TRN-17.02 - Towing Regulations

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number


Administrative Rule Adopted by Portland Bureau of Transportation Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority


1.  Authorization

A.  It is unlawful to tow a vehicle from a private parking facility located within the City of Portland unless:

1.  The PPI tower holds a current City of Portland PPI permit.

2.  The private parking facility owner/operator gives the PPI tower express written authorization identifying the specific vehicle, and signed at the time of the tow request, as required by ORS Chapter 98 Disposition of unlawfully parked vehicles and abandoned vehicles; or,

3.  The private parking facility owner/operator has signed a towing agreement, currently in effect and authorizing the PPI tower to tow vehicles from the parking facility.  If towing under the authorization of such an agreement, PPI tower will, at the time of the tow, sign the invoice as authorizing agent for each tow. The invoice will identify the specific vehicle and location, as required by ORS 98.812 and 98.854.

B.  PPI Towing Agreements

1.  If a PPI tower’s agreement for towing is with the tenant of a property, such agreement must also include authorization by the property owner or authorized owner’s agent.

2.  Agreements between PPI towers and private parking facility owners/operators must include the accurate address, or Multnomah County property tax ID number, of any property from which the PPI tower will impound vehicles.

3.  If the agreement with a single owner/operator applies to multiple properties, an addendum listing the accurate address, or Multnomah County property tax ID number, of each property must be included.

4.  If a property has no address assigned, a Multnomah County property tax ID number, or a printout of the Portland Maps record for the property may be submitted in order to provide the accurate location.

5.  If an agreement between a PPI tower and a private parking facility owner/operator authorizes the PPI tower to patrol a property, this must be stated explicitly and all applicable conditions clearly defined to ensure proper implementation.

6.  PPI tow agreements will indicate beginning and expiration dates, and be valid for not more than 2 years at a time.

7.  PPI towers will review patrol towing agreements at least every 2 years to verify that conditions and property ownership have not changed.

a.  PPI towers will obtain a new signature and assign new effective and expiration dates agreed to by the property owner/operator as part of this review to indicate approval of an extension of the patrol agreement.

b.  Tows performed without current authorization will be subject to penalties and refunds.

8.  PPI tow agreements will list the full name, telephone and position of any person authorized to request towing services.

2.  Signage

It is unlawful to tow a vehicle from a private parking facility unless the facility meets the following signage requirements:

1.  At least one sign must be posted for every 3 parking spaces, or every 1,000 square feet of space allotted for parking.

2.  At least one sign must be posted and clearly readable by an operator in a motor vehicle at each driveway into the parking lot, not more than 10 feet from the public right of way or driveway. Such signs must:

a.  Be posted so that the center of the sign is not more than 8 feet nor less than 4 feet above the ground; and,

b.  Be at least 18” x 24” in size; and,

c.  State that parking is prohibited, reserved or otherwise restricted; and,

d.  State who is authorized to park and the hours during which parking is restricted; and,

e.  If a permit is required to park, clearly state the requirement and how to obtain a permit, and,

f.  State that towing and storage of a vehicle will be at the vehicle owner’s expense; and,

g.  Prominently display the PPI tower’s name and 24 hour telephone contact number for release of a vehicle; and,

h.  Be maintained un-obscured by any tree, shrub, bush, vehicle or other obstacle at all times; and,

i.  Be printed in letters not less than 2 inches high.

3.  When a private parking facility is shared by multiple business operations, (i.e. shopping mall, office park, etc.) parking spaces must be individually marked, or signs posted, clearly indicating which spaces are reserved for each business.

4.  If a parking lot adjoins another property or may be entered from another property, at least one sign must be posted not more than 10 feet from the boundary dividing the properties.

5.  PPI towers may request a variance in sign requirements by submitting a written request.

a.  The request must:

1.  Describe why PPI sign requirements cannot be met, and

2.  Include photographs and/or maps to illustrate the need for the variance, and

3.  Propose an alternate posting scheme for approval.

b.  Towing may not begin at the subject location until the posting has been approved by the City. A determination will be made by the Director or designee within 3 business days of receiving such a request. Such determination regarding a variance is not appealable.

6.  Fire lanes from which vehicles may be towed must be marked in compliance with Portland Uniform Fire Code (PUFC 901 and 902)

7.  When establishing a new PPI towing account or replacing missing or defaced signs, new signs must be posted for a minimum of 24 hours before towing commences or resumes.


Renumbered and moved to Portland Bureau of Transportation February 21, 2020.

Amended by Director of Revenue Bureau December 17, 2013.

Revised document filed in PPD April 20, 2006.

Submitted for inclusion in PPD April 23, 2004.

Originally adopted by Bureau of Licenses as Administrative rule 014.03-1.

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