2015 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 14 - Motor Vehicles. Use of the Highway By Vehicles. Gasoline
Chapter 246 - Motor Vehicles
Section 14-145 - Towing or removal of motor vehicle from private property. Use of a wheel-locking device. Regulations.

CT Gen Stat § 14-145 (2015) What's This?

(a)(1) An owner or lessee of private property, or his or her agent, may remove or cause to be removed, or may use a wheel-locking device to render immovable, any motor vehicle left without authorization on such property in accordance with the provisions of this section and sections 14-145a to 14-145c, inclusive, provided any owner or lessee of private commercial property, or his or her agent, shall install conspicuous signage stating that motor vehicles left without authorization on such private commercial property may be removed or rendered immovable and indicating where such motor vehicle will be stored, how the vehicle may be redeemed and any costs or fees that may be charged.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, an owner or lessee of private commercial property or such owner or lessee’s agent may tow any motor vehicle left without authorization on such property and no signage warning of such towing shall be required to be installed by such owner or lessee if such motor vehicle is left (A) in a space reserved, as required in section 14-253a, for exclusive use by persons who are blind and persons with disabilities and such vehicle does not bear a removable windshield placard or special license plate, as defined in section 14-253a, (B) in an area reserved for authorized emergency vehicles, (C) within ten feet of a fire hydrant, as provided in section 14-251, (D) blocking building access, (E) blocking entry or exit from such property, or (F) for forty-eight or more hours.

(3) A lending institution may repossess any motor vehicle, in accordance with the provisions of section 36a-785, by contracting with a wrecker licensed under section 14-66 or an entity exempt from such licensure, as provided in subsection (f) of section 14-66, to tow or otherwise remove such motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of this section and sections 14-145a to 14-145c, inclusive. In the case of a repossession, no signage as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be required.

(4) This section shall not apply to law enforcement, fire-fighting, rescue, ambulance or emergency vehicles which are marked as such, or to motor vehicles left without authorization on property leased by any governmental agency.

(b) (1) (A) When an unauthorized motor vehicle is towed or otherwise removed by a wrecker licensed under section 14-66, or a repossessed motor vehicle is towed or otherwise removed by a wrecker or an exempt entity, the licensee or operator of the wrecker or the exempt entity shall notify the local police department of the tow or removal within two hours. Such notification shall be submitted, in writing, or transmitted by facsimile or electronic mail and the record of such notification shall be retained by such licensee, operator or exempt entity in accordance with the provisions of section 14-66b.

(B) No such licensee, operator or exempt entity may charge a storage fee for an unauthorized or repossessed motor vehicle for the time it is stored prior to notification of the local police department by the licensee, operator or exempt entity. If such motor vehicle is not claimed within forty-eight hours, the licensee or operator of the wrecker or of the garage where such motor vehicle is stored or the exempt entity shall immediately complete a notice of such tow, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, and mail a copy of such form by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner and all lienholders of record. If the motor vehicle is not claimed by its owner within the time periods specified in subsection (e) of section 14-150, the licensee or operator of the wrecker or of the garage where such motor vehicle is stored or the exempt entity may dispose of it in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e) and subsections (g) to (i), inclusive, of section 14-150.

(2) (A) When an unauthorized motor vehicle is rendered immovable through use of a wheel-locking device by an owner or lessee of private property or his or her agent, such owner, lessee or agent shall notify the local police department of such action within two hours. Such notification shall be submitted in writing or transmitted by facsimile or electronic mail. The record of such notification shall be retained by such owner, lessee or agent at the private property upon which such action took place, for a period of not less than six months and shall be available for inspection during regular business hours by any sworn member of the local police department or law enforcement officer or inspector designated by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

(B) No owner, lessee or agent may charge a fee to remove a wheel-locking device prior to notification of the local police department. The fee charged to remove a wheel-locking device may not be more than fifty dollars. The person claiming the motor vehicle may choose to pay such fee in cash, by check or by debit or credit card. Ten per cent of such fee shall be remitted to the local police department by the owner, lessee or agent. If such motor vehicle is not claimed within forty-eight hours after being rendered immovable, the owner, lessee or agent shall immediately complete a notice that such motor vehicle has been rendered immovable, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, and mail a copy of such form by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of such motor vehicle and all lienholders of record. If the motor vehicle is not claimed by its owner within the time periods specified in subsection (e) of section 14-150, the owner, lessee or agent may dispose of such motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e) and subsections (g) to (i), inclusive, of section 14-150.

(3) The local police department, not later than forty-eight hours after receiving notification of a tow or removal of an unauthorized motor vehicle pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, or use of a wheel-locking device pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, shall enter the vehicle identification number into the National Crime Information Center database and the Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing System to determine whether such motor vehicle has been reported as stolen. If such motor vehicle has been reported as stolen, the local police department shall immediately notify the department that reported the vehicle as stolen.

(c) The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, (1) specifying the circumstances under which title to any motor vehicle towed or stored, or both, or rendered immovable under this section may be transferred to any person, firm or corporation towing, storing or rendering immovable such vehicle, and (2) establishing the procedure whereby such person, firm or corporation may obtain title to such motor vehicle.

(d) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall, for a first offense, be deemed to have committed an infraction and be fined fifty dollars, and, for each subsequent offense, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars and not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or be both fined and imprisoned.

(1949 Rev., S. 2469; February, 1965, P.A. 448, S. 15; 1969, P.A. 131; 417; P.A. 73-429, S. 1; P.A. 81-351, S. 1; P.A. 82-223, S. 13; P.A. 83-577, S. 19; P.A. 91-408, S. 1; P.A. 02-70, S. 68; P.A. 10-3, S. 60; P.A. 13-271, S. 29; P.A. 14-130, S. 21; P.A. 15-42, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 15-5, S. 233.)

History: 1965 act added provisions re damage of vehicle or parts and removal of parts; 1969 acts added provision forbidding tampering with odometer and added exception to allow property owner or agent to remove vehicle left on property without authorization; P.A. 73-429 deleted provision re tampering with odometer; P.A. 81-351 removed and transferred the tampering provisions from the section, divided the section into subsections and established requirements for towing or removing a motor vehicle from private property; P.A. 82-223 amended Subsec. (c) by specifying that the commission of a first offense constituted an infraction and increasing the minimum fine therefor from $10 to $25; P.A. 83-577 amended Subsec. (c) by increasing the minimum fine for a first offense from $25 to $35; P.A. 91-408 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing “A property owner” with “An owner or lessee of private property”, authorizing such owner or lessee to “cause to be removed” a motor vehicle, providing that removal shall be in accordance with “this section and sections 14-145a to 14-145c, inclusive”, rather than in accordance with “subsection (b) of this section” and adding exception for certain designated police, fire and emergency vehicles and for removal of vehicles from property leased by a governmental agency; P.A. 02-70 amended Subsec. (b) to require the licensee or operator of the wrecker to notify the local police department of the tow of the vehicle left on private property within 2 hours, instead of 24 hours, effective June 3, 2002; P.A. 10-3 amended Subsec. (c) to replace fine for first offense of not less than $35 nor more than $50 with fine of $50, effective April 14, 2010; P.A. 13-271 amended Subsec. (b) to add provision re notification in writing or by facsimile or electronic mail and re licensee retention of notification record, effective July 1, 2013; P.A. 14-130 amended Subsec. (b) to add provisions re police to enter vehicle identification number of towed vehicle into national database and state system and to notify department of any motor vehicle reported stolen, to add provision re notice of tow if vehicle not claimed within 48 hours, and to add reference to Subsecs. (g) to (i) of Sec. 14-150, added new Subsec. (c) re commissioner to adopt regulations re transfer of title of towed vehicles, redesignated existing Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d) and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2014; P.A. 15-42 amended Subsec. (a) by designating existing provisions as Subdivs. (1) and (3), adding authorization to use wheel-locking device and signage requirement in Subdiv. (1), adding Subdiv. (2) re repossessions and replacing “the removal of motor vehicles from” with “motor vehicles left without authorization on” in Subdiv. (3), amended Subsec. (b) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1)(A) and (B), amending Subdiv. (1)(A) by adding provisions re unauthorized motor vehicle and repossessed motor vehicle towed or otherwise removed by wrecker or exempt entity and deleting provisions re determination whether motor vehicle has been reported as stolen and notification by local police department, adding Subdiv. (2) re use of wheel-locking devices and adding Subdiv. (3) re determination whether motor vehicle has been reported as stolen and notification by local police department, and made technical and conforming changes; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 15-5 amended Subsec. (a) by adding new Subdiv. (2) re exceptions to signage requirement for towing and redesignating existing Subdivs. (2) and (3) as Subdivs. (3) and (4).

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