No Insurance, No Valid License Will Equal an Impounded Vehicle in Wichita Falls
If you drive in Wichita Falls, you’d better have your paperwork in order. More specifically, you’d better have your proof of ‘financial responsibility’ (liability insurance) and a valid driver’s license. If not, you’ll find yourself without your ride.
Here’s the full text of the new ordinance—
102-41. Authority to Impound Motor Vehicles for Lack of Insurance or Driver’s License
a. A police officer is authorized to remove or cause the removal of a motor vehicle from a public place to a place designated by the chief of police when the motor vehicle is involved in an accident or stopped by a police officer for an alleged violation of a city or state traffic law or other law applicable to the operation of a motor vehicle on the roadway and the motor vehicle’s owner or operator fails to show
i. evidence of financial responsibility as required under Chapter 601 of the Texas
Transportation Code, as amended, or
ii. A valid driver’s license appropriate for the type of vehicle operated by the operator of the motor vehicle. A suspended license is not considered to be valid.
b. Prior to impoundment of the motor vehicle for failure to show evidence of financial responsibility, the police officer shall verify the status of financial responsibility by utilizing or obtaining the utilization of a verification program established pursuant to Subchapter N of Chapter 601 of the Texas Transportation Code.
c. Prior to impoundment of the motor vehicle for failure to show a valid driver’s license appropriate for the type of vehicle operated by the operator of the motor vehicle, the police officer shall verify the status of licensure by utilizing or obtaining the utilization of a database of valid motor vehicle licenses.
d. For purposes of this ordinance, “public place” means a place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access, other than a privately owned parking area that is intended to provide parking for the residence of the operator of the vehicle.
The long and the short of it, if you are involved in any moving violation or accident and don’t have one of both, you won’t be taking your car or truck home. Most likely, your ride will end up in the police impound on Armory Road.
Big Daddy’s, Collin’s and Donnie’s Wrecker Services are all owned by Jody Wade Enterprises-Collin’s has the contract to tow for the city of Wichita Falls. In years past, the various tow companies were on a rotation list.
According to Big Daddy’s Wrecker Service website, the fees can add up quickly—
Between $5 and $20 for each day or part of a day for storage of the vehicle that is 25 feet in length or less, or $35 per day for a vehicle that exceeds 25 feet in length PLUS
Up to $50 for a notification fee – only if the vehicle is stored more than 24 hours and the required notice is mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the registered owner and lien holder PLUS
Up to $20 for an impound fee – if the vehicle storage facility takes certain actions, such as checking the vehicle
So, if your vehicle were impounded on a Friday evening (impound is open only Monday thru Friday 9am to 5pm) you could be looking at $130 or more in fees if you pick the vehicle up the following Monday.
Collected fees will go into the city's general fund.
How do feel about the city’s move to impound vehicles from those with no insurance and/or valid license? Take our poll below!