V C Section 22651.07 Towing Fees and Access Notice: Vehicle Owner Rights
Towing Fees and Access Notice: Vehicle Owner Rights
22651.07. (a) A person that charges for towing or storage, or both, except for storage unrelated to a tow, shall do all of the following:
(1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), post in the office area of the storage facility, in plain view of the public, the Towing Fees and Access Notice and have copies readily available to the public.
(B) An automotive repair dealer, registered pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 9884) of Chapter 20.3 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, that does not provide towing services is exempt from the requirement to post the Towing Fees and Access Notice in the office area.
(2) Provide, upon request, a copy of the Towing Fees and Access Notice to any owner or operator of a towed or stored vehicle.
(3) Provide a distinct notice on an itemized invoice for any towing or storage, or both, charges stating: “Upon request, you are entitled to receive a copy of the Towing Fees and Access Notice.” This notice shall be contained within a bordered text box, printed in no less than 10-point type.
(b) Prior to receiving payment for any towing, recovery, or storage-related fees, a person that charges for towing or storage, or both, shall provide an itemized invoice of actual charges to the vehicle owner or his or her agent. If an automotive repair dealer, registered pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 9884) of Chapter 20.3 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, did not provide the tow, and passes along, from the tower to the consumer, any of the information required on the itemized invoice, pursuant to subdivision (e), the automotive repair dealer shall not be responsible for the accuracy of those items of information that remain unaltered.
(c) Prior to paying any towing, recovery, or storage related fees, a vehicle owner or his or her agent shall have the right to all of the following:
(1) Receive his or her personal property, at no charge, during normal business hours. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., inclusive, except state holidays.
(2) Retrieve his or her vehicle during the first 72 hours of storage and not pay a lien fee.
(3) Request a copy of the Towing Fees and Access Notice.
(4) Be permitted to pay by cash or a valid bank credit card. Credit charges for towing and storage services shall comply with Section 1748.1 of the Civil Code. Law enforcement agencies may include the costs of providing for payment by credit when agreeing with a towing or storage provider on rates.
(d) The Towing Fees and Access Notice shall be a standardized document plainly printed in no less that 10-point type. A person may distribute the form using its own letterhead, but the language of the Towing Fees and Access Notice shall read as follows:
(e) “Itemized invoice,” as used in this section, means a written document that contains the following information. Any document that substantially complies with this subdivision shall be deemed an “itemized invoice” for purposes of this section:
(1) The name, address, telephone number, and carrier identification number as required by subdivision (a) of Section 34507.5 of the person that is charging for towing and storage.
(2) If ascertainable, the registered owner or operator’s name, address, and telephone number.
(3) The date service was initiated.
(4) The location of the vehicle at the time service was initiated, including either the address or nearest intersecting roadways.
(5) A vehicle description that includes, if ascertainable, the vehicle year, make, model, odometer reading, license plate number, or if a license plate number is unavailable, the vehicle identification number (VIN).
(6) The service dispatch time, the service arrival time of the tow truck, and the service completion time.
(7) A clear, itemized, and detailed explanation of any additional services that caused the total towing related service time to exceed one hour between service dispatch time and service completion time.
(8) The hourly rate or per item rate used to calculate the total towing and recovery-related fees. These fees shall be listed as separate line items.
(9) If subject to storage fees, the daily storage rate and the total number of days stored. The storage fees shall be listed as a separate line item.
(10) If subject to a gate fee, the date and time the vehicle was either accessed, for the purposes of returning personal property, or was released after normal business hours. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., inclusive, except state holidays. A gate fee shall be listed as a separate line item.
(11) A description of the method of towing.
(12) If the tow was not requested by the vehicle’s owner or driver, the identity of the person or governmental agency that directed the tow. This paragraph shall not apply to information otherwise required to be redacted under Section 22658.
(13) A clear, itemized, and detailed explanation of any additional services or fees.
(f) “Person,” as used in this section, has the same meaning as described in Section 470.
(g) An insurer or insurer’s agent shall be permitted to pay for towing and storage charges by bank draft.
(h) A person who violates this section is civilly liable to a registered or legal owner of the vehicle, or a registered owner’s insurer, for up to two times the amount charged. For any action brought under this section, liability shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500) per vehicle.
(i) This section shall not apply to the towing or storage of a repossessed vehicle by any person subject to, or exempt from, the Collateral Recovery Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code).
(j) This section does not relieve a person from the obligation to comply with the provision of any other law.