If you’re just joining us, we’re taking a look at the law of the land when it comes to towing illegally parked vehicles in Jacksonville, Florida. Catch up with part one of the series here.
If you’re outside of Jacksonville, such as St. Augustine or other northeastern parts of Florida, please keep in mind that your local city ordinance might have different rules than what we’re about to discuss. While these articles can give you a good idea of general towing laws, always check with your local city for their exact set of rules.
Don’t forget, you can view the entire city ordinance at any time on our website here.
In part one of this series on towing laws for Jacksonville, we discovered that a property owner has to have a written agreement with a towing company on file with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office before they can tow your car.
For part two, we’re taking a look at Jacksonville city ordinance section 804.1305, titled “return of owner prior to tow.” We’re going to clear up some facts about what you can do to stop your car from being towed even after the tow truck shows up.
Hey! That’s My Car!
You’ve probably seen in movies or TV shows a scene where a driver comes out to find their car being hooked up by a tow truck operator. The operator almost always says “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do” and takes the car away. But, is there really nothing they can do?
According to section 804.1305, there is a way to get your car back! It states, and for the sake of your boredom I’m paraphrasing here, that no towing service shall tow a vehicle or charge for its services when the owner arrives at the scene unless the owner refuses to move their car or the car has already been connected to the tow truck.
So, if you’re going to park illegally, make sure you get back to your car quickly to save the charge! As long as you catch them in the act, you can get your car back.
But What If It’s Connected?
If you read the aforementioned unless line carefully, you’ll see that stopping the tow is tough if it’s in progress, and by that I mean your car is already chained to the tow truck ready to be moved or worse.
But, there’s still good news. Even if your vehicle is chained to the tow truck but the tow driver hasn’t set off, you can still get your car back for a cost.
The rest of the ordinance states that if the vehicle has been connected the owner can pay a service fee of no more than one-half of the normal tow rate to get it back. Also, the tow truck operator must wait a minimum of 30 minutes to let the vehicle owner to secure cash for that payment if they only accept cash as a payment.
So there you have it! If you come out of the shops to find your car being towed, you have some room for recourse, and don’t let any tow company in Duval County tell you otherwise!
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