WA State Licensing: Registered tow truck operator

Registered tow truck operator

A registered tow truck operator endorsement is required if your business:

  • transports, impounds, or stores unauthorized vehicles.
  • disposes of abandoned vehicles.


  • A $5,000 bond.
    • The name of the principal on the bond must be exactly the same as both the business owner name and the business firm name.
    • All bonds must be signed by the applicant and the attorney-in-fact for the bonding company.
    • Bonds are available through many insurance companies. We recommend you research the cost of your bond before you apply for a license.
  • A driver list, with the names and addresses of all employees who will drive a tow truck.
  • Insurance
    • $100,000 liability for bodily injury or property damage.
    • $50,000 legal liability against damage to vehicles while they are in your custody.
  • A facilities and equipment inspection
    • You must arrange to have all your business facilities and equipment inspected by the Washington State Patrol before submitting your license application.
    • Submit the inspection report with your application.

Tow truck requirements

Each tow truck must have a valid permit.

Post your license

A license must be posted at each location where the licensee operates. You may not begin this business activity until you receive a Business License listing the required endorsement(s).

After you receive your license

  • You'll need a contract with us to search vehicle registration information.
  • You must report to us when you impound a vehicle or sell an abandoned vehicle.

How to apply

Apply by using one of the following options:

  • Online with My DOR. My DOR works best with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

    1. Login using your Secure Access Washington (SAW) user ID. If you don’t have a user ID or aren’t sure, see if you have an account first before signing up.
    2. Click Get Started on the Business Licensing and Tax service.
    3. Follow the steps below based on your business status.

      If you do not have an existing business

      1. Click File New Business License Application. Be sure to select the endorsements for which you wish to apply.

      If you have an existing business

      1. If you haven’t already, add access to your business. You’ll need a UBI number and letter ID.
      2. Click on the business you want to apply for a license/endorsement under, then click on the location.
      3. Click File New Business License Application.
  • You can pay using an E–check or a major credit card (gift cards can’t be used).

    Find more help for using My DOR, including video tutorials.

  • By mail
    1. Complete the following
    2. Mail your completed forms with a check or money order payable to “Department of Revenue” for the fees to:

      State of Washington
      Business Licensing Service
      PO Box 9034
      Olympia, WA 98507-9034


Specialty endorsement Fee
Registered Tow Truck Operator $100
Tow truck permit $50 each
Registered Tow Truck Operator Branch No fee
Other fees that may apply Fee
Registering your business name as trade name $5
Business License Application $19 (non-refundable)

Regulatory questions

Department of Licensing
Dealers Division
Phone: 360-664-6466