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:


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