1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. General Business
  4. Article 26: Miscellaneous

Section 399-XX Towing of motor vehicles; credit cards; statewide

General Business (GBS)

1. Definition. For the purposes of this section, a "commercial tower" is defined as any person, firm, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, or other entity that engages in the business of towing motor vehicles for consideration.

  2. Requirements. A commercial tower who responds to a call for assistance from an owner or operator of a vehicle that is inoperable or cannot be safely operated or who offers to transport, repair, or render safely operable such a vehicle shall, in compliance with any reasonable request of an owner or operator of such vehicle, repair the vehicle or transport the vehicle and its occupants to a reasonably safe location where repairs can be made. The commercial tower shall not be required to transport all vehicle occupants if the number of occupants exceeds the number of passengers that can be safely transported. The owner or operator of the vehicle shall be liable to the commercial tower for the cost of towing and repair services provided. The commercial tower shall accept cash and all other forms of payment that such commercial tower accepts in the ordinary course of business, including credit and debit cards as those terms are defined in section five hundred eleven of this chapter as payment for all or part of the charges for towing and repair services accepted and provided. The commercial tower may require such proof of identification from persons making payments in forms other than cash as the commercial tower requires for such payments in the ordinary course of business. If the owner or operator of a vehicle declines services of the commercial tower or cannot or will not provide payment and identification for towing or repair services, a commercial tower shall notify law enforcement about the location and identification of the vehicle and its occupants. The provisions of this section do not apply to a vehicle which is lawfully parked at the home of the vehicle's owner or operator.

  3. Penalties. Whenever there shall be a violation of this section, an application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violations; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by such court or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such proceeding the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and direct restitution. In connection with any such proposed application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.