FL Towing & Storage FAQs

Questions

I have a tow company and am looking for a company that can save me hassle with my paperwork, what forms does Auto Data Direct provide for its customers?

What is the TL-26?

How many days do I have to hold a car before it can be auctioned?

When do I need to send out my Claim of Lien Letters?

What if I did not get my lien letters out within the 7 business days?

When do I run my newspaper ad?

“I just found out that I missed getting my newspaper ad in on time. What do I need to do? Start all over from the beginning?”

I ran a VIN number but it came back as a record not found, but it said the VIN is good, what do I do?

I towed a vehicle with no identifying information and no VIN, what should I do?

I did a Good Faith Letter but did not get a reply, what do I do?

I have had my auction. What forms do I need to take to the Tax Collector’s office?

What if the vehicle is not sold at the auction?

When I went to the DMV they told me I have to do everything over again from the beginning because they found the vehicle titled in another state, but I did my Good Faith effort and received different information than what they had and did my letters…Do I really have to start all over?

What is a 3877?

Can I get a Wrecker Operator Lien against the owner of the vehicle?

What is the most that I can get on a Wrecker Operator Lien?


Answers

I have a tow company and am looking for a company that can save me hassle with my paperwork, what forms does Auto Data Direct provide for its customers?

ADD provides certified mailings, including Notice of Claim of Lien and Sale, Good Faith Letter, and Out-of-State Record Request Letter. ADD also provides Florida DHSMV forms, including Transfer of Title, Bill of Sale, Certificate of Destruction, as well as Wrecker Operator Liens. 

What is the TL-26?

The TL-26 is the Title and Lien procedure manual to explain how to handle the transfer of certificate of title upon sale for towing and storage lien or application for Certificate of Destruction by a towing company or a transport company.

How many days do I have to hold a car before it can be auctioned?

This depends on the age of the vehicle, if the car is less than 3 years old, 50 days, if the car is more than 3 years old, 35 days (this does not include the day of tow or the date of auction). Age is determined beginning in the present year (example – 2010, 2009, and 2008-anything prior to that year is considered more than 3 years old).

When do I need to send out my Claim of Lien Letters?

Your lien letters must be mailed within the first 7 business days (this does not include weekends or holidays) in order to collect storage.

What if I did not get my lien letters out within the 7 business days?

You will not be able to charge storage fees and would need to set the storage amount to zero.

When do I run my newspaper ad?

The advertisement must be published at least 10 calendar days prior to the date of sale, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the sale is to be held. The 10 calendar days do not include the date of the advertisement or the date of the sale.

I just found out that I missed getting my newspaper ad in on time. What do I need to do? Start all over from the beginning?

You will not need to start over, but you will need to send the “Towing Notice of Sale Only” to all parties (Owner, Lien Holder, and Insurance Carrier); however, you are only required to give the parties a 15 day notice. Just remember that the newspaper ad has to be re-run 10 days before the auction (not including the date of the ad or the date of the sale).

I ran a VIN number but it came back as a record not found, but it said the VIN is good, what do I do? 

You will need to send a certified Good Faith Letter to your local Law Enforcement Office. If you know what state the vehicle is titled, you will need to send a certified Out-of-State Records Request letter or if the states vehicle inquiry is available through ADD, you may run it on the system.

I towed a vehicle with no identifying information and no VIN, what should I do?

Send a Good Faith Letter to local law enforcement with the words “No VIN.”

I did a Good Faith Letter but did not get a reply, what do I do?

If Law Enforcement does not respond to your Good Faith Letter you may still proceed with your auction. You will need to run your newspaper ad just like any other vehicle, as well as attach a Good Faith Letter Affidavit to your packet.

I have had my auction. What forms do I need to take to the Tax Collector’s office? 

Once your auction has been held there are a few forms you will need: Transfer of Title if you are going to register the vehicle in your company name or if you have sold the vehicle to someone at the auction, you will need a Bill of Sale if you sold the vehicle, or a Certificate of Destruction if you are going to junk the car. You may also need a Wrecker Operator’s Lien if it applies to this vehicle. Once you have completed and printed the forms, you will need to add your proof of publication and the original tow ticket.

What if the vehicle is not sold at the auction?

The towing company has the option to transfer the title of the vehicle into the company name or get a Certificate of Destruction on the vehicle.

When I went to the DMV they told me I have to do everything over again from the beginning because they found the vehicle titled in another state, but I did my Good Faith effort and received different information that what they had and did my letters…Do I really have to start all over?

If the tow company completes their packet and the tax collector finds a NMVTIS record, the Tax Collector should accept the packet and send it to Tallahassee for review. If everything is in order they will issue a 15 day Show Cause Letter (page 18 TL-26). The towing company may be given the information to contact the state of record, if they choose. This will eliminate the need for the 15 day Show Cause Letter.

What is a 3877?

A Firm Book 3877 is your proof of mailing the letters via certified mail.

Can I place a Wrecker Operator Lien against the owner of the vehicle?

You may be eligible to place a Wrecker Operator Lien against the owner of the vehicle as long as the vehicle:

  • Was a law enforcement tow
  • Was towed from public property, (not private property)
  • you receive a Certificate of Destruction

All three criteria MUST be met.

What is the most that I can get on a Wrecker Operator Lien?

You are only allowed to place a lien for the amount of the tow and recovery charges plus 7 days of storage.

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