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My apartment complex sent the following:

Loree Residents -

On Monday (9/25) Loree Management in-part with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, will be conducting an expired tag search for all vehicles parked within our community. This is required by law. If your vehicle is 'tagged' for an expired tag, you will have until Wednesday (9/27) to renew your vehicle tag registration, otherwise, it will be towed at the owner's expense. Thank you for your cooperation.

Loree Management.

Is it legal to tow a car in private property while it's parked for not having a good tag? if I'm not mistaken you can have a tag without registration as long as you don't use it and the DMV knows that the car is not being used.

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It is legal for a property owner to have a vehicle towed off of their property, if the vehicle is there without permission. If you have a vehicle with expired tags, your permission to park there may have been rescinded as of that notice. It is possible that a parking spot is part of the lease, in which case it would be a breach of contract for them to have your car towed. However, even if it's in the lease, if it is required by law, or specifically mentioned in the lease (i.e. "must be registered"), it is legal to tow the car.

The city claims the right to regulate vehicles even parked on private property:

Abandoned vehicles are defined as: vehicles that do not bear a license plate, or on which the displayed license plate is invalid, unless said vehicle is stored within a completely enclosed building or unless it is stored on a bona fide sales lot or an automobile storage yard or automobile wrecking yard, which threaten or endanger public safety or welfare; create a blighting influence upon the neighborhood where the vehicle rests, or; is, or may reasonably become, infested, or inhabited by rodents, vermin or other animals, or may furnish a breeding place for rodents, vermin or other animals. Inoperable, when referring to a vehicle, means the vehicle is incapable of being immediately driven, moved, or pulled in the manner for which it is intended or designed.

The specific underlying ordinance Sec. 518.203(1) says

No person in charge or control of any property within the city whether as owner, tenant, occupant, lessee or otherwise, shall allow any junk or abandoned vehicle to remain on any private or public property within the city longer than 15 days; and no person shall leave any such vehicle on any property within the city for a longer time than 15 days; except that this article shall not apply to a vehicle on the premises of a business enterprise licensed and operated in a lawful place and manner, to repair vehicles with current license or those places where active restoration is taking place and both activities are taking place within a closed building.

An abandoned vehicle is defined as

a vehicle that does not bear a license plate, or if the displayed license plate is invalid, unless said vehicle is stored within a completely enclosed building or unless it is stored on a bona fide automobile sales lot or an automobile storage yard or automobile wrecking yard

The ordinance does not apparently define "valid license plate", but from state law, we can determine that you affix a "validation sticker" to your "registration license plate", so without a current tag, the license is not valid.

Apparently the practice of towing cars with expired tags is not isolated in Florida: an untagged vehicle may not be visible to the public.

  • What about "which threaten or endanger public safety or welfare; create a blighting influence upon the neighborhood where the vehicle rests, or; is, or may reasonably become, infested, or inhabited by rodents, vermin or other animals, or may furnish a breeding place for rodents, vermin or other animals"? If a vehicle doesn't meet one of those three conditions, it does not meet the definition of abandoned. – phoog Sep 23 '17 at 3:25
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    Obviously, there's some generous interpretation going on here. "May" is more permissive of regulation than "is likely to". – user6726 Sep 23 '17 at 4:30
  • @phoog: I'd say it is an or. The vehicle is abandoned if it has no legal license plate, or if it is rat infested. Rat infested with legal license is abandoned, clean car without legal license place is abandoned. And for the rat infested car, being in an enclosed building is no exception apparently, so don't keep a rat infested car in your living room :-) – gnasher729 Jul 21 '18 at 12:56
  • @gnasher729 yes, it's explicitly or; that's why I said "one of those three conditions." – phoog Jul 21 '18 at 16:22

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