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H.B. 112 Enrolled

             1     

VEHICLE TOWING AMENDMENTS

             2     
2009 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Todd E. Kiser

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Jon J. Greiner

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Transportation Code by amending provisions relating to the
             10      towing notice requirements for a tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    requires a tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier to send a report of the
             14      removal of a vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor if the tow truck service is being
             15      done without the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor owner's knowledge or express
             16      consent;
             17          .    provides that the Motor Vehicle Division is not required to give certain notices
             18      after receiving a report from a tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier for a
             19      tow truck service that:
             20              .    was not ordered by a peace officer or person acting on behalf of a law
             21      enforcement agency; and
             22              .    was done without the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor owner's knowledge;
             23          .    grants the Department of Transportation rulemaking authority to set a maximum
             24      rate for an administrative fee that a tow truck motor carrier may charge for
             25      reporting the removal to the Motor Vehicle Division and providing notice of the
             26      removal to the registered owner and lienholder of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard
             27      motor; and
             28          .    makes technical changes.
             29      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:


             30          None
             31      Other Special Clauses:
             32          None
             33      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             34      AMENDS:
             35          41-6a-1406, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 226 and 382
             36          72-9-603, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 75 and 382
             37     
             38      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             39          Section 1. Section 41-6a-1406 is amended to read:
             40           41-6a-1406. Removal and impoundment of vehicles -- Reporting and notification
             41      requirements -- Administrative impound fee -- Refunds -- Possessory lien -- Rulemaking.
             42          (1) If a vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor is removed or impounded as provided under
             43      Section 41-1a-1101 , 41-6a-527 , 41-6a-1405 , 41-6a-1408 , or 73-18-20.1 by an order of a peace
             44      officer or by an order of a person acting on behalf of a law enforcement agency or highway
             45      authority, the removal or impoundment of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor shall be at the
             46      expense of the owner.
             47          (2) The vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor under Subsection (1) shall be removed or
             48      impounded to:
             49          (a) a state impound yard; or
             50          (b) if none, a garage, docking area, or other place of safety.
             51          (3) The peace officer may move a vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor or cause it to be
             52      removed by a tow truck motor carrier that meets standards established:
             53          (a) under Title 72, Chapter 9, Motor Carrier Safety Act; and
             54          (b) by the department under Subsection (10).
             55          (4) (a) Immediately after the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor, a report
             56      of the removal shall be sent to the Motor Vehicle Division by:
             57          (i) the peace officer or agency by whom the peace officer is employed; and


             58          (ii) the tow truck operator or the tow truck motor carrier by whom the tow truck
             59      operator is employed.
             60          (b) The report shall be in a form specified by the Motor Vehicle Division and shall
             61      include:
             62          (i) the operator's name, if known;
             63          (ii) a description of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             64          (iii) the vehicle identification number or vessel or outboard motor identification
             65      number;
             66          (iv) the license number or other identification number issued by a state agency;
             67          (v) the date, time, and place of impoundment;
             68          (vi) the reason for removal or impoundment;
             69          (vii) the name of the tow truck motor carrier who removed the vehicle, vessel, or
             70      outboard motor; and
             71          (viii) the place where the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor is stored.
             72          (c) Until the tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier reports the removal as
             73      required under this Subsection (4), a tow truck motor carrier or impound yard may not:
             74          (i) collect any fee associated with the removal; and
             75          (ii) begin charging storage fees.
             76          (5) (a) [Upon] Except as provided in Subsection (5)(e) and upon receipt of the report,
             77      the Motor Vehicle Division shall give notice to the registered owner of the vehicle, vessel, or
             78      outboard motor and any lien holder in the manner prescribed by Section 41-1a-114 .
             79          (b) The notice shall:
             80          (i) state the date, time, and place of removal, the name, if applicable, of the person
             81      operating the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor at the time of removal, the reason for removal,
             82      and the place where the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor is stored;
             83          (ii) state that the registered owner is responsible for payment of towing, impound, and
             84      storage fees charged against the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             85          (iii) inform the registered owner of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor of the


             86      conditions that must be satisfied before the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor is released; and
             87          (iv) inform the registered owner and lienholder of the division's intent to sell the
             88      vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor, if within 30 days from the date of the removal or
             89      impoundment under this section, the owner, lien holder, or the owner's agent fails to make a
             90      claim for release of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor.
             91          (c) [If] Except as provided in Subsection (5)(e) and if the vehicle, vessel, or outboard
             92      motor is not registered in this state, the Motor Vehicle Division shall make a reasonable effort
             93      to notify the registered owner and any lien holder of the removal and the place where the
             94      vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor is stored.
             95          (d) The Motor Vehicle Division shall forward a copy of the notice to the place where
             96      the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor is stored.
             97          (e) The Motor Vehicle Division is not required to give notice under this Subsection (5)
             98      if a report was received by a tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier reporting a tow
             99      truck service in accordance with Subsection 72-9-603 (1)(a)(i).
             100          (6) (a) The vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor shall be released after the registered
             101      owner, lien holder, or the owner's agent:
             102          (i) makes a claim for release of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor at any office of
             103      the State Tax Commission;
             104          (ii) presents identification sufficient to prove ownership of the impounded vehicle,
             105      vessel, or outboard motor;
             106          (iii) completes the registration, if needed, and pays the appropriate fees;
             107          (iv) if the impoundment was made under Section 41-6a-527 , pays an administrative
             108      impound fee of $330; and
             109          (v) pays all towing and storage fees to the place where the vehicle, vessel, or outboard
             110      motor is stored.
             111          (b) (i) Twenty-nine dollars of the administrative impound fee assessed under
             112      Subsection (6)(a)(iv) shall be dedicated credits to the Motor Vehicle Division;
             113          (ii) $97 of the administrative impound fee assessed under Subsection (6)(a)(iv) shall


             114      be deposited in the Department of Public Safety Restricted Account created in Section
             115      53-3-106 ; and
             116          (iii) the remainder of the administrative impound fee assessed under Subsection
             117      (6)(a)(iv) shall be deposited in the General Fund.
             118          (c) The administrative impound fee assessed under Subsection (6)(a)(iv) shall be
             119      waived or refunded by the State Tax Commission if the registered owner, lien holder, or
             120      owner's agent presents written evidence to the State Tax Commission that:
             121          (i) the Driver License Division determined that the arrested person's driver license
             122      should not be suspended or revoked under Section 53-3-223 or 41-6a-521 as shown by a letter
             123      or other report from the Driver License Division presented within 30 days of the final
             124      notification from the Driver License Division; or
             125          (ii) the vehicle was stolen at the time of the impoundment as shown by a copy of the
             126      stolen vehicle report presented within 30 days of the impoundment.
             127          (7) (a) An impounded vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor not claimed by the registered
             128      owner or the owner's agent within the time prescribed by Section 41-1a-1103 shall be sold in
             129      accordance with that section and the proceeds, if any, shall be disposed of as provided under
             130      Section 41-1a-1104 .
             131          (b) The date of impoundment is considered the date of seizure for computing the time
             132      period provided under Section 41-1a-1103 .
             133          (8) The registered owner who pays all fees and charges incurred in the impoundment
             134      of the owner's vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor, has a cause of action for all the fees and
             135      charges, together with damages, court costs, and attorney fees, against the operator of the
             136      vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor whose actions caused the removal or impoundment.
             137          (9) Towing, impound fees, and storage fees are a possessory lien on the vehicle,
             138      vessel, or outboard motor.
             139          (10) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,
             140      the department shall make rules setting the performance standards for towing companies to be
             141      used by the department.


             142          (11) (a) The Motor Vehicle Division may specify that a report required under
             143      Subsection (4) be submitted in electronic form utilizing a database for submission, storage,
             144      and retrieval of the information.
             145          (b) (i) Unless otherwise provided by statute, the Motor Vehicle Division or the
             146      administrator of the database may adopt a schedule of fees assessed for utilizing the database.
             147          (ii) The fees under this Subsection (11)(b) shall:
             148          (A) be reasonable and fair; and
             149          (B) reflect the cost of administering the database.
             150          Section 2. Section 72-9-603 is amended to read:
             151           72-9-603. Towing notice requirements -- Cost responsibilities -- Abandoned
             152      vehicle title restrictions -- Rules for maximum rates and certification.
             153          (1) Except for tow truck service that was ordered by a peace officer, or a person acting
             154      on behalf of a law enforcement agency, or a highway authority, as defined in Section
             155      72-1-102 , after performing a tow truck service that is being done without the vehicle, vessel,
             156      or outboard motor owner's knowledge, the tow truck operator or the tow truck motor carrier
             157      shall:
             158          (a) immediately upon arriving at the place of storage or impound of the vehicle, vessel,
             159      or outboard motor[,]:
             160          (i) send a report of the removal to the Motor Vehicle Division that complies with the
             161      requirements of Subsection 41-6a-1406 (4)(b); and
             162          (ii) contact the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the area where the
             163      vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor was picked up and notify the agency of the:
             164          [(i)] (A) location of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             165          [(ii)] (B) date, time, and location from which the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor
             166      was removed;
             167          [(iii)] (C) reasons for the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             168          [(iv)] (D) person who requested the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             169      and


             170          [(v)] (E) vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor's description, including its identification
             171      number and license number or other identification number issued by a state agency; and
             172          (b) within two business days of performing the tow truck service under Subsection
             173      (1)(a), send a certified letter to the last-known address of the registered owner and lien holder
             174      of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor obtained from the Motor Vehicle Division or if the
             175      person has actual knowledge of the owner's address to the current address, notifying the owner
             176      of the:
             177          (i) location of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             178          (ii) date, time, location from which the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor was
             179      removed;
             180          (iii) reasons for the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             181          (iv) person who requested the removal of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor;
             182          (v) a description, including its identification number and license number or other
             183      identification number issued by a state agency; and
             184          (vi) costs and procedures to retrieve the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor.
             185          (2) (a) Until the tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier reports the removal as
             186      required under Subsection (1)(a), a tow truck operator, tow truck motor carrier, or impound
             187      yard may not:
             188          (i) collect any fee associated with the removal; or
             189          (ii) begin charging storage fees.
             190          (b) (i) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(c), a tow truck operator or tow truck
             191      motor carrier may not perform a tow truck service without the vehicle, vessel, or outboard
             192      motor owner's or a lien holder's knowledge at either of the following locations without signage
             193      that meets the requirements of Subsection (2)(b)(ii):
             194          (A) a mobile home park as defined in Section 57-16-3 ; or
             195          (B) a multifamily dwelling of more than eight units.
             196          (ii) Signage under Subsection (2)(b)(i) shall display:
             197          (A) where parking is subject to towing; and


             198          (B) (I) the Internet website address that provides access to towing database
             199      information in accordance with Section 41-6a-1406 ; or
             200          (II) one of the following:
             201          (Aa) the name and phone number of the tow truck operator or tow truck motor carrier
             202      that performs a tow truck service for the locations listed under Subsection (2)(b)(i); or
             203          (Bb) the name of the mobile home park or multifamily dwelling and the phone number
             204      of the mobile home park or multifamily dwelling manager or management office that
             205      authorized the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor to be towed.
             206          (c) Signage is not required under Subsection (2)(b) for parking in a location:
             207          (i) that is prohibited by law;
             208          (ii) that is prohibited by a declaration of the conditions, covenants, and restrictions or
             209      by a contract; or
             210          (iii) if it is reasonably apparent that the location is not open to parking.
             211          (d) Nothing in Subsection (2)(b) restricts the ability of a mobile home park as defined
             212      in Section 57-16-3 or a multifamily dwelling from instituting and enforcing regulations on
             213      parking.
             214          (3) The owner of a vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor lawfully removed is only
             215      responsible for paying:
             216          (a) the tow truck service and storage fees set in accordance with Subsection (7); and
             217          (b) the administrative impound fee set in Section 41-6a-1406 , if applicable.
             218          (4) The fees under Subsection (3) are a possessory lien on the vehicle, vessel, or
             219      outboard motor until paid.
             220          (5) A person may not request a transfer of title to an abandoned vehicle until at least
             221      30 days after notice has been sent under Subsection (1)(b).
             222          (6) A tow truck motor carrier or impound yard shall clearly and conspicuously post
             223      and disclose all its current fees and rates for tow truck service and storage of a vehicle in
             224      accordance with rules established under Subsection (7).
             225          (7) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,


             226      the Department of Transportation shall:
             227          (a) set maximum rates that:
             228          (i) tow truck motor carriers may charge for the tow truck service of a vehicle, vessel,
             229      or outboard motor that are transported in response to:
             230          (A) a peace officer dispatch call;
             231          (B) a motor vehicle division call; and
             232          (C) any other call where the owner of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor has not
             233      consented to the removal; and
             234          (ii) impound yards may charge for the storage of a vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor
             235      stored as a result of one of the conditions listed under Subsection (7)(a)(i);
             236          (b) establish authorized towing certification requirements, not in conflict with federal
             237      law, related to incident safety, clean-up, and hazardous material handling; [and]
             238          (c) specify the form and content of the posting and disclosure of fees and rates charged
             239      by a tow truck motor carrier or impound yard[.]; and
             240          (d) set a maximum rate for an administrative fee that a tow truck motor carrier may
             241      charge for reporting the removal as required under Subsection (1)(a)(i) and providing notice of
             242      the removal to the registered owner and lienholder of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor as
             243      required in Subsection (1)(b).


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