New law from Warnick simplifies impound-notification rules

A new law will help tow-truck operators save on the cost of notifying the owners of vehicles they impound. Senate Bill 5343, sponsored by Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, was signed by the governor Monday. The new law will allow registered tow-truck operators to send notices using first-class mail, instead of a more costly certified mailing.

“This bill allows for minor changes to protect tow-truck operators and consumers and save money,” said Warnick. “We are still ensuring proper records are kept for those whose vehicles are impounded or picked up when abandoned, while reducing the cost burden on tow-truck companies.”

During public testimony on the legislation, truck operators indicated that mailing a certified letters costs over $6, and in many cases the letter is returned. Allowing first-class mailing instead still creates a record of attempts to contact registered owners of abandoned vehicles — just at a fraction of the cost.

The law takes effect 90 days after the adjournment of the 2017 regular legislative session, scheduled April 23.