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BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 8.110 Wreckers

St. Louis City Revised Code (annotated) has been converted to electronic format by the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. This electronic version has been done for the interest and convenience of the user. These are unofficial versions and should be used as unofficial copies.

Official printed copies of St. Louis City Revised Code may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.



Chapter 8.110
Wreckers

Sections:

8.110.010 Definitions.
8.110.020 License--Required--Display.
8.110.030 License--Application.
8.110.040 License--Investigation of applicant.
8.110.060 License--Transfer.
8.110.070 License--Suspension.
8.110.080 License--Revocation.
8.110.090 License--Operating under suspension.
8.110.100 License--Misrepresentation in application.
8.110.110 License--Hearing for revocation or suspension.
8.110.120 Signs on vehicle.
8.110.130 Schedule--Filing.
8.110.140 Schedule--Customer form--Contents.
8.110.150 Schedule--Customer form--Retention time period.
8.110.160 Schedule--Charges in excess.
8.110.170 Schedule--Additional information.
8.110.180 Statements--Original to customer.
8.110.190 Statements--Information.
8.110.200 Statements--Retention of duplicate.
8.110.210 Contracts.
8.110.220 Insurance or bond.
8.110.230 Restrictions on actions of operators.
8.110.235 Towing from certain private property.
8.110.240 Change of address.
8.110.250 Wrecker to be present only on request.
8.110.260 Removal of vehicle in serious accident.
8.110.270 Short wave radio receiver.
8.110.275 Provision for release of towed cars.
8.110.280 Applicability of chapter.
8.110.290 Penalty for violation.

City Counselor Ops.: 9936

8.110.010 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:

A. "Collector" means the License Collector of the City;

B. "Cruising" means operating a wrecker to and fro on a public highway at a slow rate of speed or in any other fashion for the purpose of soliciting business along the public highway;

C. "Highway" means any highway, street, alley, public place, square, or roadway within the corporate limits;

D. "Motor vehicle" includes every vehicle which is self-propelled;

E. "Owner" means any person who holds the legal title of a motor vehicle or who has the legal right of possession thereof;

F. "Person" includes the singular and plural and means and includes any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, club, society, or any form of association or organization;

G. "Short wave receiver" means a radio receiver which is capable of operating on a frequency assigned by the Federal Communications Commission for fire, police, municipal, or other governmental uses;

H. "Soliciting" means requesting or attempting to persuade an owner or someone on his behalf to give permission to a wrecker to remove, repair, or store a disabled motor vehicle, for a consideration, without a previous request from the owner or someone on his behalf;

I. "Vehicle" means every device in or by which any person or property is or may be drawn upon a public highway, except devices moved only by human power or works exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, and includes trailers and semi-trailers;

J. "Wrecker" means a mechanically propelled vehicle equipped with a boom and winch or any other mechanical device used to raise, hoist and tow, transport, convey or move a motor vehicle from one location to another location or destination by the owner or someone on his behalf.
(Ord. 59976 1, 1986; Ord. 51511 1, 1962; Ord. 51288 1, 1962: 1960 C. 664.010.)

City Counselor Ops.: 8813

8.110.020 License--Required--Display.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a wrecker within the City unless such person shall first obtain a license from the License Collector. Application for a license shall be made upon a form furnished by the License Collector and any license issued shall be affixed to the (right lower corner of) the windshield of the wrecker for which the license is obtained.

B. If and when it shall become lawful for City licensed wreckers to cross the City limits line and operate in the County and its municipalities, incorporated or unincorporated, in conformance with the County law regulating such traffic, then shall County licensed wreckers (located solely in the County and its municipalities, incorporated or unincorporated), conforming with the provision of this chapter as amended, be authorized to cross the City limits line and operate in the City, with the following exceptions:

1. Any wrecker owned solely or partially by a resident of the City; or any wrecker owned solely or partially by any business, firm, or corporation located or partially located within the City must obtain and display a license from the License Collector of the City as required by this chapter regardless of any other licenses obtained or displayed.

2. Any person, firm, or corporation which contracts with any governmental body of the City for the towing of vehicles under any agreements, verbal or written, must first obtain a wrecker license as required by this chapter regardless of any other licenses held by said vehicle.
(Ord. 60294 2, 1987: prior Ord. 57218 2, 1976: Ord. 51288 2, 1962: 1960 C. 664.020.)

Cases:

Ordinance 51288 of the City of St. Louis was held valid against contention that it imposed an improper burden on interstate commerce. Kunz v. City of St. Louis, 602 S.W. 2d 742 (1980).

Ordinance 51288 is a valid regulatory measure enacted pursuant to the city's police power and does not impose a revenue tax. Kunz v. City of St. Louis, 602 S.W. 2d 742 (1980).

City Counselor Ops.: 8813

McQuillin:

24.628 Towing on streets; police and private towing

8.110.030 License--Application.

The application for the license shall contain the following:

A. Name and address of the applicant; if a natural person, the age, date, and place of birth;

B. If a corporation, the state under which incorporated, the date of incorporation, the address of the principal office, and the names and addresses of its officers;

C. If any other type of organization, the name thereof, the location of its office, and the names and addresses of the principal officers, directors, trustees, or managing officials or partners;

D. The place from which the wrecker will operate and the number of such vehicles to be operated.

E. A description of each wrecker giving also the serial and motor number;

F. There shall be annexed to the application an affidavit to be sworn to by the applicant.
(Ord. 5 1288 3, 1962: 1960 C. 664.030.)

8.110.040 License--Investigation of applicant.

The collector shall cause an investigation to be made to ascertain if the applicant, or the principal officers, directors, trustees, or managing officials or partners of the applicant, is a person of good moral character and to determine whether the vehicle is in such condition that it can be operated in a safe manner. The applicant, or the principal officers, directors, trustees, or managing officials or partners of the applicant, shall file with the application a sworn statement setting forth each and every conviction for violation of Federal, State or City laws, statutes or ordinances, or, in lieu thereof, a true and complete summary in writing of their police record as indicated by the records of the Police Department of the City. Such statement or summary of applicant's police record shall be considered as part of the application. No license shall be issued unless the applicant, or the principal officers, directors, trustees, or managing officials or partners of the applicant are persons of good moral character, and unless each vehicle has been properly inspected and licensed by the State and is in good operating condition.
(Ord. 58307 1 (part), 1981: Ord. 51288 4, 1962: 1960 C. 664.040.)

8.110.060 License--Transfer.

No license shall be transferred from the one owner to another but an owner may transfer the license of one wrecker to another wrecker. The transfer shall only be made on approval of the license collector after written request made to him on forms to be provided by him for that purpose.
(Ord. 51288 6 (a), 1962: 1960 C. 664.060 (a).)

8.110.070 License--Suspension.

Whenever it shall be shown, or whenever the license collector has knowledge that a person licensed hereunder has violated any of the provisions of this chapter, the license shall be suspended by the License Collector for a period of not less than five days nor more than fifteen days.
(Ord. 51288 6 (b), 1962: 1960 C. 664.060 (b).)

8.110.080 License--Revocation.

Whenever it shall be shown or whenever the License Collector has knowledge that a person licensed hereunder has twice violated any of the provisions of this chapter within a period of one year, the License Collector shall revoke the license for a period of one year.
(Ord. 51288 6 (c), 1962: 1960 C. 664.060 (c).)

8.110.090 License--Operating under suspension.

A licensee who operates his wrecker during the period when his license is under suspension shall suffer the revocation of his license for a period of one year.
(Ord. 5 1288 6 (d), 1962: 1960 C. 664.060 (d).)

8.110.100 License--Misrepresentation in application.

Any material misrepresentation in the application for a license shall result in the revocation of a license for a period of one year.
(Ord. 51288 6 (e), 1962: 1960 C. 664.060 (e).)

8.110.110 License--Hearing for revocation or suspension.

Before revoking or suspending any license granted hereunder the license collector shall give the licensee at least ten days written notice of any complaint or charge against him and shall fix the date for a public hearing on the complaint or charge, upon which hearing the licensee shall have the right to have counsel and produce witnesses in his behalf. If the license collector shall, after the hearing, revoke the license of the licensee, the decision, order and action shall be reviewable in the Circuit Court under Administrative Review Act, Chapter 536.100 Revised Statutes 1959, filed by the licensee so affected within thirty days after the rendition of the decision.
(Ord. 51288 6 (f), 1962: 1960 C. 664.060 (f).)

8.110.120 Signs on vehicle.

On each side of a wrecker there shall be legibly printed in letters not less than one and one-half inches in height the following:

A. Name and address of the licensee and the license number assigned to him by the license collector;

B. The phrase "Licensed Tow Vehicle of the City of St. Louis";

C. The phrase "Request schedule of prices filed with the Police Department before engaging this vehicle."
(Ord. 51510 1, 1962: prior Ord. 51288 7, 1962: 1960 C. 664.070.)

8.110.130 Schedule--Filing.

The owner of a wrecker shall prepare and file in triplicate with the license collector a schedule of maximum prices to be charged for the towing and storage of disabled vehicles. The schedule may be based on time, mileage or a combination of both. In addition the schedule may include the minimum charge for any undertaking involving towing and storage. One copy of the schedule shall be retained by the license collector, one copy shall be returned to the applicant upon the issuance of a license and one copy shall be forwarded to the police department.
(Ord. 51288 8 (a), 1962: 1960 C. 664.080 (a).)

8.110.140 Schedule--Customer form--Contents.

Prior to the undertaking of a job the licensee or his agent shall present the schedule to the customer for his examination. The schedule shall be on a special form established by the license collector which shall serve not only to advise the customer the basis of charges under which the job is to be done but also as an authority for the commencing of the tow as a work order. This form shall be in duplicate and the customer will sign on a space provided below a boldfaced printed statement declaring "I have examined the schedule of prices and I hereby authorize the towing of my vehicle." The licensee or his agent or employee shall give one copy to the customer and retain the original for his files.
(Ord. 51288 8 (b), 1962: 1960 C. 664.080 (b).)

8.110.150 Schedule--Customer form--Retention time period.

The original statement shall be retained by the licensee for a period of six months and shall be exhibited by him, upon demand, to the license collector or his authorized representative.
(Ord. 51288 8(c), 1962: 1960 C. 664.080 (c).)

8.110.160 Schedule--Charges in excess.

It shall be unlawful to charge a sum in excess of that authorized by the schedule filed with the license collector.
(Ord. 51288 8 (d), 1962: 1960 C. 664.080 (d).)

8.110.170 Schedule--Additional information.

The form used by the licensee shall in addition to the information contained in Section 8.110.140 contain the following:

A. The full name and address of the licensee;

B. The full name of the operator of the wrecker;

C. The full name and address of the person engaging the wrecker;

D. The state license plate number of the disabled vehicle;

E. The state license plate number of the wrecker;

F. The number of the license issued to the wrecker, pursuant to this chapter;

G. Any other information required by the license collector.
(Ord. 51288 8 (e), 1962: 1960 C. 664.080 (e).)

8.110.180 Statements--Original to customer.

All persons operating a wrecker, or their agents, when operating the wrecker shall keep in their possession a pad of statements containing his or her name and the address of his or her place of business, and before towing a disabled vehicle from a place of disability shall prepare one of the statements in duplicate and furnish the original to the owner of the disabled vehicle or to his authorized representative.
(Ord. 51288 9 (a), 1962: 1960 C. 664.090 (a).)

8.110.190 Statements--Information.

The statement shall contain the following information:

A. All the subject matter and information set forth in Section 8.110.170;

B. The full name and address of the person operating the wrecker;

C. The full name and address of the person engaging the wrecker;

D. The state registration number of the disabled vehicle;

E. The total amount to be charged for towing and the storage rate per day or price thereof.
(Ord. 51288 9 (b), 1962: 1960 C. 664.090 (b).)

8.110.200 Statements--Retention of duplicate.

A duplicate of each statement issued shall be retained by the operator of the wrecker for a period of six months and shall be exhibited by him upon demand to the license collector or his authorized representative.
(Ord. 51288 9 (c), 1962: 1960 C. 664.090 (c).)

8.110.210 Contracts.

The provisions of Sections 8.110.130--8.110.200 shall not be applicable to any licensee operating a wrecker under the terms of this chapter where the licensee is under a written contract for a specific period of time with any person, firm or corporation to tow, transport, convey or move any disabled vehicle owned or controlled by the person, firm, or corporation to a specific location so designated for a consideration set forth in the contract, provided that the licensee under this chapter has in his possession at all times while towing, transporting, conveying or moving the disabled vehicle, the contract or verified copy thereof and shall display the contract or verified copy when required to do so by any law enforcement officer. This provision shall not render or relieve the licensee from complying with the other provisions of this chapter.
(Ord. 51445 1, 1962: prior Ord. 51288 9A, 1962: 1960 C. 664.091.)

8.110.220 Insurance or bond.

No permit to operate a wrecker shall be issued until and unless the applicant shall first obtain a policy of insurance in a company authorized to do business in the state or a bond of indemnity, acceptable to the license collector, with limits for bodily injury liability of at least twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for each person, fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for each accident, and property damage liability of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each accident.
(Ord. 58307 1 (part), 1981: Ord. 51288 10 (part), 1962: 1960 C. 664.100 (a).)

8.110.230 Restrictions on actions of operators.

No operator of a wrecker shall:

A. Engage in cruising;

B. Invite or permit loitering within or near his wrecker;

C. Seek employment by repeatedly driving his vehicle to and fro in a short space on any highway, or otherwise interfering with the proper and orderly progress of traffic along the public highway;

D. Solicit or attempt to divert prospective patrons of another wrecker;

E. Solicit or divert prospective patrons of a given garage in the city to any other garage;

F. Solicit, demand or receive from any person any pay, commission or emolument whatever except the proper fare for transporting the disabled vehicle in accordance with the schedule of charges defined in Sections 8.110.130--8.110.170.
(Ord. 58307 10 (b--g), 1981: Ord. 51288 10 (b--g), 1962: 1960 C. 664.100 (c--h).)

8.110.235 Towing from certain private property.

A. Any tow truck operator, towing company or agent thereof removing a motor vehicle from private property within the City at the request of the owner or person having possession or control of the private property shall report the following information to the Police Department, which shall maintain a log of such reports: the fact of the removal, including the date and time of the removal and the location of the private property; the name and business address and telephone number of the private property owner; the name and business address and telephone number of the tow truck operator; the name and business address and telephone number of the towing company; the make, model, year, license number and vehicle identification number of the towed motor vehicle; the storage location of the towed motor vehicle; and any other information required by the Police Department. The reporting of information required in this section shall include an immediate report by the towing operator, towing company or agent thereof of the aforesaid information by telephone call to the Police Department before the removal and written notification to the Police Department within twenty-four (24) hours after the removal.

B. No owner or person having possession or control of private property on which four (4) or more parking spaces are located shall have the right to tow, remove, or impound any unauthorized motor vehicle which may be parked, stalled or otherwise left on the private property unless there is posted on the property at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the towing, removal, or impounding notification by the owner or person having possession or control of the private property of the intent to have such unauthorized motor vehicles removed and sufficient information to assist in the prompt recovery of any motor vehicle removed, which said notification shall meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Such notification shall be posted on at least two (2) signs which are placed in a clearly conspicuous location on the private property;

2. Each sign shall be clearly legible with a minimum dimension of 12" by 18";

3. Each sign shall clearly state that unauthorized vehicles will be removed; and

4. Each sign shall clearly state the name, storage location and telephone number of the towing firm authorized to remove unauthorized motor vehicles from the private property.

The failure to properly post notification of the intent to tow, remove or impound unauthorized motor vehicles from private property, in violation of subsection B of this section, shall not be considered as evidence of liability in any civil action arising out of the removal of unauthorized motor vehicles from private property.

C. The requirements set forth in subsections A and B of this section shall not be applicable if: the motor vehicle is a disabled vehicle which is removed pursuant to Sections 8.110.180 or 8.110.210 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis (1980, Annotated), as amended (the "Code"); the motor vehicle is removed pursuant to Chapters 17.54 or 17.56 of the Code; or the motor vehicle is removed pursuant to Section 304.157 R.S. Mo. 1986, as amended.
(Ord. 63115 1, 1994.)

8.110.240 Change of address.

Operators of wreckers shall promptly report all changes of address to the license collector.
(Ord. 58307 10 (h), 1981: Ord. 51288 10 (h), 1962: 1960 C. 664.100 (i).)

8.110.250 Wrecker to be present only on request.

An operator of a wrecker shall not proceed to the scene of a disabled motor vehicle without having been requested to do so by the owner or his authorized representative.
(Ord. 58307 10 (i), 1981: Ord. 51288 10 (i), 1962: 1960 C. 664.100 (j).)

8.110.260 Removal of vehicle in serious accident.

An operator of a wrecker shall not remove a motor vehicle involved in an accident in which a person has been killed or seriously injured unless such vehicle has been released by a duly authorized member of the police department.
(Ord. 58307 10 (j), 1981: Ord. 51288 10 (j), 1962: 1960 C. 664.100 (k).)

8.110.270 Short wave radio receiver.

No person or agent of the person holding a license issued pursuant to this chapter shall use or have in his possession a short wave radio receiver as defined in this chapter while engaged in the business as a wrecker.
(Ord. 58307 10 (k), 1981: Ord. 51288 10 (k), 1962: 1960 C. 664.100 (l).)

8.110.275 Provision for release of towed cars.

The business shall maintain a 24-hour release provision for cars towed provided proper ownership is established and the towing charges are paid if any.
(Ord. 58307 1 (part), 1981: Ord. 51288 10 (l), 1962.)

8.110.280 Applicability of chapter.

The provisions of this chapter shall not be applicable to any wrecker engaged by the police department in the carrying of its police functions and duties.
(Ord. 51288 11, 1962: 1960 C. 664.110.)

8.110.290 Penalty for violation.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined the sum of not less than one dollar nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the workhouse for a period not exceeding ninety days, or by both fine and imprisonment.
(Ord. 51288 13, 1962.)

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