:SS/SB 120
Effective Date:August 28, 1997
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Current Bill Summary

SS/SB 120 - This act revises the requirements for the towing, storage and retitling of abandoned motor vehicle and vessels.

PUBLIC PROPERTY TOWS - Police and government agencies authorizing tows shall make out a report form. Tows by local government agencies shall be reported to local law enforcement instead of to the Highway Patrol. The authorization to tow form is eliminated. All involuntary repossessions shall be reported, and reports shall be made within two hours to local police.

PROCEDURES - Lienholders shall be notified of any possible title change by the towing company. Storage charges must be reasonable and shall depend upon compliance with all sections of the towing law. The current law allowing junking certificates or salvage titles to towing companies under an abbreviated procedure is extended to January 1, 1998. Extra proceeds from the sale of a vehicle by a towing company shall go to the prior owner and lienholder. The towing company may get an original title after inspection by the Highway Patrol.

PRIVATE PROPERTY TOWS - Prior notification to a law enforcement agency is no longer required. An abandoned property report shall be completed at the time of the tow. This report shall have information on the towing company and the law enforcement agency receiving the report. The towing company shall report the tow to law enforcement within one hour or within twenty-four hours, depending on the situation. The report may be faxed if it can be received and if registered.

Upon receiving the report, law enforcement shall make a crime inquiry promptly, sign the report and give the towing company information on the vehicle's owner and lienholder. A copy of the report shall be sent to the Department of Revenue by the towing company if the vehicle is not claimed within 10 working days. Any wrongful authorization by a landowner or lessee is a misdemeanor.

Local government agencies may authorize the towing of derelict vehicles from private property under local ordinance.

CONSUMER PROTECTION - Notice about the tow shall be made in writing to the registered owner and lienholder within 5 days. The landowner has double liability for wrongfully authorizing tows. Credit cards are no longer required to be accepted by towing companies.