How to get your license: Registered tow truck operator

Who needs a license?

You must have a registered tow truck operator (RTTO) license if your business:

  • Transports, impounds, or stores unauthorized vehicles.
  • Disposes of abandoned vehicles.

Licensing requirements

To get a license, you must have:

  • 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. It’s a good idea to 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 garage keepers and $50,000 on hook or cargo, for liability against damage to vehicles while they’re 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 license application.
  • The following completed forms:

Tow truck requirements

Each tow truck must have a valid permit.

How to apply

  1. Mail all the application materials listed above with a check or money order for the fees (payable to the Department of Revenue) to:
    State of Washington
    Business Licensing Service
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507-9034
  2. Once all your paperwork is received and correct, we’ll issue your license in 3–4 weeks.

Note: Please let us know, in writing, if you have a change of address so we can reach you with information about your license.

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