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***Legislative Update 5/30/2017***

Legislative Update

Wow! What a session!

We still have a few more days, but barring anything crazy from happening, here is what we accomplished this session (the governor has until June 18 to sign or veto bills, but we don’t foresee anything changing):

Senate Bill 1501 was passed by the Senate yesterday with two important STO amendments:

Our top priority, to fix several storage lien issues, was included in this bill. Another STO initiative, to allow relocates and to allow a warning sticker as notification for expired tags was also in this bill.

SB 1501 will require tax offices to accept proof of MAILING in order to process a storage lien. It will also allow us to sell a vehicle even if the notification is sent out late. We work with a group of lienholders to get this in the bill and to do that we had to give them some small concessions. Overall, it is a huge benefit to the towing and storage industry, while helping the lienholders as well.

SB 1501 also makes the abandoned report to law enforcement required ONLY IF REQUIRED BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.

In addition to getting this passed, we also killed many bills that would have devastated our industry:

Two bills requiring property owner to be present at the time of tow: KILLED

Bill requiring VSF’s to store vehicles free for the 1st 24 hours: KILLED

Bill requiring cargo to be released FREE: KILLED

Bill requiring TDLR to regulate Incident Management tows and put a CAP on them: KILLED

Bill requiring rights of vehicle owner be printed on tow signs: KILLED

Bill giving vehicle owners 180 days to file for tow hearing: KILLED

Unfortunately, we did not get a daily storage rate increase this session. We tried hard to get this done, but couldn’t get it to the finish line. There was no one willing to carry our bill. We will continue to fight for this and find a way to get it done next session.

Also, our main clean-up bill did not succeed. However, we combined our clean- up bill with the TTSA comprehensive bill and worked with them to get each association’s issues addressed. Unfortunately, the TTSA bill did not make it.

This has been the most stressful, but the most successful session the towing industry has had in many years. We have had more cooperation between associations and more people involved than ever.

Thank you to all of you who showed up at the Capitol to testify, offered support, etc. Also, a big thank you to everyone who made phone calls to your representatives and others on these bills. The visits and phone calls go a long way and are noticed.

Other important items that STO worked on and supported:

  • The dual towing/VSF license has been eliminated. Licensed tow operators will now be able to work in a VSF without a special license.
  • State booting operator and company licenses were repealed. Booting will now be regulated at the local level.
  • The Towing and Storage Advisory board will now be made up of nine members, 5 industry members and 4 other (2 law enforcement, 1 insurance, and 1 parking facility representative). We will have an opening for a new towing/VSF member since the booting member has been eliminated. We will now have more representation from industry than from “other” which is a very good thing.

REMEMBER: These changes are not effective yet. Effective dates will be sent out with more detail later as it becomes available.

We will begin working on the next session this summer. We still need your help. Lobbyists and attorneys are expensive and it takes a lot of support to get things done legislatively.

How you can help all year:

  • Be sure and renew your membership. Join at a higher level, if able. Executive: $500 a year, Platinum $1,000 a year
  • Require your drivers to test and train with STO
  • Give a personal donation to our PAC fund to support good legislators.
  • Get to know your state senator and representative. Let them know you are in the towing business and are here to help. Sponsor a fundraiser for them or put up signs. Representatives have to run every two years, so they need a lot of help.
  • Help us keep the momentum going so we can get a rate increase next year. It has been 12 years since our last increase!


Southwest Tow Operators’ Board & Legislative Committee.



Contact Info

  • Southwest Tow Operators
  • 811 S Central Expwy Suite 200
  • Richardson, Texas, 75080
  • Toll Free: (866) 320-9300

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