As a direct result of resident’s feedback about unfair pricing in the towing industry and its storage of vehicles, Council has approved a business licensing regime and new regulations governing towing services in the City of Ottawa. They will come into effect January 2022.
This was done along with an amendment brought forward by Councillor El-Chantiry and myself which attempts to fix a grey area brought forward by our stakeholders and will ensure high quality service is available at all open towing facilities.
Within the new bylaw, towing companies, tow truck drivers and vehicle storage facility operators would be required to get a business license to operate in Ottawa. They would also need to follow new regulations intended to protect consumers and enhance public safety such as, a shelter for waiting patrons, clearly posted business hours and a lit property to name a few.
To obtain a license, drivers will have to provide proof of a good driving record, Commercial vehicle operator's registration and a police record check. Towing companies would also have to provide proof of insurance, valid registration, and details of all their drivers and vehicles.
The new rules will govern tow truck driver conduct at accident scenes, require they disclose towing rates, provide documentation to facilitate follow-up and investigations, and provide notice of where vehicles are stored.
Flat rates for key towing and storage services will ensure consumers are not overbilled or have hidden fees. Towing companies will need to ensure their drivers maintain transaction records and keep your vehicles and equipment safely secured.
Finally, vehicle storage facility operators will need to obtain a license, limit storage charges and provide timely notice to vehicle owners about where vehicles are stored.
For more information, please reach out to George.Darouze@ottawa.ca.