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Vehicle Storage Facilities Penalties and Sanctions

Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2303
Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308
16 Texas Administration Code, Chapter 85
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
Failed to provide a copy of a nonconsent tow fees schedule on request

2303.1551(b);

85.1003(c)(1)

Nonconsent tow ticket did not contain all required tow company information 85.706(c)
Failed to notify the vehicle owner of the Department’s website and email address, mailing address, and telephone number where required 85.707

ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to complete all corrective actions following an inspection and provide written verification to the Department 85.453(a)(2)
Engaged in false, misleading, or deceptive advertising 85.701
Failed to notify the Department of a change of an operator’s mailing or physical address no later than the effective date of change 85.702(a)(2)
Failed to notify the Department of a change in the facility’s storage capacity no later than the effective date of change 85.702(a)(3)
Failed to notify the Department of a change in the company’s drug testing policy 85.702(a)(4)
Accepted a vehicle for storage but did not make or maintain a valid and current copy of the tow operator’s license and the cab card for the driver and truck delivering the vehicle 85.706(d)
Allowed an unpermitted tow truck to enter onto the vehicle storage facility grounds 85.709
Failed to give the Department notice containing all required information prior to the storage facility beginning use of a telephone number different from the one on file with the Department 85.715
Failed to note a correct license plate or vehicle identification number in the facility’s records 85.716
Failed to reimburse the Department for necessary travel expenses and per diem for inspections or investigations conducted at an out-of-state facility 85.1004(a)(2)

ACCESS VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failure to require a receipt from the person removing personal belongings from a stored vehicle 85.708(b)(2)

FACILITY VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to have the storage facility completely enclosed by a fence six feet high with a gate 85.1000(1)
Operated two vehicle storage facilities within the same fenced area 85.1000(1)
Failed to have an all-weather surface or surface was overgrown with vegetation 85.1001
Failed to maintain illumination levels adequate for nighttime release of vehicles 85.1002

STORAGE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to make reasonable efforts necessary for storage of the vehicle 85.719(a)
Failed to use plastic or canvas tarpaulins to ensure the impoundment of the vehicle 85.719(b)
Failed to lock the storage facility fence gate at all times when the licensee or an agent or employee is not at the storage lot 85.1000(1)
Stored or kept a vehicle at a storage facility which was not kept inside the fenced area or an enclosed area 85.1000(2)(A)
Failed to secure a vehicle accepted for storage to prevent theft of the vehicle or its contents 85.1000(2)(B)

INSURANCE FILING VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Licensee failed to ensure the electronic submission of a certificate of insurance when changing a business name or affiliation, or upon request of the Department 85.400(a)
Name and address on the certificate of insurance was different than those on the permit 85.400(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 85.400(d)(3)
Failed to file a replacement insurance policy, once insurance had been canceled, prior to the cancellation date 85.400(e)

SIGN AND NOTICE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failure to have a notice by publication contain all required information

2303.153(b);

85.703(i)(2)

Failed to include all required information in a second notice

2303.154(b);

2303.154(c);

85.704(d); 85.704(e)

Failed to send the second notice no earlier than the 15th day, and no later than the 21st day, after the date the first notice is mailed or published under §87.705

2308.154(d);

85.704(b)

Failed to send required notice to a law enforcement agency regarding an abandoned vehicle

2303.154(a-1);

85.704(b)

 

Failed to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles or a law enforcement agency that the required notices regarding an abandoned vehicle have been provided and pay the $10 fee

2303.1545(b);

85.724(b)

 

Failed to have a clearly visible sign in the proper lettering size and color contrast which sets out the charge for storage and all other fees, and all forms of payment accepted

2303.1551(a);

85.1003(b)

Failed to post a sign with one-inch letters stating “Nonconsent tow fees schedules available on request.”

2303.1551(b);

85.1003(c)(1)

Failed to have a conspicuously posted sign stating “This vehicle storage facility must accept payment by cash, credit card, and debit card for any fee or charge associated with delivery or storage of a vehicle”

2303.159(a-1);

85.1003(e)

Failed to include all required information in a vehicle owner’s written notice of rights under Chapter 2308, Subchapter J

2308.455;

85.710(a)(1)

Failed to have notification to vehicle owner meet all mailing requirements 85.703(i)
Failed to have mailed notification state all required information 85.703(i)(1)
Failed to have published notification state all required information 85.703(i)(2)
Failed to have a clearly visible and readable sign which displays the required facility information in the proper lettering size and color contrast 85.1003(a)
Failed to have a clearly visible sign in the proper lettering size and color contrast which lists all documents that may be presented to obtain possession of the vehicle, or did not state “Affidavit of Right of Possession Furnished Upon Request” 85.1003(d)

FEE SCHEDULE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Charged an impoundment fee but the written bill for services did not specify the exact services performed for that fee and the dates those services were performed 85.722(e)
Failed to give a vehicle owner, upon request, access to the current nonconsent towing fees schedule for the towing company that towed the vehicle 24 hours a day 85.708(b)(4)
Nonconsent tow fee schedule provided for viewing did not match the fees authorized by law 85.1003(c)(2)

TOW TICKET VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to inspect an accepted vehicle and note on the tow ticket any differences from the information already on the ticket 85.716
Defaced or wrote over any previous writing on a tow ticket when adding information during the vehicle inspection 85.716
Failed to notify every previously notified person within 48 hours of a vehicle’s correct license plate or vehicle identification number 85.716

PRACTICING WITHOUT PROPER LICENSE OR PERMIT

Violation Rule/Statute
Performed a function that requires a facility license while license was expired 85.203(b)
Performed a duty that requires an employee license while license was expired 85.206(b)

Class B

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

ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to notify the Department of a change in business name no later than the effective date of change 85.702(a)(1)

ACCESS VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to allow vehicle owner access to vehicle to obtain documents to establish ownership

2303.158,

85.708(a)

Failed to give the vehicle owner or an authorized representative access to the vehicle or to remove personal belongings from the vehicle 85.708(b)(2)
Failed to allow the vehicle owner or an authorized representative access to the vehicle for the purposes of insurance and/or repair estimates 85.708(b)(3)

TOW TICKET VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to allow the vehicle owner or an authorized representative to inspect the tow ticket before being required to pay fees 85.708(b)(1)
Failed to provide a legible copy of the tow ticket to an insurer within three days of being presented with a proof of loss claim form 85.708(c)(2)(A)
Failed to provide a legible copy of the tow ticket to a tow truck operator upon being presented with a proof of loss claim form 85.708(c)(2)(B)
Failed to a provide a tow ticket to the vehicle owner or owner’s representative 85.710(a)(2)

LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTING VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Accepted a vehicle nonconsent towed from private property and failed to report the tow to local law enforcement within two hours of receipt of vehicle

2303.1511(a);

2308.2565(a);

85.705(a)

Report to local law enforcement of the acceptance of a nonconsent-towed vehicle failed to include a description of vehicle, license plate and ascertainable VIN information, location from where the vehicle was towed, and the name and location of the destination vehicle storage facility

2303.1511(a);

2308.2565(a);

85.705(a)

 

Failed to make the required nonconsent tow report by telephone, electronically, personally or by facsimile

2303.1511(b);

85.705(b)

Failed to provide a report to law enforcement of incident management tows within 48 hours of receiving the request 2308.2565(b)
Failed to keep a record of to whom and in what manner the required nonconsent tow report was reported, the date and time, or the tracking or control number assigned by the law enforcement agency 85.705(c)

ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTING

Violation Rule/Statute
Vehicle storage facility failed to establish, maintain, and implement, an effective drug testing policy for its employees as required by law

2303.161;

85.725

Employee or applicant failed or refused to fully cooperate and comply with any term of the vehicle storage facility’s drug testing policy 85.725(a)(4)
Vehicle storage facility employee took or was under the influence of a drug not prescribed by a physician 85.725(a)(5)(A)
Vehicle storage facility employee engaged in the manufacture, sale, distribution, use, or unauthorized possession of illegal drugs 85.725(a)(5)(B)
Vehicle storage facility to notify the Department of an employee’s drug conviction 85.725(a)(5)(D)
Vehicle storage facility participating in a consortium failed to ensure the consortium performs random drug testing on at least 25% of the VSF’s employees 85.725(a)(6)(C)(iii)
Vehicle storage facility failed to notify the Department within three days of an employee’s confirmed positive drug test result 85.725(a)(8)(E)
Vehicle storage facility employee failed to stand down from vehicle storage facility duties following a positive drug test result confirmation 85.725(a)(11)(B)

UNLICENSED ACTIVITY

Violation Rule/Statute
Worked in a vehicle storage facility without a required license

2303.1015(a);

85.204(b)

Employed a person who did not hold a required license

2303.1015(a);

85.204(c)

FEE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Charged a notification fee exceeding $50 or charged a publication fee greater than allowed by law

2303.155(b)(1);

2303.155(c);

85.722(c)(1)

Charged an impoundment fee greater than $20

2303.155(b)(2);

85.722(e)

Charged an impoundment fee when the impoundment was not performed in accordance with 16 T.A.C. Ch. 85

2303.155(b)(2);

85.719(c); 85.722(e)

Charged a daily storage fee of more than $20 for each day for a vehicle not longer than 25 feet

2303.155(b)(3)(A);

85.722(d)

Charged a daily storage fee of more than $35 for each day for a vehicle longer than 25 feet

2303.155(b)(3)(B);

85.722(d)

Charged a storage fee for more than one day when the vehicle remained at the facility for less than 12 hours

2303.155(d);

85.722(d)(1)

Charged for more than five days of storage before mailing notice or requesting owner information from the proper governmental entity

2303.155(e);

85.722(d)(2);

85.722(d)(3)

Charged a daily storage fee during the period beginning on the 21st day after the first notice is sent and ending 24 hours after the second notice is sent when second notice is sent after the 21st day on which the first notice was mailed or published

2303.154(e)(2);

85.704(c)

Charged an additional fee for storage which is not authorized by law

2303.155(f);

85.722(h)

Failed to accept payment by cash, debit card, or credit card for the delivery or storage of a vehicle

2303.159(a);

85.711

Charged a notification fee when the vehicle was removed within 24 hours or before the notification was sent 85.722(c)(3)

NOTICE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Failed to send proper notice of the vehicle’s location to the vehicle owner and lienholder by the fifth day after receipt of the vehicle which is registered in Texas

2303.151(a);

2303.151(d); 2303.151(e);

2303.153(a);

85.703(b)(1)

Failed to send proper notice of the vehicle’s location to the vehicle owner and lienholder by the 14th day after receipt of the vehicle which is registered outside Texas

2303.151(b);

2303.151(d);

2303.151(e);

2303.153(a);

85.703(b)(2)

Failed to provide notice to the owner and lienholder by publication when required

2303.152(a);

2303.152(e);

85.703(e)

Provided notice by publication when all requirements allowing notice by publication had not been met

2303.152(a);

2303.152(b);

2303.152(e); 85.703(e)

Failed to send a second notice of the vehicle’s location to the vehicle owner and lienholder when required

2303.154(a);

85.704(a)

Failed to timely send the second notification letter to the vehicle owner and lienholder when required

2303.154(d);

85.704(b)

Failed to give a vehicle owner written notice of the person’s rights under Chapter 2308, Subchapter J at the time of payment

2308.454(a)

 

Failed to include a notice of the vehicle owner’s rights under Chapter 2308, Subchapter J with the required notice which states the facility has the vehicle 2308.454(b)

RELEASE OF VEHICLES VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Refused to release a vehicle because of the inability to accept payment by cash, debit card or credit card 2303.159(a)
Failed to release a vehicle or required an affidavit for release because the valid identification presented had a different address than the address on the title or registration for the vehicle

2303.160(a);

85.710(a)(4)

Failed to accept evidence of financial responsibility as a form of identification that establishes right of possession of the vehicle

2303.160(b);

85.710(a)(5)

Failed to allow an owner or owner’s representative to obtain possession of a vehicle when all fees were paid and valid identification and acceptable documentation proving right of possession were presented 85.710(a)(3)
Failed to have a vehicle available for release 24 hours a day when the facility accepted vehicles 24 hours a day 85.710(a)(7)
Failed to have a vehicle available for release during the required hours within one hour of notice 85.710(a)(8)
Refused to release of a vehicle to an owner or insurance company due to nonpayment by the law enforcement agency that directed the towing and storage 85.713(a)
Released a commercial vehicle stored at the direction of Texas DPS when the amount of delinquent administrative penalty assessed against the vehicle had not been paid pursuant to 37 T.A.C. § 4.16 85.713(b)
Failed to have a publicly listed telephone number at which the vehicle storage facility could be contacted 85.715

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
Vehicle storage facility owner, manager, or their representative failed to cooperate with an inspector or investigator in the performance of the inspection or investigation

85.450(d);

60.23(a)(3)

Failed to make all records and documents available to a Department inspector, investigator, or law enforcement officer for inspection or copying

85.451(b);

85.706(e);

60.23(a)(3)

Failed to maintain a copy of all required written records and documents at the principal business address for a minimum of two years from release or disposal of a vehicle

85.706(a);

85.1004(b)

Failed to keep all required records under the storage facility’s care and custody for at least two years from the date of vehicle release or disposal 85.706(f)
Failed to maintain a record of ultimate vehicle disposition which includes all required information 85.721(3)
Failed to keep complete and accurate records for a disposed vehicle which include all required information 85.723(b)
Vehicle storage facility failed to maintain all required records and documents at a principal office in Texas 85.1004(a)
Vehicle storage facility maintained required records at an alternate location other than the principal office without approval from the Department 85.1004(a)(1)

FEE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Charged unpermitted fees after a vehicle was towed to another location without the owner’s permission 85.721(1)

Class D

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

UNLICENSED ACTIVITY

Violation Rule/Statute
Operated a vehicle storage facility without holding a license for that facility

2303.101(a);

85.200; 85.203(b)

Operated or managed a vehicle storage facility as a sole proprietor or unincorporated partnership without holding an employee license 85.204(d)

INSURANCE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Obtained insurance from an insurer not authorized to do business in Texas 85.400(b)
Failed to obtain and maintain liability insurance for each vehicle storage facility in the required amount

85.400(d)(1);

85.400(d)(2)

Provided liability insurance information to vehicle owner which was not the same as that on file with the Department 85.714
Failed to provide to vehicle owner or owner’s representative upon request all required liability insurance information 85.714

DISPOSAL OF VEHICLE VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
Disposed of an abandoned nuisance vehicle before the 30th day after the first and only notice was sent 2303.1545(a)
Disposed of an abandoned vehicle before the 30th day after notice was sent 2303.157(a)

Failed to apply the proceeds from the sale of a vehicle 

to the charges incurred for the vehicle or pay excess proceeds to the person entitled to the proceeds

2303.157(b); 85.704(f)
Sold a vehicle before the 30th day after notice was sent that was not an abandoned nuisance vehicle and did not submit an application for disposal to the Department of Transportation 2303.157(c)
Removed parts or dismantled or demolished a vehicle within the storage area when not allowed 85.717
Allowed a stored vehicle to be repaired, altered, or to have parts removed or replaced without the consent of the owner or owner’s representative 85.720
Moved a vehicle from the storage facility within 31 days of delivery without the owner’s authorization 85.721
Moved a vehicle from the storage facility within 31 days of delivery and assessed an additional charge 85.721
Moved a vehicle from the storage facility within 31 days of delivery and failed to send notice no less than 72 hours prior to the move 85.721
Failed to maintain records and inform a vehicle owner upon request of the location of the vehicle at all times from vehicle relocation to ultimate vehicle disposition 85.721(2)
Disposed of a vehicle without complying with all provisions of the law concerning notification and disposal of abandoned vehicles and maintenance of records 85.723(a)
Failed to maintain complete and accurate records of any vehicle disposed, as required 85.723(b)

INTEGRITY VIOLATIONS

Violation Rule/Statute
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);

51.301(2)

Requested a vehicle owner or operator to sign an authorization form for a tow, repair, or any other service, for a tow initiated by law enforcement 85.708(d)
Required an owner or owner’s representative to sign a form which changed the status of a law enforcement-initiated tow from a nonconsent tow to a consent tow status 85.710(b)(1)
Required an owner or owner’s representative to sign a form which changed the status of the vehicle storage resulting from a nonconsent tow to a consent storage status 85.710(b)(2)
Required an owner or owner’s representative to sign a form which imposed additional charges not regulated by the Department 85.710(b)(3)
Used a stored vehicle for personal or business use without the written consent of the owner 85.718
Obtained a license by fraud or false representation 60.23(a)(1)
Submitted falsified required documents as part of the initial or renewal application packet 60.23(a)(2)
Failed to pay the Department for a dishonored payment 60.82
Refused to permit, or interfered with, an inspection or investigation by an authorized TDLR representative 60.23(a)(3)
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)
Failed to conduct vehicle storage facility operations with honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity 85.726