Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 12. Abandoned, Immobilized, Unattended and Trespassing Vehicles; Parking
6/21/2021

Article 3. Trespassing Vehicles, Parking, and Towing.

§ 46.2-1216. Removal or immobilization of motor vehicles, vehicles, and trailers against which there are outstanding parking violations; ordinances.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may provide by ordinance that any motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer parked on the public highways or public grounds against which there are three or more unpaid or otherwise unsettled parking violation notices may be removed to a place within such county, city, or town or in an adjacent locality designated by the chief law-enforcement officer for the temporary storage of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer, or the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer may be immobilized in a manner that will prevent its removal or lawful operation except by authorized law-enforcement personnel. The governing body of Fairfax County, and any town adjacent to such county, Loudoun County, Prince William County, and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Virginia Beach may also provide by ordinance that whenever any motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer against which there are three or more outstanding unpaid or otherwise unsettled parking violation notices is found parked upon private property, including privately owned streets and roads, the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer may, by towing or otherwise, be removed or immobilized in the manner provided above; provided that no motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer may be removed or immobilized from property which is owned or occupied as a single family residence. Any such ordinance shall further provide that no such motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer parked on private property may be removed or immobilized unless written authorization to enforce this section has been given by the owner of the property or an association of owners formed pursuant to the Virginia Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.) or the Horizontal Property Act (§ 55.1-2000 et seq.) and that the local governing body has provided written assurance to the owner of the property that he will be held harmless from all loss, damage, or expense, including costs and attorney fees, that may be incurred as a result of the towing or otherwise of any motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer pursuant to this section. The ordinance shall provide that the removal or immobilization of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer shall be by or under the direction of, an officer or employee of the police department or sheriff's office.

Any ordinance shall provide that it shall be the duty of the law-enforcement personnel removing or immobilizing the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer or under whose direction such motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer is removed or immobilized, to inform as soon as practicable the owner of the removed or immobilized motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer of the nature and circumstances of the prior unsettled parking violation notices for which the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer was removed or immobilized. In any case involving immobilization of a motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer pursuant to this section, there shall be placed on the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer, in a conspicuous manner, a notice warning that the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer has been immobilized and that any attempt to move the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer might damage it.

Any ordinance shall provide that the owner of an immobilized motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer, or other person acting on his behalf, shall be allowed at least 24 hours from the time of immobilization to repossess or secure the release of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer. Failure to repossess or secure the release of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer within that time period may result in the removal of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer to a storage area for safekeeping under the direction of law-enforcement personnel.

Any ordinance shall provide that the owner of the removed or immobilized motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer or other person acting on his behalf, shall be permitted to repossess or to secure the release of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer by payment of the outstanding parking violation notices for which the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer was removed or immobilized and by payment of all costs incidental to the immobilization, removal, and storage of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer and the efforts to locate the owner of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer. Should the owner fail or refuse to pay such fines and costs, or should the identity or whereabouts of the owner be unknown and unascertainable, the ordinance may provide for the sale of the motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 46.2-1213.

1977, c. 666, § 46.1-3.02; 1978, c. 282; 1984, c. 64; 1988, c. 520; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 686; 2007, c. 813; 2010, c. 23; 2012, cc. 104, 150; 2019, c. 510.

§ 46.2-1217. Local governing body may regulate certain towing.

The governing body of any county, city, or town by ordinance may regulate services rendered pursuant to police towing requests by any business engaged in the towing or storage of unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicles. The ordinance may include delineation of service areas for towing services, the limitation of the number of persons engaged in towing services in any area, including the creation of one or more exclusive service areas, and the specification of equipment to be used for providing towing service. The governing body of any county, city, or town may contract for services rendered pursuant to a police towing request with one or more businesses engaged in the towing or storage of unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicles. The contract may specify the fees or charges to be paid by the owner or operator of a towed vehicle to the person undertaking its towing or storage and may prescribe the geographical area to be served by each person providing towing services. The county, city, or town may establish criteria for eligibility of persons to enter into towing services contracts and, in its discretion, may itself provide exclusive towing and storage service for police-requested towing of unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicles. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Department of State Police from entering into a memorandum of understanding with a county, city, or town to provide for towing services.

Prior to adopting an ordinance or entering into a contract pursuant to this section, the local governing body shall appoint an advisory board to advise the governing body with regard to the appropriate provisions of the ordinance or terms of the contract. The advisory board shall include representatives of local law-enforcement agencies, towing and recovery operators, and the general public.

"Police-requested towing" or "police towing request," as used in this section, includes all requests made by a law-enforcement officer of the county, city, or town pursuant to this article or Article 2 (§ 46.2-1209 et seq.) and towing requests made by a law-enforcement officer of the county, city, or town at the request of the owner or operator of an unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicle, when no specific service provider is requested by such owner or operator.

If an unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicle is located so as to impede the free flow of traffic on a highway declared by resolution of the Commonwealth Transportation Board to be a portion of the interstate highway system and a law-enforcement officer determines, in his discretion, that the business or businesses authorized to undertake the towing or storage of the vehicle pursuant to an ordinance or contract adopted pursuant to this section cannot respond in a timely manner, the law-enforcement officer may request towing or storage service from a towing or storage business other than those authorized by such ordinance or contract.

If an unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicle is towed as the result of a (i) police towing request or (ii) towing request made by a law-enforcement officer employed by the Department of State Police, the owner or person having control of the business or property to which the vehicle is towed shall allow the owner of the vehicle or any other towing and recovery business, upon presentation of a written request therefor from the owner of the vehicle, to have access to the vehicle for the purpose of inspecting or towing the vehicle to another location for the purpose of repair, storage, or disposal. For the purpose of this section, "owner of the vehicle" means a person who (a) has vested ownership, dominion, or title to the vehicle; (b) is the authorized agent of the owner as defined in clause (a); or (c) is an employee, agent, or representative of an insurance company representing any party involved in a collision that resulted in a (1) police-requested tow or (2) towing request made by a law-enforcement officer employed by the Department of State Police who represents in writing that the insurance company has obtained the oral or written consent of the title owner or his agent or the lessee of the vehicle to obtain possession of the vehicle. It shall be unlawful for any towing and recovery business to refuse to release a vehicle to the owner as defined in this section upon tender of full payment for all lawful charges by cash, insurance company check, certified check, money order, at least one of two commonly used, nationally recognized credit cards, or additional methods of payment approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Thereafter, if a towing and recovery business refuses to release the vehicle, future charges related to storage or handling of the vehicle by such towing and recovery business shall be suspended and no longer payable.

The vehicle owner who has vested ownership, dominion, or title to the vehicle shall indemnify and hold harmless the towing and recovery operator from any and all liability for releasing the vehicle to any vehicle owner as defined in this section for inspecting or towing the vehicle to another location for the purpose of repair, storage, or disposal.

Code 1950, § 46-5.1; 1956, c. 114; 1958, c. 541, §§ 46.1-3, 46.1-3.02; 1960, cc. 75, 204; 1966, c. 297; 1972, c. 267; 1974, c. 142; 1977, c. 666; 1980, c. 551; 1978, c. 282; 1984, cc. 64, 190, 381; 1985, c. 91; 1988, c. 520; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 405; 1999, c. 78; 2006, cc. 874, 891; 2008, cc. 470, 647; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2019, c. 630.

§ 46.2-1218. Reports by persons in charge of garages, parking places, etc.; unclaimed vehicles.

The person in charge of any garage, repair shop, or automotive service, storage, or parking place shall report on forms furnished by the Superintendent of State Police, to the nearest police station or to the State Police any motor vehicle left unclaimed in his place of business for more than two weeks when he does not know the name of the owner and the reason for the storage.

Code 1950, § 46-17.2; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-11; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1219. Regulation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic on certain parking lots.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance regulate the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, the parking of vehicles, and speed limits on parking lots which are open to the public and designed to accommodate fifty or more vehicles, but no such ordinance shall conflict with state law.

1970, c. 338, § 46.1-181.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1219.1. Regulation or prohibition of vehicular traffic on certain privately owned public parking areas and driveways; penalties.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may adopt an ordinance not in conflict with state law regulating or prohibiting the stopping, standing, parking, or flow of vehicles in parking areas or driveways of shopping centers and commercial office and apartment complexes. The ordinance shall be applied to and enforced in a specific center or commercial area upon application in writing by the owner or person in general charge of the operation of such area to the chief law-enforcement officer or other official designated by the ordinance for that purpose.

The provisions of any such ordinance shall be substantially as follows:

Cruising Ordinance.

No person shall drive or permit a motor vehicle under his care, custody, or control to be driven past a traffic control point three or more times within a two-hour period from 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Monday through Sunday, in or around a posted no cruising area so as to contribute to traffic congestion; obstruction of streets, sidewalks, parking lots, or public vehicular areas; impediment of access to shopping centers or other buildings open to the public; or interference with the use of property or conduct of business in the area adjacent thereto.

At every point where a public street or alley becomes or provides ingress to a no-cruising area, there shall be posted a sign which designates "No-Cruising" areas and times.

"Traffic control point," as used in this section, means any point or points within the no-cruising area established by the local law-enforcement agency for the purpose of monitoring cruising.

No violations shall occur except upon the third passage past the same traffic control point within a two-hour period.

No area shall be designated or posted as a no-cruising area except upon the passage of a resolution by the local governing body specifically requiring such designation and posting for a particular area.

This ordinance shall not apply to in-service emergency vehicles, taxicabs for hire, buses, and other vehicles being used for business purposes.

Where there is a violation of any provision of this ordinance, a law-enforcement officer shall charge such violation on the uniform traffic summons form. The ordinance may further provide that any person violating the ordinance shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of twenty-five dollars.

Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of the ordinance may be punished by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100 for each succeeding violation. No assignment of demerit points shall be made under Article 19 (§ 46.2-489 et seq.) of this title for any violation of the ordinance.

1990, c. 891; 1993, c. 574.

§ 46.2-1219.2. Parking of vehicles in commuter parking lots owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

A. It shall constitute a traffic infraction for any person to park any vehicle in any commuter parking lot owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation in any manner not in conformance with posted signs and pavement markings. In Planning District 8, such signs shall clearly indicate that before 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday except holidays parking is only for commuters using mass transit or who are car pool or bicycle riders.

B. In the prosecution of an offense established under this section, prima facie evidence that the vehicle described in the summons issued pursuant to this section was parked in violation of this section, together with proof that the defendant was at the time of such violation the owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle, shall constitute in evidence a rebuttable presumption that such owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle was the person who committed the violation. Such presumption shall be rebutted if the owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle (i) files an affidavit by regular mail with the clerk of the general district court that he was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation or (ii) testifies in open court under oath that he was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation. Such presumption shall also be rebutted if a certified copy of a police report, showing that the vehicle had been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time of the alleged violation of this section, is presented, prior to the return date established on the summons issued pursuant to this section, to the court adjudicating the alleged violation. A violation of this section may be charged on the uniform traffic summons form.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-76, whenever a summons for a violation of this section is served in any county, city, or town, it may be executed by mailing by first-class mail a copy thereof to the address of the owner of the vehicle as shown on the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles. If the summoned person fails to appear on the date of return set out in the summons mailed pursuant to this section, the summons shall be executed in the manner set out in § 19.2-76.3.

Enforcement of the provisions of this section may be enforced by any law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101.

2007, c. 263; 2016, c. 708.

§ 46.2-1220. Parking, stopping, and standing regulations in counties, cities, or towns; parking meters; presumption as to violation of ordinances; penalty.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance provide for the regulation of parking, stopping, and standing of vehicles within its limits, including, but not limited to, the regulation of any vehicle blocking access to and preventing use of curb ramps, fire hydrants, and mailboxes on public or private property. Such ordinances may also include the installation and maintenance of parking meters. The ordinance may require the deposit of a coin of a prescribed denomination, determine the length of time a vehicle may be parked, and designate a department, official, or employee of the local government to administer the provisions of the ordinance. The ordinance may delegate to that department, official, or employee the authority to make and enforce any additional regulations concerning parking that may be required, including, but not limited to, penalties for violations, deadlines for the payment of fines, and late payment penalties for fines not paid when due. In a locality having a population of at least 40,000, the ordinance may also provide that a summons or parking ticket for the violation of the ordinance or regulations may be issued by law-enforcement officers, other uniformed employees of the locality, or by uniformed personnel serving under contract with the locality. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the governing bodies of Augusta, Bath, and Rockingham Counties may by ordinance provide for the regulation of parking, stopping, and standing of vehicles within their limits, but no such ordinance shall authorize or provide for the installation and maintenance of parking meters.

No ordinance adopted under the provisions of this section shall prohibit the parking of two motorcycles in single parking spaces designated, marked, and sized for four-wheel vehicles. The governing body of any county, city, or town may, by ordinance, permit the parking of three or more motorcycles in single parking spaces designated, marked, and sized for four-wheel vehicles.

If any ordinance regulates parking on an interstate highway or any arterial highway or any extension of an arterial highway, it shall be subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Highways.

In any prosecution charging a violation of the ordinance or regulation, proof that the vehicle described in the complaint, summons, parking ticket citation, or warrant was parked in violation of the ordinance or regulation, together with proof that the defendant was at the time the registered owner of the vehicle, as required by Chapter 6 (§ 46.2-600 et seq.), shall constitute in evidence a prima facie presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person who committed the violation. Violators of local ordinances adopted by Chesterfield County or James City County pursuant to this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $75, the proceeds from which shall be paid into the locality's general fund.

Code 1950, §§ 46-259, 46-259.1; 1958, c. 541, §§ 46.1-252, 46.1-252.1, 46.1-253; 1962, c. 121; 1966, c. 712; 1968, c. 583; 1975, c. 560; 1976, c. 74; 1978, cc. 182, 202, 424; 1985, c. 244; 1989, c. 727; 1990, cc. 121, 418; 1991, c. 372; 1992, c. 268; 1993, cc. 86, 125; 1994, cc. 218, 417; 1995, c. 144; 1996, c. 348; 1997, cc. 506, 780, 912; 1998, c. 545; 1999, c. 71; 2001, cc. 128, 141, 143, 156; 2002, cc. 48, 132, 266; 2003, cc. 32, 773; 2008, c. 193; 2014, cc. 505, 563; 2017, c. 490; 2019, cc. 459, 711.

§ 46.2-1221. Authority of county to regulate parking on county-owned or leased property or on county highways; parking meters; presumption as to violation of ordinances.

The governing body of any county may, by ordinance, provide for the regulation of parking on county-owned or leased property and may prohibit parking within fifteen feet of any fire hydrant or in any way obstructing a fire hydrant.

In any prosecution charging a violation of the ordinance or regulation, proof that the vehicle described in the complaint, summons, parking ticket citation, or warrant was parked in violation of the ordinance or regulation, together with proof that the defendant was at the time the registered owner of the vehicle, as required by Chapter 6 (§ 46.2-600 et seq.) of this title, shall constitute in evidence a prima facie presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person who committed the violation.

1962, c. 121, § 46.1-252.1; 1966, c. 712; 1975, c. 560; 1976, c. 74; 1978, cc. 182, 202, 424; 1985, c. 244; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 219; 1994, c. 218; 1995, c. 66.

§ 46.2-1222. Regulation of parking on secondary highways by certain counties.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing bodies of Albemarle, Fairfax, James City, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince George, Prince William, and York Counties by ordinance may (i) restrict or prohibit parking on any part of the state secondary system of highways within their respective boundaries, (ii) provide for the classification of vehicles for the purpose of these restrictions and prohibitions, and (iii) provide that the violation of the ordinance shall constitute a traffic infraction and prescribe penalties therefor.

B. All signs and other markings designating the areas where parking is prohibited or restricted shall be installed by the county at its expense under permit from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

C. In any prosecution charging a violation of the ordinance, proof that the vehicle described in the complaint, summons, or warrant was parked in violation of such ordinance, together with proof that the defendant was at the time the registered owner of the vehicle, as required by Chapter 6 of this title, shall give rise to a prima facie presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person who committed the violation.

D. Any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall require (i) that uncontested payments of penalties for violations of the ordinance shall be collected and accounted for by a county officer or employee, (ii) that the officer or employee shall report on a proper form to the appropriate district court any person's contesting of any citation for violation of the ordinance, and (iii) that the officer or employee shall cause warrants to be issued for delinquent parking citations.

1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 78; 1998, c. 422; 2004, c. 797; 2018, cc. 13, 90.

§ 46.2-1222.1. Regulation or prohibition of parking of certain vehicles in certain counties and towns.

A. The Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Frederick, Hanover, Stafford, and Prince William and the Towns of Blackstone, Cape Charles, Clifton, Herndon, Leesburg, Vienna, and West Point may by ordinance regulate or prohibit the parking on any public highway in such county or town of any or all of the following: (i) watercraft; (ii) boat trailers; (iii) motor homes, as defined in § 46.2-100; and (iv) camping trailers, as defined in § 46.2-100.

B. In addition to commercial vehicles defined in § 46.2-1224, any such county or town may also, by ordinance, regulate or prohibit the parking on any public highway in any residence district as defined in § 46.2-100 any or all of the following: (i) any trailer or semitrailer, regardless of whether such trailer or semitrailer is attached to another vehicle; (ii) any vehicle with three or more axles; (iii) any vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 12,000 or more pounds; (iv) any vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver; and (v) any vehicle of any size that is being used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in § 46.2-341.4. The provisions of any such ordinance shall not apply to (i) any commercial vehicle when taking on or discharging passengers or when temporarily parked pursuant to the performance of work or service at a particular location or (ii) utility generators located on trailers and being used to power network facilities during a loss of commercial power.

2000, cc. 72, 270; 2001, c. 144; 2003, cc. 122, 470; 2004, cc. 108, 225, 702; 2009, c. 535; 2011, c. 201; 2014, cc. 49, 680; 2017, c. 556; 2019, cc. 116, 144; 2020, c. 997.

§ 46.2-1222.2. Local ordinances prohibiting parking of certain vehicles.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance limit to no more than two hours the length of time of parking on streets, adjacent to commercial business areas, of vehicles with gross weights in excess of 12,000 pounds or lengths of 30 feet or more, unless such vehicles are actively engaged in loading or unloading operations or waiting to be loaded or unloaded or are engaged in or preparing to engage in utility or similar service work.

2007, c. 487.

§ 46.2-1223. Authority of Commissioner to regulate parking on certain parts of primary state highway system.

Except as otherwise provided in this article, the Commissioner of Highways may, by regulation, regulate parking on any part of the primary and secondary systems of state highways.

1970, c. 257, § 46.1-252.2; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1224. County ordinances prohibiting certain parking in streets and highways.

A. The governing body of any county may, by ordinance, prohibit any person from parking any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer on or adjacent to the highways in the county when such person parks any such motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer for commercial purposes. The provisions of any such ordinance shall not apply to motor vehicle carriers when picking up or discharging passengers.

B. The governing bodies of (i) counties with populations greater than 500,000 and of towns located therein and (ii) counties with populations of at least 210,000 but less than 217,000 may, by ordinance, prohibit any person from parking any commercial vehicle, as defined in this section, on the highways within their respective jurisdiction in areas zoned for residential use. For the purposes of this section, the term "commercial vehicle" may include: (i) any solid waste collection vehicle, tractor truck or tractor truck/semitrailer or tractor truck/trailer combination, dump truck, concrete mixer truck, tow truck with a registered gross weight of 12,000 pounds or more, and any heavy construction equipment, whether located on the highway or on a truck, trailer, or semitrailer; (ii) any trailer, semitrailer, or other vehicle in which food or beverages are stored or sold; (iii) any trailer or semitrailer used for transporting landscaping or lawn-care equipment whether or not such trailer or semitrailer is attached to another vehicle; (iv) any vehicle licensed by the Commonwealth for use as a common or contract carrier or as a limousine; (v) any truck more than 20 feet in length, other than commercial vehicles used by a public service company as defined in § 56-1 or by others working on its behalf, or commercial vehicles used in the provision of cable television service as defined in § 15.2-2108.2, or commercial vehicles used in the provision of propane gas service; and (vi) any vehicle carrying commercial freight in plain view. Such ordinance shall permit, however, one resident of each single-family dwelling unit zoned for residential use to park one vehicle licensed as a taxicab or limousine on such highways, provided other vehicles are permitted to park thereon. The provisions of any such ordinance shall not apply to a commercial vehicle when picking up or discharging passengers or when temporarily parked pursuant to the performance of work or service at a particular location.

C. The governing bodies of counties with populations greater than 500,000 and the governing bodies of towns within such counties' boundaries may by ordinance prohibit any person from parking any of the following vehicles on the highways within their respective jurisdictions in areas zoned for commercial or industrial use if such highways do not comply with the current geometric design standards of the Virginia Department of Transportation Road Design Manual or Subdivision Street Requirements that would apply had the highways been constructed at the time of adoption of such ordinance: (i) any solid waste collection vehicle, tractor truck, or tractor truck/semitrailer or tractor truck/trailer combination, dump truck, concrete mixer truck, tow truck with a registered gross weight of 12,000 pounds or more, and any heavy construction equipment, whether located on the highway or on a truck, trailer, or semitrailer; (ii) any trailer, semitrailer, or other vehicle in which food or beverages are stored or sold; or (iii) any trailer or semitrailer used for transporting landscaping or lawn care equipment whether or not such trailer or semitrailer is attached to another vehicle. The provisions of any such ordinance shall not apply to any commercial vehicle when picking up or discharging passengers or when temporarily parked pursuant to the delivery of goods or the performance of work or service at a particular location.

Any violation of the provisions of any such ordinance shall be a traffic infraction.

Code 1950, § 46-259.2; 1952, c. 602; 1958, cc. 10, 541, § 46.1-254; 1989, c. 727; 1996, c. 770; 1997, c. 19; 1998, cc. 391, 403, 424; 2005, c. 293; 2006, cc. 874, 891; 2009, c. 183.

§ 46.2-1224.1. Local ordinances regulating certain parking; penalty.

The governing body of any county having the county manager plan of government may by ordinance prohibit idling the engine of a bus for more than 10 minutes when the bus is parked, left unattended, or is stopped for other than traffic or maintenance reasons. The governing body of any other county, city, or town may by ordinance prohibit idling the engine of a bus for more than 15 minutes when the bus is parked, left unattended, or is stopped for any reason other than traffic, maintenance, or loading or unloading a disabled passenger.

Violators of such ordinance shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $50, the proceeds from which shall be paid into the locality's general fund.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to school buses or public transit buses.

1996, c. 389; 2008, c. 587.

§ 46.2-1225. Enforcement provisions in city or county parking ordinances.

Any city or county ordinance regulating parking under this article shall require:

1. That uncontested payment of parking citation penalties be collected and accounted for by a local administrative official or officials who shall be compensated by the locality or by a private management company under contract with the locality;

2. That contest by any person of any parking citation shall be certified on an appropriate form, to the appropriate district court, by such official or officials; and

3. That the local administrative official or officials shall cause complaints, summons, or warrants to be issued for delinquent parking citations.

Every action to collect unpaid parking citation penalties imposed for violation of a city or county ordinance regulating parking under this article shall be commenced within three years of the date upon which such penalty became delinquent.

1974, c. 403, § 46.1-254.1; 1975, c. 440; 1977, c. 671; 1980, c. 355; 1989, c. 727; 1995, c. 459; 2014, c. 563.

§ 46.2-1226. Enforcement of regulations governing parking in Capitol Square.

Any regulation adopted pursuant to § 2.2-1172 and relating to parking in Capitol Square shall provide:

That uncontested citations issued under those regulations shall be paid to the administrative official or officials appointed under the provisions of this section in the City of Richmond, who shall promptly pay these sums into the general fund of the state treasury; and

That contested or delinquent citations shall be certified or complaint, summons, or warrant shall be issued as provided in § 46.2-1225 to the general district court of the City of Richmond. Any sums collected by the court, minus court costs, shall be promptly paid by the clerk to the general fund of the state treasury.

1974, c. 403, § 46.1-254.1; 1975, c. 440; 1977, c. 671; 1980, c. 355; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1227. Enforcement of state regulations governing parking on primary and secondary highways.

Any regulation of the Commissioner under the provisions of § 46.2-1223 relating to parking on any primary or secondary highway shall provide:

1. That uncontested citations issued under the regulation shall be paid to the administrative official or officials appointed under the provisions of this section in the locality in which the part of the highway lies, or in the locality where there is no appointed administrative official the citations shall be paid to the local treasurer, who shall promptly pay them into the general fund of the state treasury; and

2. That contested or delinquent citations shall be certified or complaint, summons, or warrant shall be issued as provided in § 46.2-1225 to the general district court in whose jurisdiction the part of the highway lies. Any sums collected by such court, minus court costs, shall be promptly paid by the clerk into the general fund of the state treasury.

1974, c. 403, § 46.1-254.1; 1975, c. 440; 1977, c. 671; 1980, c. 355; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1228. Enforcement of parking regulations of boards of visitors of educational institutions.

Any regulation of any board of visitors or other governing body of an educational institution pursuant to the provisions of § 23.1-1301 relating to parking on property owned by the institution shall provide:

1. That uncontested citations issued thereunder shall be paid to the administrative official or officials appointed under the provisions of this section in the city or county in which the property of the institution lies, who shall promptly deposit such sums into the state treasury as a special revenue of the institution; and

2. That contested or delinquent citations shall be certified or complaint, summons, or warrant shall be issued as provided in § 46.2-1225 to the general district court in whose jurisdiction the institution lies. Any sum collected by the court, minus court costs, shall be promptly deposited by the clerk into the state treasury as a special revenue of the institution. However, nothing in this section shall prevent any educational institution which adopts, or has adopted, regulations pursuant to § 23.1-1301 providing for administrative disposition of contested, uncontested, or delinquent citations from disposing of those citations in accordance with those regulations, and all moneys collected under those regulations shall be deposited promptly into the state treasury as a special revenue of the institution.

1974, c. 403, § 46.1-254.1; 1975, c. 440; 1977, c. 671; 1980, c. 355; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1229. Enforcement of parking regulations of State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Any regulations of the State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services pursuant to the provisions of § 37.2-203 relating to parking on property owned or controlled by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services shall provide:

1. That uncontested citations issued thereunder shall be paid to the administrative official or officials appointed under the provisions of this section in the locality in which the part of the state facility lies, who shall promptly deposit the sums into the state treasury as a special revenue of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; and

2. That contested or delinquent citations shall be certified or complaint, summons, or warrant shall be issued as provided in § 46.2-1225 to the general district court in whose jurisdiction the state facility lies. Any sum collected by the court, minus court costs, shall be promptly deposited by the clerk into the state treasury as a special revenue of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

1974, c. 403, § 46.1-254.1; 1975, c. 440; 1977, c. 671; 1980, c. 355; 1989, c. 727; 2009, cc. 813, 840.

§ 46.2-1230. Authority of counties, cities, and towns to issue parking permits.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance provide for the issuance of permits for motor vehicles parking on public streets, to set the rates for the permits, and to set the term of validity of the permits. In setting the rates, the governing body may differentiate between motor vehicles registered in the political subdivision issuing the permit and other motor vehicles.

1972, c. 819, § 46.1-252.01; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1231. Ticketing, removal, or immobilization of trespassing vehicles by owner or operator of parking or other lot or building; charges.

The owner, operator, or lessee of any parking lot, parking area, or parking space in a parking lot or area or any part of a parking lot or area, or of any other lot or building, including any county, city, or town, or authorized agent of the person having control of such premises may have any vehicle occupying the lot, area, space, or building without the permission of its owner, operator, lessee, or authorized agent of the one having the control of the premises, removed by towing or otherwise to a licensed garage for storage until called for by the owner or his agent if there are posted at all entrances to the parking lot or area signs clearly and conspicuously disclosing that such vehicle, if parked without permission, will be removed, towed, or immobilized. Such signs shall, at a minimum, include the nonemergency telephone number of the local law-enforcement agency or the telephone number of the responsible towing and recovery operator to contact for information related to the location of vehicles towed from that location. The requirements of this section relating to the posting of signs by an owner, operator, or lessee of any parking lot, parking area or space shall not apply to localities in which the local governing body has adopted an ordinance pursuant to § 46.2-1232.

Whenever a trespassing vehicle is removed or towed as permitted by this section, notice of this action shall forthwith be given by the tow truck operator to the State Police or the local law-enforcement agency of the jurisdiction from which the vehicle was towed. It shall be unlawful to fail to report such tow as required by this section and violation of the reporting requirement of this section shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $100. Such failure to report shall limit the amount which may be charged for the storage and safekeeping of the towed vehicle to an amount no greater than that charged for one day of storage and safekeeping. If the vehicle is removed and stored, the vehicle owner may be charged and the vehicle may be held for a reasonable fee for the removal and storage.

All businesses engaged in towing vehicles without the consent of their owners shall prominently display (i) at their main place of business and (ii) at any other location where towed vehicles may be reclaimed a comprehensive list of all their fees for towing, recovery, and storage services, or the basis of such charges. This requirement to display a list of fees may also be satisfied by providing, when the towed vehicle is reclaimed, a written list of such fees, either as part of a receipt or separately, to the person who reclaims the vehicle. Charges in excess of those posted shall not be collectable from any motor vehicle owner whose vehicle is towed, recovered, or stored without his consent. At the time a vehicle owner or agent reclaims a towed vehicle, such towing and recovery operator, if located in Planning District 8, shall provide a written receipt that provides a telephone number or website available for customer complaints. A locality located wholly or partially in Planning District 8 may require additional information to be included on such receipt.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, if the owner or representative or agent of the owner of the trespassing vehicle is present and removes the trespassing vehicle from the premises before it is actually towed, the trespassing vehicle shall not be towed, but the owner or representative or agent of the owner of the trespassing vehicle shall be liable for a reasonable fee, not to exceed $25 or such other limit as the governing body of the county, city, or town may set by ordinance, in lieu of towing.

In lieu of having a trespassing vehicle removed by towing or otherwise, the owner, operator, lessee or authorized agent of the premises on which the trespassing vehicle is parked may cause the vehicle to be immobilized in a manner that prevents its removal or lawful operation, provided that any device used to immobilize the trespassing vehicle does not damage the vehicle or any part of the vehicle. The charge for the removal of any device used to immobilize a trespassing vehicle shall not exceed $25 or such other limit as the governing body of the county, city, or town may set by ordinance. In lieu of having the vehicle removed by towing or otherwise, or in lieu of causing the vehicle to be immobilized, the owner, operator, lessee or authorized agent of the premises on which the trespassing vehicle is parked may cause to have an authorized local government official or law-enforcement officer issue, on the premises, a notice of the violation of a parking ordinance or regulation created pursuant to § 46.2-1220 or 46.2-1221 to the registered owner of the vehicle.

This section shall not apply to police, fire, or public health vehicles or where a vehicle, because of a wreck or other emergency, is parked or left temporarily on the property of another. The governing body of every county, city, and town may by ordinance set limits on fees and charges provided for in this section.

Code 1950, § 46-541; 1952, c. 352; 1954, c. 435; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-551; 1978, cc. 202, 335; 1979, c. 132; 1983, c. 34; 1985, c. 375; 1987, cc. 147, 152, 332; 1988, cc. 471, 701; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 502; 1991, c. 221; 1993, c. 394; 1994, c. 619; 2003, c. 305; 2006, cc. 874, 891; 2017, c. 825; 2019, c. 510.

§ 46.2-1231.1. Immunity from liability for certain towing.

No towing and recovery operator shall be liable for damages in any civil action for responding in good faith to the lawful direction of a law-enforcement or, in the case that life, limb, or property is endangered, a fire or rescue agency to tow, recover, or store any vehicle, combination of vehicles, their contents, or any other object. The immunity provided by this section shall not extend to the liability for negligence in the towing, recovery, or storage carried out by the towing and recovery operator. For the purposes of this section, any towing, recovery, or storage carried out in compliance with a contract between a towing business and a local law-enforcement agency or local government shall be deemed to have been performed at the lawful direction of a law-enforcement agency.

1990, c. 604; 2007, c. 376.

§ 46.2-1232. Localities may regulate removal or immobilization of trespassing vehicles.

A. The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance regulate the removal of trespassing vehicles from property by or at the direction of the owner, operator, lessee, or authorized agent in charge of the property. In the event that a vehicle is towed from one locality and stored in or released from a location in another locality, the local ordinance, if any, of the locality from which the vehicle was towed shall apply.

B. No local ordinance adopted under authority of this section shall require that any towing and recovery business also operate as or provide services as a vehicle repair facility or body shop, filling station, or any business other than a towing and recovery business.

C. Any such local ordinance may also require towing and recovery operators to (i) obtain and retain photographs or other documentary evidence substantiating the reason for the removal; (ii) post signs at their main place of business and at any other location where towed vehicles may be reclaimed conspicuously indicating (a) the maximum charges allowed by local ordinance, if any, for all their fees for towing, recovery, and storage services and (b) the name and business telephone number of the local official, if any, responsible for handling consumer complaints; (iii) obtain at the time the vehicle is towed, verbal approval of an agent designated in the local ordinance who is available at all times; and (iv) obtain, at the time the vehicle is towed, if such towing is performed during the normal business hours of the owner of the property from which the vehicle is being towed, the written authorization of the owner of the property from which the vehicle is towed, or his agent. Such written authorization, if required, shall be in addition to any written contract between the towing and recovery operator and the owner of the property or his agent, except for vehicles being towed from a locality within Planning District 8 or Planning District 16, which shall not require written authorization if such written contract is in place. Any such written contract governing a property located within Planning District 8 or Planning District 16 shall clearly state the terms on which towing and recovery operators may monitor private lots on behalf of property owners. For the purposes of this subsection, "agent" shall not include any person who either (a) is related by blood or marriage to the towing and recovery operator or (b) has a financial interest in the towing and recovery operator's business.

D. Any such ordinance adopted by a locality within Planning District 8 may require towing companies that tow vehicles from the county, city, or town adopting the ordinance to other localities, provided that the stored or released location is within the Commonwealth of Virginia and within 10 miles of the point of origin of the actual towing, (i) to obtain from the locality from which such vehicles are towed a permit to do so and (ii) to submit to an inspection of such towing company's facilities to ensure that the company meets all the locality's requirements, regardless of whether such facilities are located within the locality or elsewhere. The locality may impose and collect reasonable fees for the issuance and administration of permits as provided for in this subsection. Such ordinance may also provide grounds for revocation, suspension, or modification of any permit issued under this subsection, subject to notice to the permittee of the revocation, suspension, or modification and an opportunity for the permittee to have a hearing before the governing body of the locality or its designated agent to challenge the revocation, suspension, or modification. Any tow truck driver who removes or tows a vehicle, pursuant to any such ordinance, that is occupied by an unattended companion animal as defined in § 3.2-6500 shall, upon such removal, immediately notify the animal control office of the locality in which the vehicle is being removed or towed. Nothing in this subsection shall be applicable to public safety towing.

Code 1950, § 46-541; 1952, c. 352; 1954, c. 435; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-551; 1978, cc. 202, 335; 1979, c. 132; 1983, c. 34; 1985, c. 375; 1989, cc. 17, 727; 1990, cc. 502, 573; 2006, cc. 874, 891; 2009, cc. 186, 544; 2012, cc. 149, 812; 2017, c. 825; 2018, cc. 411, 412.

§ 46.2-1233. Localities may regulate towing fees.

The governing body of any locality may by ordinance set reasonable limits on fees charged for the removal of motor vehicles, trailers, and parts thereof left on private property in violation of § 46.2-1231, and for the removal of trespassing vehicles under § 46.2-1215, taking into consideration the fair market value of such removal.

Localities in Planning District 8 and Planning District 16 shall establish by ordinance (i) a hookup and initial towing fee of no less than $135 and no more than the maximum charges provided in § 46.2-1233.1 and (ii) for towing a vehicle between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or on any Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, an additional fee of no less than $25 and no more than the maximum charges provided in § 46.2-1233.1 per instance; however, such ordinance shall also provide that in no event shall more than two such additional fees be charged for towing any vehicle.

Code 1950, § 46-541; 1952, c. 352; 1954, c. 435; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-551; 1978, cc. 202, 335; 1979, c. 132; 1983, c. 34; 1985, c. 375; 1989, cc. 17, 727; 1990, cc. 502, 571, 573; 2016, c. 476; 2018, cc. 411, 412; 2019, cc. 117, 460; 2020, c. 31.

§ 46.2-1233.1. Limitation on charges for towing and storage of certain vehicles.

A. Unless different limits are established by ordinance of the local governing body pursuant to § 46.2-1233, as to vehicles towed or removed from private property, no charges imposed for the towing, storage, and safekeeping of any passenger car removed, towed, or stored without the consent of its owner shall be in excess of the maximum charges provided for in this section. No hookup and initial towing fee of any passenger car shall exceed $150. For towing a vehicle between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or on any Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, an additional fee of no more than $30 per instance may be charged; however, in no event shall more than two such fees be charged for towing any such vehicle. No charge shall be made for storage and safekeeping for a period of 24 hours or less. Except for fees or charges imposed by this section or a local ordinance adopted pursuant to § 46.2-1233, no other fees or charges shall be imposed during the first 24-hour period.

B. The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance, with the advice of an advisory board established pursuant to § 46.2-1233.2, (i) provide that no towing and recovery business having custody of a vehicle towed without the consent of its owner impose storage charges for that vehicle for any period during which the owner of the vehicle was prevented from recovering the vehicle because the towing and recovery business was closed and (ii) place limits on the amount of fees charged by towing and recovery operators. Any such ordinance limiting fees shall also provide for periodic review of and timely adjustment of such limitations.

1990, c. 266; 1993, c. 598; 2006, cc. 874, 891; 2013, c. 592; 2018, cc. 324, 363; 2020, c. 31.

§ 46.2-1233.2. Advisory board.

Prior to adopting or amending any ordinance pursuant to § 46.2-1232 or 46.2-1233, the local governing body shall appoint an advisory board to advise the governing body with regard to the appropriate provisions of the ordinance. Members of the advisory board shall only consist of an equal number of representatives of local law-enforcement agencies and representatives of licensed towing and recovery operators, and one member of the general public. Any such advisory board shall meet at least once per year at the call of the chairman of the advisory board, who shall be elected annually from among the members of the advisory board by a majority vote. The chairmanship of any such advisory board for any locality within Planning District 8 shall be for a term of one year and rotate annually between a representative of a local law-enforcement agency, a representative of a licensed towing and recovery operator, and one member of the general public.

1993, c. 405; 2006, cc. 874, 891; 2017, c. 825.

§ 46.2-1233.3. Improper towing; penalty.

A. This section shall apply only to tow truck drivers and towing and recovery operators removing a vehicle without the consent of its owner from a location in Planning District 8.

B. In addition to any action brought pursuant to subsection B of § 46.2-119, any tow truck driver who violates subsection A of § 46.2-118 or § 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1, or any ordinance adopted therefrom, or any ordinance adopted pursuant to § 46.2-1233, or any towing or recovery operator who violates subsection B of § 46.2-118 or § 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1, or any ordinance adopted therefrom, or any ordinance adopted pursuant to § 46.2-1233, is subject to a civil penalty of $150 per violation. Such penalty shall be collected by the Office of the Attorney General, and the proceeds shall be deposited into the Literary Fund.

2017, c. 825.

§ 46.2-1234. Liability of persons furnishing free parking accommodations as to motor vehicles and property left therein.

No action shall lie or proceeding be brought against any person conducting any business and maintaining a parking lot at which free parking accommodations are provided for customers or employees of such business, when a motor vehicle is parked in such parking lot, for the total or partial loss of any motor vehicle because of theft or damage by any person other than an employee or for the total or partial loss of property left in the motor vehicle because of theft or damage by any person other than an employee.

As used in this section, "free parking accommodations" means parking accommodations for which no specific charge is made and the patronage of the business by customers and the performance of the regular services for the business by employees shall not constitute the payment of any consideration for the use of the parking accommodations.

Nothing in this section shall relieve any person of liability resulting from his own wrongdoing.

Code 1950, § 46-542; 1952, c. 357; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-552; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1235. Authority of Chesterfield County law-enforcement officers to issue parking tickets.

Law-enforcement officers employed by Chesterfield County are authorized to issue tickets or citations for motor vehicles that are illegally parked anywhere in Chesterfield County.

1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1236. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1994, c. 866.

§ 46.2-1237. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, cc. 783 and 904.

§ 46.2-1238. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1994, c. 866.

§ 46.2-1239. Parking in certain locations; penalty.

No person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, on a highway in front of a private driveway, within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or the entrance to a fire station, within 15 feet of the entrance to a plainly designated emergency medical services agency, or within 20 feet from the intersection of curb lines or, if none, then within 15 feet of the intersection of property lines at any highway intersection.

Code 1950, § 46-263; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-258; 1972, c. 528; 1984, c. 126; 1989, c. 727; 2015, cc. 502, 503.