Update: December 6, 2015
There is only three tow companies (Southwest, Will Tow & Saucedo) providing a legal tow sign, while “Rios Towing” continues towing with illegal tow signs posted in San Marcos, Texas.
Among the issues, outdated tow signs, tow signs posted in the wrong locations, only Rios Towing fails to provides an updated tow sign to conform with the changes that became effective back on September 1, 2013.
San Marcos is operating under a city ordinance passed prior to the changes in State Law regarding signage, but the placement the tow signs has not changed in the 20 years of its existence.
I explained to property managers, it would wise to instruct their towing company not to tow anymore vehicles until their properties are in compliance with STATE LAW or they will be held liable for $5K per vehicle which includes attorney fees, at a Tow Hearing with our recommended attorney, Richard Michael.
Sign became illegal on 9-1-13
LEGAL TOW SIGN BELOW EFFECTIVE 9-1-13
The sign directly above is what a “legal” tow sign must look like and state in the red background, if towing is only occurring at the parking facility. There is a distinctive difference in the signs posted in San Marcos than the legal sign.
So, if anyone is towed or charged a drop at a parking lot that bears either these first two sign, your vehicle was wrongfully towed or wrongfully charged a drop fee. Be sure you take a photograph of the tow sign your vehicle towed from or charged a drop fee at. These signs cannot be posted any farther than 25′ from the street, “must” be facing you when entering the parking lot and can be posted no lower than 5′ off the ground.
All of these issues are statutory violations, which entitles the vehicle owner or operator to collect $1000 plus triple damages from the landowner, property management company, business owner and the tow company.
If you have been towed or charged a drop fee already since 9-1-13, it’s not to late to pursue legal action to recover the civil penalty your entitled to by State Law.
Tow victims are also encouraged to file an online complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations against the tow company for an illegal tow sign posted. After the filing the complaint and receiving a “Track Number”, send an email with the photos and release documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paying a $50 drop fee at a parking lot with an illegal tow sign posted will pay you $1200.
The State Law regarding the only legal method to tow someone’s vehicle without their consent:
Subchapter G. Signs Prohibiting Unauthorized Vehicles and Designating Restricted Areas
Sec. 2308.301. General Requirements for Sign Prohibiting Unauthorized Vehicles.
(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.
None of Rios’ tow signs state exactly what it stated highlighted above..
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.