Texas Towing Law

VEHICLE TOWING AND BOOTING Occupations Code Title 14. Regulation of Motor Vehicles and Transportation Chapter 2308 Administered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Effective September 1, 2013, except where noted)

Table of Contents

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Sec. 2308.001. Short Title     Sec. 2308.002. Definitions     Sec. 2308.004. Exemption

Subchapter B. Advisory Board

Sec. 2308.051. Towing,    Storage, and Booting Advisory Board     Sec. 2308.052. Terms;      Vacancies     Sec. 2308.053. Presiding      Officer     Sec. 2308.054. Compensation;      Reimbursement of Expenses     Sec. 2308.055. Meetings     Sec. 2308.056. General Powers      and Duties     Sec. 2308.057. Rules     Sec. 2308.0575. Rules on Fees;      Contract for Study; Confidential Information     Sec. 2308.058. Fees     Sec. 2308.059. Periodic and      Risk-Based Inspections     Sec. 2308.060. Powers and      Duties of Advisory Board     Sec. 2308.061. Personnel

Subchapter C. Tow Truck Permit    Requirements

Sec. 2308.101. Permit    Required     Sec. 2308.102. Application      Requirements     Sec. 2308.103. Requirements      for Incident Management Towing Permit     Sec. 2308.104. Requirements      for Private Property Towing Permit     Sec. 2308.105. Requirements      for Consent Towing Permit     Sec. 2308.106. Department      Approval; Issuance of Permit     Sec. 2308.107. Permit Renewal     Sec. 2308.108. Cab Cards     Sec. 2308.109. Display of      Information on Tow Truck     Sec. 2308.110. Financial      Responsibility

Subchapter D.     License Requirements

Sec. 2308.151. License    Required     Sec. 2308.152. General License      Application Requirements     Sec. 2308.1521. Vehicle Storage      Facility Employee and Towing Operator; Dual License     Sec. 2308.153. Incident      Management Towing Operator’s License     Sec. 2308.154. Private      Property Towing Operator’s License     Sec. 2308.155. Consent Towing      Operator’s License     Sec. 2308.1551. Training      License     Sec. 2308.1555. Boot Operator’s      License     Sec. 2308.1556. Booting Company      License     Sec. 2308.156. Nontransferability      of License     Sec. 2308.157. Continuing      Education     Sec. 2308.158. Alcohol and      Drug Testing of Towing Operators     Sec. 2308.159. License      Renewal

Subchapter E. Local Regulation of    Towing and Booting

Sec. 2308.201. Tow Truck    Regulation by Political Subdivisions     Sec. 2308.202. Regulation by      Political Subdivisions of Fees for Nonconsent Tows     Sec. 2308.203. Towing Fee      Studies     Sec. 2308.205. Storage of      Towed Vehicles     Sec. 2308.2065. Fees for Nonconsent      Tows; Refunds     Sec. 2308.208. Municipal or      County Ordinance Regulating Unauthorized Vehicles and Towing of Motor Vehicles     Sec. 2308.2085. Municipal      Ordinance Regulating Booting Companies and Operators     Sec. 2308.209. Tow Rotation      List in Certain Counties

Subchapter F. Unauthorized    Vehicles

Sec. 2308.251. Prohibition    Against Unattendend Vehicles in Certain Areas     Sec. 2308.252. Removal and      Storage of Unauthorized Vehicle     Sec. 2308.253. Unattended      Vehicles on Parking Facility of Apartment Complex; Removal and Storage of      Vehicles     Sec. 2308.254. Limitation on      Parking Facility Owner’s Authority to Remove Unauthorized Vehicle     Sec. 2308.255. Towing Company’s or Boot Operator’s Authority to Remove and Store or Boot Unauthorized Vehicle     Sec. 2308.2555. Removal of      Certain Unauthorized Vehicles in Rural Areas     Sec. 2308.2565. Vehicle Storage      Facility Duty to Report After Accepting Unauthorized Vehicle     Sec. 2308.257. Booting of      Unauthorized Vehicle

Subchapter G. Signs Prohibiting    Unauthorized Vehicles and Designating Restricted Areas

Sec. 2308.301. General    Requirements for Sign Prohibiting Unauthorized Vehicles     Sec. 2308.302. Color, Layout,      and Lettering Height Requirements     Sec. 2308.303. Telephone      Number for Locating Towed Vehicle Required     Sec. 2308.304. Designation of      Restricted Parking Spaces on Otherwise Unrestricted Parking Facility     Sec. 2308.305. Individual      Parking Restrictions in Restricted Area

Subchapter H. Regulation of    Parking on Certain Public Roadway Areas

Sec. 2308.351. Removal of    Unauthorized Vehicle from Leased Right-Of-Way     Sec. 2308.352. Removal of      Unauthorized Vehicle from Area Between Parking Facility and Public Roadway     Sec. 2308.353. Removal Under      Governmental Entity’s Authority of Unauthorized Vehicle Parked in Right-Of-Way     Sec. 2308.354. Authority for      Removal of Vehicle from Public Roadway

Subchapter I. Regulation of Towing    Companies, Booting Companies, and Parking Facility Owners

Sec. 2308.401. Parking    Facility Owner Prohibited from Receiving Financial Gain from Towing Company or    Booting Company     Sec. 2308.402. Towing Company      and Booting Company Prohibited from Financial Involvement with Parking Facility      Owner     Sec. 2308.403. Limitation on      Liability of Parking Facility Owner for Removal or Storage of Unauthorized      Vehicle     Sec. 2308.404. Civil Liability      of Towing Company, Booting Company, or Parking Facility Owner for Violation of      Chapter     Sec. 2308.405. Criminal      Penalty     Sec. 2308.406. Violation of      Chapter; Injunction     Sec. 2308.407. Minor Sign or      Lettering Height Variations

Subchapter J. Rights of Owners and    Operators of Stored or Booted Vehicles

Sec. 2308.451. Payment of Cost    of Removal, Storage, and Booting of Vehicle     Sec. 2308.452. Right of Owner      or Operator of Vehicle to Hearing     Sec. 2308.453. Jurisdiction     Sec. 2308.454. Notice to      Vehicle Owner or Operator     Sec. 2308.455. Contents of      Notice     Sec. 2308.456. Request for      Hearing     Sec. 2308.457. Filing Fee      Authorized     Sec. 2308.458. Hearing     Sec. 2308.459. Appeal     Sec. 2308.460. Enforcement of      Award

Subchapter K. Enforcement

Sec. 2308.501. Administrative    Penalty     Sec. 2308.502. Cease and      Desist Order; Injunction; Civil Penalty     Sec. 2308.503. Sanctions     Sec. 2308.504. Criminal Penalty;      Licensing     Sec. 2308.505. Criminal      Penalty; Towing

Subchapter A.     General Provisions

Sec. 2308.001. Short Title.

This    chapter may be cited as the Texas Towing and Booting Act.

Sec. 2308.002. Definitions.

In    this chapter:

(1) “Advisory board”    means the Towing, Storage, and Booting Advisory Board.

(1-a) “Boot” means    a lockable road wheel clamp or similar vehicle immobilization device that is    designed to immobilize a parked vehicle and prevent its movement until the    device is unlocked or removed.

(1-b) “Booting company”    means a person that controls, installs, or directs the installation and removal    of one or more boots.

(1-c) “Boot operator”    means an individual who installs or removes a boot on or from a vehicle.

(2) “Commission”    means the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.

(3) “Consent tow”    means any tow of a motor vehicle in which the tow truck is summoned by the    owner or operator of the vehicle or by a person who has possession, custody, or    control of the vehicle. The term does not include an incident management tow    or a private property tow.

(4) “Department”    means the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

(5) “Driver’s license”    has the meaning assigned by Section 521.001, Transportation Code.

(5-a) “Incident management tow”     means any tow of a vehicle in which the tow truck is summoned to the scene of a    traffic accident or to an incident, including the removal of a vehicle,    commercial cargo, and commercial debris from an accident or incident scene.

(6) “Nonconsent tow”    means any tow of a motor vehicle that is not a consent tow, including:

(A) an incident management tow;      and

(B) a private property tow.

(7) “Parking facility”    means public or private property used, wholly or partly, for restricted or paid    vehicle parking. The term includes:

(A) a restricted space on a      portion of an otherwise unrestricted parking facility; and

(B) a commercial parking lot, a      parking garage, and a parking area serving or adjacent to a business, church,      school, home that charges a fee for parking, apartment complex, property      governed by a property owners’ association, or government-owned property leased      to a private person, including:

(i) a portion of the        right-of-way of a public roadway that is leased by a governmental entity to the        parking facility owner; and

(ii) the area between the        facility’s property line abutting a county or municipal public roadway and the        center line of the roadway’s drainage way or the curb of the roadway, whichever        is farther from the facility’s property line.

(7-a) “Parking facility    authorized agent” means an employee or agent of a parking facility owner    with the authority to:

(A) authorize the removal of a      vehicle from the parking facility on behalf of the parking facility owner; and

(B) accept service on behalf of      the parking facility owner of a notice of hearing requested under this chapter.

(8) “Parking facility    owner” means:

(A) an individual, corporation,      partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association,      trust, or other legal entity owning or operating a parking facility;

(B) a property owners’      association having control under a dedicatory instrument, as that term is      defined in Section 202.001, Property Code, over assigned or unassigned parking      areas; or

(C) a property owner having an      exclusive right under a dedicatory instrument, as that term is defined in      Section 202.001, Property Code, to use a parking space.

(8-a) “Private property tow”     means any tow of a vehicle authorized by a parking facility owner without the    consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle.

(9) “Property owners’    association” has the meaning assigned by Section 202.001, Property    Code.

(10) “Public roadway”    means a public street, alley, road, right-of-way, or other public way,    including paved and unpaved portions of the right-of-way.

(11) “Tow truck”    means a motor vehicle, including a wrecker, equipped with a mechanical device    used to tow, winch, or otherwise move another motor vehicle. The term does not    include:

(A) a motor vehicle owned and operated      by a governmental entity, including a public school district;

(B) a motor vehicle towing:

(i) a race car;

(ii) a motor vehicle for        exhibition; or

(iii) an antique motor vehicle;

(C) a recreational vehicle      towing another vehicle;

(D) a motor vehicle used in      combination with a tow bar, tow dolly, or other mechanical device if the      vehicle is not operated in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise;

(E) a motor vehicle that is      controlled or operated by a farmer or rancher and used for towing a farm      vehicle; or

(F) a motor vehicle that:

(i) is owned or operated by an        entity the primary business of which is the rental of motor vehicles; and

(ii) only tows vehicles rented        by the entity.

(12) “Towing company”    means an individual, association, corporation, or other legal entity that    controls, operates, or directs the operation of one or more tow trucks over a    public roadway in this state but does not include a political subdivision of    the state.

(13) “Unauthorized    vehicle” means a vehicle parked, stored, or located on a parking    facility without the consent of the parking facility owner.

(14) “Vehicle”    means a device in, on, or by which a person or property may be transported on a    public roadway. The term includes an operable or inoperable automobile, truck,    motorcycle, recreational vehicle, or trailer but does not include a device    moved by human power or used exclusively on a stationary rail or track.

(15) “Vehicle owner”    means a person:

(A) named as the purchaser or      transferee in the certificate of title issued for the vehicle under Chapter      501, Transportation Code;

(B) in whose name the vehicle is      registered under Chapter 502, Transportation Code, or a member of the person’s      immediate family;

(C) who holds the vehicle      through a lease agreement;

(D) who is an unrecorded      lienholder entitled to possess the vehicle under the terms of a chattel      mortgage; or

(E) who is a lienholder holding      an affidavit of repossession and entitled to repossess the vehicle.

(16) “Vehicle storage facility”    means a vehicle storage facility, as defined by Section 2303.002, that is    operated by a person who holds a license issued under Chapter 2303 to operate    the facility.

Sec. 2308.004. Exemption.

(a) This chapter does not apply to a person    who, while exercising a statutory or contractual lien right with regard to a    vehicle:

(1) installs or removes a boot; or

(2) controls, installs, or directs the      installation and removal of one or more boots.

(b) This chapter does not apply to a    commercial office building owner or manager who installs or removes a boot in    the building’s parking facility.

Subchapter B. Advisory Board

 

Sec. 2308.051. Towing, Storage, and Booting    Advisory Board

(a) The advisory board consists of the    following members appointed by the presiding officer of the commission with the    approval of the commission:

(1) one representative of a      towing company operating in a county with a population of less than one      million;

(2) one representative of a      towing company operating in a county with a population of one million or more;

(3) one owner of a vehicle      storage facility located in a county with a population of less than one      million;

(4) one owner of a vehicle      storage facility located in a county with a population of one million or more;

(5) one parking facility owner;

(6) one law enforcement officer      from a county with a population of less than one million;

(7) one law enforcement officer      from a county with a population of one million or more;

(8) one representative of      property and casualty insurers who write automobile insurance in this state;      and

(9) one public member. (Amended      pursuant to HB 2548, 81st Leg., R.S., (2009))

(9) one representative of a      booting company. (Amended pursuant to SB 2153, 81st Leg., R.S.,        (2009))

(b) The advisory board must include    representation for each classification of towing.

(c) An appointment to the advisory board    shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion,    age, or national origin of the appointee.

Sec. 2308.052. Terms; Vacancies

(a) Advisory board members serve terms of    six years, with the terms of two or three members, as appropriate, expiring on    February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(b) A member may not serve more than two    full consecutive terms.

(c) If a vacancy occurs during a term, the    presiding officer of the commission shall appoint a replacement who meets the    qualifications of the vacated position to serve for the remainder of the term.

Sec. 2308.053. Presiding Officer.

The    presiding officer of the commission shall appoint one of the advisory board    members to serve as presiding officer of the advisory board for a term of one    year. The presiding officer of the advisory board may vote on any matter    before the advisory board.

Sec. 2308.054. Compensation; Reimbursement of    Expenses.

Advisory    board members may not receive compensation but are entitled to reimbursement    for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing the functions of the    advisory board, subject to the General Appropriations Act.

Sec. 2308.055. Meetings.

The advisory board shall meet    twice annually and may meet at other times at the call of the presiding officer    of the commission or the executive director.

Sec. 2308.056. General Powers and Duties.

The    executive director or commission, as appropriate, may take action as necessary    to administer and enforce this chapter.

Sec. 2308.057. Rules.

(a) The commission shall adopt rules for    permitting tow trucks and licensing towing operators, towing companies, booting    companies, and boot operators. The commission may adopt different rules    applicable to each type of permit or license.

(a-1) The commission shall adopt rules for    denial of applications and permits if the applicant, a partner, principal,    officer, or general manager of the applicant, or other license or permit holder    has:

(1) a criminal conviction, or      has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to an offense, before the date of the      application, for:

(A) a felony, or

(B) a misdemeanor punishable by        confinement in jail or by a fine in an amount that exceeds $500;

(2) violated an order of the      commission or executive director, including an order for sanctions or      administrative penalties;

(3) failed to submit a license      or permit bond in an amount established by the commission;

(4) knowingly submitted false      or incomplete information on the application; or

(5) filed an application to      permit a tow truck previously permitted by a license or permit holder.

(b) The commission by rule shall adopt:

(1) standards of conduct for      license and permit holders under this chapter; and

(2) requirements for a consent      tow, private property tow, and incident management tow.

Sec. 2308.0575. Rules on Fees; Contract for    Study; Confidential Information.

(a) To protect the public health and safety,    the commission by rule shall establish:

(1) the fees that may be      charged in connection with a private property tow;

(2) the maximum amount that may      be charged for fees, other than tow fees, that may be assessed by a towing      company in connection with a private property tow; and

(3) a maximum amount that may      be charged for the following private property tows:

(A) standard light-duty tows of        motor vehicles with a gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less;

(B) medium-duty tows of motor        vehicles with a gross weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, but less than        25,000 pounds; and

(C) heavy-duty tows of motor        vehicles with a gross weight rating that exceeds 25,000 pounds.

(b) In adopting rules under Subsection (a),    the commission shall contract for a study that:

(1) examines towing fee studies      conducted by municipalities in this state; and

(2) analyzes the cost of towing      services by company, the consumer price index, the geographic area, and      individual cost components.

(c) The commission may structure the maximum    amounts that may be charged for private property tows based on hourly or flat    fees or by geographic location.

(d) The commission shall maintain the    confidentiality of information contained in a study conducted under this    section that is claimed to be confidential for competitive purposes and may not    release information that identifies a person or company. The confidential    information is exempt from disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

(e) To protect the confidentiality of the    information, the commission shall aggregate the information to the maximum    extent possible considering the purpose of the study.

(f) The department shall contract to    conduct a study on private property towing fees under this section at least    once every two years.

Sec. 2308.058. Fees.

The commission shall    establish and collect reasonable and necessary fees in amounts sufficient to    cover the costs of administering this chapter.

Sec. 2308.059. Periodic and Risk-Based    Inspections.

(a) The department may enter and inspect at    any time during business hours:

(1) the place of business of      any person regulated under this chapter; or

(2) any place in which the      department has reasonable cause to believe that a license or permit holder is      in violation of this chapter or in violation of a rule or order of the      commission or executive director.

(b) The department shall conduct additional    inspections based on a schedule of risk-based inspections using the following    criteria:

(1) the type and nature of the      towing company or operator;

(2) the inspection history;

(3) any history of complaints      involving the towing company or operator; and

(4) any other factor determined      by the commission by rule.

(c) The towing company shall pay a fee for    each risk-based inspection performed under this section. The commission by    rule shall set the amount of the fee.

(d) In conducting an inspection under this    section, the department may inspect a vehicle, a facility, business records, or    any other place or thing reasonably required to enforce this chapter or a rule    or order adopted under this chapter.

Sec. 2308.060. Powers and Duties of Advisory    Board.

The    advisory board shall provide advice and recommendations to the department on    technical matters relevant to the administration and enforcement of this    chapter, including examination content, licensing standards, continuing    education requirements, and maximum amounts that may be charged for fees    related to private property tows.

Sec. 2308.061. Personnel.

The department may employ personnel    necessary to administer and enforce this chapter

Subchapter C. Tow Truck    Permit Requirements
Sec. 2308.101. Permit Required.

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 under this subchapter. Each tow truck requires a separate permit.

Sec. 2308.102. Application Requirements.

(a) An applicant for a permit under this    subchapter must submit to the department:

(1) a completed application on      a form prescribed by the executive director;

(2) evidence of insurance or      financial responsibility required under this subchapter;

(3) the required fees; and

(4) any other information      required by the executive director.

(b) The department may conduct an    examination of any criminal conviction of an applicant, including by obtaining    any criminal history record information permitted by law.

Sec. 2308.103. Requirements for Incident    Management Towing Permit.

(a) An incident management towing permit is    required for a tow truck used to perform any nonconsent tow initiated by a    peace officer, including a tow authorized under Section 545.3051,    Transportation Code.

(b) To be eligible for an incident    management towing permit, an applicant must submit evidence that:

(1) the tow truck is equipped      to tow light-duty or heavy-duty vehicles according to the manufacturer’s towing      guidelines;

(2) the applicant has at least      $500,000 of liability insurance for the tow truck; and

(3) the applicant has at least      $50,000 of cargo insurance for the tow truck.

(c) A tow truck permitted under this section    may also be used for private property towing and consent towing.

(d) When a tow truck is used for a    nonconsent tow initiated by a peace officer under Section 545.3051,    Transportation Code, the permit holder is an agent of law enforcement and is    subject to Section 545.3051(e), Transportation Code.

Sec. 2308.104. Requirements for Private    Property Towing Permit.

(a) A private property towing permit is    required for a tow truck used to perform a nonconsent tow authorized by a    parking facility owner under this chapter.

(b) To be eligible for a private property    towing permit, an applicant must submit evidence that:

(1) the tow truck is equipped      to tow light-duty or heavy-duty vehicles according to the manufacturer’s towing      guidelines;

(2) the applicant has at least      $300,000 of liability insurance for the tow truck; and

(3) the applicant has at least      $50,000 of cargo insurance for the tow truck.

(c) A tow truck permitted under this section    may also be used for consent towing but not for incident management towing.

Sec. 2308.105. Requirements for Consent Towing    Permit.

(a) A consent towing permit is required for    a tow truck used to perform a consent tow authorized by the vehicle owner.

(b) To be eligible for a consent towing    permit, an applicant must submit evidence that:

(1) the tow truck is equipped      to tow light-duty or heavy-duty vehicles according to the manufacturer’s towing      guidelines; and

(2) the applicant has at least      $300,000 of liability insurance for the tow truck.

(c) A tow truck permitted under this section    may not be used for nonconsent towing, including incident management towing and    private property towing.

Sec. 2308.106. Department Approval; Issuance of    Permit.

(a) The department shall issue a permit    under this subchapter to an applicant who meets the requirements for a permit.     The department may deny an application if the applicant has had a permit    revoked under this chapter.

(b) The department shall issue a certificate    containing a single unique permit number for each tow truck, regardless of    whether the permit holder holds more than one permit.

Sec. 2308.107. Permit Renewal.

(a) A permit issued under this chapter is    valid for one year. The department may adopt a system under which permits    expire at different times during the year.

(b) The department shall notify the permit    holder at least 30 days before the date a permit expires. The notice must be    in writing and sent to the permit holder’s last known address according to the    records of the department.

(c) A permit holder may renew a permit under    this chapter by:

(1) paying a fee for each tow      truck; and

(2) providing to the department      evidence of continuing insurance or financial responsibility in an amount      required by this chapter.

Sec. 2308.108. Cab Cards.

(a) The department shall issue a cab card    for each tow truck issued a permit. The cab card must:

(1) show the permit number of      the certificate issued under Section 2308.106(b);

(2) show the type of permit      issued;

(3) show the vehicle unit      number;

(4) show the vehicle      identification number; and

(5) contain a statement that      the vehicle has been issued a permit under this subchapter.

(b) The department shall issue a cab card    when the department issues or renews a permit under this subchapter.

(c) A permit holder must keep the cab card    in the cab of each permitted tow truck.

(d) The department may order a permit holder    to surrender a cab card if the permit is suspended or revoked under this    chapter.

(e) If the department determines that the    cab card system described by Subsections (a) through (c) is not an efficient    means of enforcing this subchapter, the executive director by rule may adopt an    alternative method that is accessible by law enforcement personnel in the field    and provides for the enforcement of the permit requirements of this subchapter.

(f) A cab card or a permit issued under the    alternative method described in Subsection (e) must be valid for the same duration    as a certificate issued under Section 2308.106.

Sec. 2308.109. Display of Information on Tow    Truck.

(a) A permit holder shall display on each    permitted tow truck:

(1) the permit holder’s name;

(2) the permit holder’s      telephone number;

(3) the city and state where      the permit holder is located; and

(4) the permit number for the      tow truck.

(b) The information required to be displayed    must be:

(1) printed in letters and      numbers that are at least two inches high and in a color that contrasts with      the color of the background surface; and

(2) permanently affixed in      conspicuous places on both sides of the tow truck.

Sec. 2308.110. Financial Responsibility.

(a) A permit holder shall maintain liability    insurance for each tow truck according to the requirements under this    subchapter.

(b) Unless state law permits a tow truck to    be self-insured, any insurance required for a tow truck must be obtained from    an insurer authorized to do business in this state.

(c) An applicant or permit holder must file    with the department evidence of insurance as required by this subchapter.

(d) A permit holder shall keep evidence of    insurance in a form approved by the department in the cab of each permitted tow    truck.

Subchapter    D. License Requirements
Sec. 2308.151. License    Required.

Unless    the person holds an appropriate license under this subchapter, a person may    not:

(1) perform towing operations;

(2) operate a towing company;

(3) perform booting operations;    or

(4) operate a booting company.

Sec. 2308.152. General License Application    Requirements.

An    applicant for a license under this subchapter must submit to the department:

(1) a completed application on    a form prescribed by the executive director;

(2) the required fees; and

(3) any other information required    by commission rule.

Sec. 2308.1521. Vehicle Storage Facility Employee    and Towing Operator; Dual License.

(a) The commission shall adopt rules for the    issuance of a dual license for a person who is a vehicle storage facility    employee and towing operator. The department shall issue the license to an    applicant who:

(1) meets the requirements      established under:

(A) Section 2308.153, 2308.154,        or 2308.155;

(B) Section 2303.1015; and

(C) any applicable rules adopted        under this subchapter or Subchapter C, Chapter 2303; and

(2) submits to the department:

(A) an application on a        department-approved form; and

(B) the required license fee.

(b) A person holding a license issued under    this section may:

(1) work at a vehicle storage      facility; and

(2) perform towing operations.

(c) The fee for a license issued under this    section may not be:

(1) less than the fee for a      license issued under this subchapter or Section 2303.1015; or

(2) more than the sum of the      fees for a license issued under this subchapter and a license issued under      Section 2303.1015.

Sec. 2308.153. Incident Management Towing    Operator’s License.

(a) An incident management towing operator’s    license is required to operate a tow truck permitted under Section 2308.103.

(b) An applicant for an incident management    towing operator’s license must:

(1) hold a valid driver’s      license issued by a state in the United States; and

(2) be certified by a program      approved by the department.

Sec. 2308.154. Private Property Towing    Operator’s License.

(a) A private property towing operator’s    license is required to operate a tow truck permitted under Section 2308.104.

(b) An applicant for a private property    towing operator’s license must:

(1) hold a valid driver’s      license issued by a state in the United States; and

(2) be certified by a program      approved by the department.

Sec. 2308.155. Consent Towing Operator’s    License.

(a) A consent towing operator’s license is    required to operate a tow truck permitted under Section 2308.105.

(b) An applicant for a consent towing    operator’s license must hold a valid driver’s license issued by a state in the    United States.

Sec. 2308.1551. Training License.

(a) The department may issue a training    license to an applicant for a license under this subchapter if the applicant:

(1) holds a valid driver’s      license issued by a state in the United States;

(2) meets the qualifications      established by rule by the commission; and

(3) is engaged in the process      of learning and assisting in the operation of a tow truck under the supervision      of a licensed tow truck operator.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), an    applicant for a license under Section 2308.153 may be supervised by an operator    who holds a license issued under Section 2308.153, 2308.154, or 2308.155.

(c) A training license issued under this    section expires on the 91st day after the date of issuance and may not be    renewed.

(d) The commission by rule shall set the    fee, establish the qualifications, and provide for the issuance of a training    license under this section.

Sec. 2308.1555. Boot Operator’s License.

(a) A boot operator’s license is required to    install or remove a boot from a vehicle.

(b) An applicant for a boot operator’s    license must be at least 18 years of age.

Sec. 2308.1556. Booting Company License.

(a) A booting company license is required    for a person to operate a booting company.

(b) To be eligible for a booting company    license, an applicant must submit evidence that the applicant is covered by:

(1) a general liability      insurance policy on a broad form with:

(A) a combined single limit for        bodily injury and property damage for each occurrence of at least $500,000; and

(B) an aggregate limit for all        occurrences for each policy year of at least $500,000; and

(2) an automobile liability      insurance policy covering the applicant and the applicant’s employees for      vehicles owned, hired, or otherwise used in the applicant’s business, with a      combined single limit for each occurrence of at least $500,000.

Sec. 2308.156. Nontransferability of License.

A    license issued by the executive director is valid throughout this state and is    not transferable.

Sec. 2308.157. Continuing Education.

(a) The commission by rule shall recognize,    prepare, or administer continuing education programs for license holders.     Except as provided by Subsection (c), each license holder must complete a    continuing education program before the license holder may renew the license    holder’s license.

(b) A person recognized by the commission to    offer a continuing education program must:

(1) register with the      department; and

(2) comply with rules adopted      by the commission relating to continuing education.

(c) To renew an incident management towing    operator’s license the first time, a license holder must complete a    professional development course relating to incident management towing that is    approved and administered by the department under this section.

Sec. 2308.158. Alcohol and Drug Testing of    Towing Operators.

(a) A towing company shall establish an    alcohol and drug testing policy for towing operators. A towing company that    establishes an alcohol and drug testing policy under this subsection may adopt    the model alcohol and drug testing policy adopted by the commission or may use    another alcohol and drug testing policy that the department determines is at    least as stringent as the policy adopted by the commission.

(b) The commission by rule shall adopt a model    alcohol and drug testing policy for use by a towing company. The model alcohol    and drug testing policy must be designed to ensure the safety of the public    through appropriate alcohol and drug testing and to protect the rights of    employees. The model alcohol and drug testing policy must:

(1) require at least one      scheduled drug test each year for each towing operator; and

(2) authorize random,      unannounced alcohol and drug testing for towing operators.

Sec. 2308.159. License Renewal.

(a) A license issued under this subchapter    is valid for one year. The department may adopt a system under which licenses    expire at different times during the year.

(b) The department shall notify the license    holder at least 30 days before the date a license expires. The notice must be    in writing and sent to the license holder’s last known address according to the    records of the department.

(c) A license holder may renew a license    issued under this chapter by:

(1) submitting an application      on a form prescribed by the executive director;

(2) submitting evidence      demonstrating compliance with the requirements for the license type as required      by this chapter or commission rule;

(3) paying a renewal fee; and

(4) completing continuing      education as required by Section 2308.157.

Subchapter E. Local    Regulation of Towing and Booting
Sec. 2308.201. Tow Truck Regulation by    Political Subdivisions.

(a) A political subdivision of this state    may regulate the operation of a tow truck to the extent allowed by federal law,    except that a political subdivision may not issue a more restrictive regulation    for the use of lighting equipment on a tow truck than is imposed by Title 7,    Transportation Code.

(b) A political subdivision may not require    the registration of a tow truck that performs consent tows in the political    subdivision unless the owner of the tow truck has a place of business in the    territory of the political subdivision.

(c) A political subdivision may require the    registration of a tow truck that performs a nonconsent tow in the political    subdivision, regardless of whether the owner of the tow truck has a place of    business in the territory of the political subdivision.

(d) A political subdivision may not require    a person who holds a driver’s license or commercial driver’s license to obtain    a license or permit for operating a tow truck unless the person performs    nonconsent tows in the territory of the political subdivision. A fee charged    for a license or permit may not exceed $15.

Sec. 2308.202. Regulation by Political Subdivisions    of Fees for Nonconsent Tows.

The    governing body of a political subdivision may regulate the fees that may be    charged or collected in connection with a nonconsent tow originating in the    territory of the political subdivision if the private property tow fees:

(1) are authorized by    commission rule; and

(2) do not exceed the maximum    amount authorized by commission rule.

Sec. 2308.203. Towing Fee Studies.

(a) The governing body of a political    subdivision that regulates nonconsent tow fees shall establish procedures by    which a towing company may request that a towing fee study be performed.

(b) The governing body of the political    subdivision shall establish or amend the allowable fees for nonconsent tows at    amounts that represent the fair value of the services of a towing company and    are reasonably related to any financial or accounting information provided to    the governing body.

Sec. 2308.205. Storage of Towed Vehicles.

(a) A towing company that makes a nonconsent    tow shall tow the vehicle to a vehicle storage facility that is operated by a    person who holds a license to operate the facility under Chapter 2303, unless    the towing company agrees to take the vehicle to a location designated by the    vehicle’s owner.

(b) A storage or notification fee imposed in    connection with a motor vehicle towed to a vehicle storage facility is governed    by Chapter 2303.

(c) Except as provided by this chapter,    Article 18.23, Code of Criminal Procedure, or Chapter 2303, a fee may not be    charged or collected without the prior written consent of the vehicle owner or    operator.

Sec. 2308.2065. Fees for Nonconsent Tows; Refunds.

(a) A license or permit holder may not    charge a fee for a nonconsent tow that is greater than:

(1) the fee for a nonconsent      tow established under Section 2308.0575; or

(2) a fee for a nonconsent tow      authorized by a political subdivision.

(b) A license or permit holder may not    charge a fee for a service related to a nonconsent tow that is not included in    the list of fees established:

(1) under Section 2308.0575; or

(2) by a political subdivision.

(c) The department may require a license or    permit holder to refund to a vehicle owner or operator the:

(1) amount charged to the owner      or operator in excess of the amounts established by commission rule or by a      political subdivision; or

(2) total amount of the charges      for a service not listed in the amounts established by commission rule or by a      political subdivision.

Sec. 2308.208. Municipal or County Ordinance    Regulating Unauthorized Vehicles and Towing of Motor Vehicles.

The    governing body of a municipality or the commissioners court of a county may    adopt an ordinance that is identical to this chapter or that imposes additional    requirements that exceed the minimum standards of this chapter but may not    adopt an ordinance conflicting with this chapter.

Sec. 2308.2085. Municipal Ordinance Regulating Booting    Companies and Operators.

(a) A municipality may adopt an ordinance    that is identical to the booting provisions in this chapter or that imposes    additional requirements that exceed the minimum standards of the booting    provisions in this chapter but may not adopt an ordinance that conflicts with    the booting provisions in this chapter.

(b) A municipality may require the fees that    may be charged in connection with the booting of a vehicle, including    associated parking fees.

(c) A municipality may require booting    companies to obtain a permit to operate in the municipality.

Sec. 2308.209. Tow Rotation List in Certain    Counties.

(b) This    section applies only to the unincorporated area of a county:

(1) with      a population of 300,000 or more that is adjacent to a county with a population      of 2.3 million or more;

(2) with      a population of less than 10,000 that is located in a national forest; and

(3) adjacent      to a county described by Subdivision (2) that has a population of less than      75,000.

(c) The    sheriff’s office may maintain a list of towing companies to perform nonconsent    tows of motor vehicles initiated by a peace officer investigating a traffic    accident or a traffic incident.  The towing companies must operate in    a county to which this section applies.

(d) A    peace officer initiating a nonconsent tow of a motor vehicle involved in a    traffic accident or traffic incident that the officer is investigating shall    notify the sheriff’s office that the tow is being initiated.  The    sheriff’s office shall contact successive towing companies on the tow rotation    list until a company agrees to carry out the tow.

(e) The    sheriff’s office may assess a towing company an administrative fee to be    included on the tow rotation list in an amount not to exceed the amount    necessary to implement this section.

(f) The    commissioners court of a county in which a list is maintained under Subsection    (c) shall adopt policies to implement this section in a manner that ensures:

(1) equal      distribution of nonconsent tows among the towing companies that perform      nonconsent tows in the county; and

(2) consumer      protection, including fair pricing, for owners or operators of motor vehicles      towed by towing companies on the tow rotation list.

(g) The    sheriff’s office shall make a list maintained under this section available for    public inspection.

(h) In    a county in which a list is maintained under Subsection (c), a person commits    an offense if:

(1) the      person arrives at the scene of a traffic accident or traffic incident to      perform a nonconsent tow of a motor vehicle without first being contacted by      the sheriff’s office;

(2) the      person directly or indirectly solicits, on streets located in the county,      towing services, including towing, removing, repairing, wrecking, storing,      trading, selling, or purchasing related to a vehicle that has been damaged in      an accident to the extent that it cannot be normally and safely driven; or

(3) the      person enters the scene of a traffic accident, traffic incident, or other area      under the control of a peace officer without the permission of the peace      officer.

(i) An    offense under Subsection (h) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less    than $1 or more than $200.

Subchapter F. Unauthorized    Vehicles
Sec. 2308.251. Prohibition Against Unattendend    Vehicles in Certain Areas.

(a) The owner or operator of a vehicle may    not leave unattended on a parking facility a vehicle that:

(1) is in or obstructs a      vehicular traffic aisle, entry, or exit of the parking facility;

(2) prevents a vehicle from      exiting a parking space in the facility;

(3) is in or obstructs a fire      lane marked according to Subsection (c);

(4) does not display the      special license plates issued under Section 504.201, Transportation Code, or      the disabled parking placard issued under Chapter 681, Transportation Code, for      a vehicle transporting a disabled person and is in a parking space that is      designated for the exclusive use of a vehicle transporting a disabled person;      or

(5) is leaking a fluid that      presents a hazard or threat to persons or property.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to an    emergency vehicle that is owned by, or the operation of which is authorized by,    a governmental entity.

(c) If a government regulation governing the    marking of a fire lane applies to a parking facility, a fire lane in the    facility must be marked as provided by the regulation. If a government    regulation on the marking of a fire lane does not apply to the parking    facility, all curbs of fire lanes must be painted red and be conspicuously and    legibly marked with the warning “FIRE LANE–TOW AWAY ZONE” in white    letters at least three inches tall, at intervals not exceeding 50 feet.

Sec. 2308.252. Removal and Storage of    Unauthorized Vehicle.

(a) A parking facility owner may, without    the consent of the owner or operator of an unauthorized vehicle, cause the    vehicle and any property on or in the vehicle to be removed and stored at a    vehicle storage facility at the vehicle owner’s or operator’s expense if:

(1) signs that comply with      Subchapter G prohibiting unauthorized vehicles are located on the parking      facility at the time of towing and for the preceding 24 hours and remain      installed at the time of towing;

(2) the owner or operator of      the vehicle has received actual notice from the parking facility owner that the      vehicle will be towed at the vehicle owner’s or operator’s expense if it is in      or not removed from an unauthorized space;

(3) the parking facility owner      gives notice to the owner or operator of the vehicle under Subsection (b); or

(4) on request the parking      facility owner provides to the owner or operator of the vehicle information on      the name of the towing company and vehicle storage facility that will be used      to remove and store the vehicle and the vehicle is:

(A) left in violation of Section        2308.251 or 2308.253; or

(B) in or obstructing a portion        of a paved driveway or abutting public roadway used for entering or exiting the        facility.

(b) A parking facility owner is considered    to have given notice under Subsection (a)(3) if:

(1) conspicuous notice has been      attached to the vehicle’s front windshield or, if the vehicle has no front      windshield, to a conspicuous part of the vehicle stating:

(A) that the vehicle is in a        parking space in which the vehicle is not authorized to be parked;

(B) description of all other        unauthorized areas in the parking facility;

(C) that the vehicle will be        towed at the expense of the owner or operator of the vehicle if it remains in        an unauthorized area of the parking facility; and

(D) a telephone number that is        answered 24 hours a day to enable the owner or operator of the vehicle to        locate the vehicle; and

(2) a notice is mailed after      the notice is attached to the vehicle as provided by Subdivision (1) to the      owner of the vehicle by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last      address shown for the owner according to the vehicle registration records of      the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, or if the vehicle is registered in      another state, the appropriate agency of that state.

(c) The notice under Subsection (b)(2) must:

(1) state that the vehicle is      in a space in which the vehicle is not authorized to park;

(2) describe all other      unauthorized areas in the parking facility;

(3) contain a warning that the      unauthorized vehicle will be towed at the expense of the owner or operator of      the vehicle if it is not removed from the parking facility before the 15th day      after the postmark date of the notice; and

(4) state a telephone number      that is answered 24 hours a day to enable the owner or operator to locate the      vehicle.

(d) The mailing of a notice under Subsection    (b)(2) is not required if after the notice is attached under Subsection (b)(1)    the owner or operator of the vehicle leaves the vehicle in another location    where parking is unauthorized for the vehicle according to the notice.

Sec. 2308.253. Unattended Vehicles on Parking    Facility of Apartment Complex; Removal and Storage of Vehicles.

(a) This section applies only to a parking    facility serving or adjacent to an apartment complex consisting of one or more    residential apartment units and any adjacent real property serving the    apartment complex.

(b) The owner or operator of a vehicle may    not leave unattended on a parking facility a vehicle that:

(1) obstructs a gate that is      designed or intended for the use of pedestrians or vehicles;

(2) obstructs pedestrian or      vehicular access to an area that is used for the placement of a garbage or      refuse receptacle used in common by residents of the apartment complex;

(3) is in or obstructs a      restricted parking area or parking space designated under Subchapter G,      including a space designated for the use of employees or maintenance personnel      of the parking facility or apartment complex;

(4) is in a tow away zone,      other than a fire lane covered by Section 2308.251(c), that is brightly painted      and is conspicuously and legibly marked with the warning “TOW AWAY      ZONE” in contrasting letters at least three inches tall;

(5) is a semitrailer, trailer,      or truck-tractor, as defined by Chapter 502, Transportation Code, unless the      owner or operator of the vehicle is permitted under the terms of a rental or      lease agreement with the apartment complex to leave the unattended vehicle on      the parking facility; or

(6) is leaking a fluid that      presents a hazard or threat to persons or property.

(c) A parking facility owner may not have an    emergency vehicle described by Section 2308.251(b) removed from the parking    facility.

(d) Except as provided by a contract    described by Subsection (e), a parking facility owner may not have a vehicle    removed from the parking facility merely because the vehicle does not display:

(1) an unexpired license plate      or registration insignia issued for the vehicle under Chapter 502,      Transportation Code, or the vehicle registration law of another state or      country; or

(2) a valid vehicle inspection      certificate issued under Chapter 548, Transportation Code, or the vehicle      inspection law of another state or country.

(e) A contract provision providing for the removal from a parking facility of a vehicle that does not display an unexpired license plate or registration insignia or a valid inspection certificate is valid only if the provision requires the owner or operator of the vehicle to be given at least 10 days’ written notice that the vehicle will be towed from the facility at the vehicle owner’s or operator’s expense if it is not removed from the parking facility. The notice must be:

(1) delivered in person to the      owner or operator of the vehicle; or

(2) sent by certified mail,      return receipt requested, to that owner or operator.

(f) This section may not be construed:

(1) to authorize the owner or      operator of a vehicle to leave an unattended vehicle on property that is not      designed or intended for the parking of vehicles; or

(2) to limit or restrict the      enforcement of Chapter 683, Transportation Code, the abandoned motor vehicle      law.

(g) A provision of an apartment lease or    rental agreement entered into or renewed on or after January 1, 2004, that is    in conflict or inconsistent with this section is void and may not be enforced.

Sec. 2308.254. Limitation on Parking Facility    Owner’s Authority to Remove Unauthorized Vehicle.

A    parking facility owner may not have an unauthorized vehicle removed from the    facility except:

(1) as provided by this chapter    or a municipal ordinance that complies with Section 2308.208; or

(2) under the direction of a    peace officer or the owner or operator of the vehicle.

Sec. 2308.255. Towing Company’s or Boot    Operator’s Authority to Remove and Store or Boot Unauthorized Vehicle.

(a) A towing company that is insured as    provided by Subsection (c) may, without the consent of an owner or operator of    an unauthorized vehicle, remove and store the vehicle at a vehicle storage    facility at the expense of the owner or operator of the vehicle if:

(1) the towing company has      received written verification from the parking facility owner that:

(A) the parking facility owner has        installed the signs required by Section 2308.252(a)(1); or

(B) the owner or operator        received notice under Section 2308.252(a)(2) or the parking facility owner gave        notice complying with Section 2308.252(a)(3); or

(2) on request the parking      facility owner provides to the owner or operator of the vehicle information on      the name of the towing company and vehicle storage facility that will be used      to remove and store the vehicle and the vehicle is:

(A) left in violation of Section        2308.251;

(B) in or obstructing a portion        of a paved driveway; or

(C) on a public roadway used for        entering or exiting the facility and the removal is approved by a peace        officer.

(b) A towing company may not remove an    unauthorized vehicle except under:

(1) this chapter;

(2) a municipal ordinance that      complies with Section 2308.208; or

(3) the direction of a peace      officer or the owner or operator of the vehicle.

(c) Only a towing company that is insured    against liability for property damage incurred in towing a vehicle may remove    and store an unauthorized vehicle under this section.

(d) A towing company may remove and store a    vehicle under Subsection (a) and a boot operator may boot a vehicle under    Section 2308.257 only if the parking facility owner:

(1) requests that the towing      company remove and store or that the boot operator boot the specific vehicle;      or

(2) has a standing written      agreement with the towing company or boot operator to enforce parking      restrictions in the parking facility.

Sec. 2308.2555. Removal of Certain Unauthorized    Vehicles in Rural Areas.

(a) This section applies only to an    abandoned vehicle that has damaged a fence on private property in a rural area.

(b) A law enforcement agency directing a    towing company or tow operator to remove an abandoned vehicle that is located    on private property shall provide the towing company or tow operator with the    name and telephone number of the property owner or the owner’s agent if the    owner or agent has provided the information to the law enforcement agency.

(c) A towing company or tow operator    provided with information under Subsection (b) shall contact the property owner    or the owner’s agent before entering private property to tow a vehicle    described by Subsection (a).

Sec. 2308.2565. Vehicle Storage Facility Duty to    Report After Accepting Unauthorized Vehicle.

(a) Except for an incident management tow    requested by a law enforcement agency, a vehicle storage facility accepting a    vehicle that is towed under this chapter shall within two hours after receiving    the vehicle report to the police department of the municipality from which the    vehicle was towed or, if the vehicle was towed from a location that is not in a    municipality with a police department, to the sheriff of the county from which    the vehicle was towed:

(1) a general description of      the vehicle;

(2) the state and number of the      vehicle’s license plate, if any;

(3) the vehicle identification      number of the vehicle, if it can be ascertained;

(4) the location from which the      vehicle was towed; and

(5) the name and location of      the vehicle storage facility in which the vehicle is being stored.

(b) A law enforcement agency may request a    vehicle storage facility to provide a report, in a manner prescribed by the law    enforcement agency, of incident management tows within the jurisdiction of the    agency. A vehicle storage facility must provide the report not later than 48    hours after the time the facility receives the request.

Sec. 2308.257. Booting of Unauthorized Vehicle.

(a) A parking facility owner may, without    the consent of the owner or operator of an unauthorized vehicle, cause a boot    to be installed on the vehicle in the parking facility if signs that comply    with Subchapter G prohibiting unauthorized vehicles are located on the parking    facility at the time of the booting and for the preceding 24 hours and remain    installed at the time of the booting.

(b) A boot operator that installs a boot on    a vehicle must affix a conspicuous notice to the vehicle’s front windshield or    driver’s side window stating:

(1) that the vehicle has been      booted and damage may occur if the vehicle is moved;

(2) the date and time the boot      was installed;

(3) the name, address, and      telephone number of the booting company;

(4) a telephone number that is      answered 24 hours a day to enable the owner or operator of the vehicle to      arrange for removal of the boot;

(5) the amount of the fee for      removal of the boot and any associated parking fees; and

(6) notice of the right of a      vehicle owner or vehicle operator to a hearing under Subchapter J.

(c) On removal of a boot, the boot operator    shall provide a receipt to the vehicle owner or operator stating:

(1) the name of the person who      removed the boot;

(2) the date and time the boot      was removed;

(3) the name of the person to      whom the vehicle was released;

(4) the amount of fees paid for      removal of the boot and any associated parking fees; and

(5) the right of the vehicle      owner or operator to a hearing under Subchapter J.

(d) The booting company shall maintain a    copy of the receipt at its place of business for a period of three years. A    peace officer has the right, on request, to inspect and copy the records to    determine compliance with the requirements of this section.

(e) A booting company shall accept payment    by an electronic check, debit card, or credit card for any fee or charge    associated with the removal of a boot. A booting company may not collect a fee    for any charge associated with the removal of a boot from a person who offers    to pay the charge with an electronic check, debit card, or credit card form of    payment that the booting company is not equipped to accept.

Subchapter G. Signs    Prohibiting Unauthorized Vehicles and Designating Restricted Areas
Sec. 2308.301. General Requirements for Sign    Prohibiting Unauthorized Vehicles.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection    (a)(2)(B) and Section 2308.304 or 2308.305, an unauthorized vehicle may not be    towed under Section 2308.252(a)(1) or booted under Section 2308.257 unless a    sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles on a parking facility is:

(1) facing and conspicuously      visible to the driver of a vehicle that enters the facility;

(2) located:

(A) on the right or left side of        each driveway or curb-cut through which a vehicle can enter the facility,        including an entry from an alley abutting the facility; or

(B) at intervals along the        entrance so that no entrance is farther than 25 feet from a sign if:

(i) curbs, access barriers,          landscaping, or driveways do not establish definite vehicle entrances onto a          parking facility from a public roadway other than an alley; and

(ii) the width of an entrance          exceeds 35 feet;

(3) permanently mounted on a      pole, post, permanent wall, or permanent barrier;

(4) installed on the parking      facility; and

(5) installed so that the      bottom edge of the sign is no lower than five feet and no higher than eight      feet above ground level.

(b) Except as provided by Section 2308.305,    an unauthorized vehicle may be towed under Section 2308.252(a)(1) or booted    under Section 2308.257 only if each sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles:

(1) is made of      weather-resistant material;

(2) is at least 18 inches wide      and 24 inches tall;

(3) contains the international      symbol for towing vehicles;

(4) contains a statement      describing who may park in the parking facility and prohibiting all others;

(5) bears the words, as      applicable:

(A) “Unauthorized Vehicles        Will Be Towed or Booted at Owner’s or Operator’s Expense”;

(B) “Unauthorized Vehicles        Will Be Towed at Owner’s or Operator’s Expense”; or

(C) “Unauthorized Vehicles        Will Be Booted at Owner’s or Operator’s Expense”;

(6) contains a statement of the      days and hours of towing and booting enforcement; and

(7) contains a number,      including the area code, of a telephone that is answered 24 hours a day to      enable an owner or operator of a vehicle to locate a towed vehicle or to      arrange for removal of a boot from a vehicle.

Sec. 2308.302. Color, Layout, and Lettering    Height Requirements.

(a) Except as provided by Section 2308.305,    each sign required by this chapter must comply with the color, layout, and    lettering height requirements of this section.

(b) A bright red international towing    symbol, which is a solid silhouette of a tow truck towing a vehicle on a    generally rectangular white background, at least four inches in height, must be    on the uppermost portion of a sign or on a separate sign placed immediately    above the sign.

(c) The portion of the sign immediately    below the international towing symbol must:

(1) in lettering at least two      inches in height, contain the words, as applicable:

(A) “Towing and Booting        Enforced”;

(B) “Towing Enforced”;        or

(C) “Booting        Enforced”; and

(2) consist of white letters on      a bright red background.

(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e),    the next lower portion of the sign must contain the remaining information    required by Section 2308.301(b) displayed in bright red letters at least one    inch in height on a white background.

(e) The bottommost portion of the sign must    contain the telephone numbers required by Section 2308.301(b), in lettering at    least one inch in height and may, if the facility owner chooses or if an    applicable municipal ordinance requires, include the name and address of the    storage facility to which an unauthorized vehicle will be removed. The    lettering on this portion of the sign must consist of white letters on a bright    red background.

Sec. 2308.303. Telephone Number for Locating    Towed Vehicle Required.

If    a parking facility owner posts a sign described by Sections 2308.301 and    2308.302, the owner of a vehicle that is towed from the facility under this    chapter must be able to locate the vehicle by calling the telephone number on    the sign.

Sec. 2308.304. Designation of Restricted    Parking Spaces on Otherwise Unrestricted Parking Facility.

A    parking facility owner may designate one or more spaces as restricted parking    spaces on a portion of an otherwise unrestricted parking facility. Instead of    installing a sign at each entrance to the parking facility as provided by    Section 2308.301(a)(2), an owner may place a sign that prohibits unauthorized    vehicles from parking in designated spaces and that otherwise complies with    Sections 2308.301 and 2308.302:

(1) at the right or left side    of each entrance to a designated area or group of parking spaces located on the    restricted portion of the parking facility; or

(2) at the end of a restricted    parking space so that the sign, the top of which must not be higher than seven    feet above the ground, is in front of a vehicle that is parked in the space and    the rear of which is at the entrance of the space.

Sec. 2308.305. Individual Parking Restrictions    in Restricted Area.

(a) A parking facility owner who complies    with Sections 2308.301 and 2308.302 may impose further specific parking    restrictions in an area to which the signs apply for individual spaces by    installing or painting a weather-resistant sign or notice on a curb, pole,    post, permanent wall, or permanent barrier so that the sign is in front of a    vehicle that is parked in the space and the rear of which is at the entrance of    the space.

(b) The top of the sign or notice may not be    higher than seven feet above the ground.

(c) The sign or notice must include an indication    that the space is reserved for a particular unit number, person, or type of    person.

(d) The letters on the sign or notice must    be at least two inches in height and must contrast to the color of the curb,    wall, or barrier so they can be read during the day and at night. The letters    are not required to be illuminated or made of reflective material.

Subchapter H. Regulation    of Parking on Certain Public Roadway Areas
Sec. 2308.351. Removal of Unauthorized Vehicle    from Leased Right-Of-Way.

Unless    prohibited by the lease, a parking facility owner or towing company may remove    an unauthorized vehicle parked in a leased area described by Section    2308.002(7)(B)(i) if the owner or towing company gives notice under Section    2308.252(a)(1), (2), or (3) and otherwise complies with this chapter.

Sec. 2308.352. Removal of Unauthorized Vehicle    from Area Between Parking Facility and Public Roadway.

Unless    prohibited by a municipal ordinance, a parking facility owner or towing company    may remove an unauthorized vehicle any part of which is in an area described by    Section 2308.002(7)(B)(ii) if notice provided by Section 2308.252(a)(2) or (3)    is given and the owner or towing company has otherwise complied with this    chapter.

Sec. 2308.353. Removal Under Governmental Entity’s    Authority of Unauthorized Vehicle Parked in Right-Of-Way.

(a) A governmental entity that has    jurisdiction over a public roadway and that has posted one or more signs in the    right-of-way stating that parking is prohibited in the right-of-way may:

(1) remove or contract with a      towing company to remove an unauthorized vehicle parked in the right-of-way of      the public roadway; or

(2) grant written permission to      an abutting parking facility owner to:

(A) post one or more “No        parking in R.O.W.” signs along a common property line of the facility and        the roadway; and

(B) remove vehicles from the        right-of-way of the public roadway under this chapter.

(b) A sign under Subsection (a)(2) must:

(1) state that a vehicle parked      in the right-of-way may be towed at the expense of the owner or operator of the      vehicle;

(2) be placed facing the public      roadway:

(A) on the parking facility        owner’s property not more than two feet from the common boundary line; and

(B) at intervals so that no        point in the boundary line is less than 25 feet from a sign posted under this        subsection; and

(3) in all other respects      comply with Subchapter G.

(c) After signs have been posted under    Subsection (b), the parking facility owner or a towing company may remove an    unauthorized vehicle from the right-of-way subject to the governmental entity’s    written permission given under Subsection (a)(2).

Sec. 2308.354. Authority for Removal of Vehicle    from Public Roadway.

(a) Under an ordinance of a municipality    regulating the parking of vehicles in the municipality, to aid in the    enforcement of the ordinance, an employee designated by the municipality may be    authorized to:

(1) immobilize a vehicle parked      in the municipality; and

(2) remove an immobilized      vehicle from a public roadway in the municipality.

(b) A parking facility owner or towing    company may not remove a vehicle from a public roadway except under:

(1) this chapter or a municipal      ordinance that complies with Section 2308.208; or

(2) the direction of a peace      officer or the owner or operator of the vehicle.

(c) In addition to the authority granted under    Subsection (a) and to aid in the enforcement of an ordinance regulating the    parking of vehicles, a municipality with a population of 1.9 million or more    may authorize a designated employee to request the removal of a vehicle parked    illegally in an area designated as a tow-away zone in a residential area where    on-street parking is regulated by the ordinance.

(d) Subsections (a) and (c) do not apply to a vehicle    owned by an electric, gas, water, or telecommunications utility while the    vehicle is parked for the purpose of conducting work on a facility of the    utility that is located below, above, or adjacent to the street.

Subchapter I. Regulation    of Towing Companies, Booting Companies, and Parking Facility Owners
Sec. 2308.401. Parking Facility Owner    Prohibited from Receiving Financial Gain from Towing Company or Booting Company.

(a) A parking facility owner may not    directly or indirectly accept anything of value from:

(1) a towing company in      connection with the removal of a vehicle from a parking facility; or

(2) a booting company in      connection with booting a vehicle in a parking facility.

(b) A parking facility owner may not have a    direct or indirect monetary interest in:

(1) a towing company that for      compensation removes unauthorized vehicles from a parking facility in which the      parking facility owner has an interest; or

(2) a booting company that for      compensation boots vehicles in a parking facility in which the parking facility      owner has an interest.

(c) This section does not apply to a sign    required under Section 2308.301 provided by a towing or booting company to a    parking facility owner.

Sec. 2308.402. Towing Company and Booting    Company Prohibited from Financial Involvement with Parking Facility Owner.

(a) A towing company or booting company may    not directly or indirectly give anything of value to a parking facility owner    in connection with:

(1) the removal of a vehicle      from a parking facility; or

(2) the booting of a vehicle in      a parking facility.

(b) A towing company may not have a direct    or indirect monetary interest in a parking facility:

(1) from which the towing      company for compensation removes unauthorized vehicles; or

(2) in which the booting      company for compensation installs boots on unauthorized vehicles.

(c) This section does not apply to a sign    required under Section 2308.301 provided by a towing or booting company to a    parking facility owner.

Sec. 2308.403. Limitation on Liability of    Parking Facility Owner for Removal or Storage of Unauthorized Vehicle.

A    parking facility owner who causes the removal of an unauthorized vehicle is not    liable for damages arising from the removal or storage of the vehicle if the    vehicle:

(1) was removed in compliance    with this chapter; and

(2) is:

(A) removed by a towing company      insured against liability for property damage incurred in towing a vehicle; and

(B) stored by a vehicle storage      facility insured against liability for property damage incurred in storing a      vehicle.

Sec. 2308.404. Civil Liability of Towing    Company, Booting Company, or Parking Facility Owner for Violation of Chapter.

(a) A towing company, booting company, or    parking facility owner who violates this chapter is liable to the owner or operator    of the vehicle that is the subject of the violation for:

(1) damages arising from the      removal, storage, or booting of the vehicle; and

(2) towing, storage, or booting      fees assessed in connection with the vehicle’s removal, storage, or booting.

(b) A vehicle’s owner or operator is not    required to prove negligence of a parking facility owner, towing company, or    booting company to recover under Subsection (a).

(c) A towing company, booting company, or    parking facility owner who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates    this chapter is liable to the owner or operator of the vehicle that is the    subject of the violation for $1,000 plus three times the amount of fees    assessed in the vehicle’s removal, towing, storage, or booting.

Sec. 2308.405. Criminal Penalty.

A person    commits an offense if the person violates this chapter. An offense under this    section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more    than $1,500 unless it is shown on trial of the offense that the person knowingly    or intentionally violated this chapter, in which event the offense is a Class B    misdemeanor.

Sec. 2308.406. Violation of Chapter;    Injunction.

A    violation of this chapter may be enjoined under Subchapter E, Chapter 17,    Business & Commerce Code.

Sec. 2308.407. Minor Sign or Lettering Height    Variations.

A    minor variation of a required or minimum height of a sign or lettering is not a    violation of this chapter.

Subchapter J. Rights    of Owners and Operators of Stored or Booted Vehicles
Sec. 2308.451. Payment of Cost of Removal, Storage,    and Booting of Vehicle.

(a) If in a hearing held under this chapter    the court finds that a person or law enforcement agency authorized, with    probable cause, the removal and storage in a vehicle storage facility of a vehicle,    the person who requested the hearing shall pay the costs of the removal and    storage.

(b) If in a hearing held under this chapter    the court does not find that a person or law enforcement agency authorized,    with probable cause, the removal and storage in a vehicle storage facility of a    vehicle, the towing company, vehicle storage facility, or parking facility    owner or law enforcement agency that authorized the removal shall:

(1) pay the costs of the      removal and storage; or

(2) reimburse the owner or      operator for the cost of the removal and storage paid by the owner or operator.

(c) If in a hearing held under this chapter    the court finds that a person authorized, with probable cause, the booting of a    vehicle in a parking facility, the person who requested the hearing shall pay    the costs of the booting. (Added pursuant to SB 2153, 81st Leg.,      R.S., (2009))

(c) If, in a hearing held under this    chapter, regardless of whether the court finds that there was probable cause    for the removal and storage of a vehicle, the court finds that the towing    charge collected exceeded fees regulated by a political subdivision or    authorized by this chapter or Chapter 2303, the towing company shall reimburse    the owner or operator of the vehicle an amount equal to the overcharge. (Added      pursuant to HB 2571, 81st Leg., R.S., (2009))

(d) If in a hearing held under this chapter    the court does not find that a person authorized, with probable cause, the    booting of a vehicle, the person that authorized the booting shall:

(1) pay the costs of the      booting and any related parking fees; or

(2) reimburse the owner or      operator for the cost of the booting and any related parking fees paid by the      owner or operator.

Sec. 2308.452. Right of Owner or Operator of    Vehicle to Hearing.

The    owner or operator of a vehicle that has been removed and placed in a vehicle    storage facility or booted without the consent of the owner or operator of the    vehicle is entitled to a hearing on whether probable cause existed for the    removal and placement or booting.

Sec. 2308.453. Jurisdiction.

A hearing under this chapter    shall be in any justice court in:

(1) the county from which the motor vehicle    was towed; or

(2) for booted vehicles, the county in which    the parking facility is located.

Sec. 2308.454. Notice to Vehicle Owner or    Operator.

(a) If before a hearing held under this    chapter the owner or operator of a vehicle pays the costs of the vehicle’s    removal or storage, the towing company or vehicle storage facility that    received the payment shall at the time of payment give the owner or operator    written notice of the person’s rights under this chapter.

(b) The operator of a vehicle storage    facility that sends a notice under Subchapter D, Chapter 2303, shall include    with that notice a notice of the person’s rights under this chapter.

(c) If before a hearing held under this    chapter the owner or operator of a vehicle pays the costs for removal of a    boot, the booting company shall at the time of payment give the owner or    operator written notice of the person’s rights under this chapter. (Added      pursuant to SB 2153, 81st Leg., R.S., (2009))

(c) If the towing company or vehicle storage    facility that received the payment fails to furnish to the owner or operator of    the vehicle the name, address, and telephone number of the parking facility    owner or law enforcement agency that authorized the removal of the vehicle, the    towing company or vehicle storage facility that received the payment is liable    if the court, after a hearing, does not find probable cause for the removal and    storage of the vehicle. (Added pursuant to HB 2571, 81st Leg.,      R.S., (2009))

(d) The booting operator that places a    notice on a booted vehicle under Section 2308.257 shall include with that    notice a notice of the person’s rights under this chapter.

Sec. 2308.455. Contents of Notice.

The    notice under Section 2308.454 must include:

(1) a statement of:

(A) the person’s right to submit      a request within 14 days for a court hearing to determine whether probable      cause existed to remove, or install a boot on, the vehicle;

(B) the information that a request      for a hearing must contain;

(C) any filing fee for the      hearing; and

(D) the person’s right to      request a hearing in any justice court in:

(i) the county from which the        vehicle was towed; or

(ii) for booted vehicles, the        county in which the parking facility is located.

(2) the name, address, and    telephone number of the towing company that removed the vehicle or the booting    company that booted the vehicle;

(3) the name, address, telephone    number, and county of the vehicle storage facility in which the vehicle was    placed;

(4) the name, street including    city, state, and zip code, and telephone number of the person, parking facility    owner, or law enforcement agency that authorized the removal of the vehicle;    and

(5) the name, address, and    telephone number of each justice court in the county from which the vehicle was    towed or, for booted vehicles, the county in which the parking facility is    located, or the address of an Internet website maintained by the Office of    Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System that contains the name,    address, and telephone number of each justice court in that county.

Sec. 2308.456. Request for Hearing.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a person    entitled to a hearing under this chapter must deliver a written request for the    hearing to the court before the 14th day after the date the vehicle    was removed and placed in the vehicle storage facility or booted, excluding    Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. (Amended pursuant to SB 2153, 81st Leg., R.S., (2009))

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (c)    and (c-1), a person entitled to a hearing under this chapter must deliver a    written request for the hearing to the court before the 14th day after the date    the vehicle was removed and placed in the vehicle storage facility or booted,    excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. (Amended pursuant to HB      2571, 81st Leg., R.S., (2009))

(b) A request for a hearing must contain:

(1) the name, address, and      telephone number of the owner or operator of the vehicle;

(2) the location from which the      vehicle was removed or in which the vehicle was booted;

(3) the date when the vehicle      was removed or booted;

(4) the name, address, and      telephone number of the person or law enforcement agency that authorized the      removal or booting;

(5) the name, address, and      telephone number of the vehicle storage facility in which the vehicle was      placed;

(6) the name, address, and      telephone number of the towing company that removed the vehicle or of the      booting company that installed a boot on the vehicle;

(7) a copy of any receipt or      notification that the owner or operator received from the towing company, the      booting company, or the vehicle storage facility; and

(8) if the vehicle was removed      from or booted in a parking facility:

(A) one or more photographs that        show the location and text of any sign posted at the facility restricting        parking of vehicles; or

(B) a statement that no sign        restricting parking was posted at the parking facility.

(c) If notice was not given under Section    2308.454, the 14-day deadline for requesting a hearing under Subsection (a)    does not apply, and the owner or operator of the vehicle may deliver a written    request for a hearing at any time.

(c-1) The 14-day period for requesting a    hearing under Subsection (a) does not begin until the date on which the towing    company or vehicle storage facility provides to the vehicle owner or operator    the information necessary for the vehicle owner or operator to complete the    material for the request for hearing required under Subsections (b)(2) through    (6).

(d) A person who fails to deliver a request    in accordance with Subsection (a) waives the right to a hearing.

Sec. 2308.457. Filing Fee Authorized.

The court may charge a filing    fee of $20 for a hearing under this chapter.

Sec. 2308.458. Hearing.

(a) A hearing under this chapter shall be    held before the 21st calendar day after the date the court receives    the request for the hearing.

(b) The court shall notify the person who    requested the hearing for a towed vehicle, the parking facility owner or law    enforcement agency that authorized the removal of the vehicle, the towing    company, and the vehicle storage facility in which the vehicle was placed of    the date, time, and place of the hearing in a manner provided by Rule 21a,    Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. The notice of the hearing to the towing    company and the parking facility owner or law enforcement agency that    authorized the removal of the vehicle must include a copy of the request for    hearing.  Notice to the law enforcement agency that authorized the removal of    the vehicle is sufficient as notice to the political subdivision in which the    law enforcement agency is located.

(b-1) At a hearing under this section:

(1) the burden of proof is on      the person who requested the hearing; and

(2) hearsay evidence is      admissible if it is considered otherwise reliable by the justice of the peace.

(b-2) The court shall notify the person who    requested the hearing for a booted vehicle, the parking facility in which the    vehicle was booted, and the booting company of the date, time, and place of the    hearing in a manner provided by Rule 21a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. The    notice of hearing to the person that authorized the booting of the vehicle must    include a copy of the request for hearing.

(c) The issues in a hearing regarding a    towed vehicle under this chapter are:

(1) whether probable cause      existed for the removal and placement of the vehicle;

(2) whether a towing charge      imposed or collected in connection with the removal or placement of the vehicle      was greater than the amount authorized by the political subdivision under      Section 2308.201 or 2308.202;

(3) whether a towing charge      imposed or collected in connection with the removal or placement of the vehicle      was greater than the amount authorized under Section 2308.203; or

(4) whether a towing charge      imposed or collected in connection with the removal or placement of the vehicle      was greater than the amount authorized under Section 2308.0575.

(c-1) The issues in a hearing regarding a    booted vehicle under this chapter are:

(1) whether probable cause      existed for the booting of the vehicle; and

(2) whether a boot removal      charge imposed or collected in connection with the removal of the boot from the      vehicle was greater than the amount authorized by the political subdivision      under Section 2308.2085.

(d) The court shall make written findings of    fact and a conclusion of law.

(e) The court may award:

(1) court costs and attorney’s      fees to the prevailing party;

(2) the reasonable cost of      photographs submitted under Section 2308.456(b)(8) to a vehicle owner or      operator who is the prevailing party;

(3) an amount equal to the      amount that the towing charge or booting removal charge and associated parking      fees exceeded fees regulated by a political subdivision or authorized by this      code or by Chapter 2303; and

(4) reimbursement of fees paid      for vehicle towing, storage, or removal of a boot.

Sec. 2308.459. Appeal.

An    appeal from a hearing under this chapter is governed by the rules of procedure    applicable to civil cases in justice court, except that no appeal bond may be    required by the court.

Sec. 2308.460. Enforcement of Award.

(a) An award under this chapter may be    enforced by any means available for the enforcement of a judgment for a debt.

(b) The department shall suspend a license    holder’s license on the license holder’s failure to pay a final judgment    awarded to an owner or operator of a vehicle before the 60th day    after the date of the final judgment. The department must provide notice of    the suspension to the license holder at least 30 days before the date the    license is to be suspended.

(c) The owner or operator of the vehicle    shall submit a certified copy of the final judgment to the department.

(d) On receipt of the certified copy of the    unpaid final judgment, the department shall disqualify a person from renewing a    license or permit or deny the person the opportunity of taking a licensing    examination on the grounds that the person, towing company, or vehicle storage    facility has not paid a final judgment awarded to an owner or operator of a    vehicle.

(e) The department shall reinstate the    license on submission of evidence satisfactory to the department of payment of    the final judgment by the person, towing company, or vehicle storage facility.

Subchapter K. Enforcement
Sec. 2308.501. Administrative Penalty.

(a) The commission may impose an    administrative penalty on a person under Subchapter F, Chapter 51, regardless    of whether the person holds a registration, permit, or license under this    chapter, if the person violates:

(1) this chapter or a rule      adopted under this chapter; or

(2) a rule or order of the      executive director or commission.

(b) An administrative penalty may not be    imposed unless the person charged with a violation is provided the opportunity    for a hearing.

Sec. 2308.502. Cease and Desist Order;    Injunction; Civil Penalty.

(a) The executive director may issue a cease    and desist order as necessary to enforce this chapter if the executive director    determines that the action is necessary to prevent a violation of this chapter    and to protect public health and safety.

(b) The attorney general or executive    director may institute an action for an injunction or a civil penalty under    this chapter as provided by Section 51.352.

Sec. 2308.503. Sanctions.

The department may impose    sanctions as provided by Section 51.353.

Sec. 2308.504. Criminal Penalty; Licensing.

(a) A person commits an offense if the    person:

(1) violates the permitting or      licensing requirements of this chapter;

(2) performs towing without a      license to perform towing in this state;

(3) employs an individual who      does not hold the appropriate license required by this chapter; or

(4) falsifies a certification      or training.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class    C misdemeanor. An offense under this section is enforceable by law enforcement.

Sec. 2308.505. Criminal Penalty; Towing.

(a) A person commits an offense if the    person:

(1) violates an ordinance,      resolution, order, rule, or regulation of a political subdivision adopted under      Section 2308.201, 2308.202, or 2308.2085 for which the political subdivision      does not prescribe the penalty;

(2) charges or collects a fee      in a political subdivision that regulates the operation of tow trucks under      Section 2308.201 or 2308.202 or booting under Section 2308.2085 that is not      authorized or is greater than the authorized amount of the fee;

(3) charges or collects a fee      greater than the amount authorized under Section 2308.204;

(4) charges or collects a fee      in excess of the amount filed with the department under Section 2308.206;

(5) violates Section 2308.205;      or

(6) violates a rule of the      department applicable to a tow truck, towing company, or booting company.

(b) An offense under this section is a    misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 or more than $1,000 per    violation. An offense under this section is enforceable by law enforcement.

NOTE: AS AMENDED BY ACTS 2013, 83rd LEG., SB 1053, SECTION 3 READS:

The changes in law made by this Act apply only to a    notice mailed on or after September 1, 2013. A notice mailed before September    1, 2013, is governed by the law in effect immediately before that date, and    that law is continued in effect for that purpose.

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