A business must have a Tow Truck Company license if it tows vehicles for profit within the five boroughs of New York City.
Every tow truck operator is required to have a Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued Tow Truck Company license, and a separate Tow Truck Driver license is required for each driver. (See Tow Truck Driver license for more information.)
Additionally, if you are providing repair services you must have a Repair Shop Registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). And if you use second hand or used parts for your repairs, you will be required to carry a Secondhand Dealer General License as well.
Before you apply, you must prepare the following required supporting documents:
- Applicable Business Certificate or filing papers based on your business’s legal structure
- Copy of deed or lease for place of business
- Department of Buildings Document (Certificate of Occupancy) requires a registered architect or professional engineer
- Personal and Property Liability Insurance for Tow Trucks
- (2) current passport-size photos of License Applicants
- NYS Commercial Truck Registrations through the Department of Motor Vehicles
Once you have prepared the necessary supporting documents, you must fill out the following DCA application forms. The forms are in PDF format so that you may print it out and complete them or you may apply online.
- Basic License Application Form
- Roster of Vehicles
- Business Information
- Department of Consumer Affairs Trust Fund Enrollment$200 or submit a $5,000 surety bond, properly signed
- Roster of Employees
- Child Support Certification Form
Additional documentation that is required includes:
- Sales Tax ID Number or Certificate of Authority
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance or Proof of Exemption
After filing your application, the DCA will contact you to schedule an inspection of your premises and trucks before your business can operate. Please note that all of the trucks listed on your Roster of Vehicles must be present at the time of the inspection. You must present a validated NYC Department of Finance Commercial Motor Vehicle Tax Receipt (tax stamp) for each vehicle that weighs over 10,000 lbs.
After holding a Tow Truck Company License for more than a year, you may apply for acceptance in the Directed Accident Response Program (DARP) and the Rotation Tow Program (ROTOW).