TDLR has recently looked at three common industry practices and determined that they ARE IN VIOLATION of our statutes. The three industry practices are:
Notary service: You cannot charge for notary service at the VSF, even if the notary fees go to the individual notary and are not retained by the VSF. You can still provide the notary service if you choose, but you CANNOT charge for it. This reverses an earlier TDLR interpretation that allowed the individual notary to charge for the service as long as the money went directly to the individual notary and not put on the credit card with tow and VSF fees.
Vehicle relocates (for parking lot re-striping or construction, etc,): There is nothing in the statute that allows a tow operator to move a vehicle without the owner’s permission. If the vehicle is parked illegally (with proper notice and signage), it can only be moved to a licensed VSF for impound.
Proof of insurance: Even if instructed by law enforcement, you CANNOT require proof of insurance in order to release a vehicle. However, proof of insurance CAN be used by the vehicle owner as proof of OWNERSHIP for release.
You can watch the Towing, Storage and Booting Advisory Board meeting of December 3, 2014 to hear the discussion on these items. Go to http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/towing/towingboard.htm#meetings to view the recorded meeting.
Join the discussions on these latest interpretations and more at Southwest Tow Operators' Forum: http://swtowop.org/index.php/forum/7-administrative/101-tdlr-s-newest-interpretations-of-towing-vsf-laws .Please contact us at 1-866-320-9300 if you have any questions on this.
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