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New law to crack down on predatory booting in Tennessee goes into effect in July

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A new law restricting predatory booting and towing in the state of Tennessee will go into effect in July.

On May 28, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law the Modernization of Towing, Immobilization and Oversight Normalization (MOTION) Act, formerly SB 1692.

The bill provides several provisions to protect truckers and motorists from unscrupulous booting and towing practices.

These provisions include:

  • Makes it an offense for a commercial parking lot owner to boot or tow a motor vehicle located on the lot owner’s lot if the motor vehicle is not an abandoned, immobile, or unattended motor vehicle.
  • Makes it a misdemeanor for anyone other than a parking attendant licensed by local government to boot a vehicle.
  • Parking attendants must display photo identification and wear uniforms to identify them as an employee of the licensed parking lot at all times when the licensed parking attendant is on duty.
  • Prohibits a boot removal fee in excess of $75.
  • Requires the parking attendant to respond to a request to remove a boot within 30 minutes.
  • Establishes signage requirements for commercial lots with restricted parking policies.
  • Requires licensed parking attendants to accept credit cards and debit cards as forms of payment for the removal of a boot.

The law will go into effect July 1, 2024.

“This legislation will protect vehicle owners in Tennessee from bad actors seeking to profit off of  immobilizing and confiscating vehicles,” said Sen. Jack Johnson, who authored the bill. “I’ve received complaints from many constituents who have had to go through unreasonably long and expensive processes to regain control of their vehicles which were unfairly immobilized or towed. Unfortunately, our current laws do not provide legal recourse to punish parking enforcers engaged in certain nefarious practices. This bill targets those bad actors and protects Tennessee vehicle owners.”’

The move to crack down on predatory booting and towing comes after Memphis-based A-1’s Towing repeatedly made headlines after truckers accused the company of illegal practices.

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