Private Parking Lot Towing Permit Process

Richmond's Vehicle For Hire Bylaw contains the regulations for towing from private lots. Regulations were introduced in November, 1998.

City Approval

If you, as a property owner, or as the property owners authorized agent intend to tow a vehicle or vehicles from your private parking lot, you must seek and receive approval, in the form of a Towing Permit, from the City prior to commencing any towing activities on your private parking lot.

A Towing Permit Application Form can be obtained at the Permit Centre at City Hall. The completed Towing Permit Application Form, sample of wording for your sign(s), site plan, and the $67.00 non-refundable Application Fee are required in order to process the application. This process will include 2 inspections of the lot. Additional inspections will be charged at $34.75 each.

Towing permits are valid for a maximum period of 2 years from the date of issuance.

Information Signage

Two separate types of signs are required to be displayed and maintained on a lot as follows:

The first, an Information Sign, identifies the complex or site name, the parking rules or conditions under which the vehicle can be towed including any time or day related conditions, and information on who can park on the lot (sample of wording below).

Both types of signs are to be: conspicuously displayed at all lot entrances, exits, or cross site exits; be visible during non-daylight hours; be located no further than 30 m (98.4 ft.) from any area of the lot being controlled. Also, and the Information Signs must be 61cm (24 inches) by 76.2cm (30 inches) with letters and numbers of not less than 2.5cm (1 inch) in height.

The second, a Towing Sign (shown below), identifies: the name of the towing company, phone number, and address where the vehicle may be retrieved.

Application Submission

When a Towing Permit application is submitted, Zoning Staff will undertake a general review to confirm the submission is complete. You can download and complete the Towing Permit application here: Towing Permit Application.

Only those Applications considered complete and ready for a Towing Permit Review will be received for processing. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant. You will also be advised by Zoning Staff what is required to process the application.

The following payment options are available:

a) Drop Box:

  • Drop off completed application, together with cheque/money order in an envelope, at City Hall using the Drop Box located at City Hall Plaza.
  • Bring Towing Permit Application to: City of Richmond, 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC

b) By Mail:

  • Please send completed Towing Permit Application along with cheque/money order to: City of Richmond, 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6Y 2C1

Towing Application Process

When a Towing Permit Application is complete, a Bylaw Liaison Officer will review your application and call you to discuss the application.

Do not proceed until your wording and location have been approved in writing by the Bylaw Liaison Officer.

The Bylaw Liaison Officer will fax or mail you a letter confirming the wording for the Information Signs, as well as the specific location for the Information and Tow Company signs. If the wording is unclear, the Bylaw Liaison Officer can offer alternate wording. The Bylaw Liaison Officer will only attend the site when there are complications.

When the Bylaw Liaison Officer has approved the wording and location of the signage, then you can contact your sign company to have the signs completed and then posted in the areas identified on the lot.

When the Information and Tow Company signs have been installed on the lot, the Bylaw Liaison Officer must be contacted to conduct a final inspection. You are not required to attend the final inspection. Should the City have any concerns regarding the signage, the Bylaw Liaison Officer will contact you.

When the signage has been approved, the Bylaw Liaison Officer will mail you your Towing Permit.

Where more than two inspections are necessary, the non-refundable fee for each additional inspection is $34.75.

A copy of your Approval Form must be given to your towing company before they can proceed with towing any vehicle from the property.

If you have not completed your sign installation within 6 months your Application may be cancelled. Application fees are non-refundable and a new application would likely need to be re-submitted.

Please refer to Private Parking Lot Towing Regulations brochure for additional information.

Samples of Wording for Residential / Multi-Family Lots

  • Parking reserved for the exclusive use of (tenants) (residents) of the above lot.
  • (Tenants) (Residents) to park in their assigned numbered stalls only.
  • (Tenants) (Residents) not to park in visitor stalls.
  • Visitors must park in visitor stalls only.
  • Visitor parking no more than (3) consecutive days allowed.
  • No visitor parking allowed.
  • Visitors must have a parking pass: To be obtained from the (caretaker) (resident manager) during business hours.
  • Visitors must have a parking pass: To be obtained from the (caretaker) (resident manager) within 15 minutes of parking in a visitor parking stall.
  • Any uninsured vehicles are subject to immediate removal.
  • Parking in marked stalls only.
  • Enforcement of rules 24 hours / 7 days a week.
  • No parking in roadways / fire lanes / or double parking allowed.

Samples of Wording for Commercial Lots

  • Parking reserved for the exclusive use of (customers) (patrons) (owners) while shopping at the above address.
  • Parking for (customers) (patrons) only.
  • Parking for (owners) (merchants) only.
  • Reserved parking from (________time) to (_______time).
  • No overnight parking between: (________time) to (_______time).
  • Parking limited to (2) (3) (4) (etc.) hours.
  • Designated parking for tenants and their customers only.
  • (Unreserved) (unmarked) stalls for tenants and customers for the above address only.
  • Reserved and numbered parking for authorized employees only.
  • Parking stalls #______ to #_______ for retail customers and merchants only.
  • Enforcement of rules 24 hours / 7 days a week.
  • No parking on this lot between: (________time) to (_______time).
  • No visitor parking.
  • Visitor parking only in designated stalls.
  • No stopping or parking in roadways / fire lanes / or double parking.