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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 137-H.F.No. 586 
                  An act relating to motor vehicles; authorizing sale 
                  and disposal of unauthorized, abandoned, and junk 
                  vehicles by impound lots; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  1994, sections 168B.04; 168B.06; 168B.07, subdivision 
                  1; 168B.08; 168B.09, subdivision 1; 168B.101; and 
                  169.041, subdivisions 3, 4, and 6; proposing coding 
                  for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 168B; 
                  repealing Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 168B.02; 
                  and 168B.05. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [168B.011] [DEFINITIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] The terms used in this chapter 
        have the meanings given them in this section. 
           Subd. 2.  [ABANDONED VEHICLE.] (a) "Abandoned vehicle" 
        means a motor vehicle, as defined in section 169.01, that: 
           (1) has remained illegally: 
           (i) for a period of more than 48 hours on any property 
        owned or controlled by a unit of government, or more than four 
        hours on that property when it is properly posted; or 
           (ii) on private property for a period of time, as 
        determined under section 168B.04, subdivision 2, without the 
        consent of the person in control of the property; and 
           (2) lacks vital component parts or is in an inoperable 
        condition such that it has no substantial potential for further 
        use consistent with its usual functions, unless it is kept in an 
        enclosed garage or storage building. 
           (b) A classic car or pioneer car, as defined in section 
        168.10, is not considered an abandoned vehicle.  
           (c) Vehicles on the premises of junk yards and automobile 
        graveyards that are defined, maintained, and licensed in 
        accordance with section 161.242, or that are licensed and 
        maintained in accordance with local laws and zoning regulations, 
        are not considered abandoned vehicles. 
           (d) A vehicle being held for storage by agreement or being 
        held under police authority or pursuant to a writ or court order 
        is not considered abandoned, nor may it be processed as 
        abandoned while the police hold, writ, or court order is in 
        effect. 
           Subd. 3.  [JUNK VEHICLE.] "Junk vehicle" means a vehicle 
        that: 
           (1) is three years old or older; 
           (2) is extensively damaged, with the damage including such 
        things as broken or missing wheels, motor, drive train, or 
        transmission; 
           (3) is apparently inoperable; 
           (4) does not have a valid, current registration plate; and 
           (5) has an approximate fair market value equal only to the 
        approximate value of the scrap in it. 
           Subd. 4.  [UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLE.] "Unauthorized vehicle" 
        means a vehicle that is subject to removal and impoundment 
        pursuant to section 168B.04, subdivision 2, or 169.041, but is 
        not a junk vehicle or an abandoned vehicle. 
           Subd. 5.  [AGENCY.] "Agency" means the Minnesota pollution 
        control agency. 
           Subd. 6.  [DEPARTMENT.] "Department" means the Minnesota 
        department of public safety. 
           Subd. 7.  [IMPOUND.] "Impound" means to take and hold a 
        vehicle in legal custody.  There are two types of impounds, 
        public and nonpublic. 
           Subd. 8.  [IMPOUND LOT OPERATOR OR OPERATOR.] "Impound lot 
        operator" or "operator" means a person who engages in impounding 
        or storing, usually temporarily, unauthorized or abandoned 
        vehicles.  "Operator" includes an operator of a public or 
        nonpublic impound lot, regardless of whether tow truck service 
        is provided.  
           Subd. 9.  [MOTOR VEHICLE OR VEHICLE.] "Motor vehicle" or 
        "vehicle" has the meaning given motor vehicle in section 169.01. 
           Subd. 10.  [MOTOR VEHICLE WASTE.] "Motor vehicle waste" 
        means solid waste and liquid wastes derived in the operation of 
        or in the recycling of a motor vehicle, including such things as 
        tires and used motor oil, but excluding scrap metal.  
           Subd. 11.  [NONPUBLIC IMPOUND LOT.] "Nonpublic impound lot" 
        means an impound lot that is not a public impound lot. 
           Subd. 12.  [PUBLIC IMPOUND LOT.] "Public impound lot" means 
        an impound lot owned by or contracting with a unit of government 
        under section 168B.09. 
           Subd. 13.  [UNIT OF GOVERNMENT.] "Unit of government" 
        includes a state department or agency, a special purpose 
        district, and a county, statutory or home rule charter city, or 
        town. 
           Subd. 14.  [VITAL COMPONENT PARTS.] "Vital component parts" 
        means those parts of a motor vehicle that are essential to the 
        mechanical functioning of the vehicle, including such things as 
        the motor, drive train, and wheels.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168B.04, is 
        amended to read: 
           168B.04 [CUSTODY OF ABANDONED AUTHORITY TO IMPOUND 
        VEHICLES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [ABANDONED OR JUNK VEHICLES.] Units of 
        government and peace officers may take into custody and impound 
        any abandoned motor or junk vehicle.  
           Subd. 2.  [UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES.] (a) Units of government 
        and peace officers may take into custody and impound any 
        unauthorized vehicle under section 169.041. 
           (b) A vehicle may also be impounded after it has been left 
        unattended in one of the following public or private locations 
        for the indicated period of time: 
           (1) in a public location not governed by section 169.041: 
           (i) on a highway and properly tagged by a peace officer, 
        four hours; 
           (ii) located so as to constitute an accident or traffic 
        hazard to the traveling public, as determined by a peace 
        officer, immediately; or 
           (iii) that is a parking facility or other public property 
        owned or controlled by a unit of government, properly posted, 
        four hours; or 
           (2) on private property: 
           (i) that is single-family or duplex residential property, 
        immediately; 
           (ii) that is private, nonresidential property, properly 
        posted, immediately; 
           (iii) that is private, nonresidential property, not posted, 
        24 hours; or 
           (iv) that is any residential property, properly posted, 
        immediately. 
           Sec. 3.  [168B.051] [SALE; WAITING PERIODS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [SALE AFTER 15 DAYS.] An impounded vehicle 
        is eligible for disposal or sale under section 168B.08, 15 days 
        after notice to the owner, if the vehicle is determined to be: 
           (1) a junk vehicle, except that it may have a valid, 
        current registration plate and still be eligible for disposal or 
        sale under this subdivision; or 
           (2) an abandoned vehicle. 
           Subd. 2.  [SALE AFTER 45 DAYS.] An impounded vehicle is 
        eligible for disposal or sale under section 168B.08, 45 days 
        after notice to the owner, if the vehicle is determined to be an 
        unauthorized vehicle.  
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168B.06, is 
        amended to read: 
           168B.06 [NOTICE OF TAKING AND SALE.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CONTENTS; NOTICE GIVEN WITHIN TEN DAYS.] 
        When an abandoned motor impounded vehicle does not fall within 
        the provisions of section 168B.05 is taken into custody, the 
        unit of government or impound lot operator taking it into 
        custody shall give notice of the taking within ten days.  The 
        notice shall (a) set forth the date and place of the taking, the 
        year, make, model and serial number of the abandoned impounded 
        motor vehicle if such information can be reasonably obtained and 
        the place where the vehicle is being held, (b) inform the owner 
        and any lienholders of their right to reclaim the vehicle under 
        section 168B.07, and (c) state that failure of the owner or 
        lienholders to exercise their right to reclaim the vehicle and 
        contents within the appropriate time allowed under section 
        168B.051, subdivision 1 or 2, shall be deemed a waiver by them 
        of all right, title, and interest in the vehicle and contents 
        and a consent to the transfer of title to and disposal or sale 
        of the vehicle and contents at a public auction pursuant to 
        section 168B.08. 
           Subd. 2.  [DELIVERY OF NOTICE BY MAIL OR PUBLICATION.] The 
        notice shall be sent by mail to the registered owner, if any, of 
        the abandoned motor an impounded vehicle and to all readily 
        identifiable lienholders of record.  The department shall make 
        this information available to impound lot operators for 
        notification purposes.  If it is impossible to determine with 
        reasonable certainty the identity and address of the registered 
        owner and all lienholders, the notice shall be published once in 
        a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the motor 
        vehicle was towed from or abandoned.  Published notices may be 
        grouped together for convenience and economy.  
           Subd. 3.  [UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES; NOTICE.] If an 
        unauthorized vehicle remains unclaimed after 30 days from the 
        date the notice was sent under subdivision 2, a second notice 
        shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to 
        the registered owner, if any, of the unauthorized vehicle and to 
        all readily identifiable lienholders of record. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168B.07, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PAYMENT OF CHARGES.] The owner or any 
        lienholder of an abandoned motor impounded vehicle shall have a 
        right to reclaim such vehicle from the unit of government or 
        impound lot operator taking it into custody upon payment of all 
        towing and storage charges resulting from taking the vehicle 
        into custody within 15 or 45 days, as applicable under section 
        168B.051, subdivision 1 or 2, after the date of the notice 
        required by section 168B.06.  
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168B.08, is 
        amended to read: 
           168B.08 [PUBLIC SALE DISPOSITION BY IMPOUND LOT.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [AUCTION OR SALE.] (a) If an abandoned 
        motor or unauthorized vehicle and contents taken into custody 
        and by a unit of government or any impound lot is not reclaimed 
        under section 168B.07 is, it may be disposed of or sold at 
        public auction or sale, it shall be sold to the highest bidder 
        following reasonable published notice of such auction or 
        sale when eligible pursuant to sections 168B.06 and 168B.07.  
           (b) The purchaser shall be given a receipt in a form 
        prescribed by the registrar of motor vehicles which shall be 
        sufficient title to dispose of the vehicle.  The receipt shall 
        also entitle the purchaser to register the vehicle and receive a 
        certificate of title, free and clear of all liens and claims of 
        ownership.  Before such a vehicle is issued a new certificate of 
        title it must receive a motor vehicle safety check. 
           Subd. 2.  [DISPOSING OF UNSOLD VEHICLES.] Abandoned 
        motor or junk vehicles not sold by units of government or public 
        impound lots pursuant to subdivision 1 shall be disposed of in 
        accordance with section 168B.09.  
           Subd. 3.  [DISPOSITION OF SALE PROCEEDS; PUBLIC ENTITIES.] 
        From the proceeds of a sale under this section by a unit of 
        government or public impound lot of an abandoned or unauthorized 
        motor vehicle, the unit of government shall reimburse itself for 
        the cost of towing, preserving and storing the vehicle, and all 
        administrative, notice and publication costs incurred in 
        handling the vehicle pursuant to sections 168B.01 to 168B.101.  
        Any remainder from the proceeds of a sale shall be held for the 
        owner of the vehicle or entitled lienholder for 90 days and then 
        shall be deposited in the treasury of the unit of government. 
           Subd. 4.  [SALE PROCEEDS; NONPUBLIC IMPOUND LOTS.] The 
        operator of a nonpublic impound lot may retain any proceeds 
        derived from a sale conducted under the authority of subdivision 
        1.  The operator may retain all proceeds from sale of any 
        personal belongings and contents in the vehicle that were not 
        claimed by the owner or the owner's agent before the sale, 
        except that any suspected contraband or other items that likely 
        would be subject to forfeiture in a criminal trial must be 
        turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency. 
           Sec. 7.  [168B.087] [OPERATOR'S DEFICIENCY CLAIM; CONSENT 
        TO SALE.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFICIENCY CLAIM.] (a) The nonpublic 
        impound lot operator has a deficiency claim against the 
        registered owner of the vehicle for the reasonable costs of 
        services provided in the towing, storage, and inspection of the 
        vehicle minus the proceeds of the sale or auction.  
           (b) The claim for storage costs may not exceed the costs of:
           (1) 25 days storage, for a vehicle described in section 
        168B.051, subdivision 1; and 
           (2) 55 days storage, for a vehicle described in section 
        168B.051, subdivision 2. 
           Subd. 2.  [IMPLIED CONSENT TO SALE.] A registered owner who 
        fails to claim the impounded vehicle within the applicable time 
        period allowed under section 168B.051 is deemed to waive any 
        right to reclaim the vehicle and consents to the disposal or 
        sale of the vehicle and its contents and transfer of title. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168B.09, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [UNITS OF GOVERNMENT.] A unit of government 
        may contract with others or may utilize its own equipment and 
        personnel for the inventory of abandoned impounded motor 
        vehicles and abandoned scrap metal and, if no bids are received, 
        may utilize its own equipment and personnel for the collection, 
        storage and transportation of abandoned motor these vehicles and 
        abandoned scrap metal; provided, however, that a unit of 
        government may utilize its own equipment and personnel for the 
        collection and storage of not more than five abandoned motor or 
        unauthorized vehicles without advertising for or receiving bids 
        in any 120-day period.  
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168B.101, is 
        amended to read: 
           168B.101 [AGENCY RESPONSIBILITY.] 
           The agency may contract with others or use its own 
        personnel to study programs for the control of motor vehicle 
        waste, junk and abandoned motor vehicles, or other scrap metal, 
        or any combination of these; or to develop public informational 
        material and programs relating to the proper disposal of motor 
        vehicle waste, junk and abandoned motor vehicle vehicles, or 
        other scrap metal. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.041, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [FOUR-HOUR WAITING PERIOD.] In enforcing state 
        and local parking and traffic laws, a towing authority may not 
        tow, or allow or require the towing of, a motor vehicle from 
        public property for a parking or traffic violation until four 
        hours after issuance of the traffic ticket or citation, except 
        as provided in this section or as provided for an unauthorized 
        vehicle in section 168B.04.  
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.041, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [TOWING ALLOWED.] A towing authority may tow a 
        motor vehicle without regard to the four-hour waiting period if: 
           (1) the vehicle is parked in violation of snow emergency 
        regulations; 
           (2) the vehicle is parked in a rush-hour restricted parking 
        area; 
           (3) the vehicle is blocking a driveway, alley, or fire 
        hydrant; 
           (4) the vehicle is parked in a bus lane, or at a bus stop, 
        during hours when parking is prohibited; 
           (5) the vehicle is parked within 30 feet of a stop sign and 
        visually blocking the stop sign; 
           (6) the vehicle is parked in a handicap transfer zone or 
        handicapped parking space without a handicapped parking 
        certificate or handicapped license plates; 
           (7) the vehicle is parked in an area that has been posted 
        for temporary restricted parking (i) at least 12 hours in 
        advance in a home rule charter or statutory city having a 
        population under 50,000, or (ii) at least 24 hours in advance in 
        another political subdivision; 
           (8) the vehicle is parked within the right-of-way of a 
        controlled access highway or within the traveled portion of a 
        public street when travel is allowed there; 
           (9) the vehicle is unlawfully parked in a zone that is 
        restricted by posted signs to use by fire, police, public 
        safety, or emergency vehicles; 
           (10) the vehicle is unlawfully parked on property at the 
        Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport owned by the 
        metropolitan airports commission; 
           (11) a law enforcement official has probable cause to 
        believe that the vehicle is stolen, or that the vehicle 
        constitutes or contains evidence of a crime and impoundment is 
        reasonably necessary to obtain or preserve the evidence; 
           (12) the driver, operator, or person in physical control of 
        the vehicle is taken into custody and the vehicle is impounded 
        for safekeeping; 
           (13) a law enforcement official has probable cause to 
        believe that the owner, operator, or person in physical control 
        of the vehicle has failed to respond to five or more citations 
        for parking or traffic offenses; 
           (14) the vehicle is unlawfully parked in a zone that is 
        restricted by posted signs to use by taxicabs; 
           (15) the vehicle is unlawfully parked and prevents egress 
        by a lawfully parked vehicle; or 
           (16) the vehicle is parked, on a school day during 
        prohibited hours, in a school zone on a public street where 
        official signs prohibit parking; or 
           (17) the vehicle is a junk, abandoned, or unauthorized 
        vehicle, as defined in section 168B.011, and subject to 
        immediate removal under chapter 168B. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.041, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [PRIVATE PROPERTY.] This section does not 
        restrict the authority of the owner of private property to 
        authorize under chapter 168B the towing at any time of a motor 
        vehicle unlawfully parked on the private property. 
           Sec. 13.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 168B.02; and 168B.05, are 
        repealed. 
           Presented to the governor May 5, 1995 
           Signed by the governor May 8, 1995, 3:50 p.m.