Tow truck drivers; registration after conviction of violent crimes. (SB8)

Introduced By

Sen. Tom Garrett (R-Lynchburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Tow truck drivers; violent crimes. Allows persons convicted of violent crimes, as defined in subsection C of 17.1-805, to become tow truck drivers after 15 years have passed from their conviction. Current law prohibits the registration as a tow truck driver of any person convicted of a violent crime. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/04/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14100447D
12/04/2013Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/22/2014Reported from Transportation with substitute (14-Y 0-N)
01/22/2014Committee substitute printed 14103734D-S1
01/24/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (34-Y 0-N)
01/27/2014Read second time
01/27/2014Reading of substitute waived
01/27/2014Committee substitute agreed to 14103734D-S1
01/27/2014Emergency clause added
01/27/2014Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB8S1
01/28/2014Passed by for the day
01/29/2014Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)
02/07/2014Placed on Calendar
02/07/2014Read first time
02/07/2014Referred to Committee on Transportation
02/14/2014Impact statement from DPB (SB8S1)
02/18/2014Reported from Transportation (21-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2014Read second time
02/20/2014Passed by for the day
02/21/2014Passed by for the day
02/24/2014Read third time
02/24/2014Passed House (85-Y 13-N)
02/24/2014VOTE: PASSAGE EMERGENCY (85-Y 13-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2014Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB8ER)
02/26/2014Impact statement from DPB (SB8ER)
02/26/2014Signed by Speaker
02/28/2014Signed by President
03/31/2014G Approved by Governor-Chapter 441 (effective 3/31/14)
03/31/2014G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0441)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 4 minutes.


Mary Devoy writes:

This is a great bill! But it could be improved upon.

For any readers who are not aware, within this statute Section C (i) prohibits ALL Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) from a tow truck license in the Commonwealth.

Back in 2008 the General Assembly added (i).

It made no sense as there had not been one incident of an RSO driving a tow truck assaulting anyone. The rational /stance of an RSO being a high-risk / danger to stranded drivers (especially females) was most likely taken in 2008 but in reality the recidivism rate of RSO’s is the second lowest of ALL crimes, a fact most lawmakers try to avoid at all costs when proposing harsh legislation against this population of citizens. But I wil continue to brng it up to them during sub-committee discussions.

Anyway, this 2008 restriction opened the way to decide that exclusions can be made to just about any career / profession based simply on the “it sounds good” or “protecting women and childen is just common sense” rationales. So on July 1, 2008 many law abiding, tax paying Virginians lost their livelihoods and their businesses with no prior warning or appeals process. They and their families suffered greatly.

Of the current 20,300+ RSO’s in Virginia 17-20% of them are classified as Non-Violent Offenders because their conviction was a misdemeanor. Not to mention the thousand-plus that were retroactively re-classified from Non-Violent to Violent by the 2006 and 2008 General Assembly sessions with no due process.

This proposal to allow citizens convicted of Violent crimes a second chance at a career driving a tow truck to provide for themselves and their families is a positive step towards successful re-entries in the Commonwealth an initiative supported by Governor McDonnell.

So why would we leave subsection (i) as-is?

When so many of those Virginians were convicted of a misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is not supposed to destroy your ability to become a productive citizen or provide for your family. A misdemeanor is supposed to be a minor blimp, a petty offense not a life filled with repercussion, restrictions and denials.

I hope Senator Garrett will consider amending sub-section (i) to apply only to those convicted of a felony, not towards everyone classified as Violent because we know that the 2006 and 2008 changes arbitrarily swept up misdemeanors into the Violent category. This will allow everyone convicted of a misdemeanor from many, many years ago to apply for a tow truck license.

They could even add the stipulation that if they have ANY Failures to Register they do not qualify.

May if not in 2014, then for 2015.