Apply for a Tow Company License

Before You Apply

Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

Towing companies must adopt a drug and alcohol testing policy for employees.

You can choose from one of three options:

  • Select the TDLR Model Drug Testing Policy
  • Choose a TDLR-approved drug testing consortium, or
  • Create your own drug testing policy. Mail, fax, or e-mail a copy of your drug testing policy to us for review and approval.
    • Companies seeking to use an independent policy should submit their policy along with their application materials and state their intention to use an independent policy in a written notice. The filing must describe how the independent drug and alcohol testing policy is at least as stringent as each provision of the model policy provided in §86.710(a).

For more specific information on Drug Testing Policy rules and regulations, please see Section 86.710 of the Administrative Rule


Application and Fee

When you are ready to apply, please contact our Customer Service division at (800) 803-9202 to request a new account be created in the TOOLS online registration system.

A member of the Licensing Team will contact you to set up your application over the phone, and provide you with a certificate and PIN number. This certificate and PIN number will allow you to complete the application online at your convenience.

The non-refundable application fee is $350.

You will also be responsible for obtaining tow truck permits for each truck used by your company. The non-refundable application fee is $75 per truck.

Tow company licenses are valid for a period of one year from the date of issue.

In-Person Applications

An application for a new tow company can be completed in-person the same day if you are paying by credit card. Your license will be active once your insurance company files their information online and a criminal background check is completed.

Our office is open 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

We are located at:

920 Colorado St.
Austin, TX 78701
Map Link

Incomplete applications or applications that require an extensive review of criminal background information may take longer.


Checking Your Application Status

You can check the status of your tow company application using our online TOOLS system. You must have a certificate and PIN number to use the TOOLS system.


Applicants with Criminal Convictions

As part of the application process, all controlling persons of your company, including owners partners, principals, officers, and general managers, must successfully pass a criminal background check conducted by TDLR.

If you have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than a minor traffic violation) or pleaded guilty or no contest (resulting in a deferred adjudication) to any in-state, out-of-state or federal criminal offense, you must provide a completed Criminal History Questionnaire (PDF) along with your application materials.

The department will conduct a criminal history background check on all persons who apply for a license. Criminal convictions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Licenses may be denied based on the nature of the conviction and how long prior to the application the conviction occurred. Depending on your criminal history, a review can take from one to six weeks to complete.

Individuals may request TDLR review their criminal background before actually applying for a license. TDLR uses the same process for this pre-application evaluation as the process described below. See the Criminal History Evaluation Letter page for more information.

Please see the Guidelines for License Applicants with Criminal Convictions, which describe the process that TDLR uses to determine whether a criminal conviction renders an applicant an unsuitable candidate for the license, or whether a conviction warrants revocation or suspension of a license previously granted.