TITLE 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

CHAPTER 39-12.1
The Towing Storage Act

SECTION 39-12.1-4


§ 39-12.1-4 Notice and processing of abandoned and unclaimed motor vehicles by certificated tower.

(a) A certified tower removing an abandoned or unattended vehicle shall notify within two (2) hours thereof, the police department of the city or town from which the vehicle is towed, and shall provide:

(1) The year, make, model and serial number of the vehicle.

(2) The name, address and telephone number of the certificated tower.

(3) The street address or location from which the vehicle was towed.

(b) A certificated tower removing an abandoned or unattended vehicle shall notify within fourteen (14) days thereof, by registered mail, return receipt requested, the last known registered owner of the vehicle and all lienholders of record at the address shown in the records of the appropriate registry in the state in which the vehicle is registered that the vehicle has been taken into custody. The notice shall be substantially in the form provided in § 39-12.1-13 and shall describe:

(1) The year, make, model and serial number of the vehicle.

(2) The name, address and telephone number of the certificated tower.

(3) That the vehicle is in the possession of that certificated tower.

(4) That recovery, towing, and storage charges are accruing as a legal liability of the registered and/or legal owner.

(5) That the certificated tower claims a possessory lien for all recovery, towing, and storage charges.

(6) That the registered and/or legal owner may retake possession at any time during business hours by appearing, proving ownership, and paying all charges due the certificated tower pursuant to its published tariff.

(7) That should the registered and/or legal owner consider that the original taking was improper or not legally justified, he or she has a right to file an administrative complaint pursuant to chapter 12 of this title to contest the original taking.

(8) That if no claim is filed and the vehicle is not claimed and possession retaken or arranged for within thirty (30) days of the mailing of the notice, the lien will be foreclosed and the vehicle will be sold at public auction.

(9) That the proceeds of the sale shall be first applied to recovery, towing, and storage charges with and excess proceeds being deposited as provided in accordance with § 39-12.1-9(d)(3).

(10) That any recovery, towing, and storage charges in excess of the sale proceeds shall remain as a civil obligation of the registered and/or legal owner.

(c) If the identity of the last registered owner cannot be determined from the records of the appropriate registry in the state in which the vehicle is registered, or if the registration contains no address for the ownership or if it is impossible to determine with reasonable certainty the identity and addresses of all lienholders, notice by one publication in one newspaper of general circulation in the area where the vehicle was abandoned or left unattended shall be sufficient to meet all requirements of notice pursuant to this chapter. A notice by publication may contain multiple listings of abandoned or unattended vehicles. Any notice by publication shall be within the time requirements prescribed for notice by registered mail and shall have the same contents required for a notice by registered mail.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1994, ch. 328, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 326, § 114; P.L. 2004, ch. 294, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 489, § 1.)