169.041 TOWING AUTHORIZED.
Subdivision 1. Towing authority.
For purposes of this section, "towing authority" means any
local authority authorized by section
to enforce the traffic laws, and also includes a private
towing company authorized by a local authority to tow vehicles on behalf of that local authority.
Subd. 2. Towing order required.
A towing authority may not tow a motor vehicle from
public property unless a peace officer or parking enforcement officer has prepared, in addition
to the parking citation, a written towing report describing the motor vehicle and the reasons for
towing. The report must be signed by the officer and the tow driver.
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
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
(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 disability transfer zone or disability parking space without a
disability parking certificate or disability 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
(15) the vehicle is unlawfully parked and prevents egress by a lawfully parked vehicle;
(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
, and subject to immediate removal under chapter 168B.
Subd. 5. Towing prohibited.
Unless the vehicle is described in subdivision 4, a towing
authority may not tow a motor vehicle because:
(1) the vehicle has expired registration tabs that have been expired for less than 90 days;
(2) the vehicle is at a parking meter on which the time has expired and the vehicle has
fewer than five unpaid parking tickets.
Subd. 6. Private property.
This section does not restrict the authority of the owner of private
property to authorize under chapter 168B the towing of a motor vehicle unlawfully parked on
the private property.
Subd. 7. Damages.
The owner or driver of a motor vehicle towed in violation of this section
is entitled to recover from the towing authority the greater of $100 or two times the actual damages
sustained as a result of the violation. Damages recoverable under this subdivision include but are
not limited to costs of recovering the vehicle, including time spent and transportation costs.
History: 1989 c 256 s 1; 1990 c 503 s 1; 1992 c 580 s 1; 1994 c 536 s 19; 1995 c 137 s
10-12; 2005 c 56 s 1