Tow Trucks, Operators and Vehicle Storage Facilities

Military Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses - For more information about obtaining a TDLR license or renewing a TDLR license that expired while serving on active duty, please go to the Military Outreach home page.


The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted amendments to existing rules regarding the Vehicle Storage Facilities program (16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 85, §85.711 and §85.1003). The adoption justification has been posted to TDLR’s web site and the adopted rule chapter will be made available upon its effective date of January 1, 2016.

TDLR proposes new rules to the Vehicle Towing and Booting program rules (16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 86, §§86.225, 86.226, 86.227 and 86.228). The proposed new rules are necessary to establish a process that expedites tow truck permits in areas that are included in an Emergency Disaster Proclamation. The proposed rules are published in the December 4, 2015, issue of the Texas Register (40 TexReg 8713). The Department will accept comments on the proposal until January 4, 2016. The Department encourages anyone interested in the Vehicle Towing and Booting program to review the rule proposal. Comments may be submitted by email to erule.comments@tdlr.texas.gov.


The Towing, Storage and Booting Advisory Board met January 14 in Austin. The agenda and the staff reports are online.The meeting was archived and is available on TDLR's YouTube channel.

TDLR proposes amendments to the Vehicle Towing and Booting program rules (16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 86, §86.10). The proposed amendment is necessary to implement changes made by Senate Bill 1820 to Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308. The proposed rule amendment is published in the September 18, 2015, issue of the Texas Register (40 TexReg 6279). The Department will accept comments on the proposal until October 19, 2015. The Department encourages anyone interested in the Vehicle Towing and Booting program to review the rule proposal.


Austin-Area Tow Truck and Tow Company Inspection Round-Up February 26

Mark your calendar: TDLR will be hosting a Tow Round-Up for tow company and tow truck inspections on Friday, February 26, 2016, from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. The Round Up will end promptly at 4:30 as there is an evening event at the location. The Dell Diamond is located at 3400 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78665 (Harrell Pkwy and Hwy 79).

Tow Round-Ups provide a convenient way to satisfy the required bi-annual inspection. To arrange for inspection, please text, leave a voicemail or e-mail one of the following TDLR’s Inspectors:

Quy Tran (512) 595-1819 - Quy.Tran@tdlr.texas.gov (Vietnamese)

Albert Alvarado (210) 387-9126 - Albert.Alvarado@tdlr.texas.gov (Spanish)

Ginette Devastey (512) 541-7945 - ginette.devastey@tdlr.texas.gov

Please note the requirements for Inspection:

Tow Truck and Equipment Inspection Includes:

1. Tow Operator’s License (TDLR license and driver’s license) for all drivers including owners

2. Cab Card

3. Proof of Liability Insurance

4. Legible manufacturer’s data plate or document from manufacturer stating the capacity of boom, winch or carry mechanism

5. Winch in good condition (must not exceed capacity of boom or leak oil)

6. Hydraulic lines free of leaks and in good condition

7. Cables meeting manufacturer’s specifications and in good condition

8. Tow truck signage

Additional Required Information:

For Consent Tow Companies

1. Proof the company is following the adopted drug test policy for all employees and the owner if applicable (latest drug testing results)

For Private Property and Incident Management Tow Companies

1. Proof the company is following the adopted drug test policy for all employees and the owner if applicable (latest drug testing results)

2. Five (5) Non-Consent Tow Tickets from each of the following months, August 2015, November 2015, and January 2016 (15 tickets total) (if you do not have 5 for each month, we will need to inspect 15 tow tickets from the last 6 months).

The Two Most Common Violations found at Tow Round-ups are:


House Bill 804 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, amended Occupations Code, Chapter 2303, relating to the forms of payment that the operator of a vehicle storage facility must accept.  House Bill 804 and the changes to Chapter 2303 became effective September 1, 2015. TDLR encourages all persons interested in the Vehicle Storage Facilities program to review the updated Occupations Code, Chapter 2303.


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.

Incident Management (IM) and Private Property (PP) Towing Operators are required to be certified by the National Drivers Certification Program of the Towing and Recovery Association of America, AAA-Texas, Towing and Recovery Association of America, Texas Towing and Storage Association, Southwest Tow Operators Association, TOWS (Training of Wrecker Services), or the proctored program from WreckMaster, Inc. Currently these programs are the only acceptable certification programs. TDLR does not provide certification classes or certifications. Additional certification programs may be approved in the future. Certification must be obtained before drivers are eligible for an IM or PP license. Applicants for the Consent Towing License do not need to be certified.


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.