2017 Legislation

ITWA is pleased to let you know that HB 1511 has passed and has been signed by Governor Holcomb.  The bill will become effective July 1, 2017.

HB 1511 Explanation

  • The bill was signed by the Governor on April 24, the changes are effective starting July 1. ITWA will be meeting with BMV in the coming weeks to work on implementation details.
  • The bill fixes the Appeals Court case dealing with notice to the car owner and lienholder.
    • The amended language reflects compromise reached regarding the parties and is similar to other places in the code that requires return receipt and when is notice accomplished.
  • The bill creates a different mechanic lien process for consensual towing (tows authorized by owner) and non-consensual towing.
    • For non-consensual tows, towers will have the same process that municipalities have to dispose of abandoned vehicles. The bill also treats vehicles valued above and below $3,500 differently.
    • For consensual tows and work performed at the owner’s request, the process stays similar to the current law.
Non-consensual tow – value of car less than $3,500 Non-consensual tow – value of car more than $3,500 Consensual Tow or

Authorized work

72 hour rule to find owner/lienholder Yes Yes Yes
Advertising at least 7 days prior to sale Yes Yes Yes
Auction or Public Sale Either Auction Auction
Certified letter, return receipt No Yes Yes
# of days to have car before sale 15 days after notice sent in Marion County and 20 days after notice sent in all other counties 15 days after notice sent in Marion County and 20 days after notice sent in all other counties 30 days after vehicle in possession and then 15 days after certified letter sent


What additional information do I now have to send?

  • For the 72 hour rule regarding obtaining the owner and lienholder information, there is additional notice that must be included including the name, address and phone number of the towing company, storage charges are being accrued and the earliest possible date and location that the vehicle may be sold.

How do I determine a car’s value?

  • In determining the car’s value of $3,500, we are still working with BMV and will report on this process when we have a definitive answer.

Where does any surplus go from the sale of a vehicle?

  • In case of the vehicle selling for more than amount of mechanic’s lien and disposal costs, the entire surplus goes to the first lienholder. If there is no lienholder, all the surplus goes to the car owner.  If the car owner cannot be identified, the surplus goes to the city or county abandoned vehicle fund or to the county clerk.

Who is a “state agency”?

  • The bill also clarifies that a state agency (state police, DNR or other) is included as a public agency in order to enter into towing contracts to remove, store, and dispose of abandoned vehicles under IC 9-22-1-31.  By adding this language, vehicles ordered towed by state police will be treated the same for the mechanic lien process as vehicles ordered towed by local police.

Does the change the junking process?

  • No, this does not change anything regarding the junking process.

As previously stated – we still need to confirm all these details with BMV.  We need to confirm that effective date is for paperwork submitted starting July 1 and not the date of the tow.  If you have vehicles that are worth less than $3,500, you may want to wait to start the process after July 1.  For those that are valued over $3,500, the process will remain similar.

ITWA wants to thank the members who contacted their legislators – especially in regards to raising the cap on storage and eliminating the need for auctioneers for the majority of the vehicles.


Click Here for a copy of HB 1511

Click Here for a complete list of tracked bills

FAST Act and Towing Rotation Rates & Electronic Logging Devices

CLICK HERE for the McGovern Law Firm letter explaining the change

CLICK HERE for the TRAA analysis of rule

CLICK HERE for the rule