Our website is getting a new look! Coming Summer 2023 – stay tuned!

If the information on this translated website is unclear, please contact us at 360.902.3900 for help in your language of choice.

How to get your license: Registered tow truck operator (RTTO)

The applicant/licensee must comply with all applicable laws and rules, even if not covered below.

Who needs a license?

Any business that:

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

Before you apply

  1. Complete section A of the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval (page 2 of the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Addendum).
  2. Take the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval form to your local zoning authority and have them complete and sign section B of the form.
  3. Have Washington State Patrol (WSP) inspect your business facilities and equipment. WSP will issue an Original Tow Truck–Business–Operator–Equipment Inspection Report to submit with your application (see Supporting documents for your application).

How to apply

Apply online with the Department of Revenue

Note: We issue this license, but it's processed by the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS). BLS prints it on the business license they provide. They refer to licenses issued by us as endorsements to the business license.

What you'll need

  • Supporting documents shown below, ready for upload. See How to upload documents
  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit/debit card (transaction fee charged) or bank account information for E–check to pay:
    • Applicable BLS fees
    • Registered tow truck operator license and tow truck permit fees

Want to apply by mail?

  1. Complete or obtain the following:
  2. Mail the completed forms and supporting documents with a check/money order payable to the Department of Revenue for the BLS fees and the motor vehicle salvage processor license and plate fees to:
    State of Washington
    Business Licensing Service
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507–9034

Supporting documents for your application

Use the Registered Tow Truck Operator Checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your application.

  • Vehicle Transport/Disposal Addendum (Sections A & B on both page 1 and page 2)
  • $5,000 bond – Provide Vehicle, Vessel, Vehicle Manufacturer, Registered Tow Truck Operator, or Wrecker Business Bond or form from the bonding company
    • Bonds are available through insurance companies.
    • The principal name must be exactly the same as both the business owner and business firm name.
    • Bond must be signed by the applicant and the attorney–in–fact for the bonding company.
  • Registered Tow Truck Operator Official Fees
  • Original Tow Truck–Business–Operator–Equipment Inspection Report issued by inspecting officer from the Washington State Patrol.
  • Driver list: Names and addresses of all employees who'll drive a tow truck.
  • Proof of 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.

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.

Questions? Need help?

Contact us

Chatbot icon