2016 Arkansas Code
Title 27 - Transportation
Subtitle 4 - Motor Vehicular Traffic
Chapter 50 - Penalties and Enforcement
Subchapter 12 - -- Removal or Immobilization of Unattended or Abandoned Vehicles
§ 27-50-1203. Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board -- Creation

AR Code § 27-50-1203 (2016) What's This?

(a) (1) There is hereby created the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board consisting of nine (9) members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, who shall serve terms of three (3) years.

(2) (A) Four (4) members shall be appointed from the towing industry and shall be licensed by the board to engage in nonconsent towing, with one (1) each of the members being a resident of each of the four (4) congressional districts.

(B) Two (2) members who are permitted to engage in the consent-only business shall be appointed from the state at large.

(C) Two (2) members who are not associated with the towing industry shall be appointed from the state at large.

(D) One (1) member shall be appointed from the insurance industry.

(b) (1) The appointed board members shall be residents of the State of Arkansas at the time of appointment and throughout their terms.

(2) (A) A member appointed under subdivision (a)(2)(A) of this section shall remain engaged in the business of nonconsent towing.

(B) A member appointed under subdivision (a)(2)(B) of this section shall remain in the business of consent-only towing.

(C) A member appointed under subdivision (a)(2)(D) of this section shall remain actively engaged in the insurance industry.

(D) A member appointed under subdivision (a)(2)(A), subdivision (a)(2)(B), or subdivision (a)(2)(D) of this section who no longer satisfies the requirements for his or her board position under subdivision (b)(2)(A), subdivision (b)(2)(B), or subdivision (b)(2)(C) of this section shall:

(i) Provide notification of his or her change of status to the Governor and the Director of the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board; and

(ii) Resign from the board within thirty (30) days of the date upon which the member no longer satisfies the requirements of subdivision (b)(2)(A), subdivision (b)(2)(B), or subdivision (b)(2)(C) of this section.

(c) (1) The members shall determine by majority vote of the quorum of the board who shall serve as chair.

(2) The chair shall be elected annually from the membership of the board.

(d) (1) The board shall meet at such times and places that the chair deems necessary, but no meeting shall be held outside the State of Arkansas.

(2) Five (5) of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business.

(3) All actions of the board shall be by a quorum.

(e) (1) The board shall promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the intent of this subchapter and shall regulate the towing industry and vehicle immobilization service industry, including:

(A) Establishing reasonable licensing, insurance, and equipment requirements for any person engaging in towing and related services for safety purposes or vehicle immobilization services under this subchapter;

(B) Establishing reasonable tow truck safety requirements for any tow vehicle as defined in this subchapter;

(C) Establishing a procedure to accept and investigate complaints from a consumer who claims that he or she has been overcharged for fees related to nonconsent towing, recovery, storage, or vehicle immobilization services;

(D) Determining and sanctioning excessive or unnecessary fees charged to consumers related to nonconsent towing, recovery, storage, or vehicle immobilization services;

(E) Requiring all entities permitted, licensed, or regulated under this subchapter to provide to the board all documents in response to information requests by the board pursuant to the investigation of consumer complaints or board complaints against the permittee or licensee;

(F) Requiring all entities permitted, licensed, or regulated under this subchapter to provide itemized billing for fees related to towing, storage, or vehicle immobilization services that explains how the charges were calculated;

(G) Requiring all entities permitted, licensed, or regulated under this subchapter to maintain a copy of their current maximum rate schedule or fee schedule posted in a conspicuous place and readily accessible to the public;

(H) Requiring all entities permitted, licensed, or regulated under this subchapter to allow the owner or agent of the owner of a motor vehicle removed under this subchapter or under § 27-50-1101 to use any other entity permitted, licensed, or regulated under this subchapter when reclaiming the motor vehicle from storage.

(I) (i) Requiring all entities permitted, licensed, or regulated under this subchapter to post a sign notifying customers of the consumer complaint process under § 27-50-1217.

(ii) The sign shall be in a conspicuous and central location in the public area and shall be a minimum of sixteen inches by twenty inches (16'' x 20'') in size.

(iii) The board may assess a fine of between fifty dollars ($50.00) and two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for failure to comply with the provisions of this subdivision (e)(1)(I); and

(J) The board shall set a minimum standard for the structure of the place of business and storage facility utilized for the daily operation of a towing company licensed and regulated under this subsection. The place of business shall utilize:

(i) A location easily accessible by the public;

(ii) An appropriate and secure filing system for business records;

(iii) Clear and visible front and rear location signage that is:

(a) A minimum of four feet by six feet (4' x 6') in size;

(b) Displaying the name, physical address, a telephone number of the towing company, hours of operation, and a telephone number easily accessible to the public.

(2) The promulgation and adoption of rules and regulations shall in all respects be in the manner provided by the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act, § 25-15-201 et seq.

(3) After the promulgation and adoption of rules or regulations, any proposed change to add to, amend, repeal, or change any of the rules or regulations shall not have effect until reviewed and approved by the Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee of the Legislative Council subsequent to the time that the General Assembly next meets in regular session unless a finding exists that imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare requires immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of the rules or regulations.

(f) (1) (A) The board shall have the authority to levy applicable towing business license and vehicle immobilization service license fees not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200) per license, and the board shall have the authority to levy an applicable tow vehicle safety permit fee not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per tow vehicle safety permit.

(B) A person licensed by the board to perform towing services is authorized to perform vehicle immobilization services without obtaining a separate vehicle immobilization service license.

(2) The board shall also have the authority to impose late filing fees in addition to the original filing fees in an amount not to exceed the original amount of the license fee or safety permit fee.

(g) (1) The board shall have the authority to employ and discharge any personnel as may be necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this subchapter and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.

(2) The board shall employ investigators to investigate consumer complaints related to overcharging for nonconsent towing, recovery, storage fees, fees associated with the use of wheel clamps, violations of § 27-50-1101, this subchapter, and violations of the rules promulgated by the board under this subchapter.

(h) The board shall have the authority to obtain office space, furniture, stationery, and other proper supplies and conveniences reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.

(i) Each member of the board may receive expense reimbursement and stipends in accordance with § 25-16-901 et seq.

(j) The board shall have the authority to establish a maximum amount to be charged by a towing business for each notification to an owner and a lienholder as required by this subchapter.

(k) The board shall issue a towing business license or issue a tow vehicle safety permit for a tow vehicle licensed in another state to tow any vehicle in this state only when the tow vehicle owner establishes to the board's satisfaction that the operation of the tow vehicle in this state is in compliance with § 27-35-112.

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