Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Only One Tow Company In Austin Providing Legal Tow Signs


After reviewing all the tow signs posted at parking facilities in Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Georgetown, Westlake, San Antonio and San Marcos, only one Austin tow company is providing the legal tow sign required after 9-1-13.

Legal Sign 2014

The above sign is exactly what State Law (Occupation Code 2308.301 and 302) states how the tow sign must be formatted and worded.  A tow sign is a statutory sign, just like all the traffic signs on roadways, and tow companies cannot add or delete words to statutory text in quotes.

The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation’s investigators are telling tow companies they are not going to prosecute them regarding the signs, because as one investigator stated that attorneys are finding loopholes in the Law.  The only attorneys looking for loopholes are the ones that represent tow companies who refuse to obey the Law, as tow companies who obey the law don’t waste their money fighting lawsuits and TDLR fines for illegal towing, since they provide legal signs.

Therefore, if you are towed from a private or public parking lot and the tow sign does not look exactly like the one shown above, your vehicle was illegally towed.

It’s important to remember, the tow sign cannot be posted any farther than 25′ from a public roadway or alley and the tow sign must be facing the driver when you entering the parking facility at height of no lower than 5′ from the ground or no higher than 8′ from the bottom of the sign off the ground.  If the driveway entering the parking facility is 35' wide at a public roadway or alley, two signs are required, one on both sides.

click to enlarge
Click on photo to enlarge

Another widely abused towing scam in parking facilities across Texas are illegally marked designated, restricted or assigned parking spaces. Any parking space that is designated for a specific reason, such as visitors, a certain business in strip centers, or pay parking lots, must be marked in the front and rear of each parking space on the ground, as shown below.


If you are towed, immediately take a photograph of the tow sign posted at the parking facility and the space you were parked in prior going to pickup your vehicle at the storage lot for evidence as tow companies will replace the sign as soon as they learn they are going to be sued.

Once you retrieve your vehicle, if the name of the “person” who authorized the removal is not provided on the release documents, please file a complaint against the storage facility for failure to do so.  If the name of person is not providing, the 14 day deadline to file the request for the towing hearing is void.

The name of the person, not the business name, must be provided

"Click on images to enlarge"

Once you have filed the online complaint and receive a track number (print that page), send an email to and attach a copy of the storage facility reciept and recorded conversation at the storage lot to the email. In the email on the subject line. type “Track Number Documentation” and in the body of the email anything you forgot to mention in the complaint.

If the storage facility reciept does not provide the name of the person who authorized the removal, (as shown above) the 14 day deadline to file the request for the tow hearing is not valid until they provide this information.

There is a two year statute of limitation for filing a tow hearing, a statutory violation or theft liability lawsuit from the date your vehicle was towed if all the information required by state law is not provided.

If you are towed or charged a drop fee or boot fee from a parking lot with illegal tow signs, file a statutory violation lawsuit against the parking facility to collect $1000 plus triple damages.  Attorneys who are specialized in these types of action can be located in Directory of Attorneys.

The public is encouraged to file an online complaint against the tow company with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations.

Important information regarding tow hearings so tow victims can make sure they are prepared.

If you have further questions regarding your vehicle being towed, contact the Tow Victim's 24 Hour Hotline at 512-680-3190.