Tow Truck Company Electronic Record Keeping Requirements

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Effective Date: 
Thursday, August 2, 2012

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Section 20-104 (a) of the Administrative Code gives the Commissioner jurisdiction and controlover all licenses issued under Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Administrative Code. Section 20-104 grants the Commissioner the power to set forth rules necessary to carry out his or her powersand duties and to require licensees to keep such records as the Commissioner may determine arenecessary or useful to carrying out the purpose of Chapter 2.

 

Background

 

In New York City, licensed tow companies may tow vehicles without the prior consent orauthorization of the owner of the vehicle under the Directed Accident Towing Program(“DARP”) for removing from public streets vehicles that have been involved in an accident and cannot safely be driven under their own power; the Rotation Tow Program (“ROTOW”) for stolen or abandoned vehicles; the Arterial Towing Program for towing disabled vehicles from limited access roadways; and tows for the removal of vehicles improperly parked on private property pursuant to section 19-169.1 of the Administrative Code. This rule amends and adds tothe recordkeeping requirements of licensed towing business that perform such tows.

 

Proposed Rule

 

Sections 1 and 2 of this rule amend sections 2-371(u) and 2-372(o) of Title 6 of the Rules of theCity of New York to require that towing businesses that provide towing services under DARPand ROTOW, respectively, record whether the vehicle owner paid the charges for towing and service by credit card. Section 20-520.1 of the Administrative Code requires towing companies participating in the DARP and ROTOW programs to accept at least two major credit cards for payment of the services. The Department receives frequent complaints that tow companies refuse to accept payment by credit card. Requiring DARP and ROTOW participants to maintain electronic records of credit card transactions will enable the Department to ensure licensees’compliance with Section 20-520.1.

 

Section 20-516 of the Administrative Code, as enacted by section 7 of Local Law Number 41 of2011, provides that tow licensees must maintain records prescribed by the Commissioner in electronic format. Sections 2-371(u) and 2-372(o) of Title 6 have required DARP and ROTOW participants to make a record of their tows in a bound record book. Sections 1 and 2 of the Ruleamend those provisions by giving DARP and ROTOW participants the option to continue to make the original record in a bound record book or to make the original record in electronic format.

 

Section 3 of this rule adds a new section 2-378 to Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York to describe how individuals or entities licensed to engage in towing must maintain electronic records of tows. The rule does not require licensees to maintain electronic records of consensual tows performed pursuant to an agreement between a vehicle owner and a licensee that is permitted by law.

 

Section 3 requires licensees to do the following:

 

·         The licensees must make electronic records containing the information that is required to be maintained by the Rules governing the DARP and ROTOW programs. This electronic record can be made either by:

o   Scanning the record books to a digital image if the licensee chooses to make the original record in a bound record book, or

o   Entering the information into a spreadsheet provided by the Department or software application that is consistent with the spreadsheet.

·         Licensees must make electronic copies of every authorization to tow, towing invoice,receipt for towing service, credit card record, proof of ownership and authorization to extend storage that they are required to maintain under relevant statutes and rules. The electronic availability of records that licensees are already required to maintain will enable the Department to review those records more efficiently.

·         The electronic records for each tow must be maintained in an electronic folder labeled with the date the towing service is performed. The folders must be maintained inchronological order. These requirements will ensure that all licensees maintain electronic records in a standard way that the Department may efficiently review.

·         In order to preserve the integrity of the electronic records and ensure that they remain accessible to the Department, a licensee is required to convert or scan every digital record required by this rule to write-once media, and to make a duplicate copy of the write-once media, which must be preserved off-site. These scans and copies must be made at leastonce a week.