Tow Trucks, Operators and Vehicle Storage Facilities

Military Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses - For more information about applying as a military spouse please go to the Military Spouse FAQs page.

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted amended rules regarding the Vehicle Towing and Booting program (16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 86, §86.455).  The effective date of the rule adoption is March 1, 2015. The adoption justification and updated rule chapter are available online.

The Towing, Storage and Booting Advisory Board met February 10 in Austin. The agenda is available online. The meeting was archived and is available for viewing via RealPlayer.

TDLR proposes amendments to the Vehicle Storage Facilities program rules (16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 85, §85.10 and §85.719). The proposed amendments are necessary to implement Texas Occupations Code, 2303.155(b)(5) which authorizes the Commission to establish a maximum fee that a vehicle storage facility may charge for the remediation, recovery, capture or disposal of environmental or biological hazards. The proposed rule amendments are proposed in the October 17, 2014, issue of the Texas Register (39 TexReg 8120). The Department will accept comments on the proposal until November 17, 2014. The Department encourages anyone interested in the Vehicle Storage Facilities program to review the rule proposal online.


Sample Towing and Booting Signs - examples of TDLR-approved towing and booting signs:

Statewide Maximum Charges for Private property towing went into effect on September 1, 2010 - The 2009 Legislature passed HB2571 to amend the Towing and Booting Act. The bill requires TDLR’s Commission to adopt rules to establish the maximum amount that may be charged for private property tows in Texas. The bill also requires the Commission to specify the type and amount of any fee that may be charged in connection with a private property tow, other than the tow fee. After months of review and input from the public and industry, the Towing and Booting Advisory Board made recommendations to TDLR’s Commission. On August 9, 2010, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation established the statewide maximum amounts for private property tows and specified that a drop fee may also be charged. The private property statewide maximum tow charges went into effect on September 1, 2010. A tow company performing private property tows may not charge more than the private property statewide maximum tow amounts on or after that date. Please review these Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

All tow truck operators must be licensed. There are three different types of tow operator licenses: the Incident Management Tow Operator License, the Private Property Tow Operator License, and The Consent Tow Operator License. Tow truck operators need to choose only one designation. The Incident Management License allows a driver to perform incident management towing, private property towing and consent towing. The Private Property License allows private property towing and consent towing. The Consent Towing License only authorizes consent towing.

The Incident Management Feasibility Study (734kb PDF) has been completed by Morningside Research and Consulting, Inc. The study includes information about:

· the fees charged for motor vehicle towing services;
· the feasibility and effects of the implementation of a fee schedule or establishment of a maximum fee for motor vehicle towing services;
· the terms and timing of payment to incident management towing companies including payment for the release of semitrailers and other motor vehicles; and
· evaluate any other aspect of the towing of motor vehicles that the agency determines necessary.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the study. The agency has the study online for you to review.

REMINDER: The requirement to submit non-consent tow fee schedules to TDLR was repealed September 1, 2011.

Tow companies that perform non-consent tows are no longer required to submit their non-consent tow fee schedules to the Department.


Tow companies that perform non-consent tows must still provide a non-consent tow fee schedule to all vehicle storage facilities to which the tow company delivers vehicles for storage. Upon request, vehicle storage facilities must provide a copy of the non-consent tow fees. Please note that for private property tows, tow companies that perform non-consent tows may not charge a fee that is greater than the statewide maximum private property fees set by the Department. Tow companies may not charge more than private property tow and drop fees set by a municipality, if those fees are less than the statewide maximum private property fees.

For incident management tows, tow companies that perform non-consent tows may not charge a fee greater than the tow fees authorized by the municipality or local government where a tow originated.

Sample tow tickets now available

Reporting Abandoned Nuisance Vehicles

Number of Days a Vehicle Storage Facility Has to Send Second Notice - Effective September 1, 2011, a licensed vehicle storage facility now sends the second notice 15 days after the first notice to the registered owner/lienholder. For a vehicle accepted by the licensed vehicle storage facility before September 1, 2011, the vehicle storage facility must wait 41 days before sending the second notice.


The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code §2001.029, is holding a public hearing on the proposed rules to 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 85, regarding the Vehicle Storage Facilities Program.

The public hearing will be held during the Towing, Storage, and Booting Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, at 10 a.m. at the Twin Towers Office Center, 1st Floor Public Meeting Room #125E, 1106 Clayton Lane, Austin, Texas.

The purpose of the hearing is to receive comments from all interested persons concerning the proposed amendments to rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 85.10; added definitions for “biological hazard” and “environmental hazard”; Chapter 85.719; adding a new subsection authorizing the collection of an environmental hazard fee.  The proposed rules were published in the October 17, 2014, issue of the Texas Register (39 TexReg 8120).

The public hearing is being held in response to formal requests from Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, L.L.P. on behalf of the Insurance Council of Texas.

Persons interested in attending this hearing are encouraged to submit advance written notice of their intent to attend the hearing and to submit a written copy of their comments. Send comments by mail to Pauline Easley, Legal Assistant, General Counsel’s Office, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711, or by facsimile to (512) 475-3032, or electronically to erule.comments@tdlr.texas.gov. This hearing will be conducted in accordance with Texas Government Code, §2001.

If you require auxiliary aids, services or materials in an alternate format contact the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation at least 3 working days prior to the meeting date. PHONE: (512) 463-6599; FAX: (512) 475-3032; E-MAIL: erule.comments@tdlr.texas.gov, TDD/RELAY TEXAS: 1-800-relay-VV (for voice), 1-800-relay-TX (for TDD).