For the purposes of this Chapter, the following terms shall have the following meaning:
(1) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
(2) "Indirect compensation" means any benefit derived by the tow truck owner or operator as a result of barter, payment, or fees charged for repair work performed on the towed vehicle.
(3) "Non-consensual storage" means the storage or possession of a vehicle by an individual or storage facility operator without prior consent or authorization of the vehicle's owner or operator for the purpose of charging fees or obtaining ownership. Prior consent or authorization shall be documented by the storage facility by providing a written storage contract as outlined in R.S. 32:1722(C).
(4) "Non-consensual towing" means the movement or transportation of a vehicle by a tow truck without the prior consent or authorization of the owner or operator of the vehicle. This includes private property tows conducted in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 32:1736 and tows by law enforcement or other public agencies. Whenever an owner or operator of a vehicle requests a law enforcement officer or other public agency to initiate a tow, such tow shall be considered non-consensual and subject to Louisiana Public Service Commission tow rates.
(5) "Owner" means the last registered owner of a vehicle, the holder of any lien on a vehicle, and any other person with documented proof of ownership of a vehicle. Documented proof of ownership shall include a title, current registration, or a notarized bill of sale.
(6) "Tow" means pull, winch, carry, or otherwise move a vehicle or equipment other than under its own power with the use of a tow truck.
(7) "Tow truck" means any motor vehicle equipped with a boom or booms, winches, slings, tilt beds, semi-trailers, and/or similar equipment designed for the towing and/or recovery of vehicles and other objects which cannot operate under their own power or for some reason must be transported by means of towing.
(8) "Tow truck owner or operator" means any person or entity owning or operating a tow truck service.
Acts 1989, No. 522, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1097, §1; Acts 2012, No. 806, §1.