PDFRCW 46.55.010


The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout this chapter:
(1) "Abandoned vehicle" means a vehicle that a registered tow truck operator has impounded and held in the operator's possession for 120 consecutive hours.
(2) "Abandoned vehicle report" means the document prescribed by the state that the towing operator forwards to the department after a vehicle has become abandoned.
(3) "Immobilize" means the use of a locking wheel boot that, when attached to the wheel of a vehicle, prevents the vehicle from moving without damage to the tire to which the locking wheel boot is attached.
(4) "Impound" means to take and hold a vehicle in legal custody. There are two types of impoundspublic and private.
(a) "Public impound" means that the vehicle has been impounded at the direction of a law enforcement officer or by a public official having jurisdiction over the public property upon which the vehicle was located.
(b) "Private impound" means that the vehicle has been impounded at the direction of a person having control or possession of the private property upon which the vehicle was located.
(5) "Junk vehicle" means a vehicle certified under RCW 46.55.230 as meeting at least three of the following requirements:
(a) Is three years old or older;
(b) Is extensively damaged, such damage including but not limited to any of the following: A broken window or windshield, or missing wheels, tires, motor, or transmission;
(c) Is apparently inoperable;
(d) Has an approximate fair market value equal only to the approximate value of the scrap in it.
(6) "Master log" means the document or an electronic facsimile prescribed by the department and the Washington state patrol in which an operator records transactions involving impounded vehicles.
(7) "Registered tow truck operator" or "operator" means any person who engages in the impounding, transporting, or storage of unauthorized vehicles or the disposal of abandoned vehicles.
(8) "Residential property" means property that has no more than four living units located on it.
(9) "Suspended license impound" means an impound ordered under RCW 46.55.113 because the operator was arrested for a violation of RCW 46.20.342 or 46.20.345.
(10) "Tow truck" means a motor vehicle that is equipped for and used in the business of towing vehicles with equipment as approved by the state patrol.
(11) "Tow truck number" means the number issued by the department to tow trucks used by a registered tow truck operator in the state of Washington.
(12) "Tow truck permit" means the permit issued annually by the department that has the classification of service the tow truck may provide stamped upon it.
(13) "Tow truck service" means the transporting upon the public streets and highways of this state of vehicles, together with personal effects and cargo, by a tow truck of a registered operator.
(14) "Unauthorized vehicle" means a vehicle that is subject to impoundment after being left unattended in one of the following public or private locations for the indicated period of time:
Subject to removal after:
Public locations:
Constituting an accident or a traffic hazard as
defined in RCW 46.55.113 . . . . Immediately
On a highway and tagged as described in RCW
46.55.085 . . . . 24 hours
In a publicly owned or controlled parking
facility, properly posted under RCW
46.55.070 . . . . Immediately
Within the right-of-way used by a regional transit authority for high capacity transportation where the vehicle constitutes an obstruction to the operation of high capacity transportation vehicles or
jeopardizes public safety. . . . Immediately
Private locations:
On residential property . . . . Immediately
On private, nonresidential property,
properly posted under RCW
46.55.070 . . . . Immediately
On private, nonresidential property,
not posted . . . . 24 hours
[ 2023 c 326 § 1; 2022 c 186 § 708; 2005 c 88 § 2; 1999 c 398 § 2; 1998 c 203 § 8; 1994 c 176 § 1; 1991 c 292 § 1; 1989 c 111 § 1. Prior: 1987 c 330 § 739; 1987 c 311 § 1; 1985 c 377 § 1.]


Reviser's note: The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).
Effective date2022 c 186: See note following RCW 47.01.071.
Finding1998 c 203: See note following RCW 46.55.105.
ConstructionApplication of rulesSeverability1987 c 330: See notes following RCW 28B.12.050.