AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE TOWING AND STORAGE OF A VEHICLE BEING OPERATED BY A DRIVER WHO IS CHARGED WITH FAILING TO MAINTAIN FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Amends GS 20-313, which makes the operation of a vehicle without having the financial responsibility required under Article 13 a Class 3 misdemeanor. Now requires the law enforcement officer that charges the owner of the offense to have the vehicle towed and stored at the time of the charge using the law enforcement agency's current rotation system and regulations pertaining to towing and storage. Returns custody of the vehicle to the owner upon: (1) the owner presenting proof of the required financial responsibility covering the vehicle for at least six months to the charging law enforcement agency or prosecuting district attorney and (2) the owner presenting to the person in custody of the vehicle (a) documentation the owner received from the charging law enforcement agency or prosecuting district attorney acknowledging the owner's compliance with the requirements and (b) payment of any towing and storage fees. Provides for notification of any lienholders holding a perfected security interest in the vehicle following its towing and storage and access by any such lienholder to the vehicle. Allows a lienholder to take possession of the vehicle upon payment of any towing and storage fees. Upon failure of the owner to obtain release of the vehicle or a lienholder to recover possession of the vehicle, grants the person in custody of the vehicle that was towed and stored a lien on the vehicle for the amount of the towing and storage costs incurred since the vehicle was towed and stored and authorizes disposal of the vehicle pursuant to Article 1 of GS Chapter 44A. Provides for a petition process for release of a vehicle by an owner claiming there has been no lapse in financial responsibility. Specifies that the statute does not alter or supersede a separate law requiring seizure of the motor vehicle whose violation arises out of the same transaction resulting in the charge of violating this statute.
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