Senator Murphy

SPRINGFIELD –In efforts to provide an additional level of protection to renters who pay for parking, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is sponsoring a new measure which would require property seeking to tow their vehicles provide a personal notice to residents before removing their vehicle.

“Towing a resident’s car without their knowledge creates many issues for the car owner—finding the money to get the car back, finding alternative transportation to work, running late for work and many other issues,” Murphy said. “We must ensure that car owners are receiving appropriate notice before their car is towed.”

Under current law, property owners are required to provide written instructions before towing vehicles. However, distributing only physical warnings causes many residents who may not be able to physically receive mail to miss the notice, leaving them to deal with the cost to get their car back.

In one such instance, a resident in the district Senator Murphy represents was out of town and could not receive the written notice, and came back to find their vehicles were taken to a storage facility without their knowledge. One of which was sold at auction and demolished. After hearing from this constituent, the Senator wanted to modernize this law to ensure there is clear communication between property and vehicle owners in the event of a vehicle being towed and prevent similar situations from happening.

Murphy’s measure would require property owners to provide notice and ensure the notice was received by the lessor when there is an established agreement for parkings. This means property owners are required to, at a minimum, contact the vehicle owner via a telephone call, text message, or an email to the address or number provided by the vehicle owner at least three hours before the vehicle is towed.

“Having your car towed can be extremely inconvenient, costly and frustrating,” Murphy said. “I know most residents would do anything they can to prevent it from happening. This bill will make sure property owners actually make contact with a vehicle owner before towing their vehicle without their knowledge, so that residents have all the information they need to act if their car is at risk of being towed.”

Senate Bill 3629 passed the Senate on Wednesday with bipartisan support. It now goes to the House for further consideration.