California Assembly Bill 519, which deals with towing and storage laws, will go into effect statewide in January 2011. The bill was supported by the insurance industry and opposed by the Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) and others.
It impacts companies that charge for towing or vehicle storage related to a tow. Those companies must:
Upon request provide a Towing Fee and Access Notice to the owner or operator of the vehicle.
Provide an itemized invoice of the actual tow charges.
Provide a notice on your invoice stating, "Upon request, you are entitled to receive a copy of the Towing Fees and Access Notice" and have the notice available.
The notice only needs to be on invoices that have tow charges.
The CRA suggests that repairers have the tow provider provide the information required relating to the tow on their invoice then incorporate by reference their invoice on your invoice (for example: see attached invoice xxxx for a total $xx.xx). Using the tower-provided invoice repairers are by this statute not responsible for the accuracy of the unaltered documen, according to CRA.
The bill allows for additional services or fees (mark up) to be charged if they are itemized and explained. This could be a handling fee or administration fee. Repairers should have the fee on their authorized estimate, according to CRA.
For more information, call CRA at 916-837-2362.