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Vehicle Towing Penalties and Sanctions

Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308
16 Texas Administration Code, Chapter 86
Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51
16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 60

Class A:

Penalty: $200 up to $800

POSTING AND PUBLIC INFORMATION VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Permit holder failed to keep a cab card in the cab of each permitted tow truck

2308.108(c);

86.206(c)

Permit holder failed to have required information displayed on each permitted tow truck

2308.109(a);

86.701(a)

Permit holder failed to display required information in the proper size and color contrast, and have it permanently and conspicuously affixed to both sides of the truck

2308.109(b);

86.701(b)

Towing company operated on a tow truck on the public roadways of Texas when its license plates did not include the words “Tow Truck” 86.708
Towing company failed to have company name, phone number, license number and tow driver TDLR license number on a tow ticket

86.709(e);

86.715(n)

Towing operator failed to carry and openly display the appropriate Department-issued original towing operator license

86.715(p);

86.1001(c)

ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to contact a property owner or owner’s agent before entering private property to tow a vehicle that has damaged a fence on private property in a rural area 2308.2555(c)
Towing company failed to complete all corrective actions following an inspection and provide written verification to the Department 86.453(a)(2)
Failed to submit, or notify the Department of a change of in, a licensee’s or permit holder’s mailing, physical, or email address no later than the effective date of change 86.702(a)(2) 
Failed to notify the Department of a change in the licensee’s drug testing policy within 30 days of the date of change 86.702(a)(3)
Towing company failed to file an original application when there was a change of ownership in the company 86.703
Failed to reimburse the Department for necessary travel expenses and per diem for inspections or investigations conducted at an out-of-state facility 86.1002(a)(2) 

TOWING VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Towed a vehicle to a storage facility that did not display a TDLR license number 86.715(f)
Towing company collected a nonconsent towing fee for a vehicle stored in a vehicle storage facility which did not have a sign stating “Nonconsent tow fees schedules available on request" in one-inch lettering 86.706(c)

INSURANCE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Permit holder failed to file evidence of insurance with the Department 2308.110(c)
Permit holder failed to keep evidence of insurance in a form approved by the Department in the cab of each permitted tow truck 2308.110(d)
Permit holder failed to ensure the electronic submission of a certificate of insurance when changing a business name or affiliation, or upon request of the Department. 86.400(a)
Permit holder failed to ensure that the insurance information on the certificate of insurance and on file with the Department reflects the correct name and address of the permit holder 86.400(c)
Certificate of insurance failed to contain a provision obligating the insurer to give the Department thirty days’ notice before the effective date of a policy cancellation date  86.400(d)(3)
Failed to file a replacement insurance policy, once insurance had been canceled, prior to the cancellation date 86.400(e)(2)
Permit holder failed to file evidence of insurance and the required affidavit with the Department within ten days of a lapse in insurance coverage due to the insolvency of an insurance carrier 86.400(f)

PARKING FACILITY VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Towing company gave something of value to a parking facility owner in connection with the removal of a vehicle from the parking facility

2308.402(a)(1),

86.705(a)

Towing company had a direct or indirect monetary interest in a parking facility from which the towing company removes unauthorized vehicles for compensation 2308.402(b)(1); 86.705(b)
Towing company contracted for the removal from a parking facility of a vehicle that did not display an unexpired license plate or registration insignia without noting the required tow-authorization information on the tow ticket 86.705(g)

NOTICE VIOLATION

Violation Rule/Statute
Towing company failed to include all required information on a vehicle owner’s written notice of rights under Chapter 2308, Subchapter J 2308.455

TOW FEE SCHEDULE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Towing company failed to update the fee schedules provided to a VSF within 30 days of a political subdivision commencing regulation of towing fees 86.500(a)
Towing company failed to provide to a VSF any change in nonconsent towing fees regulated by a political subdivision within 30 days of the change 86.500(b)
Towing company provided a nonconsent towing fee to a VSF that was not a complete list of all nonconsent towing fees charged by the towing company 86.500(c)
Failed to separately identify on the fee schedule municipalities which established tow fees less than the state maximum and list each fee 86.500(d)
Listed a municipality rate on the fee schedule that exceeded the maximum statewide rate 86.500(e)
Towing company failed to provide a nonconsent towing fees schedule to a vehicle storage facility to which the towing company delivers vehicles for storage 86.706(a)
Towing company failed to make a nonconsent towing fees schedule available to a requestor during normal business hours of the vehicle storage facility 86.706(d)

TOW SAFETY VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Tow truck did not have required boom, winch, or carry mechanism capacity information 86.1000(a)

TOW TICKET VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Tow ticket did not itemize each charge and/or characterize the fees using the identical fee structure stated in the on-file fee schedule

86.709(d),

86.715(m)

Class B:

Penalty: $500 up to $1,500 and/or 6-month probated suspension up to 6-month full suspension

PRACTICING WITHOUT PROPER LICENSE OR PERMIT

Violation Rule/Statute
Tow truck was used for consent towing or nonconsent towing on a public roadway without the appropriate permit

2308.101;

2308.103(a);

2308.104(a);

2308.104(c);

2308.105(a);

2308.105(c);

86.200(a): 86.201(a); 86.202(a): 86.202(c)

Used a tow truck for towing on the public roadways of Texas with an expired permit 86.205(c)
Performed towing operations with an expired license 86.214(c)

TOW TICKET VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to prepare and issue a tow ticket for each nonconsent tow

86.709(a);

86.715(j)

Failed to give a copy of the tow ticket to the vehicle owner and/or deliver a copy to the vehicle storage facility or agreed-upon place

86.709(b);

86.715(k)

Tow ticket authorized charges unrelated to towing the vehicle to a designated location

86.709(c);

86.715(l)

IMPROPER TOW VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Relocated a vehicle from one area of a parking facility to another area other area of the same parking facility other than allowed by law

2308.205(a-1);

2308.259(c);

86.705(n-q)

Towed an unattended vehicle other than permitted by law

2308.251(a)(1)-(5);

2308.253(b)(1-6)

Towed a vehicle due to an expired license plate or registration without required notice 2308.253(e)
Removed and stored an unauthorized vehicle other than when allowed by law

2308.255(a);

2308.255(b);

2308.255(d); 86.705(d);

86.715(g);

86.715(h);

86.715(i)

Towed a vehicle from a parking facility that did not have the required signage prohibiting unauthorized vehicles

2308.301(a);

2308.301(b);

86.705(e)

Performed a nonconsent tow from a leased right-of-way, an area between a parking facility and a public right-of-way, a public right-of-way, or a public roadway when not authorized

2308.351;

2308.352;

2308.353(c);

2308.354;

86.705(f)

ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTING

Violation Rule/Statute
Towing company failed to adopt and implement an alcohol and drug testing policy for its towing operators

2308.158(a);

86.710(c)

Failed or refused to fully cooperate and comply with any term of the towing company’s drug and alcohol testing policy 86.710
Towing operator or applicant took or was under the influence of a drug not prescribed by a physician 86.710(a)(5)(A)
Towing operator or applicant engaged in the manufacture, sale, distribution, use, or unauthorized possession of illegal drugs 86.710(a)(5)(B)
Towing company failed to notify the Department of an employee’s drug or alcohol conviction within five days 86.710(a)(5)(D)
Towing company participated in a consortium to ensure the consortium performs random drug testing on at least 25% of the total number of its tow operators 86.710(a)(6)(C)(iii)
Towing company failed to notify the Department within three days of an employee’s confirmed positive test result 86.710(a)(8)(E)
Towing company failed to stand down from towing operation duties following a positive drug and alcohol test result confirmation 86.710(a)(11)(B)

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING VIOLATION

Violation Rule/Statute
Towing operator failed to comply with all requirements of the protective clothing policy

86.1001(a);

86.1001(b)

FEE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Charged a nonconsent tow fee that is greater than the fee established by law

2308.2065(a)(1);

86.455(b);

86.458(a);

86.705(j);

86.715(a)

Charged a nonconsent tow fee that is greater than the fee established by a political subdivision

2308.2065(a)(2);

86.458(a);

86.705(k);

86.715(b)

Charged a fee for a service related to a nonconsent tow that is not included in the list of fees established by law

2308.2065(b)(1);

86.458(b)

Charged a fee for a service related to a nonconsent tow that is not included in the list of fees established by a political subdivision

2308.2065(b)(2);

86.458(b)

Charged a drop charge that exceeded the maximum allowed amount 86.455(c)
Failed to accept payment by cash, debit card, or credit card for a drop charge 86.455(e)

OWNER NOTICE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Towing company failed to give a vehicle owner who paid the cost of the vehicle’s removal written notice of the person’s rights under Chapter 2308, Subchapter J 2308.454(a)
Failed to notify vehicle owner or operator that a drop charge may be paid 86.455(d)

Class C:

Penalty: $1,000 up to $4,000 and/or 1-year probated suspension up to 1-year full suspension

ADMINISTRATIVE AND RECORDS VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Towing company owner, manager, or their representative failed to cooperate with an inspector or investigator in the performance of an inspection or investigation

2308.059(d);

86.450(d);

86.451(b);

86.452(e);

60.23(a)(3)

Permit holder failed to surrender a cab card when ordered by the Department

2308.108(d);

86.206(e)

Filed an application to permit a tow truck previously permitted by a license or permit holder when facts support finding that re-permitting is sought to evade legal obligations or not a bona fide market transaction

86.204(a)(5);

86.208(5);

86.216(d)(5)

Failed to notify the Department of a licensee’s or permit holder’s name change no later than the effective date of change 86.702(a)(1)
Towing company failed to keep a record of every nonconsent tow and the required information for each 86.705(l)
Towing operator failed to allow Department personnel or law enforcement to inspect a permitted tow truck 86.715(c)
Failed to maintain a current valid driver’s license 86.715(e)
Towing company failed to keep all records, documents, and information required by the Department at a principle office in Texas without prior approval from the Department 86.1002(a)
Towing company maintained required records, documents, and information at a location other than its principal office without approval from the Department 86.1002(a)(1)
Towing company failed to maintain all books and records for a minimum of two years at the towing company’s principal business address 86.1002(b)

UNLICENSED ACTIVITY

Violation Rule/Statute
Performed towing operations without the appropriate license

2308.151(1);

86.207(a)

Operated as a towing company without the appropriate license

2308.151(2);

2308.151(4);

2308.1556(a);

86.215(a)

Operated an incident management permitted tow truck, or performed an incident management tow, without an incident management towing operator’s license

2308.153(a);

86.209(a)

Operated a private property permitted tow truck, or performed a private property tow, without a private property towing operator’s license

2308.154(a);

86.210(a)

Operated a consent permitted tow truck without a consent towing operator’s license

2308.155(a);

86.211(a)

Employed or contracted with unlicensed persons required to hold a license 86.705(m)

FEE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Charged a drop fee when the vehicle owner or operator attempts to retrieve the vehicle before the vehicle is fully hooked up and ready to be removed from the property 86.455(c)

TOW SAFETY VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to perform a tow in a safe and competent manner 86.715(d)
Tow truck hydraulic lines were not free of leaks or were not in good working condition free of defects 86.1000(b)
Tow truck winch exceeded the capacity of the boom or leaked oil 86.1000(c)
Tow truck cables not as specified by manufacturer or were not in good condition within manufacturer’s guidelines 86.1000(d)

Class D:

Penalty: $2,000 up to $5,000 and/or 1-year full suspension up to revocation

IMPROPER TOW VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Performed a nonconsent tow and took the vehicle to a location other than a licensed vehicle storage facility or a location designated by the vehicle owner

2308.205(a);

86.700(a);

86.715(f)

INSURANCE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Permit holder failed to keep liability and cargo insurance in the required amount for each tow truck in force at all times

2308.110(a);

86.400(d)(1);

86.400(d)(2)

Permit holder obtained insurance from an insurer not authorized to do business in Texas

2308.110(b);

86.400(b)

Removed and stored a vehicle without possessing the required liability insurance for property damage incurred towing a vehicle

2308.255(c);

86.705(d)

INTEGRITY VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to reimburse the owner or operator for the removal and storage costs when a court finds a tow was not authorized 2308.451(b)
Failed to reimburse the owner or operator the overcharge when a court finds a towing charge exceeded allowed fees 2308.451(c)
Included authorization of services not necessary to perform the nonconsent tow on the document signed by the vehicle owner to authorize taking the vehicle to a location other than a licensed VSF 86.700(b)
Conducted or performed towing operations without honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity

86.711;

86.715(o)

Failed to comply with previous order of the Commission/Executive Director

2308.501(2);

86.204(a)(2);

86.208(2);

86.216(d)(2);

51.302;

60.23(a)(6)

Failed to refund an amount charged to an owner or operator when ordered

2308.2065(c)(1);

2308.2065(c)(2);

86.458(c)

Obtained, or attempted to obtain, a license by knowingly submitting false, misleading, deceptive, or incomplete information during the application or renewal process

86.204(a)(4);

86.208(4);

86.216(d)(4);

86.216(d)(8);

60.23(a)(1)

Failed to pay the Department for a dishonored payment device 60.82
Fraudulent or deceptive conduct displaying such a lack of honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness as to render the license holder ineligible to continue holding a license. 60.41(b)