Vehicle towing laws in Maryland are designed to protect consumers from fraudulent practices. Bandit tow truck companies have been identified that prey on unsuspecting motorists by prowling the streets looking for opportunities and adding unpublished charges to their towing charges.
Vehicles that are towed must be placed in tow storage facilities within the same county in which the car was towed. That towing storage facility must be licensed by the state. If the lot is full, the owner may move new cars he has acquired to facilities he owns as long as they are licensed, but at no additional charge for mileage or any other fees billed to the customer.
Tow truck drivers are not permitted to tow a car more than 25 miles away from where the car was first towed. If the vehicle is towed beyond that point, the owner must consent.
A minimum of $5,000 insurance is required by the state for each tow truck the company owns. All tow truck company owners must also purchase business liability insurance for $100,000 for bodily injury protection and $1,000 per $100,000 per driver for property damage protection (as of 2010).
Towing companies must be requested by a police officer or the vehicle owner in order to tow a vehicle from an accident or a vehicle breakdown site. Police officers will stick a colored sticker on the upper left-hand corner. Fines start at $1,000 for failure to comply.
- towing truck image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com