Read Microsoft PowerPoint - Towing and Vehicle Storage Facilities _ins presentation R.pptx text version

2/16/2011

Towing and Vehicle Storage Facilities

Information for Insurers of Motor Vehicles

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING & REGULATION

Robin Moten

Assistant Program Manager. Vehicle Towing & Storage Program, Compliance Division [email protected]

Stacey McLarty

Prosecutor, Enforcement Division [email protected]

Don Vara

Lead Investigator, Enforcement Division [email protected]

Forms

There are two forms used to obtain the release of a motor vehicle.

­ VSF010Lien Holder Power of Attorney ­ VSF011Removal or Inspection of a Motor Vehicle at a VSF

The forms may be downloaded or executed with an electronic signature. Forms may be executed then faxed/emailed to VSF or tow company.

1

2/16/2011

TDLR Resources for Insurers

The license status for towing companies and vehicle storage facilities may be reviewed at www.license.state.tx.us/tools_search/ www license state tx us/tools search/ The nonconsent tow fee schedule for a tow company may be reviewed at www.license.state.tx.us/tools_search/

TDLR Resources for Insurers

Statutes and Regulations are available online at www.license.state.tx.us/towing/towing.htm Obtain additional information by subscribing to the TDLR Listserv, and visiting TDLR's Twitter or Facebook pages

Additional Remedies for Tow and Vehicle Storage Problems

In addition to the TDLR Regulatory process, the Occupations Code authorizes civil or criminal claims for violations of the Law or rules. claims for violations of the Law or rules TDLR will not mediate disputes by telephone.

2

2/16/2011

Additional Remedies for Tow and Vehicle Storage Problems

A claim can be filed in the appropriate civil court: Sec. 2303.301. Injunction; Civil Penalty. (a) If a person has violated, is violating, or is threatening to violate this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter, the department or the attorney general at the request of the p yg q department may institute an action for:

(1) injunctive relief; (2) a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each violation; or (3) both injunctive relief and the civil penalty.

(b) If the department or the attorney general prevails in an action under this section, the department or the attorney general is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.

Additional Remedies for Tow and Vehicle Storage Problems

A criminal complaint may be filed with the appropriate branch of law enforcement: Sec. 2303.302. Criminal Penalties. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) violates the licensing requirements of this chapter; or (1) violates the licensing requirements of this chapter; or (2) employs an individual who does not hold an appropriate license required by this chapter.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. Sec. 2303.303. Authority to Arrest. A peace officer or license and weight inspector for the Department of Public Safety may make an arrest for a violation of a rule adopted under this chapter.

Enforcement

Law and rules + Evidence + Due process

3

2/16/2011

Enforcement

Law and rules If there is no law or rule addressing the bad conduct, we can't pursue a violation or assess a penalty. Texas Occupations Code

Chapters 2308 and 2303

Title 16, Texas Administrative Code

Chapters 85 and 86

Enforcement

Evidence We have to have sufficient evidence of an alleged violation to pursue an enforcement action and enforce penalties. The evidence has to be f lti Th id h t b strong enough to hold up in court if an allegation is challenged. Documents, photos, eyewitness statements.

Tow and VSF records for each vehicle towed or stored must be kept for 2 years, and provided to Department Investigators.

Enforcement

Due process

1. 2. 3. 3 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Complaint filed with TDLR Complaint is investigated Complaint is referred for prosecution of violations or Complaint is referred for prosecution of violations or closure Notice of Alleged Violation served Hearing to contest alleged violation or penalty Judge's Proposal for Decision (parties may appeal) Commission Decision (parties may appeal) Commission Decision may be appealed at District Court

4

2/16/2011

Enforcement

Results from TDLR enforcement process

Monetary penalty Suspension or revocation of license Injunction (Cease and Desist) For Tow Violations (effective May 3, 2010)

86.902. Reimbursement of the vehicle owner or operator of the over charges and unauthorized charges. 86.903. TDLR may suspend a license holder's license on the license holder's failure to pay a final judgment awarded to an owner or operator of a vehicle before the 60th day after the date of the final judgment.

Incident Management Towing

Occ. Code 2308.002 (6) "Nonconsent tow" means any tow of a motor vehicle that is not a consent tow, including:

(A) an incident management tow; and (B) a private property tow.

Incident Management Towing

New definition of IM: Occ. Code 2308.002 (5a) "Incident management tow" means any tow of a vehicle in which the tow truck is summoned vehicle in which the tow truck is summoned because of a traffic accident or to an incident.

(no longer refers to the presence of law enforcement)

16 TAC 86.10 (10) Incidentan unplanned randomly occurring traffic event that adversely affects normal traffic operations.

5

2/16/2011

Consent Towing

TDLR Jurisdiction over licensing and safety. (3) "Consent tow" means any tow of a motor vehicle in which the tow truck is summoned vehicle in which the tow truck is summoned by the owner or operator of the vehicle or by a person who has possession, custody, or control of the vehicle. The term does not include an incident management tow or a private property tow.

Nonconsent Storage

Sec. 2303.002. Definitions. (8) "Vehicle storage facility" means a garage, parking lot, or other facility that is:

(A) owned by a person other than a governmental (A) db th th t l entity; and (B) used to store or park at least 10 vehicles each year.

Consent Storage

Sec. 2303.003. Exemptions. (a) This chapter does not apply to a vehicle stored or parked at a vehicle storage facility with the consent of the owner of the vehicle.

Body shops and mechanic shops are not licensed as Body shops and mechanic shops are not licensed as VSFs · Vehicles are stored there at the owner's consent · Parts are removed and dismantled. (85.717 prohibits

dismantling or demolishing vehicles while stored in vehicle storage facilities)

6

2/16/2011

NonConsent

Consent

86.700(b), 85.708(d), and 85.710(b) prohibit Tow Companies and VSFs from requiring a customer to change the nature of a lawenforcement tow from nonconsent to consent. However, this does not prevent the vehicle owner from voluntarily closing out the nonconsent tow and storage bill and then transferring the vehicle to a body shop (consent tow and store from that point).

Unlicensed Entities

Unlicensed towing and vehicle storage are serious violations. Licensees are required to follow all applicable i i d f ll ll li bl laws and rules.

Common Enforcement Issues

7

2/16/2011

VSF Bill for Services Permissible fees

· Towing fees

See 85.722

­ Cannot charge more than the actual towing fees ­ fees cannot be greater than the fees on the tow company's NCTFS on file with the dept

· ·

Daily storage: $520 per day (< 25'); $535 per day (>25')

­ (Cannot charge for more than 1 day if vehicle is stored less than 12 hrs)

Impound

­ impound must actually be performed under 85.719(e); ­ the exact services and dates performed must be on VSF bill for services the exact services and dates performed must be on VSF bill for services

·

Notification

­ $50 max for mailed notification; additional publication fees may be recovered under 85.722(c)(1); ­ notification can't be charged if vehicle is stored less than 24 hrs or picked up before notification sent.

·

Governmental fee

­ if there is an ordinance or other law that requires the licensee to pay a fee to a government or law enforcement agency, they may charge that amount.

·

Environmental fee may not be charged until the Department establishes

VSF must give a tow ticket

85.710(a)(2) states that the VSF must provide the vehicle owner with a tow ticket. They can give a separate tow ticket OR a combined tow/VSF ticket. If the ticket comply with the following requirements: (A) tow charges must be separated from VSF storage charges and each category of charges must be preceded by a heading or label f h b d db h d l b l identifying the charges as "Tow Charges" or "Storage Charges"; (B) tow charges must appear on the combined statement of charges exactly as stated on the tow ticket prepared by the tow operator and provided to the VSF at the time the vehicle is presented for storage; and (C) the combined statement of charges meet and contain all required elements of a separate VSF invoice and tow ticket; provided the license number and name of the tow operator may be excluded.

Tow Charges

Sec. 2308.206. Required Filing.

(a)

Before January 31 of each year, a towing company shall file with the department a schedule showing each towing fee that the towing company charges or collects in connection with a nonconsent tow.

(b) If a political subdivision begins regulating nonconsent tow fees, the fees shall be reported to the department by the towing company before the 30th day after the regulation goes into effect. (c) Any changes in nonconsent tow fees regulated by a political subdivision shall be reported to the department by the towing company before the 30th day after the effective date of the change.

8

2/16/2011

Tow Charges

Sec. 2308.206. Required Filing. (continued)

(d) The department shall make towing fee schedules available on the department's Internet website. The department shall make no determination as to the reasonableness of a towing fee schedule. (e) A license or permit holder may not charge a fee for a nonconsent tow that is greater than the fee listed in the schedule most recently submitted to the department under this section. h d d hi i (f) A license or permit holder may not charge a fee related to a nonconsent tow that is not listed in the schedule most recently submitted to the department under this section. (g) The department may require a license or permit holder that has violated Subsection (e) or (f) to reimburse the vehicle owner or operator for the charges.

Tow Charges

Sec. 2308.202. Regulation by Political Subdivisions of Fees for Nonconsent Tows. The governing body of a political subdivision may regulate the fees that may be charged or l t th f th t b h d collected in connection with a nonconsent tow originating in the territory of the political subdivision if the private property tow fees:

(1) are authorized by commission rule; and (2) do not exceed the maximum amount authorized by commission rule.

What can be charged if a tow crosses jurisdictional lines?

The place where the tow starts governs the rate limits. Tow companies cannot charge separate tow fees for a single tow that crosses jurisdictional lines. a single tow that crosses jurisdictional lines Example: A tow from Houston ($145) to a VSF in Harris County ($143.50) should be billed at $145. (Not $288.50)

9

2/16/2011

reasonable storage efforts

85.719. Responsibilities of LicenseeReasonable Storage Efforts; Impoundment of Stored Vehicles; Impoundment Fees. (New section adopted effective April 15, 2008, 33 TexReg 2931) (a) Reasonable storage efforts. A VSF operator shall make reasonable efforts necessary for the storage of a vehicle, such as locking doors, rolling up windows, and closing doors, hatchbacks, sunroofs, trunks, hoods, or convertible tops. Such actions are included in the storage fee as set forth in this chapter. (b) Impoundment of stored vehicles. If doors, windows, convertible tops, hatchbacks, sun roofs, trunks, or hoods are broken or inoperative, materials such as plastic or canvas tarpaulins must be used to ensure the impoundment of the stored vehicle. (c) Impoundment Fees. A VSF operator is entitled to charge a fee for impoundment if, in addition to the requirements set out in subsection (b), the VSF operator, at a minimum:

(1) conducts a written inventory of any unsecured personal property contained in the vehicle; (2) removes and stores all such property for which safekeeping is necessary, and specifies such removal and storage on the written inventory; or (3) obtains motor vehicle registration information for the vehicle from the Texas Department of Transportation or analogous state agency.

Questions?

Texas Department of Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

P.O. Box 12157 Austin, Texas 78711 Telephone: (512) 4636599 TollFree (in Texas): 8008039202 Fax: (512) 4752871 Relay TexasTDD: (800) 7352989

10

Information

Microsoft PowerPoint - Towing and Vehicle Storage Facilities _ins presentation R.pptx

10 pages

Report File (DMCA)

Our content is added by our users. We aim to remove reported files within 1 working day. Please use this link to notify us:

Report this file as copyright or inappropriate

54164


You might also be interested in

BETA
untitled
Microsoft Word - Impounded Vehicles FAQ 3-18-09.doc
BLACK HAWK COUNTY
STORAGE LIEN
Microsoft PowerPoint - Towing and Vehicle Storage Facilities _ins presentation R.pptx