Most Common Code Violations Found in Inspections of Tow Trucks and Vehicle Storage Facilities

Ten Most Common Tow Truck Violations
Ten Most Common Vehicle Storage Facility Violations

Tow Trucks

1. Vehicle Signage. 14 Tex. Occupations Code Ch. 2308.109(b) & 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 86.701(b). The information required to be displayed must be printed in letters at least 2 inches high, contrasting with background, and permanently affixed in conspicuous places on both sides of the tow truck.

2. Vehicle Signage. 14 Tex. Occupations Code Ch. 2308.109(a) & 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 86.701(a). Failure to display on the tow truck the permit holder's name, telephone number, city and state, and the permit number for the truck.

3. Alcohol and Drug Testing of Towing Operators. - 14 Tex. Occupations Code Ch.2308.158(a) and 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch.86.710(a)(6)(A-C). A towing company shall establish an alcohol and drug testing policy for towing operators.

3. Equipment Violations. 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 86.1000(a)(1)(2). Failure to display a legible manufacturer’s data plate or manufacturer's documentation indicating the capacity of the boom, the winch or the carry mechanism.

5. Equipment Violations. 14 Tex. Occupations Code Ch. 2308.108(c) & 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch.86.206(c). Failure of a permit holder to keep a cab card in the cab of each permitted tow truck.

6. Unlicensed Vehicle. 14 Tex. Occupations Code Ch. 2308.101 & 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch.86.200(a).
A tow truck may not be used for consent towing or nonconsent towing on a public roadway in this state unless an appropriate permit has been issued for the tow truck.

7. Unlicensed Operator Activity. - 14 Tex. Occupations Code Ch. 2308.151(1) and 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 86.207(a). Performed towing operations without the appropriate license.

8. Responsibilities of Towing Company - Tow Truck License Plates. - 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 86.708. Unless allowed by another law or regulation, a towing company or tow truck operator must not operate or cause a tow truck to be operated on the public roadways of this State unless the tow truck displays current license plates that includes the words “Tow Truck.”

9. Financial Responsibility. 14 Tex. Occupations Code Ch. 2308.110(d). A permit holder shall keep evidence of insurance in a form approved by the department in the cab of each permitted tow truck.

10. Tow Ticket. 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 86.709(e). Failure of a towing company to prepare and issue a tow ticket that contains the licensed name of the towing company, publicly listed telephone number, towing company certificate of registration number, and the TDLR license number of the towing operator.
Vehicle Storage Facilities

1. Notice of Complaint Procedure. - 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 86.707(a)&(b). Failure to notify the vehicle owner of the department’s website and email address, mailing address, and telephone number, for purposes of directing complaints regarding the vehicle storage to the department. The notice shall be included on a sign prominently displayed to the public at the place of payment, with letters at least one inch in height, and a contrasting background; and the front page of any bill for service.

2. Storage Lot Signs. 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.1003(d). Failure to have a sign describing the documents that may be presented by the vehicle owner or his/her authorized representative to obtain possession of the vehicle.

3. Storage Lot Signs. 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.1003(a). Failure to have a clearly visible and readable sign at its main entrance, containing the registered name, address, phone number for release of the vehicle, facility hours and the storage lot’s state license number. Such sign shall have letters at least 2 inches in height, with contrasting background, shall be visible at 10 feet.

4. Storage Lot Signs. 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.1003(e). Failure to conspicuously post a sign that states: "This vehicle storage facility must accept payment by an electronic check, credit card, or debit card for any fee or charge associated with delivery or storage of a vehicle."

5. Failure to follow the Drug Test Policy. 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.725(a)(6)(A-C). A VSF adopting paragraphs (1) - (12) will comply with Texas Occupations Code, ยง2303.160. Types of Tests - pre-employment, annual, and random testing.

6. Storage Lot Signs. 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.1003(c). Failure to conspicuously place a sign, at the place of payment, stating “Non-Consent Tow Fees Schedules Available on Request”.

7. Storage lot signage. - 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.1003(b). The sign shall include all forms of payments the VSF accepts for any charge associated with delivery or storage of a vehicle. The sign must be located so it is clearly visible to a vehicle owner at the place of payment and shall have letters at least 1 inch in height with a contrasting background.

8. Impoundment Fee. - 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.722(e). A VSF operator may charge a vehicle owner an Impoundment fee if Impoundment is performed in accordance with these rules. The Impoundment fee may not exceed $20. If the VSF operator charges a fee for Impoundment, the written bill for services must specify the exact services performed for that fee and the dates those services were performed.

9. Release of Vehicles. - 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.710.The VSF shall provide the owner or the owner's representative with a tow ticket. The tow ticket may be combined with a VSF Invoice; provided, the combined tow ticket and VSF Invoice separates tow charges from VSF storage charges and each category of charges is preceded by a heading or label identifying the charges as “Tow Charges” or “Storage Charges”.

10. Reasonable Storage Efforts 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.719(a). A VSF operator shall make reasonable efforts necessary for the storage of a vehicle, such as locking doors, rolling up windows, and closing doors, hatchbacks, sunroofs, trunks, hoods, or convertible tops.

11. Facility Fencing Requirements. 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 85.1000(1). If not enclosed by a five-foot high fence on or before September 1, 1985, all VSFs shall be completely enclosed by a fence at least six feet high with a gate, which is locked at all times when the licensee or an agent or employee is not at the storage lot. No two VSFs may operate within the same fenced area.