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Watching the tow truck drive away with your car or coming back to your parking spot only to find it missing is a terrible feeling, especially if you think your car was taken unjustly. In Florida, property owners and businesses are allowed to tow vehicles off their property when parked without permission. However, tow companies must report the tow and where the vehicle is stored to police within 30 minutes of completion. If you arrive before your car is towed away, the tow company must release the car to you upon payment of a reasonable service fee.
Authority to Tow
Florida law authorizes a party who owns or leases property, including condo associations, or their authorized representatives, to tow a vehicle off the premises if it's parked there without permission. However, there must be prominent notices on the premises indicating its tow away zones prior to any vehicle being towed away. This requirement doesn't apply to single family residences. The law also applies to vessels, which Florida law defines as a "watercraft, barge, and airboat used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water." Businesses may also authorize the towing of a vehicle if it's parked in a way that restricts the business's normal operation or obstructs access to a private driveway.
Police Notification and Storage
The person or company that tows a vehicle must notify the local police or sheriff's department of the tow within 30 minutes of completion and identify the storage facility where the car was taken. The facility must allow its owner or other authorized person to pick up the car between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on any day the towing company is open for business. When the business is closed, the site must post the phone number where the operator of the facility can be reached at any time of the day.
Caught in the Act
If you arrive back at your car while it is in the process of being hooked up and towed away for being parked unlawfully, Florida law requires the towing party to stop. He then must return the vehicle to you upon the payment of a reasonable service fee, which cannot be more than one-half of its current tow rates, and provide you with a receipt. If you are unable to pay the fee, the tow company can proceed to tow away your vehicle.
If you fail to make the payments required by your auto loan, you are in default and Florida law gives the lender the right to repossess the vehicle at any time and without notice. The party authorized to tow your vehicle can even come onto private property to do so, but cannot use, or threaten to use, physical force. Once the lender has custody of the vehicle, it may keep the car or sell it by public or private sale to recoup the money owed, but must notify you of what option it chooses. If the sale doesn't cover all money due, the lender can pursue you for the balance owed. Additionally, it must provide you with written notice of all personal items retrieved from the vehicle and where they are being stored within five days of repossession. If the property is scheduled to be destroyed, the lender must notify you at least 45 days before and give you an opportunity to retrieve it.
Kansas residents must title and register boat trailers if the weight of the trailer with a boat is more than 2,000 pounds. According to the Kansas statutes, if an owner is preparing to sell, trade or gift an unregistered boat trailer, he must obtain the title in his name before selling. Registration is optional for a trailer and boat combination weighing less than 2,001 pounds.The state requires insurance proof before issuing a trailer registration. If the trailer itself is uninsured, proof of insurance from the towing vehicle is used.
Excluding the front and rear bumpers, a single vehicle must be less than 45 feet long including its load except for semi trucks. The state permits a maximum length of 65 feet for any two or three vehicles.Semi trailers must be less than 60 feet in length. When a semi truck pulls two trailers, each must be less than 29 feet long.A semi trailer or trailer may be longer during full daylight if its transporting pipe, poles, machinery or other objects which cannot be dismembered. The combination of vehicles and loads must be less than 85 feet. A special permit is necessary to operate over-sized vehicles.
Federal law requires taillights, turn signals, brake lights, side marker lights and reflectors on the side and rear of all trailers. According to the Kansas statutes, when one vehicle is towing another the towbar or other connections must be strong enough to pull and stop all the weight under tow. The connections must control and maintain hold of the towed vehicles. The statutes require a safety hitch with chains or cables. A single vehicle may tow two vehicles or trailers if the first towed vehicle has an anti-sway mechanism. Brakes are required for at least one axle on the second towed vehicle and it must have lights. Slow-moving farm vehicles moving from field to field are exempt.The state prohibits signs or other non-transparent materials on any vehicle window which obstructs or impedes the driver's view.