TITLE 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

CHAPTER 39-12.1
The Towing Storage Act

SECTION 39-12.1-2


§ 39-12.1-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meaning as set forth in this section.

(1) "Abandoned vehicle" means (i) a vehicle that is inoperable and over eight (8) years old and is left unattended on public property for more than forty-eight (48) hours, or (ii) a vehicle that has remained illegally on public property for a period of more than three (3) days, or (iii) a vehicle that has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than three (3) days.

(2) "Abandoned vehicle of no value" means (i) a motor vehicle that is inoperable and over ten (10) years old and is left unattended on public property for more than forty-eight (48) hours, or (ii) a vehicle that has remained illegally on public property for a period of more than three (3) days, or (iii) a vehicle that has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than three (3) days, and meets the following criteria:

(A) The vehicle has no evidence of current registration in or upon the vehicle; and

(B) The vehicle has a fair market value of five hundred dollars ($500) or less; and

(C) The vehicle does not have a valid inspection sticker.

(3) "Certificated tower" means a carrier possessing a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the public utilities administrator for the purpose of transporting vehicles by tow-away method.

(4) "Legal owner" means the person who has obtained ownership of a vehicle by any legal means but has not caused the vehicle to be registered with the division of motor vehicles.

(5) "Police department" means the police department of a city or town or the Rhode Island state department.

(6) "Possessory lien" means the right to retain possession of a vehicle and motor vehicle registration plates against all claims of the owner and/or security lien or until all charges are paid for recovery, towing, storage in accordance with the certificated tower's tariff.

(7) "Private trespass" means the unattended presence of a vehicle on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control thereof.

(8) "Registered owner" means the person recorded in the division of motor vehicles as being the one to whom the registration of the vehicle was issued.

(9) "Tow truck" means any motor vehicle designed and/or ordinarily used for the purpose of towing or removing vehicles or assisting disabled motor vehicles.

(10) "Unattended vehicle" means any vehicle other than an "abandoned vehicle" or "abandoned vehicle of no value" as which meets the following criteria:

(i) Left unoccupied in a place or for a time period prohibited by law or municipal ordinance or so as to cause traffic congestion or hazard; or

(ii) From which the operator or owner thereof has been removed by any member of a police department in the performance of his or her official duties; or

(iii) Left on public or private property without the consent of the owner or person in control thereof, or one having the exclusive right to the use thereof.

(11) "Vehicle" means any motor vehicle as defined in § 39-12-2(m).

(12) "Vehicle survey report" means a report printed in the form provided in § 31-42-1(f).

History of Section.
(P.L. 1994, ch. 328, § 1.)