SB 0084 Regulates the towing of motor vehicles and other abandoned property
LR Number:S0269.03I Fiscal Note:0269-03
Last Action:02/16/99 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Transportation Committee Journal page:
Effective Date:August 28, 1999
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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 84 - This act revises the requirements for the towing, storage and retitling of abandoned motor vehicles 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 shall be reasonable, shall not exceed charges on a negotiated basis and shall depend upon compliance with all sections of the towing law. The towing company may get an original title after inspection by the Highway Patrol. Insurers paying a total loss on abandoned property shall remove the property from the storage facility or arrange for transfer of title.

PRIVATE PROPERTY TOWS - Property managers may authorize tows. A vehicle left unattended on owner-occupied residential property may be towed ten hours after notifying a law enforcement agency. Other abandoned property on private property may be towed after 96 hours have elapsed since notifying the appropriate law enforcement agency. 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 two hours or within twenty-four hours, depending on the situation. The report may be faxed if it can be received and if the company is 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 Class C misdemeanor.

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.

PUBLIC NUISANCES- Cities, towns, and villages are authorized to established ordinances which prohibit the storage of inoperable vehicles or vehicles deemed to be a storage hazard. Municipal judges are authorized to issue warrants to law enforcement officials or code officials to tow the motor vehicles.