Vehicle Storage Facilities Penalties and Sanctions

 

Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2303
Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308
16 Texas Administration Code, Chapter 85

Class A:

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

POSTING AND PUBLIC INFORMATION VIOLATIONS

  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to notify the vehicle owner of the Department's website and email address, mailing address, and telephone number where required §85.707

ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS

  • Failure to pay risk-based inspection fee 2303.056(d), 85.452(c)
  • Failure 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
  • Failure to notify the Department of a change in business name no later than the effective date of change 85.702(a)(1)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to notify the Department of a change in the company's drug testing policy 85.702(a)(4)
  • Did not clearly note the time of receipt of a call requesting release, or did not have the person requesting release separately initial the notation 85.710(a)(9)
  • Failure 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 Department85.715
  • Failure 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)

FACILITY VIOLATIONS

  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to have an all-weather surface or surface was overgrown with vegetation 85.1001
  • Failure to maintain illumination levels adequate for nighttime release of vehicles 85.1002

 Class B:

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

INSURANCE FILING VIOLATIONS

  • Failure of a licensee 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)
  • Failure to file a replacement insurance policy, once insurance had been canceled, prior to the cancellation date 85.400(e)

SIGN AND NOTICE VIOLATIONS

  • Failure to have a notice by publication contain all required information §2303.153(b), 85.703(h)(2)
  • Failure of second notice to contain all required information 2303.154(b), 2303.154(c), 85.704(c), 85.704(d)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to post a sign with one inch letters stating 'Nonconsent tow fees schedules available on request.' §2303.1551(b), 85.1003(c)(1)
  • Failure to have a conspicuously posted sign stating '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 2303.159(a), 85.1003(e)
  • Failure of a vehicle owner's written notice of rights under Chapter 2308, Subchapter J to include all required information§2308.455, 85.710(a)(1)
  • 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)
  • Failure to have notification to vehicle owner meet all mailing requirements 85.703(h)
  • Failure to have mailed notification state all required information 85.703(h) (1)
  • Failure to have published notification state all required information 85.703(h) (2)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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

  • Failure to give on request to a vehicle owner access to the current nonconsent towing fees schedule for the towing company that towed the vehicle 85.708(b)(4)
  • Nonconsent tow fee schedule provided for viewing did not match the authorized tow fees 85.1003(c)(2)

TOW TICKET VIOLATIONS

  • Failure 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
  • Failure to notify every previously notified person within 48 hours of a vehicle's correct license plate or vehicle identification number 85.716

Class C:

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

ACCESS VIOLATIONS

  • Failure to allow vehicle owner access to vehicle to obtain documents to establish ownership 2303.158, 85.708(a)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to require a receipt from the person removing personal belongings from a stored vehicle 85.708(b)(2)
  • Failure 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

  • Failure to allow the vehicle owner or an authorized representative to inspect the tow ticket before being required to pay fees 85.708(b)(1)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to a provide a tow ticket to the vehicle owner or owner's representative 85.710(a)(2)

PRACTICING WITHOUT PROPER LICENSE OR PERMIT

  • 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 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 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 an additional fee for storage which is not authorized by law 2303.155(f), 85.722(h)
  • Failure to accept payment by electronic check, debit card, or credit card for the delivery or storage of a vehicle 2303.159(a), 85.711
  • Charged unpermitted fees after a vehicle was towed to another location without the owner's permission §85.721(1)
  • Charged a notification fee when the vehicle was removed within 24 hours or before the notification was sent 85.722(c)(3)
  • 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)

STORAGE VIOLATIONS

  • Failure to make reasonable efforts necessary for storage of the vehicle 85.719(a)
  • Failure to use plastic or canvas tarpaulins to ensure the impoundment of the vehicle 85.719(b)
  • Failure 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)
  • Did not secure a vehicle accepted for storage to prevent theft of the vehicle or its contents 85.1000(2)(B)

NOTICE VIOLATIONS

  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to send a second notice of the vehicle's location to the vehicle owner and lienholder when required 2303.154(a), 85.704(a)
  • Failure to send required notice to a law enforcement agency regarding an abandoned vehicle 2303.154(a-1), 85.704(b)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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)

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 vehicle storage facility owner, manager, or their representative to cooperate with an inspector in the performance of the inspection 85.450(d)
  • Failure to make all documents available to a Department inspector or law enforcement officer for inspection or copying 85.451(b), 85.706(e)
  • Failure to maintain a copy of all written documentation at the principal business address, regarding operations for a minimum of two years from release or disposal of a vehicle 85.706(a), 85.1004(b)
  • Failure of written documentation to contain all required information 85.706(b)
  • 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure to note a correct license plate or vehicle identification number in the facility's records 85.716
  • Failure to maintain a record of ultimate vehicle disposition which includes all required information 85.721(3)
  • Failure to keep complete and accurate records for a disposed vehicle which include all required information 85.723(b)
  • Failure of a vehicle storage facility to maintain at a principal office in Texas all records and information required by the Department §85.1004(a)
  • Vehicle storage facility maintained required records at an alternate location other than the principal office prior to approval from the Department 85.1004(a)(1)

LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTING VIOLATIONS

  • 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)
  • Failure to make the required nonconsent tow report by telephone, electronically, personally or by facsimile 2303.1511(b,) 85.705(b)
  • Failure to provide a report to law enforcement of incident management tows within 48 hours of receiving the request 2308.2565(b)
  • Failure 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)

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

RELEASE OF VEHICLES VIOLATIONS

  • Refused to release a vehicle because of the inability to accept payment by electronic check, debit card or credit card §2303.159(a)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Failure 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)
  • Did not have a vehicle available for release 24 hours a day when the facility accepted vehicles 24 hours a day 85.710(a)(7)
  • Did not 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)
  • Failure to have a publicly listed telephone number at which the vehicle storage facility could be contacted 85.715

ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTING

  • Failure of a vehicle storage facility to establish a drug testing policy for its employees 2303.161, 85.725
  • Failure or refusal of employee or applicant 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)
  • Failure of a vehicle storage facility to notify the Department of an employee's drug conviction §85.725(a)(5)(D)
  • Failure of a vehicle storage facility participating in a consortium to ensure the consortium performs random drug testing on at least 25% of the VSF's employees 85.725(a)(6)(C)(iii)
  • Failure of a vehicle storage facility to notify the Department within three days of an employee's confirmed positive drug test result §85.725(a)(8)(E)
  • Failure of a vehicle storage facility employee to stand down from vehicle storage facility duties following a positive drug test result confirmation 85.725(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

  • Operated a vehicle storage facility without holding a license for that facility 2303.101(a), 85.200, 85.203(b)
  • Worked in a vehicle storage facility without holding an employee license 2303.1015(a), 85.204(b)
  • Employed a person who did not hold a vehicle storage facility employee license 2303.1015(a), 85.204(b), 85.205(b)
  • Operated or managed a vehicle storage facility as a sole proprietor or unincorporated partnership without holding an employee license 85.204(c)
  • Allowed an unpermitted tow truck to enter onto the vehicle storage facility grounds §85.709

INSURANCE VIOLATIONS

  • Obtained insurance from an insurer not authorized to do business in Texas 85.400(b)
  • Failure to 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
  • Failure to provide to vehicle owner upon request all required liability insurance information 85.714

INTEGRITY VIOLATIONS

  • Requested a vehicle owner 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

DISPOSAL OF VEHICLE VIOLATIONS

  • 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)
  • Failure to apply the proceeds from the sale of a vehicle to the charges incurred for the vehicle §2303.157(b)
  • Failure to pay any excess proceeds from a vehicle sale to the person entitled to those proceeds 2303.157(b), 85.704(e)
  • 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
  • Failure to 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 85.723(a)

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 2303.304(a)(2), 85.900
  • Obtained a license by fraud or false representation 85.202(1), 60.23(a)(1)
  • Submitted falsified required documents as part of the initial or renewal application packet 85.202(1), 60.23(a)(2)
  • Failure to pay the Department for a dishonored check§60.82