|(a) If a vehicle is removed by the vehicle owner or
authorized representative within 24 hours after the VSF receives the
vehicle, notification as described in subsections (b) - (j) does not
(b) The registered owners and lien holders of a vehicle
accepted at a VSF shall be notified in the following manner.
(1) If a vehicle is registered in Texas, the VSF shall
notify the vehicle's registered owner and primary lien holder by certified
mail, return receipt requested, registered, or electronic certified
mail, within five days, but no sooner than within 24 hours of receipt
of the vehicle.
(2) If a vehicle is not registered in Texas, the VSF
shall notify the vehicle's registered owner and all recorded lien
holders within 14 days, but no sooner than within 24 hours of receipt
of the vehicle.
(c) The operator of a VSF shall send the notice required
by subsections (b)(1) and (b)(2) to an address obtained by mail or
(1) The governmental entity responsible for maintaining
the motor vehicle title and registration database for the state in
which the vehicle is registered; or
(2) A private entity authorized by the governmental
entity to obtain title, registration, and lienholder information using
a single vehicle identification number search obtained through a secure
access portal to the government entity's motor vehicle records.
(d) Notification has occurred when the United States
Postal Service places its postmark and is timely if:
(1) the postmark indicates that the notice was mailed
within the period described by subsection (b); or
(2) the notice was published as provided by subsection
(e) If a VSF sends a notice required under this section
after the time mandated by subsections (b)(1) or (b)(2):
(1) The deadline for sending any subsequent notice
is based on the date that notice was actually sent to the vehicle
owner and any lien holders;
(2) A VSF may not charge the daily storage fee permissible
under Tex. Occ. Code §2303.155(b)(3) until 24 hours after it
has sent the notice required under this section.
(f) Notice required under this section may be completed
by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county
in which the vehicle is stored if:
(1) the vehicle is registered in another state;
(2) the VSF submits to the governmental entity that
is responsible for maintaining the motor vehicle title and registration
database for the state in which the vehicle is registered, or to a
private entity that is authorized by the governmental entity to access
title, registration, or lienholder information, a written or electronic
request for information relating to the identity of the registered
owner and any lienholder of record.
(3) If mailed, such requests shall be correctly addressed,
with sufficient postage, and sent by certified mail, return receipt
requested or electronic certified mail, to the governmental entity
with which the vehicle is registered requesting information relating
to the identity of the last known registered owner and any lienholder
(4) the identity of the registered owner cannot be
(5) the registration does not contain an address for
the registered owner; or
(6) the operator of the storage facility cannot reasonably
determine the identity and address of each lienholder.
(g) Notice by publication is not required if each notice
sent in accordance with this Section is returned because:
(1) the notice was unclaimed or refused; or
(2) the person to whom the notice was sent moved without
leaving a forwarding address.
(h) Only one notice is required to be published for
an abandoned nuisance vehicle.
(i) All mailed notifications must be correctly addressed;
mailed with sufficient postage; and sent by certified mail, return
receipt requested, registered, or electronic certified mail.
(1) All mailed notifications shall state:
(A) the full licensed name of the VSF where the motor
vehicle is located, its street address and telephone number, and the
hours the vehicle can be released to the vehicle owner;
(B) the daily storage rate, the type and amount of
all other charges assessed, and the statement, "Total storage charges
cannot be computed until vehicle is claimed. The storage charge will
accrue daily until vehicle is released";
(C) the first date for which a storage fee is assessed;
(D) the date the vehicle will be transferred from the
VSF and the address to which the vehicle will be transferred if the
operator will be transferring a vehicle to a second lot because the
vehicle has not been claimed within a certain time;
(E) the date the vehicle was accepted for storage and
from where, when, and by whom the vehicle was towed;
(F) the VSF license number preceded by the words "Texas
Department of Licensing and Regulation Vehicle Storage Facility License
Number" or "TDLR VSF Lic. No.";
(G) a notice of the towed vehicle owner's right under
the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308, to challenge the legality
of the tow involved; and
(H) the name, mailing address, and toll-free telephone
number of the department for purposes of directing questions or complaints.
(2) All published notifications shall state:
(A) the full name, street address, telephone number,
and VSF license number, and the Department's internet address;
(B) a description of the vehicle; and
(C) the total amount of charges assessed against the
(3) Notices published in a newspaper may contain information
for more than one towed vehicle.
(j) If authorized, a notification fee may not be charged
unless actual notice has been given as required under this section.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §85.703 adopted to be effective April 15, 2008, 33 TexReg 2931; amended to be effective May 3, 2010, 35 TexReg 3482; amended to be effective January 16, 2012, 37 TexReg 112; amended to be effective March 15, 2014, 39 TexReg 1704; amended to be effective January 15, 2018, 43 TexReg 84