28-3512. Release of vehicle; civil penalties; definition

A. An immobilizing or impounding agency shall release a vehicle to the registered owner before the end of the thirty day immobilization or impoundment period under any of the following circumstances:

1. If the vehicle is a stolen vehicle.

2. If the vehicle is subject to bailment and is driven by an employee of a business establishment, including a parking service or repair garage, who is subject to section 28-3511, subsection A, B or C.

3. If the owner was operating the vehicle at the time of removal and either immobilization or impoundment and presents proof satisfactory to the immobilizing or impounding agency that the owner's driving privilege has been reinstated.

4. If all of the following apply:

(a) The owner or the owner's agent was not the person driving the vehicle pursuant to section 28-3511, subsection A.

(b) The owner or the owner's agent is in the business of renting motor vehicles without drivers.

(c) The vehicle is registered pursuant to section 28-2166.

(d) There was a rental agreement in effect at the time of the immobilization or impoundment.

5. For the spouse of the owner or any person who is identified as an owner of the vehicle on the records of the department at the time of removal and either immobilization or impoundment, if the spouse or person was not the driver of the vehicle at the time of removal and either immobilization or impoundment and the spouse or person enters into an agreement with the immobilizing or impounding agency that stipulates that if the spouse or person allows a driver who does not have a valid driving privilege or a driver who commits a violation that causes the spouse's or person's vehicle to be removed and either immobilized or impounded pursuant to this article within one year after any agreement is signed by an immobilizing or impounding agency, the spouse or person will not be eligible to obtain release of the spouse's or person's vehicle before the end of the thirty day immobilization or impoundment period.

6. If the vehicle is owned by a motor vehicle dealer who has paid fees pursuant to section 28-4302 and is driven by a customer, potential customer or employee of the motor vehicle dealer and the motor vehicle dealer has provided to the immobilizing or impounding agency indicia of the motor vehicle dealer's ownership of the vehicle, including a certificate of title or a manufacturer-issued certificate or statement of origin.

B. A vehicle shall not be released pursuant to subsection A of this section except pursuant to an immobilization or a poststorage hearing under section 28-3514 or if all of the following are presented to the immobilizing or impounding agency:

1. The owner's or owner's spouse's currently valid driver license issued by this state or the owner's or owner's spouse's state of domicile.

2. Proof of current vehicle registration or a valid salvage or dismantle certificate of title.

3. Proof that the vehicle is in compliance with the financial responsibility requirements of chapter 9, article 4 of this title.

4. If the person is required by the department to install a certified ignition interlock device on the vehicle, proof of installation of a functioning certified ignition interlock device in the vehicle. The impounding agency, storage yard, facility, person or agency having physical possession of the vehicle shall allow access during normal business hours to the impounded vehicle for the purpose of installing a certified ignition interlock device. The impounding agency, storage yard, facility, person or agency having physical possession of the vehicle shall not charge any fee or require compensation for providing access to the vehicle or for the installation of the certified ignition interlock device.

C. The owner or the owner's spouse if the vehicle is released to the owner's spouse is responsible for paying all immobilization, towing and storage charges related to the immobilization or impoundment of the vehicle and any administrative charges established pursuant to section 28-3513, unless the vehicle is stolen and the theft was reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If the vehicle is stolen and the theft was reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency, the operator of the vehicle at the time of immobilization or impoundment is responsible for all immobilization, towing, storage and administrative charges.

D. Before the end of the thirty day immobilization or impoundment period, the immobilizing or impounding agency shall release a vehicle to a person, other than the owner, identified on the department's record as having an interest in the vehicle immediately before the immobilization or impoundment if all of the following conditions are met:

1. The person is either of the following:

(a) In the business of renting motor vehicles without drivers and the vehicle is registered pursuant to section 28-2166.

(b) A motor vehicle dealer, bank, credit union or acceptance corporation or any other licensed financial institution legally operating in this state or is another person who is not the owner and who holds a security interest in the vehicle immediately before the immobilization or impoundment.

2. The person pays all immobilization, towing and storage charges related to the immobilization or impoundment of the vehicle and any administrative charges established pursuant to section 28-3513 unless the vehicle is stolen and the theft was reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If the vehicle is stolen and the theft was reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency, the operator of the vehicle at the time of immobilization or impoundment is responsible for all immobilization, towing, storage and administrative charges.

3. The person presents foreclosure documents or an affidavit of repossession of the vehicle.

4. The person requesting release of the vehicle was not the person driving the vehicle at the time of removal and immobilization or impoundment.

E. Before a person described in subsection D of this section releases the vehicle to the owner who was operating the vehicle at the time of removal and immobilization or impoundment, the person described in subsection D of this section shall require the owner to present and shall retain for a period of at least three years from the date of releasing the vehicle a copy of all of the following:

1. A driver license issued by this state or the owner's or owner's agent's state of domicile.

2. A current vehicle registration or a valid salvage or dismantle certificate of title.

3. Evidence that the vehicle is in compliance with the financial responsibility requirements of chapter 9, article 4 of this title.

F. The person described in subsection D of this section may require the owner to pay charges that the person incurred in connection with obtaining custody of the vehicle, including all immobilization, towing and storage charges that are related to the immobilization or impoundment of the vehicle and any administrative charges that are established pursuant to section 28-3513.

G. A vehicle shall not be released after the end of the thirty day immobilization or impoundment period unless the owner or owner's agent presents all of the following to the impounding or immobilizing agency:

1. A valid driver license issued by this state or by the owner's or owner's agent's state of domicile.

2. A current vehicle registration or a valid salvage or dismantle certificate of title.

3. Evidence that the vehicle is in compliance with the financial responsibility requirements of chapter 9, article 4 of this title.

4. If the person is required by the department to install a certified ignition interlock device on the vehicle, proof of installation of a functioning certified ignition interlock device in the vehicle. The impounding agency, storage yard, facility, person or agency having physical possession of the vehicle shall allow access during normal business hours to the impounded vehicle for the purpose of installing a certified ignition interlock device. The impounding agency, storage yard, facility, person or agency having physical possession of the vehicle shall not charge any fee or require compensation for providing access to the vehicle or for the installation of the certified ignition interlock device.

H. The storage charges relating to the impoundment of a vehicle pursuant to this section shall be subject to a contractual agreement between the impounding agency and a towing firm for storage services pursuant to section 41-1830.51 and shall be fifteen dollars for each day of storage, including any time the vehicle remains in storage after the end of the thirty day impoundment period.

I. The immobilizing or impounding agency shall have no lien or possessory interest in a stolen vehicle if the theft was reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The immobilizing or impounding agency shall release the vehicle to the owner or person other than the owner as identified in subsection D of this section even if the operator at the time of immobilization or impoundment has not paid all immobilization, towing, storage and administrative charges.

J. A person who enters into an agreement pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 5 of this section and who allows another person to operate the vehicle in violation of the agreement is responsible for a civil traffic violation and shall pay a civil penalty of at least two hundred fifty dollars.

K. A person described in subsection D, paragraph 1 of this section who violates subsection E of this section is responsible for a civil traffic violation and shall pay a civil penalty of at least two hundred fifty dollars.

L. For the purposes of this section, "certified ignition interlock device" has the same meaning prescribed in section 28-1301.