Private Parking Lot Towing Regulations

The Vehicle for Hire Bylaw became effective on November 1, 1998. The following towing requirements are summarized, for convenience purposes here.

City Approval

Property owners or their authorized agent must seek and receive approval from the City prior to commencing with towing activities on their private parking lot. Towing permits are valid for a maximum period of 2 years from the date of issuance. The following are exemptions:

No Parking Area

  1. On private property towing can occur in no parking areas without a towing permit provided the area is clearly marked.
  2. The no parking area is defined as an area kept clear for the following purposes:
    1. Emergency vehicle access;
    2. Emergency exit route for pedestrians; or
    3. Garbage disposal vehicle access; and
    4. Which has been designated by the owner, in accordance with this bylaw, as an area where parking of vehicles is not permitted.
  3. No Parking Area must be clearly marked with yellow paint on the curb and/or roadway or by other clearly visible means.

    A tow-away sign is clearly displayed adjacent to the no parking area indicating:
    1. That vehicles parked in the no parking area will be towed;
    2. Display the name and telephone number of the towing company, which will remove unauthorized vehicles from the property, and the location to which towed vehicles will be taken; and
    3. A completed Part A of a Tow-away Notice, which the name of the person authorizing the vehicle tow must be clearly printed, still needs to be placed on the vehicle by the property owner, business tenant, employee or agent, none of whom may be in the employ of a towing company.

Towing of any vehicle which is improperly parked for a period of 24 hours or longer.

A Towing Permit Application Form can be obtained at the Permit Centre in City Hall.

Towing Process

Preparation to tow a vehicle:

  1. Approval to enforce parking on this lot through towing must be first obtained from the City, unless otherwise exempted; and
  2. A Tow-Away Notice (Part A) must be completed by the authorized representative and placed on the vehicle by the authorized representative. The authorized representatives name must be clearly printed on the notice.

In order to proceed with the removal of a vehicle, a tow-truck driver must:

  1. Complete and place Part B of the Tow-Away Notice on the vehicle at the time of the tow; and
  2. Release the vehicle immediately if it becomes re-occupied after it has been attached to a tow-truck. A drop fee will apply.

Tow-Truck Drivers may not:

  1. Obstruct or attach the tow-truck to a vehicle on a private parking lot on which parking is time-regulated, until 30 minutes have elapsed from the expiration of the regulated time limit;
  2. Tow a vehicle from a private parking lot unless it is taken directly to the licensed impound lot of the tow company;
  3. In the case of a reserved tenant stall, the tow truck driver must ensure that 10 minutes have elapsed; and
  4. A tow truck operator must not charge a vehicle owner any fee for the services of any agent of the owner of the property from which the vehicle was towed, or any other fees or charges other than those set out in the Lien on Impounded Motor Vehicle Regulation under the BC Motor Vehicle Act.

Towing Rates

The rates that a tow company can charge are set in the Lien on Impounded Motor Vehicle Regulation under the BC Motor Vehicle Act. The release fee is the base tow rate.

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.