Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 11. RULES OF THE ROAD [21000 - 23336]

  ( Division 11 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 10. Removal of Parked and Abandoned Vehicles [22650 - 22856]

  ( Chapter 10 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 1. Authority to Remove Vehicles [22650 - 22711]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

22650.
  

It is unlawful for any peace officer or any unauthorized person to remove any unattended vehicle from a highway to a garage or to any other place, except as provided in this code.

(a) Those law enforcement and other agencies identified in this chapter as having the authority to remove vehicles shall also have the authority to provide hearings in compliance with the provisions of Section 22852. During these hearings the storing agency shall have the burden of establishing the authority for, and the validity of, the removal.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent a review or other action as may be permitted by the laws of this state by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1022.)

22651.
  

A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or a regularly employed and salaried employee, who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations, of a city, county, or jurisdiction of a state agency in which a vehicle is located, may remove a vehicle located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee may act, under the following circumstances:

(a) When a vehicle is left unattended upon a bridge, viaduct, or causeway or in a tube or tunnel where the vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic.

(b) When a vehicle is parked or left standing upon a highway in a position so as to obstruct the normal movement of traffic or in a condition so as to create a hazard to other traffic upon the highway.

(c) When a vehicle is found upon a highway or public land and a report has previously been made that the vehicle is stolen or a complaint has been filed and a warrant thereon is issued charging that the vehicle was embezzled.

(d) When a vehicle is illegally parked so as to block the entrance to a private driveway and it is impractical to move the vehicle from in front of the driveway to another point on the highway.

(e) When a vehicle is illegally parked so as to prevent access by firefighting equipment to a fire hydrant and it is impracticable to move the vehicle from in front of the fire hydrant to another point on the highway.

(f) When a vehicle, except highway maintenance or construction equipment, is stopped, parked, or left standing for more than four hours upon the right-of-way of a freeway that has full control of access and no crossings at grade and the driver, if present, cannot move the vehicle under its own power.

(g) When the person in charge of a vehicle upon a highway or public land is, by reason of physical injuries or illness, incapacitated to an extent so as to be unable to provide for its custody or removal.

(h) (1) When an officer arrests a person driving or in control of a vehicle for an alleged offense and the officer is, by this code or other law, required or permitted to take, and does take, the person into custody.

(2) When an officer serves a notice of an order of suspension or revocation pursuant to Section 13388 or 13389.

(i) (1) When a vehicle, other than a rented vehicle, is found upon a highway or public land, or is removed pursuant to this code, and it is known that the vehicle has been issued five or more notices of parking violations to which the owner or person in control of the vehicle has not responded within 21 calendar days of notice of citation issuance or citation issuance or 14 calendar days of the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking violation to the agency responsible for processing notices of parking violations, or the registered owner of the vehicle is known to have been issued five or more notices for failure to pay or failure to appear in court for traffic violations for which a certificate has not been issued by the magistrate or clerk of the court hearing the case showing that the case has been adjudicated or concerning which the registered owner’s record has not been cleared pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 41500) of Division 17, the vehicle may be impounded until that person furnishes to the impounding law enforcement agency all of the following:

(A) Evidence of his or her identity.

(B) An address within this state at which he or she can be located.

(C) Satisfactory evidence that all parking penalties due for the vehicle and all other vehicles registered to the registered owner of the impounded vehicle, and all traffic violations of the registered owner, have been cleared.

(2) The requirements in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) shall be fully enforced by the impounding law enforcement agency on and after the time that the Department of Motor Vehicles is able to provide access to the necessary records.

(3) A notice of parking violation issued for an unlawfully parked vehicle shall be accompanied by a warning that repeated violations may result in the impounding of the vehicle. In lieu of furnishing satisfactory evidence that the full amount of parking penalties or bail has been deposited, that person may demand to be taken without unnecessary delay before a magistrate, for traffic offenses, or a hearing examiner, for parking offenses, within the county in which the offenses charged are alleged to have been committed and who has jurisdiction of the offenses and is nearest or most accessible with reference to the place where the vehicle is impounded. Evidence of current registration shall be produced after a vehicle has been impounded, or, at the discretion of the impounding law enforcement agency, a notice to appear for violation of subdivision (a) of Section 4000 shall be issued to that person.

(4) A vehicle shall be released to the legal owner, as defined in Section 370, if the legal owner does all of the following:

(A) Pays the cost of towing and storing the vehicle.

(B) Submits evidence of payment of fees as provided in Section 9561.

(C) Completes an affidavit in a form acceptable to the impounding law enforcement agency stating that the vehicle was not in possession of the legal owner at the time of occurrence of the offenses relating to standing or parking. A vehicle released to a legal owner under this subdivision is a repossessed vehicle for purposes of disposition or sale. The impounding agency shall have a lien on any surplus that remains upon sale of the vehicle to which the registered owner is or may be entitled, as security for the full amount of the parking penalties for all notices of parking violations issued for the vehicle and for all local administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5. The legal owner shall promptly remit to, and deposit with, the agency responsible for processing notices of parking violations from that surplus, on receipt of that surplus, the full amount of the parking penalties for all notices of parking violations issued for the vehicle and for all local administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5.

(5) The impounding agency that has a lien on the surplus that remains upon the sale of a vehicle to which a registered owner is entitled pursuant to paragraph (4) has a deficiency claim against the registered owner for the full amount of the parking penalties for all notices of parking violations issued for the vehicle and for all local administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5, less the amount received from the sale of the vehicle.

(j) When a vehicle is found illegally parked and there are no license plates or other evidence of registration displayed, the vehicle may be impounded until the owner or person in control of the vehicle furnishes the impounding law enforcement agency evidence of his or her identity and an address within this state at which he or she can be located.

(k) When a vehicle is parked or left standing upon a highway for 72 or more consecutive hours in violation of a local ordinance authorizing removal.

(l) When a vehicle is illegally parked on a highway in violation of a local ordinance forbidding standing or parking and the use of a highway, or a portion thereof, is necessary for the cleaning, repair, or construction of the highway, or for the installation of underground utilities, and signs giving notice that the vehicle may be removed are erected or placed at least 24 hours prior to the removal by a local authority pursuant to the ordinance.

(m) When the use of the highway, or a portion of the highway, is authorized by a local authority for a purpose other than the normal flow of traffic or for the movement of equipment, articles, or structures of unusual size, and the parking of a vehicle would prohibit or interfere with that use or movement, and signs giving notice that the vehicle may be removed are erected or placed at least 24 hours prior to the removal by a local authority pursuant to the ordinance.

(n) Whenever a vehicle is parked or left standing where local authorities, by resolution or ordinance, have prohibited parking and have authorized the removal of vehicles. Except as provided in subdivisions (v) and (w), a vehicle shall not be removed unless signs are posted giving notice of the removal.

(o) (1) When a vehicle is found or operated upon a highway, public land, or an offstreet parking facility under the following circumstances:

(A) With a registration expiration date in excess of six months before the date it is found or operated on the highway, public lands, or the offstreet parking facility.

(B) Displaying in, or upon, the vehicle, a registration card, identification card, temporary receipt, license plate, special plate, registration sticker, device issued pursuant to Section 4853, or permit that was not issued for that vehicle, or is not otherwise lawfully used on that vehicle under this code.

(C) Displaying in, or upon, the vehicle, an altered, forged, counterfeit, or falsified registration card, identification card, temporary receipt, license plate, special plate, registration sticker, device issued pursuant to Section 4853, or permit.

(2) When a vehicle described in paragraph (1) is occupied, only a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may remove the vehicle.

(3) For the purposes of this subdivision, the vehicle shall be released under either of the following circumstances:

(A) To the registered owner or person in control of the vehicle only after the owner or person furnishes the storing law enforcement agency with proof of current registration and a currently valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle.

(B) To the legal owner or the legal owner’s agency, without payment of any fees, fines, or penalties for parking tickets or registration and without proof of current registration, if the vehicle will only be transported pursuant to the exemption specified in Section 4022 and if the legal owner does all of the following:

(i) Pays the cost of towing and storing the vehicle.

(ii) Completes an affidavit in a form acceptable to the impounding law enforcement agency stating that the vehicle was not in possession of the legal owner at the time of occurrence of an offense relating to standing or parking. A vehicle released to a legal owner under this subdivision is a repossessed vehicle for purposes of disposition or sale. The impounding agency has a lien on any surplus that remains upon sale of the vehicle to which the registered owner is or may be entitled, as security for the full amount of parking penalties for any notices of parking violations issued for the vehicle and for all local administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5. Upon receipt of any surplus, the legal owner shall promptly remit to, and deposit with, the agency responsible for processing notices of parking violations from that surplus, the full amount of the parking penalties for all notices of parking violations issued for the vehicle and for all local administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5.

(4) The impounding agency that has a lien on the surplus that remains upon the sale of a vehicle to which a registered owner is entitled has a deficiency claim against the registered owner for the full amount of parking penalties for any notices of parking violations issued for the vehicle and for all local administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5, less the amount received from the sale of the vehicle.

(5) As used in this subdivision, “offstreet parking facility” means an offstreet facility held open for use by the public for parking vehicles and includes a publicly owned facility for offstreet parking, and a privately owned facility for offstreet parking if a fee is not charged for the privilege to park and it is held open for the common public use of retail customers.

(p) When the peace officer issues the driver of a vehicle a notice to appear for a violation of Section 12500, 14601, 14601.1, 14601.2, 14601.3, 14601.4, 14601.5, or 14604 and the vehicle is not impounded pursuant to Section 22655.5. A vehicle so removed from the highway or public land, or from private property after having been on a highway or public land, shall not be released to the registered owner or his or her agent, except upon presentation of the registered owner’s or his or her agent’s currently valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle and proof of current vehicle registration, to the impounding law enforcement agency, or upon order of a court.

(q) When a vehicle is parked for more than 24 hours on a portion of highway that is located within the boundaries of a common interest development, as defined in Section 4100 or 6534 of the Civil Code, and signs, as required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 22658 of this code, have been posted on that portion of highway providing notice to drivers that vehicles parked thereon for more than 24 hours will be removed at the owner’s expense, pursuant to a resolution or ordinance adopted by the local authority.

(r) When a vehicle is illegally parked and blocks the movement of a legally parked vehicle.

(s) (1) When a vehicle, except highway maintenance or construction equipment, an authorized emergency vehicle, or a vehicle that is properly permitted or otherwise authorized by the Department of Transportation, is stopped, parked, or left standing for more than eight hours within a roadside rest area or viewpoint.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), when a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 15210, is stopped, parked, or left standing for more than 10 hours within a roadside rest area or viewpoint.

(3) For purposes of this subdivision, a roadside rest area or viewpoint is a publicly maintained vehicle parking area, adjacent to a highway, utilized for the convenient, safe stopping of a vehicle to enable motorists to rest or to view the scenery. If two or more roadside rest areas are located on opposite sides of the highway, or upon the center divider, within seven miles of each other, then that combination of rest areas is considered to be the same rest area.

(t) When a peace officer issues a notice to appear for a violation of Section 25279.

(u) When a peace officer issues a citation for a violation of Section 11700 and the vehicle is being offered for sale.

(v) (1) When a vehicle is a mobile billboard advertising display, as defined in Section 395.5, and is parked or left standing in violation of a local resolution or ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (m) of Section 21100, if the registered owner of the vehicle was previously issued a warning citation for the same offense, pursuant to paragraph (2).

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 22507, a city or county, in lieu of posting signs noticing a local ordinance prohibiting mobile billboard advertising displays adopted pursuant to subdivision (m) of Section 21100, may provide notice by issuing a warning citation advising the registered owner of the vehicle that he or she may be subject to penalties upon a subsequent violation of the ordinance, that may include the removal of the vehicle as provided in paragraph (1). A city or county is not required to provide further notice for a subsequent violation prior to the enforcement of penalties for a violation of the ordinance.

(w) (1) When a vehicle is parked or left standing in violation of a local ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to subdivision (p) of Section 21100, if the registered owner of the vehicle was previously issued a warning citation for the same offense, pursuant to paragraph (2).

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 22507, a city or county, in lieu of posting signs noticing a local ordinance regulating advertising signs adopted pursuant to subdivision (p) of Section 21100, may provide notice by issuing a warning citation advising the registered owner of the vehicle that he or she may be subject to penalties upon a subsequent violation of the ordinance that may include the removal of the vehicle as provided in paragraph (1). A city or county is not required to provide further notice for a subsequent violation prior to the enforcement of penalties for a violation of the ordinance.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 605, Sec. 50. (SB 752) Effective January 1, 2014.)

22651.05.
  

(a) A trained volunteer of a state or local law enforcement agency, who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations, of a city, county, or jurisdiction of a state agency in which a vehicle is located, may remove or authorize the removal of a vehicle located within the territorial limits in which an officer or employee of that agency may act, under any of the following circumstances:

(1) When a vehicle is parked or left standing upon a highway for 72 or more consecutive hours in violation of a local ordinance authorizing the removal.

(2) When a vehicle is illegally parked or left standing on a highway in violation of a local ordinance forbidding standing or parking and the use of a highway, or a portion thereof, is necessary for the cleaning, repair, or construction of the highway, or for the installation of underground utilities, and signs giving notice that the vehicle may be removed are erected or placed at least 24 hours prior to the removal by local authorities pursuant to the ordinance.

(3) Wherever the use of the highway, or a portion thereof, is authorized by local authorities for a purpose other than the normal flow of traffic or for the movement of equipment, articles, or structures of unusual size, and the parking of a vehicle would prohibit or interfere with that use or movement, and signs giving notice that the vehicle may be removed are erected or placed at least 24 hours prior to the removal by local authorities pursuant to the ordinance.

(4) Whenever a vehicle is parked or left standing where local authorities, by resolution or ordinance, have prohibited parking and have authorized the removal of vehicles. A vehicle may not be removed unless signs are posted giving notice of the removal.

(5) Whenever a vehicle is parked for more than 24 hours on a portion of highway that is located within the boundaries of a common interest development, as defined in Section 4100 or 6534 of the Civil Code, and signs, as required by Section 22658.2, have been posted on that portion of highway providing notice to drivers that vehicles parked thereon for more than 24 hours will be removed at the owner’s expense, pursuant to a resolution or ordinance adopted by the local authority.

(b) The provisions of this chapter that apply to a vehicle removed pursuant to Section 22651 apply to a vehicle removed pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) For purposes of subdivision (a), a “trained volunteer” is a person who, of his or her own free will, provides services, without any financial gain, to a local or state law enforcement agency, and who is duly trained and certified to remove a vehicle by a local or state law enforcement agency.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 181, Sec. 82) by Stats. 2013, Ch. 605, Sec. 51. (SB 752) Effective January 1, 2014.)

22651.07.
  

(a) A person, including a law enforcement agency, city, county, city and county, the state, a tow yard, storage facility, or an impounding yard, that charges for towing or storage, or both, except for storage unrelated to a tow, shall do all of the following:

(1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), post in the office area of the storage facility, in plain view of the public, the Towing Fees and Access Notice and have copies readily available to the public.

(B) An automotive repair dealer, registered pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 9884) of Chapter 20.3 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, that does not provide towing services is exempt from the requirement to post the Towing Fees and Access Notice in the office area.

(2) Provide, upon request, a copy of the Towing Fees and Access Notice to any owner or operator of a towed or stored vehicle.

(3) Provide a distinct notice on an itemized invoice for any towing or storage, or both, charges stating: “Upon request, you are entitled to receive a copy of the Towing Fees and Access Notice.” This notice shall be contained within a bordered text box, printed in no less than 10-point type.

(b) Prior to receiving payment for any towing, recovery, or storage-related fees, a person that charges for towing or storage, or both, shall provide an itemized invoice of actual charges to the vehicle owner or his or her agent. If an automotive repair dealer, registered pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 9884) of Chapter 20.3 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, did not provide the tow, and passes along, from the tower to the consumer, any of the information required on the itemized invoice, pursuant to subdivision (e), the automotive repair dealer shall not be responsible for the accuracy of those items of information that remain unaltered.

(c) Prior to paying any towing, recovery, or storage-related fees, a vehicle owner or his or her agent or a licensed repossessor shall have the right to all of the following:

(1) Receive his or her personal property, at no charge, during normal business hours. Normal business hours for releasing collateral and personal property are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., inclusive, except state holidays.

(2) Retrieve his or her vehicle during the first 72 hours of storage and not pay a lien fee.

(3) Request a copy of the Towing Fees and Access Notice.

(4) Be permitted to pay by cash or a valid bank credit card. Credit charges for towing and storage services shall comply with Section 1748.1 of the Civil Code. Law enforcement agencies may include the costs of providing for payment by credit when agreeing with a towing or storage provider on rates.

(d) The Towing Fees and Access Notice shall be a standardized document plainly printed in no less that 10-point type. A person may distribute the form using its own letterhead, but the language of the Towing Fees and Access Notice shall read as follows:

Towing Fees and Access Notice

Note: The following information is intended to serve as a general summary of some of the laws that provide vehicle owners certain rights when their vehicle is towed. It is not intended to summarize all of the laws that may be applicable nor is it intended to fully and completely state the entire law in any area listed. Please review the applicable California code for a definitive statement of the law in your particular situation.

How much can a towing company charge?

Rates for public tows and storage are generally established by an agreement between the law enforcement agency requesting the tow and the towing company (to confirm the approved rates, you may contact the law enforcement agency that initiated the tow; additionally, these rates are required to be posted at the storage facility).

Rates for private property tows and storage cannot exceed the approved rates for the law enforcement agency that has primary jurisdiction for the property from which the vehicle was removed or the towing company’s approved CHP rate.

Rates for owner’s request tows and storage are generally established by mutual agreement between the requestor and the towing company, but may be dictated by agreements established between the requestor’s motor club and motor club service provider.

Where can you complain about a towing company?

For public tows: Contact the law enforcement agency initiating the tow.

Your rights if your vehicle is towed:

Generally, prior to paying any towing and storage-related fees you have the right to:

● Receive an itemized invoice of actual charges.

● Receive your personal property, at no charge, during normal business hours.

● Retrieve your vehicle during the first 72 hours of storage and not pay a lien fee.

● Request a copy of the Towing Fees and Access Notice.

● Pay by cash or valid bank credit card.

● Inspect your vehicle or have your insurance carrier inspect your vehicle at the storage facility, at no charge, during normal business hours.

You have the right to have the vehicle released to you upon (1) payment of all towing and storage-related fees, (2) presentation of a valid photo identification, (3) presentation of reliable documentation showing that you are the owner of the vehicle or that the owner has authorized you to take possession of the vehicle, and (4), if applicable, presentation of any required police or law enforcement release documents.

Prior to your vehicle being repaired:

● You have the right to choose the repair facility and to have no repairs made to your vehicle unless you authorize them in writing.

● Any authorization you sign for towing and any authorization you sign for repair must be on separate forms.

What if I do not pay the towing and storage-related fees or abandon my vehicle at the towing company?

Pursuant to Sections 3068.1 to 3074, inclusive, of the Civil Code, a towing company may sell your vehicle and any moneys received will be applied to towing and storage-related fees that have accumulated against your vehicle.

You are responsible for paying the towing company any outstanding balance due on any of these fees once the sale is complete.

Who is liable if my vehicle was damaged during towing or storage?

Generally the owner of a vehicle may recover for any damage to the vehicle resulting from any intentional or negligent act of a person causing the removal of, or removing, the vehicle.

What happens if a towing company violates the law?

If a tow company does not satisfactorily meet certain requirements detailed in this notice, you may bring a lawsuit in court, generally in small claims court. The tower may be civilly liable for damages up to two times the amount charged, not to exceed $500, and possibly more for certain violations.

(e) “Itemized invoice,” as used in this section, means a written document that contains the following information. Any document that substantially complies with this subdivision shall be deemed an “itemized invoice” for purposes of this section:

(1) The name, address, telephone number, and carrier identification number as required by subdivision (a) of Section 34507.5 of the person that is charging for towing and storage.

(2) If ascertainable, the registered owner or operator’s name, address, and telephone number.

(3) The date service was initiated.

(4) The location of the vehicle at the time service was initiated, including either the address or nearest intersecting roadways.

(5) A vehicle description that includes, if ascertainable, the vehicle year, make, model, odometer reading, license plate number, or if a license plate number is unavailable, the vehicle identification number (VIN).

(6) The service dispatch time, the service arrival time of the tow truck, and the service completion time.

(7) A clear, itemized, and detailed explanation of any additional services that caused the total towing-related service time to exceed one hour between service dispatch time and service completion time.

(8) The hourly rate or per item rate used to calculate the total towing and recovery-related fees. These fees shall be listed as separate line items.

(9) If subject to storage fees, the daily storage rate and the total number of days stored. The storage fees shall be listed as a separate line item.

(10) If subject to a gate fee, the date and time the vehicle was either accessed, for the purposes of returning personal property, or was released after normal business hours. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., inclusive, except state holidays. A gate fee shall be listed as a separate line item.

(11) A description of the method of towing.

(12) If the tow was not requested by the vehicle’s owner or driver, the identity of the person or governmental agency that directed the tow. This paragraph shall not apply to information otherwise required to be redacted under Section 22658.

(13) A clear, itemized, and detailed explanation of any additional services or fees.

(f) “Person,” as used in this section, includes those entities described in subdivision (a) and has the same meaning as described in Section 470.

(g) An insurer or insurer’s agent shall be permitted to pay for towing and storage charges by bank draft.

(h) A person who violates this section is civilly liable to a registered or legal owner of the vehicle, or a registered owner’s insurer, for up to two times the amount charged. For any action brought under this section, liability shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500) per vehicle.

(i) This section shall not apply to the towing or storage of a repossessed vehicle by any person subject to, or exempt from, the Collateral Recovery Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code).

(j) This section does not relieve a person from the obligation to comply with the provision of any other law.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 740, Sec. 16. (AB 281) Effective January 1, 2016.)

22651.1.
  

Persons operating or in charge of any storage facility where vehicles are stored pursuant to Section 22651 shall accept a valid bank credit card or cash for payment of towing and storage by the registered owner, legal owner, or the owner’s agent claiming the vehicle. A credit card shall be in the name of the person presenting the card. “Credit card” means “credit card” as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1747.02 of the Civil Code, except, for the purposes of this section, credit card does not include a credit card issued by a retail seller. A person operating or in charge of any storage facility who refuses to accept a valid bank credit card shall be liable to the owner of the vehicle or to the person who tendered the fees for four times the amount of the towing and storage charges, but not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). In addition, persons operating or in charge of the storage facility shall have sufficient funds on the premises to accommodate and make change in a reasonable monetary transaction.

Credit charges for towing and storage services shall comply with Section 1748.1 of the Civil Code. Law enforcement agencies may include the costs of providing for payment by credit when agreeing with a towing or storage provider on rates.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 322, Sec. 9. (AB 515) Effective January 1, 2010.)

22651.2.
  

(a) Any peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or any regularly employed and salaried employee, who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations of a city, county, or jurisdiction of a state agency in which a vehicle is located, may remove a vehicle located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee may act when the vehicle is found upon a highway or any public lands, and if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(1) Because of the size and placement of signs or placards on the vehicle, it appears that the primary purpose of parking the vehicle at that location is to advertise to the public an event or function on private property or on public property hired for a private event or function to which the public is invited.

(2) The vehicle is known to have been previously issued a notice of parking violation that was accompanied by a notice warning that an additional parking violation may result in the impoundment of the vehicle.

(3) The registered owner of the vehicle has been mailed a notice advising of the existence of the parking violation and that an additional violation may result in the impoundment of the vehicle.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a vehicle bearing any sign or placard advertising any business or enterprise carried on by or through the use of that vehicle.

(c) Section 22852 applies to the removal of any vehicle pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 17, Sec. 144. Effective January 1, 1998.)

22651.3.
  

(a) Any peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or any regularly employed and salaried employee, who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations, of a city, county, or jurisdiction of a state agency in which any vehicle, other than a rented vehicle, is located may remove the vehicle from an offstreet public parking facility located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee may act when the vehicle is known to have been issued five or more notices of parking violation over a period of five or more days, to which the owner or person in control of the vehicle has not responded or when any vehicle is illegally parked so as to prevent the movement of a legally parked vehicle.

A notice of parking violation issued to a vehicle which is registered in a foreign jurisdiction or is without current California registration and is known to have been issued five or more notices of parking violation over a period of five or more days shall be accompanied by a warning that repeated violations may result in the impounding of the vehicle.

(b) The vehicle may be impounded until the owner or person in control of the vehicle furnishes to the impounding law enforcement agency evidence of his or her identity and an address within this state at which he or she can be located and furnishes satisfactory evidence that bail has been deposited for all notices of parking violation issued for the vehicle. In lieu of requiring satisfactory evidence that the bail has been deposited, the impounding law enforcement agency may, in its discretion, issue a notice to appear for the offenses charged, as provided in Article 2 (commencing with Section 40500) of Chapter 2 of Division 17. In lieu of either furnishing satisfactory evidence that the bail has been deposited or accepting the notice to appear, the owner or person in control of the vehicle may demand to be taken without unnecessary delay before a magistrate within the county in which the offenses charged are alleged to have been committed and who has jurisdiction of the offenses and is nearest or most accessible with reference to the place where the vehicle is impounded.

(c) Evidence of current registration shall be produced after a vehicle has been impounded. At the discretion of the impounding law enforcement agency, a notice to appear for violation of subdivision (a) of Section 4000 may be issued to the owner or person in control of the vehicle, if the two days immediately following the day of impoundment are weekend days or holidays.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1142, Sec. 10. Effective September 30, 1996.)

22651.4.
  

(a) A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may impound a vehicle and its cargo pursuant to Section 34517.

(b) A member of the department may impound a vehicle and its cargo pursuant to Section 34518.

(c) A member of the department may store or impound a vehicle upon determination that the registrant of the vehicle or the driver of the vehicle has failed to pay registration, regulatory, fuel permit, or other fees, or has an outstanding warrant in a county in the state. The impoundment charges are the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle. The stored or impounded vehicle shall be released upon payment of those fees or fines or the posting of bail. The driver or owner of the vehicle may request a hearing to determine the validity of the seizure.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 288, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2007.)

22651.5.
  

(a) Any peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or any regularly employed and salaried employee who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws or regulations, may, upon the complaint of any person, remove a vehicle parked within 500 feet of any occupied building of a school, community college, or university during normal hours of operation, or a vehicle parked within a residence or business district, from a highway or from public or private property, if an alarm device or horn has been activated within the vehicle, whether continuously activated or intermittently and repeatedly activated, the peace officer or designated employee is unable to locate the owner of the vehicle within 20 minutes from the time of arrival at the vehicle’s location, and the alarm device or horn has not been completely silenced prior to removal.

(b) Upon removal of a vehicle from a highway or from public or private property pursuant to this section, the peace officer or designated employee ordering the removal shall immediately report the removal and the location to which the vehicle is removed to the Stolen Vehicle System of the Department of Justice.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 945, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 1998.)

22651.6.
  

A peace officer or employee specified in Section 22651 may remove a vehicle located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee may act when the vehicle was used by a person who was engaged in a motor vehicle speed contest, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 23109, and the person was arrested and taken into custody for that offense by a peace officer.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 884, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)

22651.7.
  

(a) In addition to, or as an alternative to, removal, a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or a regularly employed and salaried employee who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations, of a jurisdiction in which a vehicle is located may immobilize the vehicle with a device designed and manufactured for the immobilization of vehicles, on a highway or any public lands located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee may act if the vehicle is found upon a highway or public lands and it is known to have been issued five or more notices of parking violations that are delinquent because the owner or person in control of the vehicle has not responded to the agency responsible for processing notices of parking violation within 21 calendar days of notice of citation issuance or citation issuance or 14 calendar days of the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking violation, or the registered owner of the vehicle is known to have been issued five or more notices for failure to pay or failure to appear in court for traffic violations for which no certificate has been issued by the magistrate or clerk of the court hearing the case showing that the case has been adjudicated or concerning which the registered owner’s record has not been cleared pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 41500) of Division 17. The vehicle may be immobilized until that person furnishes to the immobilizing law enforcement agency all of the following:

(1) Evidence of his or her identity.

(2) An address within this state at which he or she can be located.

(3) Satisfactory evidence that the full amount of parking penalties has been deposited for all notices of parking violation issued for the vehicle and any other vehicle registered to the registered owner of the immobilized vehicle and that bail has been deposited for all traffic violations of the registered owner that have not been cleared. The requirements in this paragraph shall be fully enforced by the immobilizing law enforcement agency on and after the time that the Department of Motor Vehicles is able to provide access to the necessary records. A notice of parking violation issued to the vehicle shall be accompanied by a warning that repeated violations may result in the impounding or immobilization of the vehicle. In lieu of furnishing satisfactory evidence that the full amount of parking penalties or bail, or both, have been deposited that person may demand to be taken without unnecessary delay before a magistrate, for traffic offenses, or a hearing examiner, for parking offenses, within the county in which the offenses charged are alleged to have been committed and who has jurisdiction of the offenses and is nearest or most accessible with reference to the place where the vehicle is immobilized. Evidence of current registration shall be produced after a vehicle has been immobilized or, at the discretion of the immobilizing law enforcement agency, a notice to appear for violation of subdivision (a) of Section 4000 shall be issued to that person.

(b) A person, other than a person authorized under subdivision (a), shall not immobilize a vehicle.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 609, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2007.)

22651.8.
  

For purposes of paragraph (1) of subdivision (i) of Section 22651 and Section 22651.7, “satisfactory evidence” includes, but is not limited to, a copy of a receipt issued by the department pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4760 for the payment of notices of parking violations appearing on the department’s records at the time of payment. The processing agency shall, within 72 hours of receiving that satisfactory evidence, update its records to reflect the payments made to the department. If the processing agency does not receive the amount of the parking penalties and administrative fees from the department within four months of the date of issuance of that satisfactory evidence, the processing agency may revise its records to reflect that no payments were received for the notices of parking violation.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 587, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1992, by Sec. 4 of Ch. 587.)

22651.9.
  

(a) Any peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or any regularly employed and salaried employee, who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations, of a city, county, or city and county in which a vehicle is located, may remove a vehicle located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee may act when the vehicle is found upon a street or any public lands, if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(1) Because of a sign or placard on the vehicle, it appears that the primary purpose of parking the vehicle at that location is to advertise to the public the private sale of that vehicle.

(2) Within the past 30 days, the vehicle is known to have been previously issued a notice of parking violation, under local ordinance, which was accompanied by a notice containing all of the following:

(A) A warning that an additional parking violation may result in the impoundment of the vehicle.

(B) A warning that the vehicle may be impounded pursuant to this section, even if moved to another street, so long as the signs or placards offering the vehicle for sale remain on the vehicle.

(C) A listing of the streets or public lands subject to the resolution or ordinance adopted pursuant to paragraph (4), or if all streets are covered, a statement to that effect.

(3) The notice of parking violation was issued at least 24 hours prior to the removal of the vehicle.

(4) The local authority of the city, county, or city and county has, by resolution or ordinance, authorized the removal of vehicles pursuant to this section from the street or public lands on which the vehicle is located.

(b) Section 22852 applies to the removal of any vehicle pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 481, Sec. 1. Effective September 27, 1993.)

22652.
  

(a) A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or any regularly employed and salaried employee engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations of a city, county, or jurisdiction of a state agency may remove any vehicle from a stall or space designated for physically disabled persons pursuant to Section 22511.7 or 22511.8, located within the jurisdictional limits in which the officer or employee is authorized to act, if the vehicle is parked in violation of Section 22507.8 and if the police or sheriff’s department or the Department of the California Highway Patrol is notified.

(b) In a privately or publicly owned or operated offstreet parking facility, this section applies only to those stalls and spaces if the posting requirements under subdivisions (a) and (d) of Section 22511.8 have been complied with and if the stalls or spaces are clearly signed or marked.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 404, Sec. 17. Effective January 1, 2005.)

22652.5.
  

The owner or person in lawful possession of an offstreet parking facility, or any local authority owning or operating an offstreet parking facility, who causes a vehicle to be removed from the parking facility pursuant to Section 22511.8, or any state, city, or county employee, is not civilly liable for the removal if the police or sheriff’s department in whose jurisdiction the offstreet parking facility or the stall or space is located or the Department of the California Highway Patrol has been notified prior to the removal.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 232, Sec. 1. Effective July 14, 1983.)

22652.6.
  

Any peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or any regularly employed and salaried employee engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations of a city or county, may remove any vehicle parked or standing on the streets or highways or from a stall or space of a privately or publicly owned or operated offstreet parking facility within the jurisdiction of the city or county when the vehicle is in violation of a local ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to Section 22511.57.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 221, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1995. Operative July 1, 1995, by Sec. 5 of Ch. 221.)

22653.
  

(a) Any peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, other than an employee directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations, may remove a vehicle from private property located within the territorial limits in which the officer is empowered to act, when a report has previously been made that the vehicle has been stolen or a complaint has been filed and a warrant thereon issued charging that the vehicle has been embezzled.

(b) Any peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may, after a reasonable period of time, remove a vehicle from private property located within the territorial limits in which the officer is empowered to act, if the vehicle has been involved in, and left at the scene of, a traffic accident and no owner is available to grant permission to remove the vehicle. This subdivision does not authorize the removal of a vehicle where the owner has been contacted and has refused to grant permission to remove the vehicle.

(c) Any peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may, at the request of the property owner or person in lawful possession of any private property, remove a vehicle from private property located within the territorial limits in which the officer is empowered to act when an officer arrests any person driving or in control of a vehicle for an alleged offense and the officer is, by this code or other law, required or authorized to take, and does take the person arrested before a magistrate without unnecessary delay.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 912, Sec. 3.)

22654.
  

(a) Whenever any peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or other employee directing traffic or enforcing parking laws and regulations, finds a vehicle standing upon a highway, located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee is empowered to act, in violation of Sections 22500 and 22504, the officer or employee may move the vehicle or require the driver or other person in charge of the vehicle to move it to the nearest available position off the roadway or to the nearest parking location, or may remove and store the vehicle if moving it off the roadway to a parking location is impracticable.

(b) Whenever the officer or employee finds a vehicle standing upon a street, located within the territorial limits in which the officer or employee is empowered to act, in violation of a traffic ordinance enacted by local authorities to prevent flooding of adjacent property, he or she may move the vehicle or require the driver or person in charge of the vehicle to move it to the nearest available location in the vicinity where parking is permitted.

(c) Any state, county, or city authority charged with the maintenance of any highway may move any vehicle which is disabled or abandoned or which constitutes an obstruction to traffic from the place where it is located on a highway to the nearest available position on the same highway as may be necessary to keep the highway open or safe for public travel. In addition, employees of the Department of Transportation may remove any disabled vehicle which constitutes an obstruction to traffic on a freeway from the place where it is located to the nearest available location where parking is permitted; and, if the vehicle is unoccupied, the department shall comply with the notice requirements of subdivision (d).

(d) Any state, county, or city authority charged with the maintenance or operation of any highway, highway facility, or public works facility, in cases necessitating the prompt performance of any work on or service to the highway, highway facility, or public works facility, may move to the nearest available location where parking is permitted, any unattended vehicle which obstructs or interferes with the performance of the work or service or may remove and store the vehicle if moving it off the roadway to a location where parking is permitted would be impracticable. If the vehicle is moved to another location where it is not readily visible from its former parked location or it is stored, the person causing the movement or storage of the vehicle shall immediately, by the most expeditious means, notify the owner of the vehicle of its location. If for any reason the vehicle owner cannot be so notified, the person causing the vehicle to be moved or stored shall immediately, by the most expeditious means, notify the police department of the city in which the vehicle was parked, or, if the vehicle had been parked in an unincorporated area of a county, notify the sheriff’s department and nearest office of the California Highway Patrol in that county. No vehicle may be removed and stored pursuant to this subdivision unless signs indicating that no person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle within the areas marked by the signs because the work or service would be done, were placed at least 24 hours prior to the movement or removal and storage.

(e) Whenever any peace officer finds a vehicle parked or standing upon a highway in a manner so as to obstruct necessary emergency services, or the routing of traffic at the scene of a disaster, the officer may move the vehicle or require the driver or other person in charge of the vehicle to move it to the nearest available parking location. If the vehicle is unoccupied, and moving the vehicle to a parking location is impractical, the officer may store the vehicle pursuant to Sections 22850 and 22852 and subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 22853. If the vehicle so moved or stored was otherwise lawfully parked, no moving or storage charges shall be assessed against or collected from the driver or owner.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 913, Sec. 2.)

22655.
  

(a) When any peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code or any regularly employed and salaried employee who is engaged in directing traffic or enforcing parking statutes and regulations, has reasonable cause to believe that a motor vehicle on a highway or on private property open to the general public onto which the public is explicitly or implicitly invited, located within the territorial limits in which the officer is empowered to act, has been involved in a hit-and-run accident, and the operator of the vehicle has failed to stop and comply with Sections 20002 to 20006, inclusive, the officer may remove the vehicle from the highway or from public or private property for the purpose of inspection.

(b) Unless sooner released, the vehicle shall be released upon the expiration of 48 hours after the removal from the highway or private property upon demand of the owner. When determining the 48-hour period, weekends, and holidays shall not be included.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), when a motor vehicle to be inspected pursuant to subdivision (a) is a commercial vehicle, any cargo within the vehicle may be removed or transferred to another vehicle.

This section shall not be construed to authorize the removal of any vehicle from an enclosed structure on private property that is not open to the general public.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 945, Sec. 21. Effective January 1, 1998.)

22655.3.
  

Any peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, pursuing a fleeing or evading person in a motor vehicle may remove and store, or cause to be removed and stored, any vehicle used in violation of Section 2800.1 or 2800.2 from property other than that of the registered owner of the vehicle for the purposes of investigation, identification, or apprehension of the driver if the driver of the vehicle abandons the vehicle and leaves it unattended. All towing and storage fees for a vehicle removed under this section shall be paid by the owner, unless the vehicle was stolen or taken without permission.

No vehicle shall be impounded under this section if the driver is arrested before arrival of the towing equipment or if the registered owner is in the vehicle.

As used in this section, “remove and store a vehicle” means that the peace officer may cause the removal of a vehicle to, and storage of a vehicle in, a private lot where the vehicle may be secured by the owner of the facility or by the owner’s representative.

This section is not intended to change current statute and case law governing searches and seizures.

(Added by renumbering Section 22651.7 (as added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 279) by Stats. 1988, Ch. 160, Sec. 181.)

22655.5.
  

A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may remove a motor vehicle from the highway or from public or private property within the territorial limits in which the officer may act under the following circumstances:

(a) When any vehicle is found upon a highway or public or private property and a peace officer has probable cause to believe that the vehicle was used as the means of committing a public offense.

(b) When any vehicle is found upon a highway or public or private property and a peace officer has probable cause to believe that the vehicle is itself evidence which tends to show that a crime has been committed or that the vehicle contains evidence, which cannot readily be removed, which tends to show that a crime has been committed.

(c) Notwithstanding Section 3068 of the Civil Code or Section 22851 of this code, no lien shall attach to a vehicle removed under this section unless the vehicle was used by the alleged perpetrator of the crime with the express or implied permission of the owner of the vehicle.

(d) In any prosecution of the crime for which a vehicle was impounded pursuant to this section, the prosecutor may request, and the court may order, the perpetrator of the crime, if convicted, to pay the costs of towing and storage of the vehicle, and any administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5.

(e) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1993.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1142, Sec. 12. Effective September 30, 1996.)

22656.
  

Any peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may remove a vehicle from the right-of-way of a railroad, street railway, or light rail line located within the territorial limits in which the officer is empowered to act if the vehicle is parked or abandoned upon any track or within 71/2 feet of the nearest rail. The officer may also remove a vehicle that is parked beyond 71/2 feet of the nearest rail but within the right-of-way of a railroad, street railway, or light rail if signs are posted giving notice that vehicles may be removed.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 438, Sec. 29. Effective January 1, 2003.)

22658.
  

(a) The owner or person in lawful possession of private property, including an association of a common interest development as defined in Sections 4080 and 4100 or Sections 6528 and 6534 of the Civil Code, may cause the removal of a vehicle parked on the property to a storage facility that meets the requirements of subdivision (n) under any of the following circumstances:

(1) There is displayed, in plain view at all entrances to the property, a sign not less than 17 inches by 22 inches in size, with lettering not less than one inch in height, prohibiting public parking and indicating that vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense, and containing the telephone number of the local traffic law enforcement agency and the name and telephone number of each towing company that is a party to a written general towing authorization agreement with the owner or person in lawful possession of the property. The sign may also indicate that a citation may also be issued for the violation.

(2) The vehicle has been issued a notice of parking violation, and 96 hours have elapsed since the issuance of that notice.

(3) The vehicle is on private property and lacks an engine, transmission, wheels, tires, doors, windshield, or any other major part or equipment necessary to operate safely on the highways, the owner or person in lawful possession of the private property has notified the local traffic law enforcement agency, and 24 hours have elapsed since that notification.

(4) The lot or parcel upon which the vehicle is parked is improved with a single-family dwelling.

(b) The tow truck operator removing the vehicle, if the operator knows or is able to ascertain from the property owner, person in lawful possession of the property, or the registration records of the Department of Motor Vehicles the name and address of the registered and legal owner of the vehicle, shall immediately give, or cause to be given, notice in writing to the registered and legal owner of the fact of the removal, the grounds for the removal, and indicate the place to which the vehicle has been removed. If the vehicle is stored in a storage facility, a copy of the notice shall be given to the proprietor of the storage facility. The notice provided for in this section shall include the amount of mileage on the vehicle at the time of removal and the time of the removal from the property. If the tow truck operator does not know and is not able to ascertain the name of the owner or for any other reason is unable to give the notice to the owner as provided in this section, the tow truck operator shall comply with the requirements of subdivision (c) of Section 22853 relating to notice in the same manner as applicable to an officer removing a vehicle from private property.

(c) This section does not limit or affect any right or remedy that the owner or person in lawful possession of private property may have by virtue of other provisions of law authorizing the removal of a vehicle parked upon private property.

(d) The owner of a vehicle removed from private property pursuant to subdivision (a) may recover for any damage to the vehicle resulting from any intentional or negligent act of a person causing the removal of, or removing, the vehicle.

(e) (1) An owner or person in lawful possession of private property, or an association of a common interest development, causing the removal of a vehicle parked on that property is liable for double the storage or towing charges whenever there has been a failure to comply with paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a) or to state the grounds for the removal of the vehicle if requested by the legal or registered owner of the vehicle as required by subdivision (f).

(2) A property owner or owner’s agent or lessee who causes the removal of a vehicle parked on that property pursuant to the exemption set forth in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (l) and fails to comply with that subdivision is guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(f) An owner or person in lawful possession of private property, or an association of a common interest development, causing the removal of a vehicle parked on that property shall notify by telephone or, if impractical, by the most expeditious means available, the local traffic law enforcement agency within one hour after authorizing the tow. An owner or person in lawful possession of private property, an association of a common interest development, causing the removal of a vehicle parked on that property, or the tow truck operator who removes the vehicle, shall state the grounds for the removal of the vehicle if requested by the legal or registered owner of that vehicle. A towing company that removes a vehicle from private property in compliance with subdivision (l) is not responsible in a situation relating to the validity of the removal. A towing company that removes the vehicle under this section shall be responsible for the following:

(1) Damage to the vehicle in the transit and subsequent storage of the vehicle.

(2) The removal of a vehicle other than the vehicle specified by the owner or other person in lawful possession of the private property.

(g) (1) (A) Possession of a vehicle under this section shall be deemed to arise when a vehicle is removed from private property and is in transit.

(B) Upon the request of the owner of the vehicle or that owner’s agent, the towing company or its driver shall immediately and unconditionally release a vehicle that is not yet removed from the private property and in transit.

(C) A person failing to comply with subparagraph (B) is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(2) If a vehicle is released to a person in compliance with subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), the vehicle owner or authorized agent shall immediately move that vehicle to a lawful location.

(h) A towing company may impose a charge of not more than one-half of the regular towing charge for the towing of a vehicle at the request of the owner, the owner’s agent, or the person in lawful possession of the private property pursuant to this section if the owner of the vehicle or the vehicle owner’s agent returns to the vehicle after the vehicle is coupled to the tow truck by means of a regular hitch, coupling device, drawbar, portable dolly, or is lifted off the ground by means of a conventional trailer, and before it is removed from the private property. The regular towing charge may only be imposed after the vehicle has been removed from the property and is in transit.

(i) (1) (A) A charge for towing or storage, or both, of a vehicle under this section is excessive if the charge exceeds the greater of the following:

(i) That which would have been charged for that towing or storage, or both, made at the request of a law enforcement agency under an agreement between a towing company and the law enforcement agency that exercises primary jurisdiction in the city in which is located the private property from which the vehicle was, or was attempted to be, removed, or if the private property is not located within a city, then the law enforcement agency that exercises primary jurisdiction in the county in which the private property is located.

(ii) That which would have been charged for that towing or storage, or both, under the rate approved for that towing operator by the Department of the California Highway Patrol for the jurisdiction in which the private property is located and from which the vehicle was, or was attempted to be, removed.

(B) A towing operator shall make available for inspection and copying his or her rate approved by the Department of the California Highway Patrol, if any, within 24 hours of a request without a warrant to law enforcement, the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney.

(2) If a vehicle is released within 24 hours from the time the vehicle is brought into the storage facility, regardless of the calendar date, the storage charge shall be for only one day. Not more than one day’s storage charge may be required for a vehicle released the same day that it is stored.

(3) If a request to release a vehicle is made and the appropriate fees are tendered and documentation establishing that the person requesting release is entitled to possession of the vehicle, or is the owner’s insurance representative, is presented within the initial 24 hours of storage, and the storage facility fails to comply with the request to release the vehicle or is not open for business during normal business hours, then only one day’s storage charge may be required to be paid until after the first business day. A business day is any day in which the lienholder is open for business to the public for at least eight hours. If a request is made more than 24 hours after the vehicle is placed in storage, charges may be imposed on a full calendar day basis for each day, or part thereof, that the vehicle is in storage.

(j) (1) A person who charges a vehicle owner a towing, service, or storage charge at an excessive rate, as described in subdivision (h) or (i), is civilly liable to the vehicle owner for four times the amount charged.

(2) A person who knowingly charges a vehicle owner a towing, service, or storage charge at an excessive rate, as described in subdivision (h) or (i), or who fails to make available his or her rate as required in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (i), is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than three months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(k) (1) A person operating or in charge of a storage facility where vehicles are stored pursuant to this section shall accept a valid bank credit card or cash for payment of towing and storage by a registered owner, the legal owner, or the owner’s agent claiming the vehicle. A credit card shall be in the name of the person presenting the card. “Credit card” means “credit card” as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1747.02 of the Civil Code, except, for the purposes of this section, credit card does not include a credit card issued by a retail seller.

(2) A person described in paragraph (1) shall conspicuously display, in that portion of the storage facility office where business is conducted with the public, a notice advising that all valid credit cards and cash are acceptable means of payment.

(3) A person operating or in charge of a storage facility who refuses to accept a valid credit card or who fails to post the required notice under paragraph (2) is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than three months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(4) A person described in paragraph (1) who violates paragraph (1) or (2) is civilly liable to the registered owner of the vehicle or the person who tendered the fees for four times the amount of the towing and storage charges.

(5) A person operating or in charge of the storage facility shall have sufficient moneys on the premises of the primary storage facility during normal business hours to accommodate, and make change in, a reasonable monetary transaction.

(6) Credit charges for towing and storage services shall comply with Section 1748.1 of the Civil Code. Law enforcement agencies may include the costs of providing for payment by credit when making agreements with towing companies as described in subdivision (i).

(l) (1) (A) A towing company shall not remove or commence the removal of a vehicle from private property without first obtaining the written authorization from the property owner or lessee, including an association of a common interest development, or an employee or agent thereof, who shall be present at the time of removal and verify the alleged violation, except that presence and verification is not required if the person authorizing the tow is the property owner, or the owner’s agent who is not a tow operator, of a residential rental property of 15 or fewer units that does not have an onsite owner, owner’s agent or employee, and the tenant has verified the violation, requested the tow from that tenant’s assigned parking space, and provided a signed request or electronic mail, or has called and provides a signed request or electronic mail within 24 hours, to the property owner or owner’s agent, which the owner or agent shall provide to the towing company within 48 hours of authorizing the tow. The signed request or electronic mail shall contain the name and address of the tenant, and the date and time the tenant requested the tow. A towing company shall obtain, within 48 hours of receiving the written authorization to tow, a copy of a tenant request required pursuant to this subparagraph. For the purpose of this subparagraph, a person providing the written authorization who is required to be present on the private property at the time of the tow does not have to be physically present at the specified location of where the vehicle to be removed is located on the private property.

(B) The written authorization under subparagraph (A) shall include all of the following:

(i) The make, model, vehicle identification number, and license plate number of the removed vehicle.

(ii) The name, signature, job title, residential or business address, and working telephone number of the person, described in subparagraph (A), authorizing the removal of the vehicle.

(iii) The grounds for the removal of the vehicle.

(iv) The time when the vehicle was first observed parked at the private property.

(v) The time that authorization to tow the vehicle was given.

(C) (i) When the vehicle owner or his or her agent claims the vehicle, the towing company prior to payment of a towing or storage charge shall provide a photocopy of the written authorization to the vehicle owner or the agent.

(ii) If the vehicle was towed from a residential property, the towing company shall redact the information specified in clause (ii) of subparagraph (B) in the photocopy of the written authorization provided to the vehicle owner or the agent pursuant to clause (i).

(iii) The towing company shall also provide to the vehicle owner or the agent a separate notice that provides the telephone number of the appropriate local law enforcement or prosecuting agency by stating “If you believe that you have been wrongfully towed, please contact the local law enforcement or prosecuting agency at [insert appropriate telephone number].” The notice shall be in English and in the most populous language, other than English, that is spoken in the jurisdiction.

(D) A towing company shall not remove or commence the removal of a vehicle from private property described in subdivision (a) of Section 22953 unless the towing company has made a good faith inquiry to determine that the owner or the property owner’s agent complied with Section 22953.

(E) (i) General authorization to remove or commence removal of a vehicle at the towing company’s discretion shall not be delegated to a towing company or its affiliates except in the case of a vehicle unlawfully parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane, or in a manner which interferes with an entrance to, or exit from, the private property.

(ii) In those cases in which general authorization is granted to a towing company or its affiliate to undertake the removal or commence the removal of a vehicle that is unlawfully parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane, or that interferes with an entrance to, or exit from, private property, the towing company and the property owner, or owner’s agent, or person in lawful possession of the private property shall have a written agreement granting that general authorization.

(2) If a towing company removes a vehicle under a general authorization described in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (1) and that vehicle is unlawfully parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane, or in a manner that interferes with an entrance to, or exit from, the private property, the towing company shall take, prior to the removal of that vehicle, a photograph of the vehicle that clearly indicates that parking violation. Prior to accepting payment, the towing company shall keep one copy of the photograph taken pursuant to this paragraph, and shall present that photograph and provide, without charge, a photocopy to the owner or an agent of the owner, when that person claims the vehicle.

(3) A towing company shall maintain the original written authorization, or the general authorization described in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (1) and the photograph of the violation, required pursuant to this section, and any written requests from a tenant to the property owner or owner’s agent required by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), for a period of three years and shall make them available for inspection and copying within 24 hours of a request without a warrant to law enforcement, the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney.

(4) A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than three months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(5) A person who violates this subdivision is civilly liable to the owner of the vehicle or his or her agent for four times the amount of the towing and storage charges.

(m) (1) A towing company that removes a vehicle from private property under this section shall notify the local law enforcement agency of that tow after the vehicle is removed from the private property and is in transit.

(2) A towing company is guilty of a misdemeanor if the towing company fails to provide the notification required under paragraph (1) within 60 minutes after the vehicle is removed from the private property and is in transit or 15 minutes after arriving at the storage facility, whichever time is less.

(3) A towing company that does not provide the notification under paragraph (1) within 30 minutes after the vehicle is removed from the private property and is in transit is civilly liable to the registered owner of the vehicle, or the person who tenders the fees, for three times the amount of the towing and storage charges.

(4) If notification is impracticable, the times for notification, as required pursuant to paragraphs (2) and (3), shall be tolled for the time period that notification is impracticable. This paragraph is an affirmative defense.

(n) A vehicle removed from private property pursuant to this section shall be stored in a facility that meets all of the following requirements:

(1) (A) Is located within a 10-mile radius of the property from where the vehicle was removed.

(B) The 10-mile radius requirement of subparagraph (A) does not apply if a towing company has prior general written approval from the law enforcement agency that exercises primary jurisdiction in the city in which is located the private property from which the vehicle was removed, or if the private property is not located within a city, then the law enforcement agency that exercises primary jurisdiction in the county in which is located the private property.

(2) (A) Remains open during normal business hours and releases vehicles after normal business hours.

(B) A gate fee may be charged for releasing a vehicle after normal business hours, weekends, and state holidays. However, the maximum hourly charge for releasing a vehicle after normal business hours shall be one-half of the hourly tow rate charged for initially towing the vehicle, or less.

(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and for purposes of this paragraph, “normal business hours” are Monday to Friday, inclusive, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., inclusive, except state holidays.

(3) Has a public pay telephone in the office area that is open and accessible to the public.

(o) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature in the adoption of subdivision (k) to assist vehicle owners or their agents by, among other things, allowing payment by credit cards for towing and storage services, thereby expediting the recovery of towed vehicles and concurrently promoting the safety and welfare of the public.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature in the adoption of subdivision (l) to further the safety of the general public by ensuring that a private property owner or lessee has provided his or her authorization for the removal of a vehicle from his or her property, thereby promoting the safety of those persons involved in ordering the removal of the vehicle as well as those persons removing, towing, and storing the vehicle.

(3) It is the intent of the Legislature in the adoption of subdivision (g) to promote the safety of the general public by requiring towing companies to unconditionally release a vehicle that is not lawfully in their possession, thereby avoiding the likelihood of dangerous and violent confrontation and physical injury to vehicle owners and towing operators, the stranding of vehicle owners and their passengers at a dangerous time and location, and impeding expedited vehicle recovery, without wasting law enforcement’s limited resources.

(p) The remedies, sanctions, restrictions, and procedures provided in this section are not exclusive and are in addition to other remedies, sanctions, restrictions, or procedures that may be provided in other provisions of law, including, but not limited to, those that are provided in Sections 12110 and 34660.

(q) A vehicle removed and stored pursuant to this section shall be released by the law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or person in possession of the vehicle, or any person acting on behalf of them, to the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent upon presentation of the assignment, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 7500.1 of the Business and Professions Code; a release from the one responsible governmental agency, only if required by the agency; a government-issued photographic identification card; and any one of the following as determined by the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent: a certificate of repossession for the vehicle, a security agreement for the vehicle, or title, whether paper or electronic, showing proof of legal ownership for the vehicle. Any documents presented may be originals, photocopies, or facsimile copies, or may be transmitted electronically. The storage facility shall not require any documents to be notarized. The storage facility may require the agent of the legal owner to produce a photocopy or facsimile copy of its repossession agency license or registration issued pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, or to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the storage facility, that the agent is exempt from licensure pursuant to Section 7500.2 or 7500.3 of the Business and Professions Code.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 181, Sec. 83) by Stats. 2013, Ch. 605, Sec. 52. (SB 752) Effective January 1, 2014.)

22658.1.
  

(a) Any towing company that, in removing a vehicle, cuts, removes, otherwise damages, or leaves open a fence without the prior approval of the property owner or the person in charge of the property shall then and there do either of the following:

(1) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property of the damage or open condition of the fence, the name and address of the towing company, and the license, registration, or identification number of the vehicle being removed.

(2) Leave in a conspicuous place on the property the name and address of the towing company, and the license, registration, or identification number of the vehicle being removed, and shall without unnecessary delay, notify the police department of the city in which the property is located, or if the property is located in unincorporated territory, either the sheriff or the local headquarters of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, of that information and the location of the damaged or opened fence.

(b) Any person failing to comply with all the requirements of this section is guilty of an infraction.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 854, Sec. 68. Effective January 1, 2002.)

22659.
  

Any peace officer of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or any person duly authorized by the state agency in possession of property owned by the state, or rented or leased from others by the state and any peace officer of the Department of the California Highway Patrol providing policing services to property of a district agricultural association may, subsequent to giving notice to the city police or county sheriff, whichever is appropriate, cause the removal of a vehicle from the property to the nearest public garage, under any of the following circumstances:

(a) When the vehicle is illegally parked in locations where signs are posted giving notice of violation and removal.

(b) When an officer arrests any person driving or in control of a vehicle for an alleged offense and the officer is by this code or other law required to take the person arrested before a magistrate without unnecessary delay.

(c) When any vehicle is found upon the property and report has previously been made that the vehicle has been stolen or complaint has been filed and a warrant thereon issued charging that the vehicle has been embezzled.

(d) When the person or persons in charge of a vehicle upon the property are by reason of physical injuries or illness incapacitated to that extent as to be unable to provide for its custody or removal.

The person causing removal of the vehicle shall comply with the requirements of Sections 22852 and 22853 relating to notice.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 305, Sec. 70. Effective January 1, 1997.)

22659.5.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a city or a county may adopt an ordinance declaring a motor vehicle to be a public nuisance subject to seizure and an impoundment period of up to 30 days when the motor vehicle is used in the commission or attempted commission of an act that violates Section 266h or 266i of, subdivision (h) of Section 374.3 of, or subdivision (b) of Section 647 of, the Penal Code, if the owner or operator of the vehicle has had a prior conviction for the same offense within the past three years. An ordinance adopted pursuant to this section may incorporate any combination or all of these offenses. The vehicle may only be impounded pursuant to a valid arrest of the driver for a violation of one of these provisions. An ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall, at a minimum, contain all of the following provisions:

(a) Within two working days after impoundment, the impounding agency shall send a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the legal owner of the vehicle, at the address obtained from the department, informing the owner that the vehicle has been impounded. The notice shall also include notice of the opportunity for a poststorage hearing to determine the validity of the storage or to determine mitigating circumstances establishing that the vehicle should be released. The impounding agency shall be prohibited from charging for more than five days’ storage if it fails to notify the legal owner within two working days after the impoundment when the legal owner redeems the impounded vehicle. The impounding agency shall maintain a published telephone number that provides information 24 hours a day regarding the impoundment of vehicles and the rights of a legal owner and a registered owner to request a hearing. The notice shall include all of the following information:

(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the agency providing the notice.

(2) The location of the place of storage and description of the vehicle, that shall include, if available, the model or make, the manufacturer, the license plate number, and the mileage.

(3) The authority and purpose for the removal of the vehicle.

(4) A statement that, in order to receive a poststorage hearing, the owners, or their agents, shall request the hearing in person, writing, or by telephone within 10 days of the date appearing on the notice.

(b) The poststorage hearing shall be conducted within 48 hours of the request, excluding weekends and holidays. The public agency may authorize one of its own officers or employees to conduct the hearing if that hearing officer is not the same person who directed the seizure of the vehicle.

(c) Failure of the legal and the registered owners, or their agents, to request or to attend a scheduled hearing shall satisfy the poststorage hearing requirement.

(d) The agency employing the person who directed the storage shall be responsible for the costs incurred for towing and storage if it is determined in the poststorage hearing that reasonable grounds for the storage are not established.

(e) Any period during which a vehicle is subjected to storage under an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be included as part of the period of impoundment.

(f) The impounding agency shall release the vehicle to the registered owner or his or her agent prior to the end of the impoundment period under any of the following circumstances:

(1) The driver of the impounded vehicle was arrested without probable cause.

(2) The vehicle is a stolen vehicle.

(3) The vehicle is subject to bailment and was driven by an unlicensed employee of a business establishment, including a parking service or repair garage.

(4) The driver of the vehicle is not the sole registered owner of the vehicle and the vehicle is being released to another registered owner of the vehicle who agrees not to allow the driver to use the vehicle until after the end of the impoundment period.

(5) The registered owner of the vehicle was neither the driver nor a passenger of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation, or was unaware that the driver was using the vehicle to engage in activities subject to Section 266h or 266i of, or subdivision (b) of Section 647 of, the Penal Code.

(6) A spouse, registered domestic partner, or other affected third party objects to the impoundment of the vehicle on the grounds that it would create a hardship if the subject vehicle is the sole vehicle in a household. The hearing officer shall release the vehicle where the hardship to a spouse, registered domestic partner, or other affected third party created by the impoundment of the subject vehicle, or the length of the impoundment, outweigh the seriousness and the severity of the act in which the vehicle was used.

(g) Notwithstanding any provision of law, if a motor vehicle is released prior to the conclusion of the impoundment period because the driver was arrested without probable cause, neither the arrested person nor the registered owner of the motor vehicle shall be responsible for the towing and storage charges.

(h) Except as provided in subdivision (g), the registered owner or his or her agent shall be responsible for all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment.

(i) A vehicle removed and seized under an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be released to the legal owner of the vehicle or the legal owner’s agent prior to the end of the impoundment period if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) The legal owner is a motor vehicle dealer, bank, credit union, acceptance corporation, or other licensed financial institution legally operating in this state, or is another person who is not the registered owner and holds a security interest in the vehicle.

(2) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent pays all towing and storage fees related to the seizure and impoundment of the vehicle.

(j) (1) No lien sale processing fees shall be charged to the legal owner who redeems the vehicle prior to the 15th day of the impoundment period. Neither the impounding authority nor any person having possession of the vehicle shall collect from the legal owner as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (i), or the legal owner’s agent, any administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5, unless the legal owner voluntarily requested a poststorage hearing.

(2) A person operating or in charge of a storage facility where vehicles are stored pursuant to this section shall accept a valid bank credit card or cash for payment of towing, storage, and related fees by a legal or registered owner or the owner’s agent claiming the vehicle. A credit card or debit card shall be in the name of the person presenting the card. For purposes of this section, “credit card” is as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1747.02 of the Civil Code. Credit card does not include a credit card issued by a retail seller.

(3) A person operating or in charge of a storage facility described in paragraph (2) who violates paragraph (2) shall be civilly liable to the owner of the vehicle or the person who tendered the fees for four times the amount of the towing, storage, and related fees not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).

(4) A person operating or in charge of the storage facility described in paragraph (2) shall have sufficient funds on the premises of the primary storage facility during normal business hours to accommodate, and make change for, a reasonable monetary transaction.

(5) Credit charges for towing and storage services shall comply with Section 1748.1 of the Civil Code. Law enforcement agencies may include the costs of providing for payment by credit when making agreements with towing companies on rates.

(6) A failure by a storage facility to comply with any applicable conditions set forth in this subdivision shall not affect the right of the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent to retrieve the vehicle if all conditions required of the legal owner or legal owner’s agent under this subdivision are satisfied.

(k) (1) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent shall present to the law enforcement agency, impounding agency, person in possession of the vehicle, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, a copy of the assignment, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 7500.1 of the Business and Professions Code, a release from the one responsible governmental agency, only if required by the agency, a government-issued photographic identification card, and any one of the following as determined by the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent: a certificate of repossession for the vehicle, a security agreement for the vehicle, or title, whether or not paperless or electronic, showing proof of legal ownership for the vehicle. Any documents presented may be originals, photocopies, or facsimile copies, or may be transmitted electronically. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or other governmental agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, shall not require any documents to be notarized. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies may require the agent of the legal owner to produce a photocopy or facsimile copy of its repossession agency license or registration issued pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, or to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies that the agent is exempt from licensure pursuant to Section 7500.2 or 7500.3 of the Business and Professions Code.

(2) Administrative costs authorized under subdivision (a) of Section 22850.5 shall not be charged to the legal owner of the type specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (i) who redeems the vehicle unless the legal owner voluntarily requests a poststorage hearing. A city, county, city and county, or state agency shall not require a legal owner or a legal owner’s agent to request a poststorage hearing as a requirement for release of the vehicle to the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or other governmental agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, shall not require any documents other than those specified in this paragraph. The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent shall be given a copy of any documents he or she is required to sign, except for a vehicle evidentiary hold log book. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, or any person in possession of the vehicle, may photocopy and retain the copies of any documents presented by the legal owner or legal owner’s agent. The legal owner shall indemnify and hold harmless a storage facility from any claims arising out of the release of the vehicle to the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent and from any damage to the vehicle after its release, including the reasonable costs associated with defending any such claims.

(l) A legal owner, who meets the requirements for release of a vehicle pursuant to subdivision (i), or the legal owner’s agent, shall not be required to request a poststorage hearing as a requirement for release of the vehicle to the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent.

(m) (1) A legal owner, who meets the requirements for release of a vehicle pursuant to subdivision (i), or the legal owner’s agent, shall not release the vehicle to the registered owner of the vehicle or an agent of the registered owner, unless the registered owner is a rental car agency, until after the termination of the impoundment period.

(2) Prior to relinquishing the vehicle, the legal owner may require the registered owner to pay all towing and storage charges related to the seizure and impoundment.

(n) (1) A vehicle removed and seized pursuant to an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be released to a rental car agency prior to the end of the impoundment period if the agency is either the legal owner or registered owner of the vehicle and the agency pays all towing and storage fees related to the seizure and impoundment of the vehicle.

(2) The owner of a rental vehicle that was seized under an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section may continue to rent the vehicle upon recovery of the vehicle. However, the rental car agency shall not rent another vehicle to the driver of the vehicle that was seized until the impoundment period has expired.

(3) The rental car agency may require the person to whom the vehicle was rented to pay all towing and storage charges related to the seizure and impoundment.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 210, Sec. 2. (AB 14) Effective January 1, 2010.)

22659.6.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the Cities of Los Angeles, Oakland, and Sacramento may each adopt an ordinance to conduct a 24-month pilot program in which law enforcement officers of the city may, pursuant to a valid arrest, remove a vehicle used in the commission, or attempted commission, of pimping in violation of Section 266h of the Penal Code, pandering in violation of Section 266i of the Penal Code, or solicitation of prostitution in violation of paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 647 of the Penal Code.

(b) If either city elects to implement the pilot program described in subdivision (a), it shall do all of the following:

(1) Offer a diversion program to prostitutes cited or arrested in the course of the pilot program.

(2) Authorize the removal of a vehicle only if the individual committing, or attempting to commit, a crime described in subdivision (a) is the sole registered owner of the vehicle. If that individual is not the sole registered owner, the other registered owner or owners of the vehicle shall be provided an opportunity to take possession of the vehicle.

(3) Reimburse an individual for the costs associated with towing and impounding the vehicle if he or she is not found guilty of the crime for which the vehicle was impounded or if the charge of committing, or attempting to commit, the crime for which the vehicle was impounded was dismissed.

(c) (1) Within six months of the completion of the pilot program described in subdivision (a), each of the participating cities shall issue a report that describes, at a minimum, all of the following:

(A) The number of individuals cited, and the number of individuals arrested, during the pilot program for the commission, or attempted commission, of a crime described in subdivision (a).

(B) The number of vehicles towed during the pilot program because they were used in the commission, or attempted commission, of a crime described in subdivision (a).

(C) The number of minor victims of a crime described in subdivision (a) that law enforcement encountered during the course of the pilot program.

(D) Whether the implementation of the pilot program impacted the number of citations or arrests for commission, or attempted commission, of a crime described in subdivision (a).

(2) (A) The report described in paragraph (1) shall be submitted to the Legislature, including the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Committees on Public Safety, the Senate President pro Tempore, and the Speaker of the Assembly, and to the Governor and Attorney General.

(B) A report to be submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(d) An ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall contain, but not be limited to, the following provisions:

(1) At the time of arrest, the person shall be notified that his or her vehicle will be towed and given information on how the vehicle may be retrieved.

(2) The registered owner or his or her agent may retrieve the vehicle at any time.

(3) The registered owner or his or her agent is responsible for all towing and storage fees related to the seizure of a vehicle pursuant to this section.

(4) If a vehicle is not claimed by the registered owner within 30 days and the legal owner is a motor vehicle dealer, bank, credit union, acceptance corporation, or other licensed financial institution legally operating in this state, or is another person who is not the registered owner but holds a security interest in the vehicle, the legal owner shall be given notice that the car has been seized and shall be given an opportunity to retrieve the vehicle. The vehicle shall be released to the legal owner upon payment of all towing and storage fees due.

(e) This section shall not be construed to limit the authority of any peace officer to impound a vehicle pursuant to any applicable provision of this code.

(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, and as of that date is repealed.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 531, Sec. 1. (AB 1206) Effective January 1, 2018. Repealed on January 1, 2022, by its own provisions.)

22660.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a city, county, or city and county may adopt an ordinance establishing procedures for the abatement and removal, as public nuisances, of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicles or parts thereof from private or public property, and for the recovery, pursuant to Section 25845 or 38773.5 of the Government Code, or assumption by the local authority, of costs of administration and the removal.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 126, Sec. 1.)

22661.
  

Any ordinance establishing procedures for the removal of abandoned vehicles shall contain all of the following provisions:

(a) The requirement that notice be given to the Department of Motor Vehicles within five days after the date of removal, identifying the vehicle or part thereof and any evidence of registration available, including, but not limited to, the registration card, certificates of ownership, or license plates.

(b) Making the ordinance inapplicable to (1) a vehicle or part thereof that is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property or (2) a vehicle or part thereof that is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler, licensed vehicle dealer, or a junkyard. This exception shall not, however, authorize the maintenance of a public or private nuisance as defined under provisions of law other than this chapter.

(c) The requirement that not less than a 10-day notice of intention to abate and remove the vehicle or part thereof as a public nuisance be issued, unless the property owner and the owner of the vehicle have signed releases authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof. However, the notice of intention is not required for removal of a vehicle or part thereof that is inoperable due to the absence of a motor, transmission, or wheels and incapable of being towed, is valued at less than two hundred dollars ($200) by a person specified in Section 22855, and is determined by the local agency to be a public nuisance presenting an immediate threat to public health or safety, provided that the property owner has signed a release authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof. Prior to final disposition under Section 22662 of such a low-valued vehicle or part for which evidence of registration was recovered pursuant to subdivision (a), the local agency shall provide notice to the registered and legal owners of intent to dispose of the vehicle or part, and if the vehicle or part is not claimed and removed within 12 days after the notice is mailed, from a location specified in Section 22662, final disposition may proceed. No local agency or contractor thereof shall be liable for damage caused to a vehicle or part thereof by removal pursuant to this section.

This subdivision applies only to inoperable vehicles located upon a parcel that is (1) zoned for agricultural use or (2) not improved with a residential structure containing one or more dwelling units.

(d) The 10-day notice of intention to abate and remove a vehicle or part thereof, when required by this section, shall contain a statement of the hearing rights of the owner of the property on which the vehicle is located and of the owner of the vehicle. The statement shall include notice to the property owner that he or she may appear in person at a hearing or may submit a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land, with his or her reasons for such denial, in lieu of appearing. The notice of intention to abate shall be mailed, by registered or certified mail, to the owner of the land as shown on the last equalized assessment roll and to the last registered and legal owners of record unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership.

(e) The requirement that a public hearing be held before the governing body of the city, county, or city and county, or any other board, commissioner, or official of the city, county, or city and county as designated by the governing body, upon request for such a hearing by the owner of the vehicle or the owner of the land on which the vehicle is located. This request shall be made to the appropriate public body, agency, or officer within 10 days after the mailing of notice of intention to abate and remove the vehicle or at the time of signing a release pursuant to subdivision (c). If the owner of the land on which the vehicle is located submits a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on his or her land within that time period, this statement shall be construed as a request for hearing that does not require the presence of the owner submitting the request. If the request is not received within that period, the appropriate public body, agency, or officer shall have the authority to remove the vehicle.

(f) The requirement that after a vehicle has been removed, it shall not be reconstructed or made operable, unless it is a vehicle that qualifies for either horseless carriage license plates or historical vehicle license plates, pursuant to Section 5004, in which case the vehicle may be reconstructed or made operable.

(g) A provision authorizing the owner of the land on which the vehicle is located to appear in person at the hearing or present a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land, with his or her reasons for the denial. If it is determined at the hearing that the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the landowner and that he or she has not subsequently acquiesced to its presence, then the local authority shall not assess costs of administration or removal of the vehicle against the property upon which the vehicle is located or otherwise attempt to collect those costs from the owner.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 589, Sec. 187. Effective January 1, 1994.)

22662.
  

Vehicles or parts thereof may be disposed of by removal to a scrapyard, automobile dismantler’s yard, or any suitable site operated by a local authority for processing as scrap, or other final disposition consistent with subdivision (e) of Section 22661. A local authority may operate such a disposal site when its governing body determines that commercial channels of disposition are not available or are inadequate, and it may make final disposition of such vehicles or parts, or the local agency may transfer such vehicle or parts to another, provided such disposal shall be only as scrap.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 29.)

22663.
  

Any ordinance adopted pursuant to Section 22660 shall provide for administration of the ordinance by regularly salaried full-time employees of the city, county, or city and county, except that the removal of vehicles or parts thereof from property may be by any other duly authorized person. Any such authorized person may enter upon private property for the purposes specified in the ordinance to examine a vehicle or parts thereof, obtain information as to the identity of a vehicle, and remove or cause the removal of a vehicle or part thereof declared to be a nuisance pursuant to the ordinance.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 29.)

22664.
  

Any licensed dismantler or commercial enterprise acquiring vehicles removed pursuant to such ordinance shall be excused from the reporting requirements of Section 11520; and any fees and penalties which would otherwise be due the Department of Motor Vehicles are hereby waived, provided that a copy of the resolution or order authorizing disposition of the vehicle is retained in the dismantler’s or commercial enterprise’s business records.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 29.)

22665.
  

Notwithstanding Section 22710 or any other provision of law, the department may, at the request of a local authority, other than a service authority, administer on behalf of the authority its abandoned vehicle abatement and removal program established pursuant to Section 22660.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1684, Sec. 4.)

22666.
  

Whenever the department is administering a program pursuant to Section 22665, it shall by regulation establish procedures for the abatement and removal of vehicles that are identical to the requirements specified in Section 22661, except that the department shall provide by agreement with the requesting local authority for the conduct of a public hearing pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 22661 by the local authority and for the reimbursement of the department for its costs of administration and removal which the local authority is authorized to recover from the property owner pursuant to Section 22660. Such regulations shall also provide for the administration of the regulations by regularly salaried, full-time personnel of the department, except that the removal of vehicles or parts thereof from property may be done by any other duly authorized person. Any such person may enter upon private property for the purposes specified in the regulations to examine a vehicle or parts thereof, obtain information as to the identity of a vehicle, and remove or cause the removal of a vehicle or part thereof declared to be a nuisance pursuant to the regulations.

The provisions of Sections 22662 and 22664 shall also apply to any vehicle removed by the department.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 29.)

22667.
  

In establishing procedures for the abatement and removal of abandoned vehicles, the department shall give priority to the removal of abandoned vehicles from corridors of the state highway system, from public lands and parks, and from river and wildlife areas.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 29.)

22668.
  

No local authority whose abandoned vehicle abatement and removal program is administered pursuant to Section 22665 shall be eligible for any disbursement from the Abandoned Vehicle Trust Fund pursuant to Section 22710.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 29.)

22669.
  

(a) Any peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or any other employee of the state, county, or city designated by an agency or department of the state or the board of supervisors or city council to perform this function, in the territorial limits in which the officer or employee is authorized to act, who has reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle has been abandoned, as determined pursuant to Section 22523, may remove the vehicle from a highway or from public or private property.

(b) Any person performing a franchise or contract awarded pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 22710, may remove a vehicle from a highway or place to which it has been removed pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 22654 or from public or private property, after a determination by a peace officer, as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or other designated employee of the state, county, or city in which the vehicle is located that the vehicle is abandoned, as determined pursuant to Section 22523.

(c) A state, county, or city employee, other than a peace officer or employee of a sheriff’s department or a city police department, designated to remove vehicles pursuant to this section may do so only after he or she has mailed or personally delivered a written report identifying the vehicle and its location to the office of the Department of the California Highway Patrol located nearest to the vehicle.

(d) Motor vehicles which are parked, resting, or otherwise immobilized on any highway or public right-of-way and which lack an engine, transmission, wheels, tires, doors, windshield, or any other part or equipment necessary to operate safely on the highways of this state, are hereby declared a hazard to public health, safety, and welfare and may be removed immediately upon discovery by a peace officer or other designated employee of the state, county, or city.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1133, Sec. 4.)

22670.
  

(a) For lien sale purposes, the public agency causing the removal of the vehicle shall determine if the estimated value of the vehicle that has been ordered removed, towed, or stored is five hundred dollars ($500) or less, over five hundred dollars ($500) but four thousand dollars ($4,000) or less, or over four thousand dollars ($4,000).

(b) If the public agency fails or refuses to put a value on, or to estimate the value of, the vehicle within three days after the date of removal of the vehicle, the garage keeper specified in Section 22851 or the garage keeper’s agent shall determine, under penalty of perjury, if the estimated value of the vehicle that has been ordered removed, towed, or stored, is five hundred dollars ($500) or less, over five hundred dollars ($500) but four thousand dollars ($4,000) or less, or over four thousand dollars ($4,000).

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 650, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2005.)

22671.
  

A local authority may either issue a franchise or execute a contract for the removal of abandoned vehicles in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(Added by renumbering Section 22706 by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1111, Sec. 26.)

22710.
  

(a) A service authority for the abatement of abandoned vehicles may be established, and a one dollar ($1) vehicle registration fee imposed, in a county if the board of supervisors of the county, by a two-thirds vote, and a majority of the cities having a majority of the incorporated population within the county have adopted resolutions providing for the establishment of the authority and imposition of the fee. The membership of the authority shall be determined by concurrence of the board of supervisors and a majority vote of the majority of the cities within the county having a majority of the incorporated population.

(b) The authority may contract and may undertake any act convenient or necessary to carry out a law relating to the authority. The authority shall be staffed by existing personnel of the city, county, or county transportation commission.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a service authority may adopt an ordinance establishing procedures for the abatement, removal, and disposal, as a public nuisance, of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicle or part of the vehicle from private or public property; and for the recovery, pursuant to Section 25845 or 38773.5 of the Government Code, or assumption by the service authority, of costs associated with the enforcement of the ordinance. Cost recovery shall only be undertaken by an entity that may be a county or city or the department, pursuant to contract with the service authority as provided in this section.

(2) (A) The money received by an authority pursuant to Section 9250.7 and this section shall be used only for the abatement, removal, or the disposal as a public nuisance of any abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicle or part of the vehicle from private or public property. The money received shall not be used to offset the costs of vehicles towed under authorities other than an ordinance adopted pursuant to paragraph (1) or when costs are recovered under Section 22850.5.

(B) The money received by a service authority pursuant to Section 9250.7 and this section that are unexpended in a fiscal year may be carried forward by the service authority for the abandoned vehicle abatement program in the following fiscal year as agreed upon by the service authority and its member agencies.

(d) (1) An abandoned vehicle abatement program and plan of a service authority shall be implemented only with the approval of the county and a majority of the cities having a majority of the incorporated population.

(2) (A) The department shall provide guidelines for an abandoned vehicle abatement program. An authority’s abandoned vehicle abatement plan and program shall be consistent with those guidelines, and shall provide for, but not be limited to, an estimate of the number of abandoned vehicles, a disposal and enforcement strategy including contractual agreements, and appropriate fiscal controls.

(B) The department’s guidelines provided pursuant to this paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, requiring each service authority receiving funds from the Abandoned Vehicle Trust Fund to report to the Controller on an annual basis pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 9250.7, in a manner prescribed by the department, and pursuant to an approved abandoned vehicle abatement program.

(C) A service authority may carry out an abandoned vehicle abatement from a public property after providing a notice as specified by the local ordinance adopted pursuant to Section 22660 of the jurisdiction in which the abandoned vehicle is located and that notice has expired.

(3) After a plan has been approved pursuant to paragraph (1), the service authority shall, not later than August 1 of the year in which the plan was approved, submit it to the department for review, and the department shall, not later than October 1 of that same year, either approve the plan as submitted or make recommendations for revision. After the plan has received the department’s approval as being consistent with the department’s guidelines, the service authority shall submit it to the Controller.

(4) Except as provided in subdivision (e), the Controller shall not make an allocation for a fiscal year, commencing on July 1 following the Controller’s determination to suspend a service authority when a service authority has failed to comply with the provisions set forth in Section 9250.7.

(5) A governmental agency shall not receive funds from a service authority for the abatement of abandoned vehicles pursuant to an approved abandoned vehicle abatement program unless the governmental agency has submitted an annual report to the service authority stating the manner in which the funds were expended, and the number of vehicles abated. The governmental agency shall receive that percentage of the total funds collected by the service authority that is equal to its share of the formula calculated pursuant to paragraph (6).

(6) Each service authority shall calculate a formula for apportioning funds to each governmental agency that receives funds from the service authority and submit that formula to the Controller with the annual report required pursuant to paragraph (2). The formula shall apportion 50 percent of the funds received by the service authority to a governmental agency based on the percentage of vehicles abated by that governmental agency of the total number of abandoned vehicles abated by all member agencies, and 50 percent based on population and geographic area, as determined by the service authority. When the formula is first submitted to the Controller, and each time the formula is revised thereafter, the service authority shall include a detailed explanation of how the service authority determined the apportionment between per capita abatements and service area.

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subdivision, the Controller may allocate to the service authority in the County of Humboldt the net amount of the abandoned vehicle abatement funds received from the fee imposed by that authority, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 9250.7, for calendar years 2000 and 2001.

(e) A plan that has been submitted to the Controller pursuant to subdivision (d) may be revised pursuant to the procedure prescribed in that subdivision, including compliance with any dates described therein for submission to the department and the Controller, respectively, in the year in which the revisions are proposed by the service authority. Compliance with that procedure shall only be required if the revisions are substantial.

(f) For purposes of this section, “abandoned vehicle abatement” means the removal of a vehicle from public or private property by towing or any other means after the vehicle has been marked as abandoned by an official of a governmental agency that is a member of the service authority.

(g) A service authority shall cease to exist on the date that all revenues received by the authority pursuant to this section and Section 9250.7 have been expended.

(h) In the event of a conflict with other provisions of law, this section shall govern the disbursement of money collected pursuant to this section and from the Abandoned Vehicle Trust Fund for the implementation of the abandoned vehicle abatement program.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 389, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2008.)

22711.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the California Highway Patrol, any city, county, or city and county which has an abandoned vehicle abatement program, and any service authority established under Section 22710, upon satisfying all applicable reporting requirements provided in this chapter, may, with the consent of the Director of Corrections, transport any abandoned vehicle to, and dispose of any abandoned vehicle at, any institution under the jurisdiction of the director which has a program established pursuant to Section 2813.5 of the Penal Code.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 1157, Sec. 2.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH1.