SB 471 Establishes a procedure to suspend driver's licenses and vehicle registrations for failure to pay towing charges and allows the Highway Patrol to use rotation list to remove abandoned property
Sponsor: Ridgeway
LR Number: 1808S.01I Fiscal Note:
Committee: Transportation
Last Action: 2/26/2009 - Second Read and Referred S Transportation Committee Journal Page: S425
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2009

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Current Bill Summary

SB 471 - This act creates an administrative procedure in which a towing company may seek to recoup reasonable towing and storage fees associated with towing an abandoned vehicle from public property. The towing company may submit an affidavit within 30 days, but no more than 45 days of the tow to recoup the towing company's towing and storage fees. In addition to the affidavit, the towing company must submit an application which shall include an itemized accounting of the towing and storage fees. The application shall also be accompanied by a copy of the crime and inquiry inspection report (the DOR 4569 Form) and the applicant shall attest that the towing company has complied with all the statutory procedural requirements related to the towing of abandoned vehicles.

Within 5 business days of receiving the application, the Department of Revenue shall send notice to the registered owner of the abandoned motor vehicle that a claim for reasonable towing and storage charges has been filed with the department. The notice shall state that if the registered owner does not provide proof to the department that such charges have been paid within 30 days of receiving the notice, the department shall suspend the owner's license and any motor vehicle registrations registered in the owner's name. The notice of suspension shall be mailed to the registered owner at the last known address shown on the department's records. The notice of suspension is deemed received three days after mailing. The notice of suspension shall clearly specify the reason and statutory grounds for the suspension and the effective date of the suspension, the right of the person to request a hearing, the procedure for requesting a hearing, and the date by which that request for a hearing must be made. If the request for a hearing is received by the department prior to the effective date of the suspension, the effective date of the suspension will be stayed until a final order is issued following the hearing. The suspension shall become effective 30 days after the registered owner is deemed to have received the notice. The period of the suspension shall continue until the owner submits proof that he or she has satisfied all reasonable towing and storage charges.

Under this act, "reasonable storage charges" shall not exceed the charges for motor vehicles which have been towed with the consent of the owner on a negotiated basis. Reasonable storage charges shall not exceed 90 days.

This portion of the act is identical to HB 360 (2009) and similar to SB 1284 (2006) and SB 606 (2006).

Under this act, the highway patrol may use a rotation list when requesting towing services for the removal of abandoned vehicles and property.

The act allows any vehicle responding to an emergency or critical situation on the state highway system to use amber lights instead of red or blue lights when there is a threat of serious physical injury or death.