Editor’s Note: In this Chapter the word "Sheriff" is changed to "Chief of Police" and the words "Sheriff’s Department" are changed to "Police Department" pursuant to the St. Charles County Charter Article IV, Sections 4.250 and 4.1300, as amended in 2012 and effective 1-1-2015, and St. Charles County Ord. No. 15-012, Section 2, adopted 1-26-2015.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §1, 1-29-2003]
This Chapter shall be known and cited as the "Tow Truck Code". This Chapter shall apply to any wrecker or tow service business registered with the United States Department of Transportation and which is operated (1) by a towing business physically located within St. Charles County, or (2) which conducts more than fifty percent (50%) of its wrecker or tow service business activities in the County.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §2, 1-29-2003]
This Chapter shall be applicable in St. Charles County.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §3, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 12-029 §2, 3-30-2012]
As used in this Chapter, the following words shall mean:
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of St. Charles County, Missouri.
- Operating a tow truck on a public highway at a slow rate of speed or in any other fashion for the purpose of soliciting business along said highway.
- Any highway, road, street or alley open to the use of the public for the purpose of vehicular traffic.
- IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
- A permanent number assigned by the Registrar to a specific tow vehicle.
- The owner of a tow truck business licensed by the St. Charles County Registrar.
- OPERATING, OPERATION OF OR TO OPERATE A TOW TRUCK
- Includes all acts and functions incident to the movement of a tow truck from place to place; as well as all acts involved in the undertaking of a tow, whether for hire or for personal or business use by the owner of the tow truck; and the conducting of a business engaged in the operation of a tow truck.
- Any person who holds legal title to a tow and/or wrecker business or one who has the legal right to the control of such a business.
- Any individual, co-partnership, firm, association, company or combination of individuals, of whatever form or character.
- The Registrar of St. Charles County, Missouri.
- A form provided by the Registrar on which the applicant or licensee will provide the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for each tow vehicle or wrecker.
- Requesting or attempting to sway an owner, his lawful agent or representative to give permission to a tow truck to remove, repair or store a vehicle for monetary consideration without previous request from the owner, his lawful agent or representative.
- TOW TRUCK
- A mechanically propelled vehicle equipped with a device used to hoist and tow, transport, convey or move other vehicles from place to place upon authorization of the owner, his lawful agent or representative, which vehicle is sometime referred to as a tow vehicle or wrecker.
- Every device, whether mechanically propelled or drawn, in or by which any person or property is or may be moved upon a public highway, except devices moved only by human or animal power or a device which works exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, and shall include trailers and semi-trailers.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §4, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 12-029 §3, 3-30-2012]
From and after May 1, 2003, it shall be unlawful for any person or corporation (1) to operate a towing business within St. Charles County, or (2) to conduct more than fifty percent (50%) of its wrecker or tow service business activities in the County if in either event one (1) or more wreckers or tow vehicles used within that business are registered with the United States Department of Transportation, unless the owner of the tow truck business shall first have obtained a license from the Chief of Police and delivered by the Registrar for said tow truck business. An application for a license shall be made by the tow truck owner on a form approved by the Chief of Police and furnished by the Registrar, and any license issued shall be affixed to the lower left corner of the windshield of the tow truck for which the license is obtained. All references to St. Charles County refer to the areas within the incorporated areas of the County as well as the unincorporated areas pursuant to the authority of Section 301.344, RSMo.
No license shall be required of any person to operate a tow truck(s) within the County if that person's only business interest in the tow truck(s) is to sell and service said truck(s).
Each tow truck or wrecker used within the business shall be registered by the licensee with the Chief of Police and Registrar.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §5, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 03-066 §1, 6-3-2003; Ord. No. 13-001 §6, 1-3-2013; Ord. No. 13-050 §5, 6-28-2013]
The application for said license shall contain the following:
Name and address of the tow truck business owner; if a natural person, the date and place of birth and Missouri State operator's license number; if a corporation, the State under which incorporated, the date of incorporation, the address of the principal office, and the names and addresses of its officers;
If any other type of organization, the name thereof, the location of its office, and the names and addresses of the principal officers, directors, trustees, or managing officials or partners;
The names and addresses of all persons who will be directly involved in the administration of the tow truck business or operation of a tow truck under the license;
The place from which the tow truck business will operate and the number of said vehicles to be operated;
A listing of each wrecker or tow truck used in the business by VIN and license number, as well as a copy of the title;
A copy of the valid Missouri State Safety Inspection or of the valid United States Department of Transportation periodic inspection for each tow vehicle or wrecker;
[Ord. No. 03-011 §6, 1-29-2003]
Any person who is to be an operator of a tow truck under the provisions of the Chapter shall: (a) be eighteen (18) years of age or older; and (b) have a current chauffeur's license issued by the State of Missouri pursuant to the licensing requirements of Chapter 302 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri or, if licensed to drive in another State, have a comparable commercial driver's license that is current.
The tow truck owner shall provide proof to the Registrar that the persons who will be operating the tow truck(s) possess a current chauffeur's license or equivalent as required under this Section.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §7, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 03-066 §2, 6-3-2003; Ord. No. 05-101 §1, 6-28-2005; Ord. No. 06-117 §1, 8-29-2006; Ord. No. 12-029 §4, 3-30-2012]
Each applicant, upon submission of the application for tow truck license, shall be required to provide to the Registrar the following:
An original State criminal history check from the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Criminal Records and Identification Division consisting of at least a current arrest and conviction record for the applicant and for each person listed pursuant to Section 608.030(3) (which report shall be furnished upon presentation to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Criminal Records and Identification Division of an "Authorization for Release of Information to Third Party" stating, "As the subject of a criminal record check, I request the Missouri State Highway Patrol to provide my criminal history to the St. Charles County Registrar, 201 North Second Street, St. Charles, Missouri 63301. I understand that the criminal history information released may contain records deemed "closed" by Missouri Statutes and I release the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Records and Identification Division from any liability from such request. I authorize such release by my signature. [signature]";
Authenticated copies of records from any other Law Enforcement Agency on the disposition of any criminal matters identified on an original State criminal history check without information on its disposition (which copies may be furnished upon presentation to the Law Enforcement Agency of an "Authorization for Release" substantially similar to the release described in Section 608.035(A)(1), above); and
Written records showing arrests, guilty pleas and findings of guilt concerning the applicant and all other persons listed as being involved in the operation of a tow truck.
Such application shall be reviewed by the Chief of Police and such license shall be issued by the Chief of Police and delivered by the Registrar unless the Chief of Police finds one (1) or more of the following:
Intentional misstatements or misleading statements of fact in the application;
Any party or parties interested in the proposed operation of a tow truck in the County shall previously have had a tow truck license suspended or revoked, or shall have been registered as an offender under Sections 589.400 et seq., Revised Statutes of Missouri, as amended ("Megan's Law"), or shall have pled guilty to, or been found guilty of, the following:
A violation of any Statute, law or ordinance involving theft, possession of stolen property, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles; or
A violation of any State Statute, law or ordinance involving crime against persons, including, but not limited to, all forms of assaults; or
A violation of any State felony Statute; or
A violation of the St. Charles County Tow Truck Code; or
Failure to pay the required application fee.
Each applicant shall be notified by the Registrar by mail or by hand delivery of the issuance or non-issuance of a license by the Chief of Police.
If the Chief of Police does not issue a license, the Chief of Police's reasons for his not doing so shall be in writing and shall accompany the Registrar's notice of non-issuance.
The Chief of Police's determination of non-issuance may be appealed under the provisions of Section 536.150, RSMo., as amended.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §8, 1-29-2003]
The fee for the issuance of a license under this Chapter shall be fifty dollars ($50.00) for each business, said fee to accompany the license application. No part of said fee shall be returnable.
The term of said license shall be for one (1) year from the date of issuance and may be renewed as provided herein.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §9, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 12-029 §5, 3-30-2012]
Prior to the expiration of the license, a County licensee may apply to the Registrar for a renewal thereof by the Chief of Police.
The County licensee shall indicate any changes from the information furnished to the Registrar at the time of the original application.
An application for renewal shall be accompanied by a renewal application fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00), no part of which shall be returnable.
The Registrar shall renew said license if the Chief of Police shall find that said operation shall have been conducted in accordance with all applicable laws and ordinances.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §10, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 05-101 §2, 6-28-2005; Ord. No. 12-029 §6, 3-30-2012]
The Chief of Police may suspend for a period up to ninety (90) days or revoke a license heretofore issued if he finds one (1) or more of the following:
Intentional misstatement or misleading statements of fact in the application not discovered until after the issuance of said license;
Any party or parties interested in the proposed operation of a tow truck in the County shall have been convicted of the following:
A violation of any Statute, law or ordinance involving theft, possession of stolen property, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles; or
A violation of State Statute, law or ordinance involving any crime against persons, including, but not limited to, all forms of assault; or
A violation of State felony Statute; or
A violation of the St. Charles County Tow Truck Code.
However, in the case of a suspension, if the Chief of Police should find the conduct of such party or parties subsequent to the start of the suspension to be such as to indicate the fitness to operate a tow truck before the period of suspension is completed, the Chief of Police may terminate the suspension. In the case of a revocation, if the Chief of Police should find the conduct of such party or parties subsequent to the start of the revocation to be such as to indicate the fitness to operate a tow truck, the Chief of Police may issue a license to the party or parties subject to the revocation after the party or parties have applied anew for a tow truck license. In either case, the actions of the Chief of Police shall not be against the public interest;
In the event that the Chief of Police suspends or revokes said license, the County licensee shall be entitled to a hearing before the Chief of Police upon notice duly given ten (10) business days prior to the date of such hearing. The decision of the Chief of Police and the reasons therefore shall be sent by certified mail or hand delivered to the County licensee.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §11, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 12-029 §7, 3-30-2012]
No license shall be transferred from one owner to another, but an owner may transfer the registration of one tow truck to another tow truck. Such transfer shall only be made on approval of the Chief of Police after written request was made to the Registrar on forms approved by the Chief of Police and provided by the Registrar for that purpose.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §12, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 12-029 §8, 3-30-2012]
The applicant or licensee shall provide the Registrar information on additional drivers at the time such person is hired or contracted. The Registrar shall provide forms approved by the Chief of Police upon which the County applicant or licensee shall report the information for each driver as required by this Chapter.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §13, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 12-029 §9, 3-30-2012]
The applicant or licensee shall provide the Registrar information on additional vehicles by registering the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of that vehicle prior to the time such vehicle is put into operation. The Registrar shall provide forms approved by the Chief of Police upon which the County applicant or licensee shall report the registration information for each vehicle as required by this Chapter. Such form may be used to notify the Registrar that a vehicle has been taken out of service.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §14, 1-29-2003]
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a tow truck in the County unless on each side of the said tow truck there shall be legibly printed in letters not less than one and one-half (1½) inches in height the following:
Name and address of the licensee and the identification number assigned to him by the Registrar.
The phrase "tow vehicle licensed by St. Charles County, Missouri".
The current rates of the business posted on the doors of the driver and passenger cabin or the phrase "request schedule of prices before engaging this vehicle" posted on the doors of the driver and passenger cabin.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §15, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 06-090 §1, 6-27-2006; Ord. No. 12-029 §10, 3-30-2012]
A licensee operating in the County shall prepare and file in triplicate with the Registrar, on a form approved by the Chief of Police and provided by the Registrar, a schedule of prices to be charged for the towing and storage of vehicles, such schedule to be filed at the time of the application and updated prior to any change. Such schedule may be based on time, mileage or a combination of both. In addition, said schedule may include the minimum charge for any undertaking involving towing and storage. One (1) copy of said schedule shall be retained by the Registrar, one (1) copy shall be returned to the tow truck owner and one (1) copy shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police.
Vehicle storage facilities must have appropriate personnel available to release the towed vehicle to its owner up to 10:00 P.M., or if the storage facility closes prior to 10:00 P.M., then no storage fee shall be charged if the vehicle was towed four (4) hours prior to closing and the vehicle is picked up prior to Noon on the next business day.
It shall be unlawful to charge a sum in excess of that authorized by the schedule filed with the Registrar. The current rates shall be filed annually at the time of license renewal. Should the County licensee amend their rates during the course of the license year, they shall forward their rate change to the Registrar in triplicate at least ten (10) days prior to the implementation of the amended rates.
Prior to the undertaking of a tow, the truck operator shall present said schedule or prices to the customer for his examination.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §16, 1-29-2003; Ord. No. 12-029 §11, 3-30-2012]
Prior to the undertaking of a tow, the tow truck operator shall obtain the name, address and telephone numbers of the person authorizing the tow. Such tow truck operator shall supply the said information upon the request of any Law Enforcement Officer.
All persons operating a tow truck shall keep in their possession a pad of printed statements containing the tow truck business name and the address of its place of business, and after towing a vehicle shall prepare one (1) of said printed statements in duplicate and furnish the original to the owner of the vehicle or to his authorized representative. The statement shall contain the following information:
The full name and address of the licensee;
The identification number assigned by the Registrar to the tow vehicle pursuant to this Chapter;
The State license plate number of the tow truck;
The full name and address of the person engaging the tow truck;
The State license number or the State vehicle identification number of the vehicle towed;
The total amount charged for towing, including the number of miles towed and the storage rate per day or price thereof; and
Any other information required by the Chief of Police.
A duplicate of each statement shall be retained by the licensee for a period of one (1) year and shall be exhibited by him upon demand by the Chief of Police, the Registrar or their authorized representative.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §17, 1-29-2003]
The provision of Section 608.070(2) of this Chapter shall not be applicable to any person operating a tow truck under the terms of a written contract for a specific period of time with any person, firm or corporation to tow, transport, convey or move vehicles owned, controlled or in the custody of such person, firm or corporation to a specific location designated for consideration set forth in such contract; provided that the said person has in his possession at all times while towing, transporting, conveying or moving any such vehicle such contract or an affidavit which shall recite the existence of the said contract, the name, address and phone number of the contracting parties, the term of the contract and the scope of services to be performed. Any person seeking exemption under this provision shall display such contract or affidavit when required to do so by any Law Enforcement Officer. This provision shall not be so construed or interpreted so as to render or to relieve the licensee from complying with the other provisions of this Chapter.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §18, 1-29-2003]
No license to operate a tow truck shall be issued until and unless the applicant shall first obtain a policy of insurance from a company authorized to do business in the State of Missouri or a bond of indemnity, acceptable to the Registrar, with limits for bodily injury liability of at least three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) for each person, one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for each accident and property damage liability of one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000.00) for each accident or for damage to vehicles in the custody of the wrecker or tow business. No tow truck business shall operate a tow truck or wrecker in the County unless each operator shall be covered by an insurance policy with the foregoing minimum limits of liability.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §19, 1-29-2003]
No license to operate a tow truck shall be issued until and unless the applicant shall file with the Registrar a statement by applicant setting forth the location of the storage area(s) and whether the storage area for vehicles is fenced or unfenced or a combination, and whether the storage is indoors or out, or a combination.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §20, 1-29-2003]
No driver of a tow truck shall engage in cruising.
No driver of a tow truck shall invite or permit loitering within or near his tow truck.
No driver of a tow truck shall seek employment by repeatedly driving his vehicle to and from in a short space on any highway or otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly progress of traffic along a public highway.
No driver of a tow truck shall solicit or attempt to divert prospective patrons of another tow truck.
No driver of a tow truck shall solicit or divert prospective patrons to any given garage in the County.
No driver of a tow truck shall solicit, demand or receive from any person any pay or commission or emolument whatever except the proper fare for transporting the vehicle in accordance with the schedule of charges defined in Section 608.065 hereof.
All County licensees shall promptly report all changes of address or of the storage area location to the Registrar.
A driver of a tow truck shall not remove a vehicle involved in an accident in which a person has been killed or seriously injured unless such vehicle has been released by a duly authorized member of the St. Charles County Police Department.
[Ord. No. 03-011 §21, 1-29-2003]
Any person who, or business which shall be convicted of a violation of any provision of this Chapter may be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment of not more than thirty (30) days in the County adult detention center, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
[Ord. No. 03-066 §3, 6-3-2003]
Enforcement of the Chapter 608 shall be the responsibility of the County Counselor's office.