Vehicle Towing Penalties and Sanctions

 

Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308
16 Texas Administration Code, Chapter 86

Class A:

1st Violation: $400
2nd Violation: $600 to $800?
3rd Violation: $1,000 to $1,200

POSTING AND PUBLIC INFORMATION VIOLATIONS

  • Failure of a permit holder to keep a cab card in the cab of each permitted tow truck 2308.108(c), 86.206(c)
  • Failure of a permit holder to have required information displayed on each permitted tow truck§2308.109(a), 86.701(a)
  • Failure of a permit holder 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
  • Failure of a tow company to have company name, phone number, license number and tow driver TDLR license number on a tow ticket 86.709(e), 86.715(n)
  • Failure of a towing operator to carry and openly display the appropriate Department-issued original towing operator license §86.715(p), 86.1001(c)

ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS

  • Failure to pay risk-based inspection fee 2308.059(c), 86.452(c)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure of a towing company to complete all corrective actions following an inspection and provide written verification to the Department 86.453(a)(2)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to notify the Department of a change of a licensee's or permit holder's mailing or physical address no later than the effective date of change§86.702(a)(2)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure of towing company to file an original application when there was a change of ownership in the company 86.703
  • Failure 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

  • 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)

 Class B:

1st Violation: $600
2nd Violation: $900 to $1,200
3rd Violation: $1,500 to $1,800

INSURANCE FILING VIOLATIONS

  • Failure of a permit holder to file evidence of insurance with the Department§2308.110(c)
  • Failure of a permit holder to keep evidence of insurance in a form approved by the Department in the cab of each permitted tow truck 2308.110(d)
  • Failure of a permit holder 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)
  • Failure of a permit holder 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)
  • Failure to file a replacement insurance policy, once insurance had been canceled, prior to the cancellation date§86.400(e)(2)
  • Failure of a permit holder 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

  • 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 VIOLATIONS

  • Failure of a towing company to include all required information on a vehicle owner's written notice of rights under Chapter 2308, Subchapter J§2308.455

TOW TICKET VIOLATIONS

  • 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 C:

1st Violation: $900
2nd Violation: $1,200 to $1,500
3rd Violation: $1,800 to $2,100

PRACTICING WITHOUT PROPER LICENSE OR PERMIT

  • 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

  • Failure to prepare and issue a tow ticket for each nonconsent tow§86.709(a), 86.715(j)
  • Failure 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)

TOW FEE SCHEDULE VIOLATIONS

  • Failure of a towing company to update the fee schedules provided to a VSF within 30 days of a political subdivision commencing regulation of towing fees§86.500(a)
  • Failure of a towing company 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 filed 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure of a towing company to provide a nonconsent towing fees schedule to a vehicle storage facility to which the towing company delivers vehicles for storage§86.706(a)
  • Failure of towing company to make a nonconsent towing fees schedule available to a requestor during normal business hours of the vehicle storage facility 86.706(d)

IMPROPER TOW VIOLATION

  • Towed a booted vehicle which did not have the required notice informing the vehicle owner that the vehicle may also be towed§89.79(b)

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING VIOLATION

  • Failure of a towing operator to comply with all requirements of the protective clothing policy§86.1001(a), 86.1001(b)

Class D:

1st Violation: $1,200
2nd Violation: $1,500 to $1,800
3rd Violation: $2,100 to $2,400 and/or up to 6-month full suspension

FEE VIOLATIONS

  • 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)
  • Failure to accept payment by electronic check, debit card, or credit card for a drop charge§86.455(e)

OWNER NOTICE VIOLATIONS

  • Failure of a towing company 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)
  • Failure to notify vehicle owner or operator that a drop charge may be paid§86.455(d)

Class E:

1st Violation: $1,500
2nd Violation: $2,000 to $2,500 and/or up to 1-year full suspension
3rd Violation: $3,000 to $3,500 plus up to 1-year full suspension

ADMINISTRATIVE AND RECORDS VIOLATIONS

  • Failure of a towing company owner, manager, or their representative to cooperate with an inspector in the performance of the inspection§2308.059(d), 86.450(d), 86.451(b), 86.452(e)
  • Failure of a permit holder 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§86.204(a)(5), 86.208(5), 86.216(d)(5)
  • Failure of towing company to keep a record of every nonconsent tow and the required information for each§86.705(l)
  • Failure of a towing operator to allow Department personnel or law enforcement to inspect a permitted tow truck§86.715(c)
  • Failure to maintain a current valid driver's license 86.715(e)
  • Failure of a towing company to maintain at a principal office in Texas all records and information required by the Department§86.1002(a)
  • Towing company maintained required records at an alternate location other than the principal office prior to approval from the Department§86.1002(a)(1)
  • Failure of a towing company to maintain all books and records for a minimum of two years at the towing company's principal business address§86.1002(b)

Class F:

1st Violation: $2,000
2nd Violation: $2,500 to $3,000 plus 1-year full suspension
3rd Violation: $3,500 to $4,000 plus 1-year full suspension up to revocation

IMPROPER TOW VIOLATIONS

  • 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)
  • Removed and stored a 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)
  • Towed a vehicle within 24 hours of the initial installation of a boot§89.79(a)

TOW SAFETY VIOLATIONS

  • Failure to perform a tow in a safe and competent manner §86.715(d)
  • Tow truck did not have required boom, winch, or carry mechanism capacity information§86.1000(a)
  • 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)

ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTING

  • Failure of a towing company to establish a an alcohol and drug testing policy for its towing operators§2308.158(a), 86.710(c)
  • Failure or refusal 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)
  • Failure of a towing company to notify the Department of an employee's drug or alcohol conviction §86.710(a)(5)(D)
  • Failure of a towing company participating in a consortium to ensure the consortium performs random drug testing on at least 25% of the required tow operators§86.710(a)(6)(C)(iii), 86.710(a)(6)(D)(iii)
  • Failure of a towing company to notify the Department within three days of an employee's confirmed positive test result §86.710(a)(8)(E)
  • Failure of a towing operator to stand down from towing operation duties following a positive drug and alcohol test result confirmation§86.710(a)(11)(B)

Class G:

1st Violation: $3,000
2nd Violation: $3,500 to $4,000 plus 1-year full suspension up to revocation
3rd Violation: $4,500 to $5,000 plus revocation

UNLICENSED ACTIVITY

  • Performed towing operations without the appropriate license§2308.151(1), 2308.151(3), 2308.1555(a), 86.207(a)
  • Operated a towing company without the appropriate license 2308.151(2), 2308.151(4), 2308.1556(a), 86.212(a)
  • Operated an incident management permitted tow truck without an incident management towing operator's license§2308.153(a), 86.209(a)
  • Operated an private property permitted tow truck 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)

INSURANCE VIOLATIONS

  • Failure of a permit holder 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

  • Failure to reimburse the owner or operator for the removal and storage costs when a court finds a tow was not authorized 2308.451(b)
  • Failure to reimburse the owner or operator the overchargewhen 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 to be 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)

Class H:

1st Violation: Revocation and/or $3,000 to $5,000
2nd Violation: Revocation and/or $5,000
3rd Violation: Revocation and/or $5,000

  • Failure to comply with previous order of the Commission/Executive Director 2308.501(2), 86.204(a)(2), 86.208(2), 86.216(d)(2)
  • Failure to refund an amount charged to an owner or operator when ordered§2308.2065(c)(1), 2308.2065(c)(2), 86.458(c)
  • Obtained a license by fraud or false representation§86.204(a)(4), 86.208(4), 86.216(d)(4), 86.216(d(8), 60.23(a)(1)
  • Knowingly submitted falsified or incomplete information as part of an application§86.204(a)(4), 86.208(4), 86.216(d)(4), 86.216(d(8), 60.23(a)(2)
  • Failure to pay the Department for a dishonored check§60.82