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 Towing, Storage and Booting Advisory Board met January 12, 2017 in Austin. The agenda and the staff reports are online. The meeting was archived and is available on TDLR's YouTube channel.


Beaumont-Area Tow Inspection Round-Up March 22

TDLR hosted a Tow Inspection Round-Up on March 22 for tow companies and tow trucks that were overdue for inspection (last inspected in January 2015 or before). Inspections are required every two years. This round-up was for Chambers, Jefferson, Orange, Hardin and surrounding counties.

Tow Round-Ups provide a convenient way to satisfy the required bi-annual inspection. There is no fee for this inspection.

All tow companies must update their contact information in TOOLS, including phone numbers, email and mailing/physical addresses.

Please note the inspection requirements below.

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. Documentation that drug tests have been performed – not the actual results of the test.
  2. Active tow company insurance

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 (Documentation that drug tests have been performed – not the actual results of the test).
  2. Five (5) non-Consent tow tickets from each of the following months, December 2015, September 2016 and February 2017 (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).
  3. Active tow company insurance

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

TDLR will not check for tow truck equipment (fire extinguishers, broom, shovel, etc.).


At their meeting held on March 1, 2017, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted the rule review of 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 86, Vehicle Towing and Booting program, effective March 15, 2017. The rule review adoption was published in the March 24, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 1607)

TDLR encourages all persons interested in the Vehicle Towing and Booting program to review the rule review adoption. The adoption justification is available online.

At their meeting held on March 1, 2017, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted the rule review of 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 85, Vehicle Storage Facilities program, effective March 15, 2017. The rule review adoption was published in the March 24, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 1606). TDLR encourages all persons interested in the Vehicle Storage Facilities program to review the rule review adoption. The adoption justification is available online.

Notice of Vacancies on Towing, Storage and Booting Advisory Board

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) announces four vacancies on the Towing, Storage and Booting Advisory Board (Board) established by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308 and Chapter 2303.  The pertinent rules may be found in 16 Texas Administrative Code §85.650 and § 86.650.  The purpose of the Towing, Storage and Booting Advisory Board is to advise the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) and the Department on technical matters relevant to the administration and enforcement of Chapter 2308 and Chapter 2303, including examination content, licensing standards, and continuing education requirements. This announcement is for: (1) a towing company representative operating in a county with a population of less than one million; (2) a vehicle storage facility representative located in a county with a population of less than one million; (3) a representative of a booting company; and (4) law enforcement officer from a county with a population of less than one million.

The Board is composed of the following ten members appointed by the presiding officer of the Commission, with the Commission’s approval:

(1) one representative of a towing company operating in a county with a population of less than one million;
(2) one representative of a towing company operating in a county with a population of one million or more;
(3) one owner of a vehicle storage facility located in a county with a population of less than one million;
(4) one owner of a vehicle storage facility located in a county with a population of one million or more;
(5) one parking facility owner;
(6) one law enforcement officer from a county with a population of less than one million;
(7) one law enforcement officer from a county with a population of one million or more;
(8) one representative of property and casualty insurers who write automobile insurance in this state;
(9) one representative of a booting company; and
(10) one public member. 

Members serve terms of six years, with the terms of two or three members, as appropriate, expiring on February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

Interested persons should submit an application on the Department website at: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/AdvisoryBoard/login.aspx. Applicants can also request an application from the Department by telephone (800) 803-9202 or e-mail advisory.boards@tdlr.texas.gov.

Issued in Austin, Texas on December 27, 2016.

Brian Francis
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation


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

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.

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.

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.