Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 2. ADMINISTRATION [1500 - 3093]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 2. Department of the California Highway Patrol [2100 - 2482]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 3.3. Tow Truck Drivers [2430 - 2432.3]
  ( Article 3.3 added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 488, Sec. 3. )

2430.
  

(a) The Legislature hereby creates a pilot project to develop recommendations for requiring emergency road service organizations and their specified employees, within the state, to be certified and receive specified training in the interest of public safety. The project shall be limited to freeway service patrol operations for major urban areas. The project includes, but is not limited to, the issuance of tow truck driver certificates to employees and employers involved in freeway service patrol operations, criminal history checks for convictions of specified crimes, and training for enhancement of public safety. The purpose of the project shall be to develop recommendations for requiring all emergency road service organizations and specified employees, within the state, to be certified and receive specified training in the interest of public safety.

(b) This project shall be for a period of two years commencing on July 1, 1992. The department shall submit a report to the Legislature not later than September 1, 1994. The report shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) The number of criminal history checks processed by the department.

(2) The number of specified tow truck driver certificates issued.

(3) The number of persons rejected for freeway service patrol operations as a result of the criminal history checks.

(4) The names of participating emergency road service organizations.

(5) An accounting of the number of certified persons who were subsequently disqualified for convictions of specified crimes, including the number of certified persons subsequently disqualified for convictions of specified crimes against those receiving service.

(6) The training received by specified personnel.

(7) Recommendations developed by the Emergency Roadside Assistance Advisory Committee regarding training, as specified in Section 2438, and guidelines for motorist safety, as specified in Section 2439.

(8) Information compiled from reports submitted by highway service organizations pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 2440.

(9) Recommendations for extending the requirements of this article and Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 2435) to all highway service organizations and their specified employees within the state.

(c) The Legislature declares that it is important to the public safety that tow truck drivers, who perform freeway service patrol operations under agreement with any specified public transportation planning entity, do not have criminal records which include violent crimes against persons.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 488, Sec. 3.)

2430.1.
  

As used in this article, each of the following terms has the following meaning:

(a) “Tow truck driver” means a person who operates a tow truck, who renders towing service or emergency road service to motorists while involved in freeway service patrol operations, pursuant to an agreement with a regional or local entity, and who has or will have direct and personal contact with the individuals being transported or assisted. As used in this subdivision, “towing service” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2436.

(b) “Employer” means a person or organization that employs those persons defined in subdivision (a), or who is an owner-operator who performs the activity specified in subdivision (a), and who is involved in freeway service patrol operations pursuant to an agreement or contract with a regional or local entity.

(c) “Regional or local entity” means a public organization established as a public transportation planning entity pursuant to Title 7.1 (commencing with Section 66500) of the Government Code or authorized to impose a transaction and use tax for transportation purposes by the Public Utilities Code or the service authority for freeway emergencies described in Section 2551 of the Streets and Highways Code.

(d) “Emergency road service” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2436.

(e) “Freeway service patrol” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2561 of the Streets and Highways Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 179, Sec. 214. Effective January 1, 2009.)

2430.2.
  

“Regional or local entity,” as defined by subdivision (c) of Section 2430.1, also includes the transportation planning entity established pursuant to Section 130050.1 of the Public Utilities Code or the service authority for freeway emergencies described in Section 2551 of the Streets and Highways Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 374, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2004.)

2430.3.
  

(a) Every freeway service patrol tow truck driver and any California Highway Patrol rotation tow truck operator shall notify each of his or her employers and prospective employers and the Department of the California Highway Patrol of an arrest or conviction of any crime specified in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 13377 prior to beginning the next workshift for that employer.

(b) For the purpose of conducting criminal history and driver history checks of any California Highway Patrol rotation tow truck operator, the commissioner may utilize the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS).

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 127, Sec. 5. Effective July 30, 2001.)

2430.5.
  

(a) Every employer intending to hire a tow truck driver on or after July 1, 1992, shall require the applicant for employment to submit a temporary tow truck driver certificate issued by the department or a permanent tow truck driver certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The employer shall review the certificate and obtain a copy to be maintained as required by subdivision (c). The employer shall not hire any tow truck driver in any freeway service patrol operations who does not provide a temporary tow truck driver certificate issued by the department or a permanent tow truck driver certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The employer shall not allow a tow truck driver who is not certified to participate in any freeway service patrol operations. If the issuance date on the certificate is more than 90 days from the proposed date of hire, the employer shall contact the department to reverify eligibility.

(b) On or after July 1, 1992, every employer, whose currently employed tow truck drivers are required to obtain a tow truck driver certificate pursuant to Section 12520, shall require the employees to submit to the employer a temporary tow truck driver certificate issued by the department or a permanent tow truck driver certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The employer shall review the certificate and obtain a copy to be maintained as required by subdivision (c).

(c) Every employer shall maintain a tow truck driver certificate file for all tow truck drivers hired on or after July 1, 1992, or all currently employed tow truck drivers who are required to obtain a tow truck driver certificate pursuant to Section 12520. The employer shall retain employee rosters and copies of tow truck driver certificates for all tow truck drivers. The roster shall be comprised of the following two lists:

(1) Drivers who have valid tow truck driver certificates.

(2) Drivers who would be prohibited, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 13377, from involvement in any freeway service patrol operation.

Every employer shall make available for inspection by the department at the employer’s primary place of business in this state. In addition, the employer shall maintain a personnel roster, also available for inspection, of all current tow truck drivers and their date of hire by the employer.

(d) Upon notification that a tow truck driver has been arrested for, or convicted of, any crime specified in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 13377, the employer shall remove that tow truck driver from any position involving freeway service patrol operations.

(e) A violation of this section by an employer is a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1241, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1993.)

2431.
  

(a) For the purposes of conducting criminal history and driver history screening of tow truck drivers and employers, the commissioner shall do all of the following:

(1) Obtain fingerprints from tow truck drivers and employers. The fingerprint cards will be submitted to the Department of Justice for criminal history checks.

(2) Obtain a second set of fingerprints from applicants who have not continuously resided in the state for the previous seven years, and submit that card to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for out-of-state criminal history checks. The department may charge a fee sufficient to cover the additional expense of processing the fingerprint cards through the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(3) Verify that the tow truck driver or employer, or both, have a valid California driver’s license, through the use of the automated records system.

(b) On and after July 1, 1992, all tow truck drivers shall submit an application for the issuance of a tow truck driver certificate with the department and pay an application fee equal to the actual costs of a criminal history check and issuance of the tow truck driver’s certificate, but not more than fifty dollars ($50). Applicants for the renewal of an expired tow truck driver certificate or applicants for a duplicate tow truck driver certificate shall submit an application for issuance of a new tow truck driver certificate to the Department of Motor Vehicles and pay an application fee of twelve dollars ($12).

All fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Motor Vehicle Account in the State Transportation Fund. An amount equal to the fees paid shall be made available, upon appropriation, to the Department of Motor Vehicles for its administrative costs, for the cost of criminal history checks to be conducted by the Department of Justice, and to the department for its administrative costs. In no case shall the fees collected exceed the costs of administering this section.

(c) Applicants for an original tow truck driver certificate shall be fingerprinted by the department, on a form issued by the department, for submission to the Department of Justice for the purpose of determining whether the applicant has been convicted for a violation of a crime specified in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 13377.

(d) Information released to the department or the Department of Motor Vehicles shall be related to their inquiry and shall remain confidential.

(e) The department shall issue a temporary tow truck driver certificate, provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles, to applicants who have cleared the specified criminal history check pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) and the driver history check through the automated records system, and who meet all other applicable provisions of this code. The term of the temporary tow truck driver’s certificate shall be for a period of 90 days from the date of issuance.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 280, Sec. 2. (SB 938) Effective January 1, 2011.)

2432.
  

(a) It is unlawful for a freeway service patrol tow truck driver to knowingly provide false information on the application prepared and submitted to the department pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 2431.

(b) It is unlawful for a California Highway Patrol rotation tow truck operator, including, but not limited to, a freeway service patrol tow truck driver, to fail to comply with the notification requirements in Section 2430.3.

(c) A violation of this section is punishable as a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 127, Sec. 6. Effective July 30, 2001.)

2432.1.
  

(a) If the commissioner determines that an employer has failed to comply with the requirements of this article or Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 2435), the commissioner may, after a hearing, suspend the highway safety carrier’s identification number issued pursuant to Section 2436.3 for a period not to exceed two years.

(b) If the commissioner determines that an employer has failed to comply with the requirements of this article or Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 2435) twice within a period of 24 consecutive months, the commissioner may, after a hearing, prohibit the employer from participating in any freeway service patrol operation for two years.

(c) Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code does not apply to the hearing specified in subdivision (a) or (b).

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 488, Sec. 3.)

2432.3.
  

(a) This article does not preempt the authority of any city, city and county, or county to regulate, pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 21100, any of the matters covered by this article.

(b) (1) For the purposes of verifying the criminal history of individuals involved in the operation of tow truck services, law enforcement agencies of any city, city and county, or county may conduct criminal history checks for all of the following:

(A) Applicants for employment to drive tow trucks.

(B) Those who drive tow trucks.

(C) Tow truck owners-operators.

(2) The law enforcement agency may obtain the fingerprints of the individuals on a form approved by the Department of Justice and provided by the agency. The fingerprint samples shall be submitted to the Department of Justice for the purpose of determining whether the individual has been convicted of any violation, including, but not limited to, Section 220, subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) of Section 261, or Section 264.1, 267, 288, or 289 of the Penal Code, or any felony or three misdemeanors as set forth in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 5164 of the Public Resources Code.

(3) For purposes of conducting criminal history screening of tow truck driver applicants, employees, and employers who have not resided continuously in the state for the previous seven years, the law enforcement agency of any city, city and county, or county, may obtain a second set of fingerprints, when necessary, and may submit that card to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for out-of-state criminal history checks.

(c) The law enforcement agency of any city, city and county, or county may charge a fee sufficient to cover the cost of obtaining and processing the fingerprint cards through the Department of Justice.

(d) For the purposes of conducting driver history screening of applicants to drive tow trucks, employees, and owners-operators, the law enforcement agency of any city, city and county, or county may verify that the applicant or owner-operator, as the case may be, has a valid California driver’s license of the proper class, through the use of the automated records system.

(e) The Department of Justice shall develop a procedure whereby it will notify the requesting law enforcement agency if the person fingerprinted has been convicted of any of the specified crimes or is convicted of a specified crime subsequent to employment or beginning operation of a tow service. The Department of Justice shall release the requested information to the requesting agency.

(f) Information released to the requesting agency may be utilized for licensing and regulating procedures established pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 21100.

(g) Information released to the requesting agency shall be related to its inquiry, shall remain confidential, and shall not be made public.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 184, Sec. 5. Effective July 23, 2004.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH3.3