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Towing Industry

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Rule status: Proposed

Agency: DCWP

Comment by date: October 31, 2022

Rule Full Text

The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection is proposing to amend its rules to improve the Department’s regulation of the tow industry in response to consumer complaints and to eliminate unnecessary requirements imposed on applicants and licensees.

Attendees who need reasonable accommodation for a disability such as a sign language translation should contact the agency by calling or emailing by October 24, 2022

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October 31, 2022
11:00am - 12:00pm EDT


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Meeting ID: 828 3542 0929
Passcode: 030647

To participate in the public hearing via phone, please dial 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 828 3542 0929
Passcode: 030647

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Online comments: 15

  • John Anderson

    New rules relating to what issues May I ask please

    Comment added October 6, 2022 3:24pm
  • Edwin Rios

    It has been hard to find a C of O location anywhere in New York that participates with DCWP. We should be able to find a legit place and still get it inspected and if it good on the guidelines be able to rent those locations to store vehicles in.

    Comment added October 6, 2022 7:16pm
  • John Landsman

    Forcing companies to participate in Rotow if they are participating in DARP is an outrageous proposition. Ask yourself why there are so few Rotow participants to begin with. The program directives are heavily outdated and the Fees that can be charged to the consumer have not been raised in 11 years. The fees that can be charged to the city for unclaimed vehicles are far worse and have not been raised in 25 plus years.

    For example of an unclaimed Rotow vehicle:
    1. You expect a tower to go to the scene of a Rotow.
    2. Hook the vehicle and tow in back to his yard.
    3. He then has to go to the precinct and collect the voucher.
    4. Store the car for not less than 8 days but no more than 30 days.
    5. Go back to the police precinct and collect pound transfer paperwork.
    6. The tower then has to tow the vehicle from his lot to the police pound.
    7. Wait for hours at the police pound for officers to process the vehicle for intake.

    After all all the labor and time involved with all that work the tower can only charge $131.00 to the city per vehicle for all that work.
    That is insanely low and and the welfare like fees that can be charged are why the Rotow program is dying with no participation.

    All the proposed law is going to do is force companies to stop participating in both programs all together.

    You also did not bring up that fact that in the law to be able to participate in Rotow the tow company would need an additional 2 trucks added to their roster.

    A small family towing business with 2 tow trucks are participating in the Darp program. They are already making ends meet and would need to add an additional 2 tow trucks to their roster and forced to be on Rotow when the reason they are already not participating in Rotow is because the rates are so low and they lose money on every tow.

    I wouldn’t expect anything less from the department of confused affairs(DCWP). I’ve been dealing with them for a long time and in the end they don’t care about anything small business. Their goal in to fine the hell out of you and make your life miserable.

    Comment added October 7, 2022 11:54am
  • Ka Man

    Totally agree on John landsman. What I heard not only spend hours at the Springfield impound. And you can only take 2 cars in per day instead of 4. How much space I’ll need. If one truck getting stuck at the impound. Now I’m short handed on the road. Means I’ll need to hire another driver and buy extra truck which I can’t afford. Tow fee haven’t raise for decade. Rent keep going up. There’s so much restrictions on finding a lot. From m1 zoning to now only group 16 sub dead cars only. And must return the illegal park car for $100 tow fee?!? Gas is above $5 per gallon and can only charge $4 per mile for DARP. The only things that I can see with all these changes is to make all the small family owned business to closed. Benefiting all the big company. Cause they’re the only one that can afford it.

    Comment added October 11, 2022 12:04pm
  • James Persico

    Can we clarify 2 things:

    1 – It states for DARP that for one truck you need 1,200 square feet of storage space and for 2 trucks you need 2,400. So are 2 trucks no longer required? Can an applicant apply for DARP with only 1 truck?

    2 – You no longer need an additional 1,600 square feet of storage for ROTOW. Do you still need an additional 2 trucks for ROTOW? Are people on DARP forced to add an additional 2 trucks (and pay 1 million dollar insurance) to then be forced to participate in a program they had no interest in engaging in?

    Comment added October 11, 2022 1:39pm
  • Ryder Lee

    Whats the purpose for the change? What’s the reason why no one want to do ROTOW? Maybe is time to fix the existing problem instead of forcing people to enroll to ROTOW?

    These are the stuff that I have to deal with when taking the car to pound.

    If the theft alarm didnt remove from the vehicle the pound will not accept it. Aint this is NYPD problem? How am i suppose know if the alarm is still on? Why cant the pound fix the issue?

    If the officer mistype anything wrong on the voucher. pound will not accept the vehicle

    If the car have any garbage. I’ll need to pay to have all the garbage remove. If not the Pound will not accept the vehicle. I’ve to deal all the loaded garbage and even shit in the car. Why am i responsible of cleaning it?
    Any of the above happened now i’ll need to have the vehicle take back to the yard and wait till the issue is fixed. Which I have no control of. I can only wait till someone fix it. Now the new regulation state that I must store for 8 days and no more then 30? And i cant charge storage over 30 days? Thats insane!!

    Moped Most of them dont even have a legit VIN number. Now they cant be voucher. Now i’m getting stuck with it.

    Trucks and RV’s are the worst. Always loaded with garbage. And It’ll need months to make an appointment to the pound.

    Before suppose to have 4 cars a day to the pound. ever since the pandemic (even tho the pandemic is over long times ago) They’re only accepting 2 cars per day.

    About two years ago DCA have shut down about 1/3 of the towing company in NYC. Now theres over hundreds of tow truck on the road with out of state license plate doing business in NYC. Why theres no one enforcing it? Those out of state tow truck pay less insurance and no fees to any NYC agency.
    NYC rent has been rocket high. And we still can only charge $25 per day.
    Still trying to understand why DCWP want to makes these change.

    Comment added October 11, 2022 7:26pm
  • Chris Pritsinevelos

    First the fees that can be charged to the consumer have not been revised in 11 years. The fees that can be charged to the city are even worse and have NOT been revised in 25 plus years. The DCWP proposes regulations impose further restrictions on an already over regulated industry. This week a Tow Operator was killed on the Highway doing his job which the new regulations ignore and yet seek to limit the charges for this essential service to $100 while increasing the penalties for any operator who charges the customer a fee for accepting a credit card payment. These regulations reinforce the outdated fee structure which has been in place for too many years. They ignore the escalating coast of fuel, the increased of insurance coast of Tow Trucks, the increased labor charges, the increased coast of maintenance as well as the increased rent associated with maintaining a place of business. The Towing industry cannot survive losing money on every tow and then expect to make it up in volume. A Tow should coast no less then $245 and proposed new regulations will further injure legitimate operators and encourage others to brake the rules. Amazingly, the DCWP continues to ignore all attempts to discuss these issues with the tow operators, and ignore realty.

    Comment added October 19, 2022 1:41pm
  • Michael

    We were on ROTOW for a decade. We took ourselves off voluntarily due to financial reasons. The same ROTOW rates to tow the car in, store the vehicle for 10 days, pick up the paperwork from the NYC Precent, then tow the vehicle to the pound and wait for hours for only $131.00. The regular rates have not increased in over 10 years and the cost of business went up an average of 400%.

    Comment added October 24, 2022 4:42am
  • Ryder

    DCWP forcing company to get on ROTOW because no one want to do it. What above the highway Arterial program. Company want to get on and they can’t! City only benefitting the big company. Runway towing still haven’t got renew for the medallion.It was expired 2019! Why they still can be on the road?!? If a small company that didnt get renew. They’ll get shut down and get taking off the DARP the next day. Their lawyer on the news state that no one can handle. Is not no one that can handle. Is the city that helping them to get away. For the Arterial Program company should be open 24/7 for vehicle redeem. Why DCWP not enforcing it?!?

    Comment added October 24, 2022 1:17pm
  • miserable tower

    The whole towing program system in nyc needs to be nuked.

    First of all Darp Sucks. Piss poor rates that can be charged. Not to mention 75% of the time the cops don’t follow protocol and dont even call dispatch for a Darp tow. There is absolutely no enforcement or penalty for cops who don’t follow the rules stated in the NYPD patrol guide. They blatantly let people drive away from accident scenes with totaled cars, deployed airbags and fluids leaking constantly. They let wreck chasers openly operate at the scene of an accident and let insurance companies dispatch unlicensed tow trucks to accident scenes.

    Rotow is ten times worse… The hassle of dealing with the precinct for paperwork and going to the pound to deliver unclaimed vehicles sucks. The measly pay is absolutely a joke. Also when did the police pounds impose a 2 car a day limit on rotow intake? Thats some made up rule by some moron Captain in charge at the pound.

    DCWP is an absolute joke of a agency.

    Whether its the Insurance requirements it imposes that basically makes you buy $1mm Combined limit because no insurance companies write that Split 500/300/50 limits that they came up with. ( there was nothing wrong with $300k CSL as the NYS MVTL states is the required minimum). I’m averaging over 20k per truck for insurance.

    We live in one of the most expensive places to do business in the world and they don’t even attempt to raise the tow rates after what this economy has been through. Diesel is at almost $6 per gallon and the cost of doing business has went up 300% since the last raise OVER A DECADE AGO.

    DCWP’s answer to make my life easier is that I don’t have to submit a repair shop certificate/tax stamp payment and have less storage space???

    So there forcing people to do rotow with less storage space???
    What sense does that make?? The freakin tow guys are going to be putting cars on the street because they are going to have no yard space.

    They never cease to amaze me. With no input from the towing industry whatsoever.

    We already know that this is going to be steamrolled thru the city council with absolutely no fcks given about what us the business owners think.

    F*** this city
    F*** consumer affairs

    Im ready to move away from this godforsaken overregulated swamp.


    Comment added October 25, 2022 3:11pm
  • kimberly


    Comment attachment
    Comment added October 28, 2022 11:52am
  • Kit

    Proposal to amend rules to “improve the Department’s regulation of the tow industry in response to consumer complaints and to eliminate unnecessary requirements imposed on applicants and licensees” IS this a joke?

    While addressing the so-called alleged consumer issues, DCWP should ALSO address the issues that the towing service providers encounter daily. IF there were balance and equality in addressing what towing companies are struggling with and the consumer, there would be less alleged consumer complaints.

    Towing companies in NYC are small businesses trying to survive in an expensive city; while DCWP enforces insurance limits which cost on average 20k PER truck IF you’re lucky because out of the two options of insurance requirements, ONE DOES NOT EVEN EXIST along with just a selective few insurance companies willing to insure towing companies in NYC, restricting the zoning requirements for towing operation ONLY VERBALLY and not updating it ONLINE or in this impractical amendment, increasing the penalty charges for legitimately operated towing companies, yet they DO NOT increase the rate charge for consumers under ROTOW and DARP or the rate charged to the City.

    The entire system in NYC is broken, with REAL issues constantly being swept under the rug and decisions being made by people WHO know NOTHING about the struggles of towing operators. Anything we say will NEVER be considered because individuals NOT in this industry place a negative connotation on towing operators. The stories that make it to the news regarding towing operators who created this negative connotation are allowed to operate with no penalty because this system is corrupt BUT small towing operators are getting pushed further and further by DCWP to shut down our business as it CAN NOT survive longer with more and more regulations, NONE of which truly support legitimate towing operators.

    Have you ever had to endure the following from consumers:
    – Spat on
    – Assaulted with a Knife
    – Assaulted with a Hammer
    – Battery with a Vehicle
    – Had ROCKS and BRICKS thrown at you
    – Suffer Property damage by use of FORCE and WEAPONS

    The list can go on and on AND after enduring all that, the NYPD and DCWP cannot do anything but tell us to release the vehicle to them. YES, the things above cannot be controlled by DCWP but understand that towing operators also put their lives at risk every day, and DCWP doesn’t even CONSIDER raising the rates. WITH the uptick in gun violence throughout the city, every time a tow operator shows up to a scene of a ROTOW, they are risking their lives.

    Has it ever been considered that FORCING companies to participate in ROTOW, which, 80% of the time, the vehicles are unclaimed, would overload the NYPD pound, which already RESTRICTS the transfer of 2 ROTOW vehicles per day per company. FORGET about the wait time during transfer or even the fact that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to only hold a vehicle in storage for 10 days because of this limitation and the requirement of PROPER and CORRECT paperwork from the NYPD.

    Forcing Regulations and penalties on Towing companies with operating authority in NYC but DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about illegally operating towing companies. The streets are FLOODED with Tow Trucks with NO medallion that is registered in another state but are CLEARLY operating in NYC. NYC companies with medallions must follow all these regulations and pay for EXPENSIVE INSURANCE on top of soaring RENT, diesel, and labor costs. While illegally operating, towing companies enjoy the luxury of cheap insurance, minimal expenses, and NO REGULATIONS. Even after filing complaints with the NYPD, the result is NOTHING CAN BE DONE about the illegally operated towing companies. DCWP is SO focused on regulating towing companies that hold medallions while turning a blind eye to those who have NO OPERATING AUTHORITY.


    Comment added October 29, 2022 11:58pm
  • Joseph K. Robles

    Please see attached testimony submitted by the Empire State Towing & Recovery Association.

    Comment attachment
    Comment added October 31, 2022 9:40am
  • B N

    In regard to these proposed changes for the towing industry; these changes are likely to harm this industry and in no way improve the already flawed system that DCWP currently has in place.
    – In regard to the rotation tow program; the current volume of derelict vehicles on the city streets does not match the rate at which we are able to bring these vehicles to NYC Pounds. Not to mention the lack of manpower provided for the vouchering of these vehicles and distribution of the paperwork for these vehicles. There is a lot of time, and storage involved in participating in the ROTOW program, and currently the rates for this program are considerably low. Many are not on this program because of the lack of resources and changes to improve the program, but forcing companies to join this program is not a solution. As prices are increasing all around us for fuel, insurance, equipment, etc. the rates for the ROTOW program should also be increasing. We are providing services to accommodate the city, but what accommodations are made for the towing industry?
    – I have read the previous comments from others in this industry and I agree with others who have stated that “why is the city allowed to charge credit card processing fees, but private businesses cannot?” We are mandated to accept credit cards as a form of payment, and small fees for this form of payment should not be something sanctioned in these changes. Removing this ability to charge a fee for using a credit card will make it so that we are paid even less than before when in reality all rates should be increased to accommodate this ever-changing society.

    These proposed changes will make it even more difficult for companies to survive. Many are still trying to recover from the pandemic and now you are imposing more limits on fees instead of proposing positive changes. I can do into detail on every proposed change, but is it even being heard? If the programs and fees were something improved for this industry more would be enticed to participate. The lack of positive changes for the industry itself is only causing turmoil. More important situations are not being addressed year after year. It is becoming too common that industries do not have a voice, and cannot discuss these changes with DCWP. A solution for all is what is needed, something all parties can benefit from, not just one-sided.

    Comment added October 31, 2022 1:06pm
  • Primo

    How about the inspector revolking all your company’s because you have a disagreement with them or their co workers & how about you get a ticket you go to court beat it then they wait till last month be for renuells take you off darp then tell you either pay ticket or fight it over again but you can’t renew company again until it’s finished then they make u start over let’s talk about it all 25 grand for no toilet paper as a fine

    Comment added December 6, 2022 8:15pm