We all know that vehicle towing can be a painstaking and expensive process. That’s why it is essential to understand the rules and regulations surrounding the towing of cars in the state of Georgia before attempting any such task.
This blog will provide an overview of the basic Georgia vehicle tow rules. But first, let us define what non-consensual towing is. So, read on to make informed decisions.
In Georgia, “non-consensual” towing occurs when a vehicle is improperly parked or trespasses on private property. The car is typically towed at the property owner’s behest without the owner’s or operator’s consent. Private property in Georgia is a property that the government does not possess.
Not all tow truck companies that perform non-consensual transportation from private property must have a Non-Consensual Transportation permit (NCT). Exempt from the rule are companies that tow automobiles as an extension of law enforcement and do not participate in non-consensual tows from private property.
Towing Regulations For Police
Section 40-6-206 of the Georgia Code allows police to tow a vehicle in the following circumstances:
- The automobile has been abandoned and is illegally parked on a bridge, tunnel, or highway.
- The car has been reported as stolen.
- The driver of the vehicle has been apprehended.
- The automobile is considered abandoned after being left unattended for 24 hours.
- The driver confesses that the car is not insured.
- The automobile is either illegally parked or blocking traffic.
Vehicles towed by the police wind up in an impound lot and are auctioned off if they are not retrieved within 30 days.
Towing Company Fees
State law imposes limits on the fees that towing companies can charge. The DPS establishes these rates, but municipalities may set a lower maximum fee within their city limits than the state mandate.
Requirements to Obtain Non-Consensual Permit
All towing companies and wrecker services that remove vehicles from private property without the consent of the owner or operator are required by Georgia law to possess a Non-Consensual Towing Permit.
To apply for a non-consensual towing permit, visit the DPS website, which contains an application form and answers to towing company proprietors’ frequently asked questions.
Additionally, a local license can be obtained from any city that provides non-consensual towing permits, but it is only valid within the city limits.
Non-Consensual Towing From a Government Property
Suppose the vehicle was towed from a public right-of-way or government property (municipal, county, or state). In that case, you must consult the city’s/county’s/state’s towing regulations, which govern the enforcement of parking restrictions and the removal of violating vehicles.
In most cases, the proprietor of the offending vehicle is responsible for all costs associated with its removal, towing, and storage.
In addition, a towing company authorized by state law or local ordinance to enforce towing regulations may seize and hold an infringing vehicle until all fines imposed on the owner are paid in full, as well as any costs associated with the vehicle’s removal, towing, and storage.
Understanding the rules and regulations for non-consensual and police-initiated towing can help ensure you are properly informed and protected from potential issues. Towing companies must have proper permits, fees must reflect the state-mandated maximums, and if the automobile was towed from government property, all fines must be paid in full before it can be released. Following these guidelines will help protect your vehicle and your bank account!
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