State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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      625 ILCS 5/4-203          from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 4-203
          Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to provide that a person
      shall not tow a vehicle from private property without  filing
      a notice of intent in the community at least 5 (instead of 7)
      days before towing.
 1        AN  ACT  to  amend  the Illinois Vehicle Code by changing
 2    Section 4-203.
 3        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:
 5        Section  5.   The  Illinois  Vehicle  Code  is amended by
 6    changing Section 4-203 as follows:
 7        (625 ILCS 5/4-203) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 4-203)
 8        Sec. 4-203.  Removal of motor vehicles or other vehicles;
 9    Towing or hauling away.
10        (a) When a vehicle is abandoned, or left unattended, on a
11    toll highway, interstate highway, or expressway for  2  hours
12    or more, its removal by a towing service may be authorized by
13    a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.
14        (b)  When a vehicle is abandoned on a highway in an urban
15    district  10  hours  or more, its removal by a towing service
16    may  be  authorized  by  a  law  enforcement  agency   having
17    jurisdiction.
18        (c)  When  a vehicle is abandoned or left unattended on a
19    highway other than a toll  highway,  interstate  highway,  or
20    expressway,  outside  of  an  urban  district for 24 hours or
21    more, its removal by a towing service may be authorized by  a
22    law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.
23        (d)  When  an  abandoned,  unattended, wrecked, burned or
24    partially dismantled vehicle is  creating  a  traffic  hazard
25    because  of  its  position  in relation to the highway or its
26    physical appearance is causing the impeding of  traffic,  its
27    immediate  removal  from  the  highway  or  private  property
28    adjacent to the highway by a towing service may be authorized
29    by a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.
30        (e)  Whenever  a peace officer reasonably believes that a
31    person under arrest for a violation of Section 11-501 of this
                            -2-                LRB9003030NTsb
 1    Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance  is  likely,
 2    upon  release,  to  commit  a subsequent violation of Section
 3    11-501, or a similar provision  of  a  local  ordinance,  the
 4    arresting officer shall have the vehicle which the person was
 5    operating at the time of the arrest impounded for a period of
 6    not more than 6 hours after the time of arrest. However, such
 7    vehicle  may  be  released  by  the arresting law enforcement
 8    agency prior to the end of the impoundment period if:
 9             (1)  the vehicle was not owned by the  person  under
10        arrest,  and  the  lawful  owner  requesting such release
11        possesses a valid operator's license, proof of ownership,
12        and  would  not,  as  determined  by  the  arresting  law
13        enforcement agency, indicate a lack of ability to operate
14        a motor vehicle in a safe manner, or who would otherwise,
15        by operating such motor vehicle, be in violation of  this
16        Code; or
17             (2)  the  vehicle  is  owned  by  the  person  under
18        arrest,  and  the person under arrest gives permission to
19        another person to operate such vehicle, provided however,
20        that  the  other  person  possesses  a  valid  operator's
21        license and would not, as determined by the arresting law
22        enforcement agency, indicate a lack of ability to operate
23        a motor vehicle in a safe manner or who would  otherwise,
24        by  operating such motor vehicle, be in violation of this
25        Code.
26        (f)  Except as provided in Chapter 18a of this Code,  the
27    owner  or lessor of privately owned real property within this
28    State, or any person authorized by such owner or  lessor,  or
29    any law enforcement agency in the case of publicly owned real
30    property  may  cause  any  motor  vehicle  abandoned  or left
31    unattended  upon  such  property  without  permission  to  be
32    removed by a towing service without liability for  the  costs
33    of  removal,  transportation  or  storage or damage caused by
34    such removal, transportation  or  storage.    The  towing  or
                            -3-                LRB9003030NTsb
 1    removal  of  any  vehicle  from  private property without the
 2    consent of the registered owner or other  legally  authorized
 3    person  in  control  of  the vehicle is subject to compliance
 4    with the following conditions and restrictions:
 5             1.  Any towed or removed vehicle must be  stored  at
 6        the  site of the towing service's place of business.  The
 7        site must be open during  business  hours,  and  for  the
 8        purpose  of  redemption of vehicles, during the time that
 9        the person or firm towing such vehicle is open for towing
10        purposes.
11             2.  The towing service shall within  30  minutes  of
12        completion  of  such  towing  or  removal, notify the law
13        enforcement agency having jurisdiction of such towing  or
14        removal,  and  the  make,  model, color and license plate
15        number of the vehicle, and shall obtain  and  record  the
16        name  of the person at the law enforcement agency to whom
17        such information was reported.
18             3.  If the registered owner  or  legally  authorized
19        person entitled to possession of the vehicle shall arrive
20        at  the  scene  prior  to actual removal or towing of the
21        vehicle, the vehicle shall be disconnected from  the  tow
22        truck  and  that  person  shall  be allowed to remove the
23        vehicle without  interference,  upon  the  payment  of  a
24        reasonable  service  fee  of  not  more than one half the
25        posted  rate  of  the  towing  service  as  provided   in
26        paragraph 6 of this subsection, for which a receipt shall
27        be given.
28             4.  The  rebate  or  payment  of  money or any other
29        valuable consideration from the  towing  service  or  its
30        owners,  managers or employees to the owners or operators
31        of the premises from which  the  vehicles  are  towed  or
32        removed,  for  the  privilege of removing or towing those
33        vehicles, is prohibited.   Any  individual  who  violates
34        this paragraph shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
                            -4-                LRB9003030NTsb
 1             5.  Except for property appurtenant to and obviously
 2        a  part  of  a  single  family  residence, and except for
 3        instances where notice is personally given to  the  owner
 4        or  other  legally  authorized  person  in control of the
 5        vehicle that the area in which that vehicle is parked  is
 6        reserved   or   otherwise   unavailable  to  unauthorized
 7        vehicles and they are subject to  being  removed  at  the
 8        owner  or  operator's  expense,  any  property  owner  or
 9        lessor,  prior  to  towing  or  removing any vehicle from
10        private property without the  consent  of  the  owner  or
11        other  legally  authorized  person  in  control  of  that
12        vehicle,   must  post  a  notice  meeting  the  following
13        requirements:
14                  a.  The notice must be  prominently  placed  at
15             each  driveway access or curb cut allowing vehicular
16             access to the property within 5 feet from the public
17             right-of-way line.  If there are no curbs or  access
18             barriers,  the sign must be posted not less than one
19             sign each 100 feet of lot frontage.
20                  b.  The notice must indicate  clearly,  in  not
21             less  than 2 inch high light-reflective letters on a
22             contrasting background, that  unauthorized  vehicles
23             will be towed away at the owner's expense.
24                  c.  The  notice  must also provide the name and
25             current  telephone  number  of  the  towing  service
26             towing or removing the vehicle.
27                  d.  The sign structure containing the  required
28             notices  must  be  permanently  installed  with  the
29             bottom of the sign not less than 4 feet above ground
30             level,  and  must  be continuously maintained on the
31             property for not less than 24  hours  prior  to  the
32             towing or removing of any vehicle.
33             6.  Any towing service that tows or removes vehicles
34        and proposes to require the owner, operator, or person in
                            -5-                LRB9003030NTsb
 1        control  of  the  vehicle  to pay the costs of towing and
 2        storage prior to redemption of the vehicle must file  and
 3        keep  on  record  with the local law enforcement agency a
 4        complete copy of the current rates to be charged for such
 5        services, and post at the storage site an identical  rate
 6        schedule  and any written contracts with property owners,
 7        lessors,  or  persons  in  control  of   property   which
 8        authorize  them  to  remove  vehicles as provided in this
 9        Section.
10             7.  No  person  shall  engage  in  the  removal   of
11        vehicles  from  private  property  as  described  in this
12        Section  without  filing  a  notice  of  intent  in  each
13        community where he intends to do such removal,  and  such
14        notice shall be filed at least 5 7 days before commencing
15        such towing.
16             8.  No  removal  of  a vehicle from private property
17        shall be done except upon express written instructions of
18        the owners or persons in charge of the  private  property
19        upon which the vehicle is said to be trespassing.
20             9.  Vehicle  entry  for the purpose of removal shall
21        be allowed with reasonable care on the part of the person
22        or firm towing the vehicle.  Such person or firm shall be
23        liable for any damages occasioned to the vehicle if  such
24        entry   is  not  in  accordance  with  the  standards  of
25        reasonable care.
26             10.  When  a  vehicle  has  been  towed  or  removed
27        pursuant to this Section, it  must  be  released  to  its
28        owner  or custodian within one half hour after requested,
29        if such request  is  made  during  business  hours.   Any
30        vehicle  owner or custodian or agent shall have the right
31        to inspect the vehicle before accepting its  return,  and
32        no  release or waiver of any kind which would release the
33        towing service from liability for damages incurred during
34        the towing and storage may be required from  any  vehicle
                            -6-                LRB9003030NTsb
 1        owner  or  other legally authorized person as a condition
 2        of release of the vehicle.  A  detailed,  signed  receipt
 3        showing  the  legal  name  of  the towing service must be
 4        given to the person paying towing or storage  charges  at
 5        the time of payment, whether requested or not.
 6        This   Section   shall  not  apply  to  law  enforcement,
 7    firefighting, rescue, ambulance, or other emergency  vehicles
 8    which  are  marked  as  such  or  to  property  owned  by any
 9    governmental entity.
10        When an  authorized  person  improperly  causes  a  motor
11    vehicle  to  be  removed,  such person shall be liable to the
12    owner or lessee of the  vehicle  for  the  cost  or  removal,
13    transportation  and  storage,  any damages resulting from the
14    removal, transportation and storage, attorney's fee and court
15    costs.
16        Any towing or storage charges accrued shall be payable by
17    the use of any  major  credit  card,  in  addition  to  being
18    payable in cash.
19             11.  Towing  companies  shall also provide insurance
20        coverage  for  areas  where  vehicles  towed  under   the
21        provisions of this Chapter will be impounded or otherwise
22        stored, and shall adequately cover loss by fire, theft or
23        other risks.
24        Any  person  who  fails to comply with the conditions and
25    restrictions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class  C
26    misdemeanor  and  shall  be fined not less than $100 nor more
27    than $500.
28        (g)  When a vehicle  is  determined  to  be  a  hazardous
29    dilapidated  motor  vehicle  pursuant to Section 11-40-3.1 of
30    the Illinois Municipal Code, its removal and impoundment by a
31    towing service may be authorized by a law enforcement  agency
32    with appropriate jurisdiction.
33        When  a  vehicle  removal  from  either public or private
34    property is authorized by a law enforcement agency, the owner
                            -7-                LRB9003030NTsb
 1    of the vehicle  shall  be  responsible  for  all  towing  and
 2    storage charges.
 3        Vehicles  removed  from  public  or  private property and
 4    stored by a commercial vehicle relocator or any other  towing
 5    service  in  compliance  with this Section and Sections 4-201
 6    and 4-202 of this Code, shall be subject to a possessor  lien
 7    for  services pursuant to "An Act concerning liens for labor,
 8    services,  skill  or  materials  furnished  upon  or  storage
 9    furnished for chattels", filed July 24, 1941, as amended, and
10    the provisions of Section 1 of that Act  relating  to  notice
11    and  implied  consent shall be deemed satisfied by compliance
12    with Section 18a-302 and subsection (6) of  Section  18a-300.
13    In no event shall such lien be greater than the rate or rates
14    established  in  accordance  with  subsection  (6) of Section
15    18a-200 of this  Code.   In  no  event  shall  such  lien  be
16    increased  or  altered  to reflect any charge for services or
17    materials rendered in addition to those  authorized  by  this
18    Act.   Every  such  lien shall be payable by use of any major
19    credit card, in addition to being payable in cash.
20    (Source: P.A. 86-460; 86-820; 86-1028; 87-531.)

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