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Car towed in Texas? Know your rights in The Lone Star State

Whether you’re new here or need a refresher – what you need to know when it happens to you.

DALLAS — If it's happened to you, you'll never forget the feeling: You come out to get in your car and see it being loaded up on the back of a tow truck, or even worse, it's already gone!

It's easy to panic in these situations, and if you're new to Texas, you may not even know your rights.

We turned to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to break it down. 

If you come out to find your vehicle all chained up and ready to be hauled off, you do have to pay a drop fee to get it back. That fee differs depending on how much your car weighs. The most you could possibly be charged, though, is about $245. 

If you come out and your car isn't fully hooked up and ready for tow, it's your right to get your car back without charge or proving ownership.

If they do get your car to the tow lot, you'll have to prove you own it, who you are and pay a fee to get it back. The maximum fee for the average car is about $275 and goes up with the weight of the car.

Keep in mind, your city or county could have an even lower cap on charges. It's always worth double-checking. 

Remember, towers can also charge additional fees for daily storage, having to notify you and if an impoundment takes place.

But you are entitled to an itemized list of any charges – that's your tow ticket, which is important if you feel you were wrongfully towed.

The tow company should tell you where you can file a request for a tow hearing, but state law requires you to do that within two weeks of your car being towed. 

You also have the choice to file a complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Protect yourselves out there. Always double-check where you're parking, and to make sure you know your rights where you live and travel. 

As always, if you have a traffic concern in your area, you can email us here.

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