Get the Facts on Towing
For several consecutive years, towing disputes have topped the list of consumer complaints in Miami-Dade County. At Consumer Services, we strongly feel that a smart consumer is an educated consumer, and therefore, we want to provide you with the details of regulations pertaining to the towing industry.
Did you know that the towing industry in Miami-Dade County is licensed and regulated by the Consumer Services Department (CSD)?
The Miami-Dade County Towing Ordinance requires all persons and businesses engaged in the recovery, towing or removal of vehicles to be licensed by the CSD. The Ordinance requires all towers to meet safety equipment requirements, maintain adequate insurance coverage, and comply with vehicle signage, identification and advertising requirements. It also establishes maximum rates for "non-consent" towing services. The goal of the ordinance is to ensure equity in the industry.
Understanding the difference between consent and non-consent tows.
ˇ A consent tow occurs when the vehicle is towed at the request of the vehicle owner or authorized driver.
ˇ A non-consent tow occurs when a vehicle is towed or removed without the prior express instruction of the vehicle owner or authorized driver. Non-Consent tows include police requested tows (accidents, disabled vehicles, illegal parking, etc.) or the towing of vehicles from private property tow-away zones (shopping centers, office buildings, restaurants, etc.).
Consent Towing Regulation
Non-consent Towing Regulation
Be careful where you park. If you enter a parking lot for a specific business or group of businesses, the property owner may have your vehicle towed if you leave your vehicle parked there and walk to another location close by but not on the property.
Can Have My Vehicle Towed?
Reporting of Non-consent Tows
The storage facility must have an office that is open from at least 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. When the storage facility office is closed, the towing service provider must prominently post a notice indicating a telephone number where they can be reached at all times. If you contact the towing service provider after business hours with a request to retrieve your vehicle, the towing service provider must return to the storage facility within one (1) hour to release your vehicle.
If your vehicle is being stored as a result of a tow, you or your authorized representative must be allowed the opportunity to inspect the vehicle and remove all personal property prior to paying the tow bill.
If you call a storage facility, regarding the retrieval of your vehicle, you must be informed of the documents necessary for the release of your vehicle, the exact charges for towing and storage at the time of the call, the rates at which additional charges may be added, and the acceptable methods of payment.
Each storage site must prominently display a schedule of all charges and rates for non-consent tows. These rates must be in compliance with the maximum allowed rates set by Miami-Dade County.
The towing service provider must accept at least two (2) of the following forms of payment: cash (including money order or valid traveler's check), a valid bank credit card or valid personal check.
Towing and Storage Rates
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