Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 6. Titling and Registration of Motor Vehicles
10/21/2021

This section has more than one version with varying effective dates. Scroll down to see all versions.

§ 46.2-644.01. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Lien of keeper of garage.

A. Every keeper of a garage and every person keeping any vehicles shall have a lien upon such vehicles for the amount that may be due him for the towing, storage, recovery, and care thereof, until such amount is paid.

B. In the case of any vehicle subject to a chattel mortgage, security agreement, deed of trust, or other instrument securing money, the keeper of the garage shall have a lien thereon for his reasonable charges for storage under this section not to exceed $500 and for alteration and repair under § 46.2-644.02 not to exceed $1,000. However, in the case of a storage lien, to obtain the priority for an amount in excess of $300, the person asserting the lien shall make a reasonable attempt to notify any secured party of record at the Department of Motor Vehicles by telephonic means and shall give written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to any secured party of record at the Department of Motor Vehicles within seven business days of taking possession of the vehicle. If the secured party does not, within seven business days of receipt of the notice, take or refuse redelivery to it or its designee, the lienor shall be entitled to priority for the full amount of storage charges, not to exceed $500. Notwithstanding a redelivery, the vehicle shall be subject to subsection D.

In the case of any vehicle not subject to a chattel mortgage, security agreement, deed of trust, or other instrument securing money, the keeper of the garage shall have a lien thereon for his reasonable charges for storage under this section and for alteration and repair under § 46.2-644.02 not to exceed the value of the vehicle as determined by the provisions of § 8.01-419.1.

C. In addition, any person furnishing services involving the towing and recovery of a vehicle shall have a lien for all normal costs incident thereto, if the person asserting the lien gives written notice within seven days of receipt of the vehicle by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all secured parties of record at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

D. In addition, any keeper shall be entitled to a lien against any proceeds remaining after the satisfaction of all prior security interests or liens and may retain possession of such property until such charges are paid.

E. Any lien created under this section shall not extend to any personal property that is not attached to or considered to be necessary for the proper operation of any motor vehicle, and it shall be the duty of any keeper of such personal property to return it to the owner if the owner claims the items prior to auction.

F. For the purposes of this section, in the case of a truck or combination of vehicles, the owner, or in the case of a rented or leased vehicle, the lessee of the truck or tractor truck, shall be liable for the costs of the towing, recovery, and storage of the cargo and of any trailer or semitrailer in the combination. Nothing in this subsection, however, shall bar the owner of the truck or tractor truck from subsequently seeking to recover from the owner of any trailer, semitrailer, or cargo all or any portion of these towing, recovery, and storage costs.

2009, c. 664; 2016, c. 397; 2019, c. 561.

§ 46.2-644.01. (Effective January 1, 2022) Lien of keeper of vehicles.

A. For purposes of this section, "keeper of vehicles" means a garage keeper; a person keeping any vehicles, including a self-storage facility; and a tow truck driver or towing and recovery operator furnishing services involving the towing and recovery of vehicles.

B. Every keeper of vehicles shall have a lien upon such vehicles for the amount that may be due him for the towing, storage, recovery, and care thereof, until such amount is paid.

Such lien shall be in addition to any lien under § 46.2-644.02. Any garage keeper to whom a vehicle has been delivered pursuant to § 46.2-1209, 46.2-1213, or 46.2-1215 shall, within 30 days from the date of delivery, have a lien upon such vehicle pursuant to this section, provided that action has not been taken pursuant to such sections for the sale of the vehicle.

C. In the case of any vehicle for which the title shows an existing lien, the keeper of vehicles shall have a lien upon the vehicle for his reasonable charges for storage under this section not to exceed $500; however, the keeper of vehicles shall also be entitled to a lien against any proceeds remaining after the satisfaction of all prior security interests or liens. In addition, any tow truck driver or towing and recovery operator shall have a lien for all normal costs incident to any towing and recovery services furnished for the vehicle.

In the case of any vehicle not subject to an existing lien on the title, the keeper of vehicles shall have a lien thereon for his reasonable charges for storage under this section, alone or in combination with a lien under § 46.2-644.02 not to exceed the value of the vehicle as determined by the provisions of § 8.01-419.1.

D. The keeper of vehicles, or the authorized agents of such, shall ascertain from the Department whether the certificate of title for the vehicle shows a lien in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-644.03 within seven business days of taking possession of the vehicle. The owner or lienholder shall have 10 business days from the date of the notice sent by the Department pursuant to § 46.2-644.03 to reclaim the vehicle. The terms for such reclamation shall be the payment of the amount due to the keeper of the vehicles or other amount as agreed by the parties. If the vehicle remains unclaimed, the keeper of the vehicles may enforce the lien under the provisions of § 46.2-644.03 or relinquish the lien under the provisions of § 46.2-644.04.

For purposes of this subsection, the date of possession for a garage keeper to whom a vehicle has been delivered pursuant to § 46.2-1209, 46.2-1213, or 46.2-1215 shall be the date such lien attaches, and the date of possession for a self-storage facility shall be the date on which the facility owner learns that a leased space subject to default contains a motor vehicle.

E. Any lien created under this section shall not extend to any personal property that is not attached to or considered to be necessary for the proper operation of any motor vehicle, and it shall be the duty of any keeper of vehicles to permit the owner to access the vehicle in order to recover his personal property, provided the owner claims and retrieves the items at least two business days prior to the auction date. The keeper of vehicles may dispose of any unclaimed personal property.

F. For the purposes of this section, in the case of a truck or combination of vehicles, the owner, or in the case of a rented or leased vehicle, the lessee of the truck or tractor truck, shall be liable for the costs of the towing, recovery, and storage of the cargo and of any trailer or semitrailer in the combination. Nothing in this subsection, however, shall bar the owner of the truck or tractor truck from subsequently seeking to recover from the owner of any trailer, semitrailer, or cargo all or any portion of these towing, recovery, and storage costs.

2009, c. 664; 2016, c. 397; 2019, c. 561; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 374.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.