Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) (1) Any person engaged in the business of storing or towing motor vehicles, who has substantially complied with the requirements as listed in § 72.26, shall have a lien on the motor vehicle and its contents, except as set forth in KRS 376.275(4), for the reasonable or agreed charges for towing, recovery, storage, transporting, and other applicable charges due on the vehicle as long as it remains in his or her possession.
(2) Prior to payment of fees and release of a vehicle, a towing or storage company shall not refuse the right of physical inspection of the towed vehicle by the owner or an insurance company representative. Release of the vehicle shall occur to the owner or insurance company representative upon payment and consent of the release from the owner or the owner's authorized representative. Each additional service shall be set forth individually as a single line item in the bill with an explanation and the exact charge for the service.
(3) If, after a period of 45 days, the reasonable or agreed charges for towing, recovery, storage, transporting, and other applicable charges due on a motor vehicle and its contents have not been paid, the motor vehicle and its contents, except as set forth in KRS 376.275(4), may be sold to pay the charges after the owner has been notified by certified mail ten days prior to the time and place of the sale. If the proceeds of the sale of any vehicle pursuant to this section are insufficient to satisfy accrued charges for towing, transporting, and storage, the sale and collection of proceeds shall not constitute a waiver or release of responsibility for payment of unpaid towing, transporting, and storage charges by the owner or responsible casualty insurer of the vehicle. A lien on a vehicle under this section shall be subject to prior recorded liens.
(4) A lien holder having a prior recorded lien listed on the title issued by the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall be notified by certified mail within the first 15 days of impoundment. The letter shall include the make, model, license number, vehicle identification number, owner's name and last known address, and tentative date of sale for the vehicle. If the above-referenced certified letter is not sent within the 15 days by the towing and storage company, then only 15 days of storage may be charged. The lien holder has the right to take possession of the motor vehicle after showing proof of lien still enforced, and paying the reasonable or agreed towing and storage charges on the motor vehicle. Nothing in this section shall allow the transfer of a vehicle subject to a lien, except as provided in KRS 186A.190.
(B) Division (A) of this section shall not apply to the following contents of a motor vehicle, which shall be released to the vehicle owner or the owner’s designated agent upon request, if the request is made within 45 days of the date the vehicle was towed:
(1) Prescription medication in its proper container;
(2) Personal medical supplies and equipment or records;
(3) Educational materials, including but not limited to calculators, books, papers, and school supplies;
(4) Documents, files, electronic devices, or equipment which may be able to store personal information or information relating to a person’s employment or business;
(5) Firearms and ammunition. Notwithstanding the provisions of division (C) of this section, firearms and ammunition which are not claimed by the owner of the vehicle within 45 days of the date the vehicle was towed shall be transferred to the Department of State Police for disposition as provided by KRS 16.220;
(6) Cargo in the possession of persons engaged in transportation in interstate commerce as registered under KRS 186.020;
(7) Cargo in the possession of an integrated intermodal small package carrier as defined by KRS 281.605(12);
(8) Child restraint systems or child booster seats; and
(9) Checks, checkbooks, debit or credit cards, money orders, stocks, or bonds.
(C) Except as provided for in division (B)(5) of this section, any contents exempted under division (B) of this section that are not claimed by the owner of the vehicle within 45 days of the date the vehicle was towed may be sold or otherwise legally disposed of by the storage or towing company.
(D) The storage or towing company shall not be responsible for contents in a vehicle’s trunk or other locked compartment to which the storage or towing company is without access, unless the towing company intentionally opens the area without the owner’s consent.