Legal Question in Consumer Law in Virginia

DO I have to have my name on car registration to pick up my car from tow company in Virginia. I have proof of insurance as well as valid drivers license. They will not release the car to me because my name is not on the registration. My husband is military and deployed so they are charging me 28 dollars a day for storage on top of the tow fee. Is this a law I must have my name on registration to get my car?

Asked on 8/25/17, 8:14 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathon Moseley Jonathon A. Moseley

The biggest problem here is that the tow company is a private company. They are regulated but

they are still a private company.

You can file a complaint with the Attorney General who has the power to regulate towing companies and enforce Virginia law against towing companies.


If you can get the Attorney General's office to take action, they will probably be able to persuade the towing company to fix the problem just by contacting them.

By the way, make sure you can prove the first time that you showed up to take the car and be sure to demand that they waive any fees for any days after the first time you went to pay and pick up the car.

However, in addition to complaining to the Attorney General, you could also file a Warrant in Detinue in the General District Court. Detinue is basically a demand to return what belongs to you. It is a legal term that basically means "Give me my stuff."

However, if you do file a legal claim more than likely their attorney will tell them to stop being ridiculous and give you the car... and waive the daily fees after they refused to give you the car the first time.

You can go to the General District Court and ask for a Warrant in Detinue form.

Also make sure you have the correct legal name of the towing company and the name and address of a top officer like the President so that you can serve the Warrant in Detinue on them. But give everyone you can a coy of it so that someone will respond.

You can contact the Virginia State Corporation System to look up the name of the company and find their "registered agent" so that you can serve the company legally and officially.

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Answered on 8/25/17, 10:46 pm

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