Removal of Abandoned Vehicles by State Police

Section 106-B:30

    106-B:30 Requirements for Placement on the Tow List. –
I. Any tow business that wishes to be placed on the rotation list with appropriate designation shall make application to the director of state police.
II. The tow business shall provide as part of its application a list of all tow truck operator personnel, including full name, current address, date and place of birth, driver's license number and type, and any restrictions, license expiration date, and social security number. The application shall be updated with state police communications within 5 days of whenever a new employee is hired, or an employee leaves the employ of the business.
III. The application shall include an individual form approved by the director of state police for each tow truck operator and for the owner and manager of the business and any supervisors, listing under penalty of unsworn falsification their full name, date and place of birth, driver license number and type and any restrictions or limitations, and a listing of all motor vehicle offense convictions in this or any other state or Canadian province including type, court, and year in the preceding 5 years, and a list of any criminal convictions in this or any other state or Canadian province within the past 10 years, including type of offense, year of conviction, court, and sentence imposed, and whether the person is currently on probation or parole or has ever been a registered sex offender or subject to a domestic violence protective order. Nothing in this paragraph shall restrict the employer or state police in case of doubt from verifying the information through a record check or checks.
IV. Any criminal history of convictions involving a felony against persons or property involving fraudulent activity, aggravated assaults, sex offenses, burglary or thefts resulting in a felony conviction within the last 3 years, or a serious or repetitive motor vehicle violation history of any such individual shall be grounds for refusing to place on or removing the business from the rotation list.
V. If an operator is employed by more than one listed towing company, each company shall maintain an independent and separate driver file on such individual. When a driver, manager, or supervisor ceases employment at the business or a new such employee is hired, the company shall notify the state police director in writing within 10 days and include a copy of the application including a copy of the form described in paragraph III. It shall be the responsibility of the operator to maintain appropriate records of driving times showing full compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
VI. In the event the ownership of a tow business changes for any reason including but not limited to the sale of the business, death, or retirement of the owner, the tow business shall reapply before the effective date of the change in ownership for approval or the tow business shall be removed from the rotation list until such time as the new owner complies with the application process.
VII. The business shall have a telephone number listed in its name and shall also have an after-hours telephone number where it can be contacted after normal business hours. The business shall be staffed Monday through Friday from at least 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with someone who will be available for administrative matters and the release of a vehicle or other related items stored on premises. After normal business hours and on weekends or holidays a responsible person shall be on call to provide those services.
VIII. Wreckers dispatched shall arrive at the scene within 30 minutes of being called, except for cases where the travel distance, posted speeds, or traffic and weather conditions and volume of traffic make this unreasonable. For heavy duty calls the company shall respond within a maximum of 60 minutes regardless of the time of day. If the time exceeds the above limit and the tow business does not provide state police communications or the trooper in charge at the scene a valid reason for the delay within that time, a second rotation wrecker may be dispatched. If a second wrecker is requested before the arrival of the initially dispatched rotation wrecker, the initially requested wrecker shall forfeit the call and leave the incident scene. Repeated tardiness may result in suspension or removal from the rotation list.
IX. If a tow business responds to a rotation call and through no fault of its own, does not tow the vehicle, the business shall retain its position on the rotation list.
X. Towing personnel shall wear reflective clothing meeting Federal Highway Administration specifications at all times when working in or adjacent to the roadway.
XI. The tow business shall maintain a reasonably secure area for the safe storage of motor vehicles or other items stored at the request of the state police. Storage facilities shall be clearly marked as belonging to that tow business and shall have adequate lighting to illuminate the enclosed area. If a vehicle must be stored for processing after a crime, death, or serious injury then storage facilities shall include a gated or fenced area adequate to reasonably secure the storage facility and prevent unauthorized entrance. Camera surveillance is recommended but not mandatory.
XII. A secure building that provides written proof that it meets all applicable state and local codes and which is suitably alarmed may substitute for a fenced area if the tow business provides for total inside storage.
XIII. The tow business shall provide reasonable accommodations for after-hours release of personal property in stored vehicles or other related storage once the state police releases any hold on personal or other property not affixed to the towed vehicle, and upon payment in full or mutual agreement for payment of all towing and storage fees. The towing of a vehicle at the request of law enforcement shall grant a lien to the tow business, equal to the cost of recovery and storage.
XIV. Under no circumstance may a tow business withhold wallets, purses, life essential clothing, mail, legal documents, child safety seats, eyeglasses or contact lenses, medicines, medical equipment, license plates, or house or place of business keys pending payment of fees.
XV. Any towing or recovery vehicle used by the tow business shall display lettering on both sides of the vehicle in letters that contrast in color with the background and are readily legible during daylight hours from a distance of 50 feet while the vehicle is stationary, and kept and maintained in a manner that retains such legibility, indicating the name or trade name of the wrecking service or owner thereof, the city or town and state in which the vehicle is customarily based, and the business telephone number on each front door of the truck. The identification number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to the motor carrier, preceded by the letters "USDOT"; shall also be included in such lettering.
XVI. The tow business participating in the tow list shall maintain tow and hook, liability, and garage-keepers' liability insurance in an amount not less than that designated under New Hampshire law or administrative rule. This shall include a minimum coverage of $1,000,000 in liability including garage-keeper's insurance coverage. The tow business shall also comply with all other business requirements and taxes required under state or federal law.
XVII. The tow business shall not place or imprint on its vehicles, buildings, equipment, clothing, or correspondence anything that suggests or implies an official relationship between the company and any emergency services provider or law enforcement agency. This shall extend to paint schemes, colors, shoulder patches, or decals similar in design to department of safety or state police vehicles or any name or logo implying an official connection. State police may design and issue a suitable decal to indicate that a tow vehicle's owner is on the rotating list. Termination of services or suspension, even if temporary, from the rotation list shall require any decal provided, issued, or approved by state police to be removed immediately from the tow vehicle if such vehicle will be operated on public roads.
XVIII. The tow business shall provide state police with a complete updated list of all rates for the services it performs related to the towing and storage of vehicles, on the letterhead of the business, and shall update such list when prices change. State Police shall not set the fees for these services nor use the rate schedule provided in determining placement on a rotation schedule. Price lists shall remain confidential except when determining the reasonable fee in a requested hearing conducted by the department of safety.
XIX. Whenever the owner of a towed or impounded vehicle or their agent pays a towing company for those services, the company shall provide a detailed receipt to the owner or agent for the services rendered.
XX. Motorists using a wrecker under the rotation list shall have the option of paying by cash or major debit or credit card. The tow business may inquire, prior to accepting a dispatch, as to how the motorist will be paying. The owner of a towed or impounded vehicle who believes an exorbitant or unreasonable fee was charged for towing the vehicle if such service rendered was covered by RSA 262:31 through RSA 262:40-c, may file a complaint with the commissioner of safety and request review pursuant to RSA 262:35-a. If not covered by RSA 262:31 through RSA 262:40-c, the owner or his or her agent shall be notified of his or her ability to make a complaint to the consumer protection division of the department of justice.
XXI. A tow business shall not be operated without a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration safety registration, an active United States Department of Transportation number, and valid New Hampshire registration.

Source. 2021, 204:2, Pt. II, Sec. 2, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.