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Apply for a Tow Operator License

Types of Tow Operator Licenses

All tow truck operators (drivers) are required to have one of the following licenses:

Before You Apply

Valid Driver’s License

You must hold a valid driver’s license issued by a state in the United States to apply for a tow operator license.

National Certification

Incident Management and Private Property Towing Operator applicants must be certified by one of the entities listed below before drivers are eligible for a license. Consent Tow Operators do not need to be certified.

Currently these programs are the only acceptable certification programs. TDLR does not provide certification classes or certifications.

Application and Fee

When you are ready to apply, please submit a completed application (apply online or apply by mail) along with the non-refundable application fee of $100.

Apply Online

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

Applicants with Criminal Convictions

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.