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TRANSPORTATION CODE

CHAPTER 684. REMOVAL OF UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES FROM PARKING FACILITY OR PUBLIC ROADWAY

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 684.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Parking facility" means public or private property used, in whole or in part, 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, 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 drainageway or the curb of the roadway, whichever is farther from the facility's property line.

(2) "Parking facility owner" means:

(A) an owner or operator of a parking facility, including a lessee, employee, or agent of an owner or operator;

(B) a property owners' association having control under a dedicatory instrument over assigned or unassigned parking areas; or

(C) a property owner having an exclusive right under a dedicatory instrument to use a parking space.

(3) "Property owners' association" and "dedicatory instrument" have the meanings assigned by Section 202.001, Property Code.

(4) "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.

(5) "Towing company" means a person operating a tow truck registered under Chapter 643. The term includes the owner, operator, employee, or agent of a towing company, but does not include a political subdivision of the state.

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

(7) "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.

(8) "Vehicle storage facility" means a facility operated by a person licensed under Chapter 2303, Occupations Code.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 19.008, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 14A.839, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

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SUBCHAPTER B. UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES

Sec. 684.011. PROHIBITION AGAINST UNATTENDED 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); or

(4) does not display the special license plates issued under Section 502.253 or the disabled parking placard issued under Chapter 681 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.

(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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.012. 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 C 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) the vehicle is:

(A) left in violation of Section 684.011 or 684.0125; 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) a 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) a 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 Transportation, 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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 442, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

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Sec. 684.0125. 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 C, 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 684.011(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, 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 684.011(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 or the vehicle registration law of another state or country; or

(2) a valid vehicle inspection certificate issued under Chapter 548 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, 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.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 442, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Sec. 684.013. 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 684.101; or

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

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.014. TOWING COMPANY'S AUTHORITY TO REMOVE AND STORE 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 684.012(a)(1); or

(B) the owner or operator received notice under Section 684.012(a)(2) or the parking facility owner gave notice complying with Section 684.012(a)(3); or

(2) the vehicle is:

(A) left in violation of Section 684.011; or

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

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

(1) this chapter;

(2) a municipal ordinance that complies with Section 684.101; 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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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Sec. 684.015. VEHICLE STORAGE FACILITY'S DUTY TO REPORT AFTER ACCEPTING UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLE. (a) 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 in which the parking facility is located, or, if the parking facility is not located in a municipality having a police department, to the sheriff of the county in which the parking facility is located:

(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 where the vehicle is being stored.

(b) The report required by this section must be made by telephone or delivered personally or by facsimile.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER C. SIGNS PROHIBITING UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES AND DESIGNATING RESTRICTED AREAS

Sec. 684.031. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SIGN PROHIBITING UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (a)(2)(B) and Section 684.034 or 684.035 an unauthorized vehicle may not be towed under Section 684.012(a)(1) 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 684.035, an unauthorized vehicle may be towed under Section 684.012(a)(1) 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 "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed at Owner's or Operator's Expense";

(6) contains a statement of the days and hours of towing 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 the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.032. COLOR, LAYOUT, AND LETTERING HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS. (a) Except as provided by Section 684.035, 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 contain the words "Towing Enforced" or the information provided by Section 684.031(b)(4) in lettering at least two inches in height. The lettering on this portion of the sign must 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 684.031(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 number required by Section 684.031(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.

(f) Expired

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Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.033. TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR LOCATING TOWED VEHICLE REQUIRED. If a parking facility owner posts a sign described by Sections 684.031 and 684.032, 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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.034. 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 684.031(a)(2), an owner may place a sign that prohibits unauthorized vehicles from parking in designated spaces and that otherwise complies with Sections 684.031 and 684.032:

(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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.035. INDIVIDUAL PARKING RESTRICTIONS IN RESTRICTED AREA. (a) A parking facility owner who complies with Sections 684.031 and 684.032 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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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SUBCHAPTER D. REGULATION OF PARKING ON CERTAIN PUBLIC ROADWAY AREAS

Sec. 684.051. 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 684.001(1)(B)(i) if the owner or towing company gives notice under Section 684.012(a)(1), (2), or (3) and otherwise complies with this chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.052. 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 684.001(1)(B)(ii) if notice provided by Section 684.012(a)(2) or (3) is given and the owner or towing company has otherwise complied with this chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.053. 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 C.

(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).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.054. 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 684.101; or

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

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 301, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

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SUBCHAPTER E. REGULATION OF TOWING COMPANIES AND PARKING FACILITY OWNERS

Sec. 684.081. PARKING FACILITY OWNER PROHIBITED FROM RECEIVING FINANCIAL GAIN FROM TOWING COMPANY. (a) A parking facility owner may not directly or indirectly accept anything of value from a towing company in connection with the removal of a vehicle from a parking facility.

(b) A parking facility owner may not have a direct or indirect monetary interest in a towing company that for compensation removes unauthorized vehicles from a parking facility in which the parking facility owner has an interest.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.082. TOWING COMPANY PROHIBITED FROM FINANCIAL INVOLVEMENT WITH PARKING FACILITY OWNER. (a) A towing company may not directly or indirectly give anything of value to a parking facility owner in connection with the removal of a vehicle from a parking facility.

(b) A towing company may not have a direct or indirect monetary interest in a parking facility from which the towing company for compensation removes unauthorized vehicles.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.083. 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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.084. CIVIL LIABILITY OF TOWING COMPANY OR PARKING FACILITY OWNER FOR VIOLATION OF CHAPTER. (a) A towing 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 or storage of the vehicle; and

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

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

(c) A towing 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 $300 plus three times the amount of fees assessed in the vehicle's removal, towing, or storage.

(d) In a suit brought under this chapter, the prevailing party is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.085. VIOLATION OF CHAPTER; FINE. A violation of this chapter is punishable by a fine of not less than $200 or more than $500.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.086. VIOLATION OF CHAPTER; INJUNCTION. A violation of this chapter may be enjoined under Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 684.087. 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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER F. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Sec. 684.101. MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE REGULATING UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES. A municipality 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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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TRANSPORTATION CODE

CHAPTER 683. ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 683.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Department" means the Texas Department of Transportation.

(2) "Garagekeeper" means an owner or operator of a storage facility.

(3) "Law enforcement agency" means:

(A) the Department of Public Safety;

(B) the police department of a municipality;

(C) the police department of an institution of higher education; or

(D) a sheriff or a constable.

(4) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is subject to registration under Chapter 501.

(5) "Motor vehicle demolisher" means a person in the business of:

(A) converting motor vehicles into processed scrap or scrap metal; or

(B) wrecking or dismantling motor vehicles.

(6) "Outboard motor" means an outboard motor subject to registration under Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code.

(7) "Storage facility" includes a garage, parking lot, or establishment for the servicing, repairing, or parking of motor vehicles.

(8) "Watercraft" means a vessel subject to registration under Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code.

(9) "Abandoned nuisance vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is at least 10 years old and is of a condition only to be junked, crushed, or dismantled.

(10) "Vehicle storage facility" means a vehicle storage facility, as defined by Section 2303.002, Occupations Code, that is operated by a person who holds a license issued under Chapter 2303 of that code to operate that vehicle storage facility.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 683.002. ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, a motor vehicle is abandoned if the motor vehicle:

(1) is inoperable, is more than five years old, and has been left unattended on public property for more than 48 hours;

(2) has remained illegally on public property for more than 48 hours;

(3) has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the property for more than 48 hours;

(4) has been left unattended on the right-of-way of a designated county, state, or federal highway for more than 48 hours;

(5) has been left unattended for more than 24 hours on the right-of-way of a turnpike project constructed and maintained by the Texas Turnpike Authority division of the Texas Department of Transportation or a controlled access highway; or

(6) is considered an abandoned motor vehicle under Section 644.153(r).

(b) In this section, "controlled access highway" has the meaning assigned by Section 541.302.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.157(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 359, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 16.06, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 683.003. CONFLICT OF LAWS; EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS. (a) Sections 683.051-683.055 may not be read as conflicting with Sections 683.074-683.078.

(b) This chapter does not affect a law authorizing the immediate removal of a vehicle left on public property that is an obstruction to traffic.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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SUBCHAPTER B. ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES: SEIZURE AND AUCTION

Sec. 683.011. AUTHORITY TO TAKE ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE INTO CUSTODY. (a) A law enforcement agency may take into custody an abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor found on public or private property.

(b) A law enforcement agency may use agency personnel, equipment, and facilities or contract for other personnel, equipment, and facilities to remove, preserve, and store an abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor taken into custody by the agency under this subchapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.012. TAKING ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE INTO CUSTODY: NOTICE. (a) A law enforcement agency shall send notice of abandonment to:

(1) the last known registered owner of each motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor taken into custody by the agency or for which a report is received under Section 683.031; and

(2) each lienholder recorded under Chapter 501 for the motor vehicle or under Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code, for the watercraft or outboard motor.

(b) The notice under Subsection (a) must:

(1) be sent by certified mail not later than the 10th day after the date the agency:

(A) takes the abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor into custody; or

(B) receives the report under Section 683.031;

(2) specify the year, make, model, and identification number of the item;

(3) give the location of the facility where the item is being held;

(4) inform the owner and lienholder of the right to claim the item not later than the 20th day after the date of the notice on payment of:

(A) towing, preservation, and storage charges; or

(B) garagekeeper's charges and fees under Section 683.032 and, if the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle impounded under Section 644.153(q), the delinquent administrative penalty and costs; and

(5) state that failure of the owner or lienholder to claim the item during the period specified by Subdivision (4) is:

(A) a waiver by that person of all right, title, and interest in the item; and

(B) consent to the sale of the item at a public auction.

(c) Notice by publication in one newspaper of general circulation in the area where the motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor was abandoned is sufficient notice under this section if:

(1) the identity of the last registered owner cannot be determined;

(2) the registration has no address for the owner; or

(3) the determination with reasonable certainty of the identity and address of all lienholders is impossible.

(d) Notice by publication:

(1) must be published in the same period that is required by Subsection (b) for notice by certified mail and contain all of the information required by that subsection; and

(2) may contain a list of more than one abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor.

(e) A law enforcement agency is not required to send a notice, as otherwise required by Subsection (a), if the agency has received notice from a vehicle storage facility that an application has or will be submitted to the department for the disposal of the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 359, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 16.07, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 683.013. STORAGE FEES. A law enforcement agency or the agent of a law enforcement agency that takes into custody an abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor is entitled to reasonable storage fees:

(1) for not more than 10 days, beginning on the day the item is taken into custody and ending on the day the required notice is mailed; and

(2) beginning on the day after the day the agency mails notice and ending on the day accrued charges are paid and the vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor is removed.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.014. AUCTION OR USE OF ABANDONED ITEMS; WAIVER OF RIGHTS. (a) If an abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor is not claimed under Section 683.012:

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(1) the owner or lienholder:

(A) waives all rights and interests in the item; and

(B) consents to the sale of the item by public auction; and

(2) the law enforcement agency may sell the item at a public auction or use the item as provided by Section 683.016.

(b) Proper notice of the auction shall be given. A garagekeeper who has a garagekeeper's lien shall be notified of the time and place of the auction.

(c) The purchaser of a motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor:

(1) takes title free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership;

(2) shall receive a sales receipt from the law enforcement agency; and

(3) is entitled to register the motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor and receive a certificate of title.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.015. AUCTION PROCEEDS. (a) A law enforcement agency is entitled to reimbursement from the proceeds of the sale of an abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor for:

(1) the cost of the auction;

(2) towing, preservation, and storage fees resulting from the taking into custody; and

(3) the cost of notice or publication as required by Section 683.012.

(b) After deducting the reimbursement allowed under Subsection (a), the proceeds of the sale shall be held for 90 days for the owner or lienholder of the vehicle.

(c) After the period provided by Subsection (b), proceeds unclaimed by the owner or lienholder shall be deposited in an account that may be used for the payment of auction, towing, preservation, storage, and notice and publication fees resulting from taking other vehicles, watercraft, or outboard motors into custody if the proceeds from the sale of the other items are insufficient to meet those fees.

(d) A municipality or county may transfer funds in excess of $1,000 from the account to the municipality's or county's general revenue account to be used by the law enforcement agency.

(e) If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle impounded under Section 644.153(q), the Department of Public Safety is entitled from the proceeds of the sale to an amount equal to the amount of the delinquent administrative penalty and costs.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 359, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 16.08, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 683.016. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY USE OF CERTAIN ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES. (a) The law enforcement agency that takes an abandoned motor vehicle into custody that is not claimed under Section 683.012 may use the vehicle for agency purposes.

(b) The law enforcement agency shall auction the vehicle as provided by this subchapter if the agency discontinues use of the vehicle.

(c) This section does not apply to an abandoned vehicle on which there is a garagekeeper's lien.

(d) This section does not apply to a vehicle that is:

(1) taken into custody by a law enforcement agency located in a county with a population of 2.4 million or more; and

(2) removed to a privately owned storage facility.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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SUBCHAPTER C. VEHICLE ABANDONED IN STORAGE FACILITY

Sec. 683.031. GARAGEKEEPER'S DUTY: ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES. (a) A motor vehicle is abandoned if the vehicle is left in a storage facility operated for commercial purposes after the 10th day after the date on which:

(1) the garagekeeper gives notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known registered owner of the vehicle and to each lienholder of record of the vehicle under Chapter 501 to remove the vehicle;

(2) a contract for the vehicle to remain on the premises of the facility expires; or

(3) the vehicle was left in the facility, if the vehicle was left by a person other than the registered owner or a person authorized to have possession of the vehicle under a contract of use, service, storage, or repair.

(b) If notice sent under Subsection (a)(1) is returned unclaimed by the post office, substituted notice is sufficient if published in one newspaper of general circulation in the area where the vehicle was left.

(c) The garagekeeper shall report the abandonment of the motor vehicle to a law enforcement agency and shall pay a $5 fee to be used by the law enforcement agency for the cost of the notice required by this subchapter or other cost incurred in disposing of the vehicle. A fee paid to the Department of Public Safety shall be used to administer this chapter.

(d) The garagekeeper shall retain custody of an abandoned motor vehicle until the law enforcement agency takes the vehicle into custody under Section 683.034.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.032. GARAGEKEEPER'S FEES AND CHARGES. (a) A garagekeeper who acquires custody of a motor vehicle for a purpose other than repair is entitled to towing, preservation, and notification charges and reasonable storage fees, in addition to storage fees earned under a contract, for each day:

(1) not to exceed five days, until the notice described by Section 683.031(a) is mailed; and

(2) after notice is mailed, until the vehicle is removed and all accrued charges are paid.

(b) A garagekeeper who fails to report an abandoned motor vehicle to a law enforcement agency within seven days after the date it is abandoned may not claim reimbursement for storage of the vehicle.

(c) This subchapter does not impair any lien that a garagekeeper has on a vehicle except for the termination or limitation of claim for storage for the failure to report the vehicle to the law enforcement agency.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.158(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 683.033. UNAUTHORIZED STORAGE FEE; OFFENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person charges a storage fee for a period for which the fee is not authorized by Section 683.032.

(b) An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 or more than $1,000.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.034. DISPOSAL OF VEHICLE ABANDONED IN STORAGE FACILITY. (a) A law enforcement agency shall take into custody an abandoned vehicle left in a storage facility that has not been claimed in the period provided by the notice under Section 683.012.

(b) The law enforcement agency may use the vehicle as authorized by Section 683.016 or sell the vehicle at auction as provided by Section 683.014. If a vehicle is sold, the proceeds of the sale shall first be applied to a garagekeeper's charges for service, storage, and repair of the vehicle.

(c) As compensation for expenses incurred in taking the vehicle into custody and selling it, the law enforcement agency shall retain:

(1) two percent of the gross proceeds of the sale of the vehicle; or

(2) all the proceeds if the gross proceeds of the sale are less than $10.

(d) Surplus proceeds shall be distributed as provided by Section 683.015.

(e) If the law enforcement agency does not take the vehicle into custody before the 31st day after the date notice is sent under Section 683.012:

(1) the law enforcement agency may not take the vehicle into custody; and

(2) the storage facility may dispose of the vehicle under:

(A) Chapter 70, Property Code, except that notice under Section 683.012 satisfies the notice requirements of that chapter; or

(B) Chapter 2303, Occupations Code, if:

(i) the storage facility is a vehicle storage facility; and

(ii) the vehicle is an abandoned nuisance vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.158(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

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SUBCHAPTER D. DEMOLITION OF ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES

Sec. 683.051. APPLICATION FOR AUTHORIZATION TO DISPOSE OF CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLES. A person may apply to the department for authority:

(1) to sell, give away, or dispose of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher if:

(A) the person owns the motor vehicle and the certificate of title to the vehicle is lost, destroyed, or faulty; or

(B) the vehicle is an abandoned motor vehicle and is:

(i) in the possession of the person; or

(ii) located on property owned by the person; or

(2) to dispose of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling if:

(A) the abandoned motor vehicle:

(i) is in the possession of the person;

(ii) is more than eight years old;

(iii) either has no motor or is otherwise totally inoperable or does not comply with all applicable air pollution emissions control related requirements included in: (aa) the vehicle inspection requirements under Chapter 548, as evidenced by a current inspection certificate affixed to the vehicle windshield; or (bb) the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance requirements contained in the Public Safety Commission's motor vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program under Subchapter F, Chapter 548, or the state's air quality state implementation plan; and

(iv) was authorized to be towed by a law enforcement agency; and

(B) the law enforcement agency approves the application.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 612, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 683.052. CONTENTS OF APPLICATION; APPLICATION FEE. (a) An application under Section 683.051 must:

(1) contain the name and address of the applicant;

(2) state the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, if ascertainable, and any other identifying feature of the vehicle; and

(3) include:

(A) a concise statement of facts about the abandonment;

(B) a statement that the certificate of title is lost or destroyed; or

(C) a statement of the reasons for the defect in the owner's certificate of title for the vehicle.

(b) An application under Section 683.051(2) must also include an affidavit containing a statement of the facts that make that subdivision applicable.

(c) The applicant shall make an affidavit stating that:

(1) the facts stated in the application are true; and

(2) no material fact has been withheld.

(d) The application must be accompanied by a fee of $2, unless the application is made by a unit of government. Fees collected under this subsection shall be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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Sec. 683.053. DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE NOTICE. Except as provided by Section 683.054(b), the department shall give notice as provided by Section 683.012 if it determines that an application under Section 683.051 is:

(1) executed in proper form; and

(2) shows that:

(A) the abandoned motor vehicle is in the possession of the applicant or has been abandoned on the applicant's property; or

(B) the vehicle is not an abandoned motor vehicle and the applicant appears to be the owner of the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.054. CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO DISPOSE OF VEHICLE. (a) The department shall issue the applicant a certificate of authority to dispose of the vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling if notice under Section 683.053 was given and the vehicle was not claimed as provided by the notice.

(b) Without giving the notice required by Section 683.053, the department may issue to an applicant under Section 683.051(2) a certificate of authority to dispose of the motor vehicle to a demolisher if the vehicle meets the requirements of Sections 683.051(2)(A)(ii) and (iii).

(c) A motor vehicle demolisher shall accept the certificate of authority in lieu of a certificate of title for the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 612, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 683.055. RULES AND FORMS. The department may adopt rules and prescribe forms to implement Sections 683.051-683.054.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.056. DEMOLISHER'S DUTY. (a) A motor vehicle demolisher who acquires a motor vehicle for dismantling or demolishing shall obtain from the person delivering the vehicle:

(1) the motor vehicle's certificate of title;

(2) a sales receipt for the motor vehicle;

(3) a transfer document for the vehicle as provided by Subchapter B or Subchapter E; or

(4) a certificate of authority for the disposal of the motor vehicle.

(b) A demolisher is not required to obtain a certificate of title for the vehicle in the demolisher's name.

(c) On the department's demand, the demolisher shall surrender for cancellation the certificate of title or certificate of authority.

(d) The department shall adopt rules and forms necessary to regulate the surrender of auction sales receipts and certificates of title.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.057. DEMOLISHER'S RECORDS; OFFENSE. (a) A motor vehicle demolisher shall keep a record of a motor vehicle that is acquired in the course of business.

(b) The record must contain:

(1) the name and address of the person from whom the vehicle was acquired; and

(2) the date of acquisition of the vehicle.

(c) The demolisher shall keep the record until the first anniversary of the date of acquisition of the vehicle.

(d) The record shall be open to inspection by the department or any law enforcement agency at any time during normal business hours.

(e) A motor vehicle demolisher commits an offense if the demolisher fails to keep a record as provided by this section.

(f) An offense under Subsection (e) is a misdemeanor punishable by:

(1) a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000;

(2) confinement in the county jail for a term of not less than 10 days or more than six months; or

(3) both the fine and confinement.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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SUBCHAPTER E. JUNKED VEHICLES: PUBLIC NUISANCE; ABATEMENT

Sec. 683.071. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "junked vehicle" means a vehicle that is self-propelled and:

(1) does not have lawfully attached to it:

(A) an unexpired license plate; or

(B) a valid motor vehicle inspection certificate; and

(2) is:

(A) wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded; or

(B) inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than:

(i) 72 consecutive hours, if the vehicle is on public property; or

(ii) 30 consecutive days, if the vehicle is on private property.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 746, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 798, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 683.0711. MUNICIPAL REQUIREMENTS. An ordinance adopted by a governing body of a municipality may provide for a more inclusive definition of a junked vehicle subject to regulation under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1073, Sec. 1.

Sec. 683.072. JUNKED VEHICLE DECLARED TO BE PUBLIC NUISANCE. A junked vehicle, including a part of a junked vehicle, that is visible at any time of the year from a public place or public right-of-way:

(1) is detrimental to the safety and welfare of the public;

(2) tends to reduce the value of private property;

(3) invites vandalism;

(4) creates a fire hazard;

(5) is an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors;

(6) produces urban blight adverse to the maintenance and continuing development of municipalities; and

(7) is a public nuisance.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1073, Sec. 2.

Sec. 683.073. OFFENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person maintains a public nuisance described by Section 683.072.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

(c) The court shall order abatement and removal of the nuisance on conviction.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 683.074. AUTHORITY TO ABATE NUISANCE; PROCEDURES. (a) A municipality or county may adopt procedures that conform to this subchapter for the abatement and removal from private or public property or a public right-of-way of a junked vehicle or part of a junked vehicle as a public nuisance.

(b) The procedures must:

(1) prohibit a vehicle from being reconstructed or made operable after removal;

(2) require a public hearing before removal of the public nuisance; and

(3) require that notice identifying the vehicle or part of the vehicle be given to the department not later than the fifth day after the date of removal.

(c) An appropriate court of the municipality or county may issue necessary orders to enforce the procedures.

(d) Procedures for abatement and removal of a public nuisance must be administered by regularly salaried, full-time employees of the municipality or county, except that any authorized person may remove the nuisance.

(e) A person authorized to administer the procedures may enter private property to examine a public nuisance, to obtain information to identify the nuisance, and to remove or direct the removal of the nuisance.

(f) On receipt of notice of removal under Subsection (b)(3), the department shall immediately cancel the certificate of title issued for the vehicle.

(g) The procedures may provide that the relocation of a junked vehicle that is a public nuisance to another location in the same municipality or county after a proceeding for the abatement and removal of the public nuisance has commenced has no effect on the proceeding if the junked vehicle constitutes a public nuisance at the new location.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1226, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Sec. 683.075. NOTICE. (a) The procedures for the abatement and removal of a public nuisance under this subchapter must provide not less than 10 days' notice of the nature of the nuisance. The notice must be personally delivered or sent by certified mail with a five-day return requested to:

(1) the last known registered owner of the nuisance;

(2) each lienholder of record of the nuisance; and

(3) the owner or occupant of:

(A) the property on which the nuisance is located; or

(B) if the nuisance is located on a public right-of-way, the property adjacent to the right-of-way.

(b) The notice must state that:

(1) the nuisance must be abated and removed not later than the 10th day after the date on which the notice was personally delivered or mailed; and

(2) any request for a hearing must be made before that 10-day period expires.

(c) If the post office address of the last known registered owner of the nuisance is unknown, notice may be placed on the nuisance or, if the owner is located, personally delivered.

(d) If notice is returned undelivered, action to abate the nuisance shall be continued to a date not earlier than the 11th day after the date of the return.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 413, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 683.076. HEARING. (a) The governing body of the municipality or county or a board, commission, or official designated by the governing body shall conduct hearings under the procedures adopted under this subchapter.

(b) If a hearing is requested by a person for whom notice is required under Section 683.075(a)(3), the hearing shall be held not earlier than the 11th day after the date of the service of notice.

(c) At the hearing, the junked motor vehicle is presumed, unless demonstrated otherwise by the owner, to be inoperable.

(d) If the information is available at the location of the nuisance, a resolution or order requiring removal of the nuisance must include the vehicle's:

(1) description;

(2) vehicle identification number; and

(3) license plate number.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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Sec. 683.0765. ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING. A municipality by ordinance may provide for an administrative adjudication process under which an administrative penalty may be imposed for the enforcement of an ordinance adopted under this subchapter. If a municipality provides for an administrative adjudication process under this section, the municipality shall use the procedure described by Section 54.044, Local Government Code.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 413, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 683.077. INAPPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. (a) Procedures adopted under Section 683.074 or 683.0765 may not apply to a vehicle or vehicle part:

(1) that is completely enclosed in a building in a lawful manner and is not visible from the street or other public or private property; or

(2) that is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed vehicle dealer or junkyard, or that is an antique or special interest vehicle stored by a motor vehicle collector on the collector's property, if the vehicle or part and the outdoor storage area, if any, are:

(A) maintained in an orderly manner;

(B) not a health hazard; and

(C) screened from ordinary public view by appropriate means, including a fence, rapidly growing trees, or shrubbery.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Antique vehicle" means a passenger car or truck that is at least 25 years old.

(2) "Motor vehicle collector" means a person who:

(A) owns one or more antique or special interest vehicles; and

(B) acquires, collects, or disposes of an antique or special interest vehicle or part of an antique or special interest vehicle for personal use to restore and preserve an antique or special interest vehicle for historic interest.

(3) "Special interest vehicle" means a motor vehicle of any age that has not been changed from original manufacturer's specifications and, because of its historic interest, is being preserved by a hobbyist.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 413, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1431, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 683.078. JUNKED VEHICLE DISPOSAL. (a) A junked vehicle, including a part of a junked vehicle, may be removed to a scrapyard, a motor vehicle demolisher, or a suitable site operated by a municipality or county.

(b) A municipality or county may operate a disposal site if its governing body determines that commercial disposition of junked vehicles is not available or is inadequate. A municipality or county may:

(1) finally dispose of a junked vehicle or vehicle part; or

(2) transfer it to another disposal site if the disposal is scrap or salvage only.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

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San Antonio Wrecker Code

ARTICLE XI. WRECKER SERVICE*

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*Editor's note: Ord. No. 96242, 1, 2, repealed and reenacted art. XI to read as herein set out. Formerly, art. XI pertained to similar subject matter and derived from the Code of 1959, 8-1--8-9; Ord. No. 55743, 2, adopted August 26, 1982; Ord. No. 64109, 3, adopted December 12, 1986; Ord. No. 67954, adopted September 22, 1988.

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DIVISION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 19-386. Compliance with state law and local ordinances.
All towing companies and property owners under this article shall comply with all applicable state laws and local ordinances.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-387. Definitions.
In this chapter:
Abandoned motor vehicle has the same meaning as defined by the Texas Transportation Code.
City means the city of San Antonio.
Consent tow has the same meaning as defined by the Texas Transportation Code.
Department means the San Antonio police department, chief of police, or his designee.
Driver means an individual who drives or operates a wrecker.
Nonconsent tow has the same meaning as defined by the Texas Transportation Code.
Operate means to drive or to be in control of a wrecker.
Operator means the driver of a wrecker or the owner of a wrecker.
Parking facility has the same meaning as defined by the Texas Transportation Code.
Person means an individual, assumed name entity, partnership, joint-venture, association, corporation, or other legal entity.
Property entrance means any point of access by a vehicle to private property.
Property owner has the same meaning as defined by the Texas Transportation Code.
Towing company has the same meaning as defined by the Texas Transportation Code.
Unauthorized vehicle has the same meaning as defined by the Texas Transportation Code.
Vehicle has the same meaning as defined by the Texas Transportation Code.
Vehicle owner or operator means a person, or the designated agent of a person, who:
(1)     Holds legal title to a vehicle, including any lienholder of record; or
(2)     Has legal right of possession or legal control of a vehicle.
Vehicle storage facility means a facility licensed as such under the laws of the state.
Wrecker means a vehicle designed for the towing of other vehicles.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-388. Authority and duties of the department.
The department shall implement and enforce this article. In addition to the powers and duties elsewhere prescribed in this article, the department is authorized to:
(1)     Adopt rules and regulations, consistent with the provisions of this article and all applicable state laws, with respect to matters incidental or appropriate to the powers and duties as may be necessary for the proper administration and enforcement of this article.
(2)     Conduct random periodic investigations of towing companies and vehicle storage facilities throughout the city concerning their compliance with this article and state law.
(3)     Inspect tow service vehicles for compliance with uniform vehicle and equipment safety standards established by the state.
(4)     Conduct random inspections of tow service company records and facilities for compliance with state law and public safety. Inspections should be performed in a reasonable manner so as to comply with the laws of the state.
(5)     Conduct random inspections of vehicle storage facility records, facilities, and storage lots for compliance with state law and public safety. Inspections should be performed in a reasonable manner so as to comply with the laws of the state.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-389. Exemptions.
This article does not apply to:
(1)     A person towing a vehicle with the express consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle;
(2)     A person towing a vehicle from public streets and ways or private property under the direction of the department;
(3)     A person who engages in towing a vehicle in connection with a bona fide repossession of same, when written authorization has been received from the mortgagee.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-390. Prohibition against unattended vehicles in certain areas.
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 in accordance with this Code; or
(4)     Obstructs immediate access to a trash dumpster; the trash dumpster or area of immediate access to the dumpster must be conspicuously and legibly marked on all sides of access with the warning "NO PARKING-TOW AWAY ZONE." (signage shall be in white letters, or other contrasting color, at least three (3) inches tall); or
(5)     Obstructs a curb painted red and conspicuously and legibly marked with the warning "NO PARKING-TOW AWAY ZONE." (Curb markings and/or signs shall be at intervals not to exceed fifty (50) feet and in compliance with the Texas Transportation Code.); or
(6)     Is improperly parked on private property in an restricted or reserved parking area which has been properly marked pursuant to the Texas Transportation Code.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-391. Vehicle storage facility's duty to report after accepting unauthorized vehicle.
(a)     A vehicle storage facility accepting a vehicle that is towed under this article shall, within two (2) hours after removal from the unauthorized parking location, report to the department:
(1)     A general description of the vehicle, including the year, make, model, and color;
(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 date and time of tow as well as the location from which the vehicle was towed;
(5)     The name of the company towing the vehicle, the name of the wrecker driver doing the tow, and the name and location of the vehicle storage facility where the vehicle is being stored; and
(6)     The name and title of the property owner causing the vehicle to be towed.
(b)     The report required by this section must be made by telephone, by facsimile or other electronic device, or delivered personally and a control number must be obtained from the department at the time of notification.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-392. Requirements for posting signs.
(a)     A minimum of one sign shall be placed on the right or left side of each driveway or curb cut through which a vehicle can enter the property, including an entry from an alley or other property abutting the property.
(b)     Each sign must conform to the minimum requirements as set forth in the Texas Transportation Code.
(c)     Each sign must be posted in a manner and location so that the signs are facing and conspicuous to the driver of a vehicle entering the property.
(d)     Upon review by the chief of police or his designee, a parking facility causing tows under this chapter may be required to install additional signage in order to correct problems associated with conformity of signage due parking facility layout.
(e)     A parking facility may not accept signage or installation of signs from a towing company, pursuant to the Texas Transportation Code.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)
Secs. 19-393--19-400. Reserved.

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DIVISION 2. DISPOSITION OF TOWED VEHICLES

Sec. 19-401. Claimed vehicles.
(a)     When a storage facility acquires possession of a private property non-consent towed motor vehicle, the storage facility is entitled to:
(1)     Towing charges, if applicable;
(2)     Impound fees when authorized by the Texas Administrative Code;
(3)     Storage fees as allowed by state law; and
(4)     Notification charges.
(b)     A vehicle storage facility must notify owners or operators of vehicles who call about a towed vehicle:
(1)     What methods of payment are accepted;
(2)     The location from which the vehicle may be retrieved;
(3)     The total amount of charges if the vehicle is picked up the same day as the call; and
(4)     The phone number of the city agency where complaints regarding towing services may be made.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-402. Disposition of unclaimed vehicles.
Unclaimed vehicles shall be disposed of in the manner described in Article 6687-9a, Texas Vehicle Storage Facility Act.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)
Secs. 19-403--19-410. Reserved.

DIVISION 3. OFFENSES AND PENALTIES

Sec. 19-411. Offenses.
(a)     A person commits an offense if by act or omission he violates a provision of this article. A culpable mental state is not required for commission of an offense under this article unless the provision defining the conduct expressly requires a culpable mental state.
(b)     A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly tampers with, removes, or destroys a tow warning sign required by this article without the consent of the property owner.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-412. Defenses.
It is a defense to prosecution for violation of any offense that the defendant is a person exempted under section 19-389.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-413. Penalties.
(a)     A separate offense is committed each day in which an offense occurs.
(b)     An offense committed under this article, other than section 19-390 is punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200.00) nor more than five hundred ($500.00). The minimum fine established in this subsection shall be doubled for the second conviction of the same offense within any two-year period. A third conviction within any two-year period will result in a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00). At no time shall the minimum fine exceed the maximum fine established in this subsection.
(c)     Prosecution for an offense under this section does not prevent the use of other enforcement remedies or procedures applicable to the person charged with the conduct or involved in the offense.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-414. Removing wrecked or abandoned vehicles on public streets, ways or other public property.
(a)     In the interest of public safety, it shall be unlawful for any person or towing company, on the public street and ways of the city to knowingly respond for the purpose of moving, towing, hauling, debris or hazardous material cleanup, or otherwise transport in, on or over the public streets and ways of the city any vehicle which has been involved in a collision, requires towing, and is on a public street, way or other public property, unless directed to do so by the chief of police or his designee.
(b)     In city parking lots or facilities, the city parking manager or his designee may relocate to another location on the lot or facility, any vehicle that is blocking an entrance, exit, fire lane or otherwise obstructing access. Any charge for relocation shall be assessed against the vehicle owner. Any vehicle not authorized to be parked at a city facility shall be removed to the police department vehicle storage facility or other duly authorized location at the direction of the city parking manager or his designee.
(c)     Other motor vehicles on public streets, ways or public property may be removed only with the express consent of the owner or operator or at the direction of the chief of police or his designee.
(d)     Any owner of a vehicle whose vehicle has been towed from a public way, street or property at the direction of the chief of police or his designee, where it was necessary for the department to incur expense for the cleanup of hazardous waste and/or material, the owner of said vehicle shall be responsible for payment of the cost associated with the clean up.
(d)     The department shall have the right to retain any vehicle, to include but not limited to tractors and trailers, in its possession which belongs to said vehicle owner until the payment for all charges associated with the towing of the vehicle, to include but not limited to recovery and clean up fees, have been paid.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)
Secs. 19-415--19-420. Reserved.

DIVISION 4. ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 19-421. Authority to inspect.
The department may inspect a vehicle storage facility to determine whether the facility is in compliance with this article and other applicable law.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-422. Enforcement by police officers.
Any officer observing a violation of this article or state law may take necessary action to ensure the safety of the public and its interests.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)
Secs. 19-423--19-425. Reserved.

DIVISION 5. FEES

Sec. 19-426. Service rates.
The rates hereinafter described are to be utilized by towing companies for non-consent tows originating within the corporate limits of the city pursuant to this article.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)

Sec. 19-427. Fee schedule.
(a)     No towing fees may be charged other than those fees listed in this subsection, including charges for dollies, special equipment, or mileage.
(b)     The maximum fee a licensee may charge for towing under this article shall be:
(1)     Eight-five dollars ($85.00) for vehicles not longer than twenty (20) feet or wider than seven (7) feet.
(2)     One hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00) for vehicles longer than twenty (20) feet, but does not exceed forty (40) feet or is not longer than twenty (20) feet, but is wider than seven (7) feet.
(3)     Three hundred dollars ($300.00) for any vehicle or combination vehicle longer than forty (40) feet long, regardless of width.
(c)     If the owner or operator of a vehicle which is parked in violation of this Code or state law arrives before the vehicle is removed from the property, a towing company may agree to release the vehicle at the scene for a fee not to exceed the maximum fee for a non-consent tow.
(d)     In no way is subsection (a) above to be construed to mean that a towing company may not charge less than the fees stated. These fees are the maximum that can be charged for any towing of a vehicle in accordance with this article.
(Ord. No. 96242, 1(Attach. I), 8-22-02)
Secs. 19-428--19-430. Reserved.

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