To become a tow truck driver in Texas, you must first apply for one of three licensing categories. Tow truck drivers in Texas can select a suitable license based on the type of vehicle they want to operate and the level of service they want to provide to their customers. Understanding the application procedure can assist you in obtaining the necessary certification while reducing the resources you devote to this job.
What does a Texas tow truck driver do?
A tow truck driver is a trained professional who drives tow trucks to help stranded motorists. They arrive at the damaged car, hook it to the tow truck, and tow it to a dealership or another service shop where the vehicle may be repaired. If a car is irreparable, a tow truck driver may transport it to a junkyard. A tow truck driver is also responsible for the following tasks:
- Maintaining and maintaining the effective operation of their towing equipment.
- Troubleshooting car problems
- Minor repairs, such as replacing flat tires or jump-starting a dead battery.
Types of Texas Tow Operator Licenses
Tow operator licenses are classified into three types: Incident Management Tow Operator License, Private Property Tow Operator License, and Consent Tow Operator License. Tow truck operators must select just one type of license. The Incident Management License enables a driver to tow incidents like collisions for law enforcement. You can also do consent towing and private property towing. The Private Property License enables a motorist to tow unlawfully parked automobiles in parking lots. You can also do consent towing. The Consent Towing License permits drivers to undertake tows for people who authorize the tow, such as automobile dealers and owners.
All Texas tow truck operators (drivers) are required to have one of the following licenses:
- An Incident Management License is required to operate a tow truck with an Incident Management Permit. A tow truck driver with an Incident Management License may also use a Private Property Permit or Consent Tow Permit. This license allows the holder to work at a vehicle storage facility.
- Operating a tow truck with a Private Property Permit necessitates a Private Property License. A driver with a Private Property License can also operate a truck with a Consent Tow Permit, but not an IM Permit.
- A Consent Tow License is required to operate a tow truck. A CP License holder may not operate a tow truck with an Incident Management Permit or a Private Property Permit. This license allows the holder to operate in a car storage facility.
How to become a tow truck driver in Texas
The following are the steps to becoming a tow truck driver in Texas:
- If required, go to the Towing and Recovery Association of America’s website to apply for certification.
Go to the Towing and Recovery Association of America’s website first to get a private property towing license or an incident management license. Find their National Driver Certification Program if you want to get a private property towing or incident management license. The National Driver Certification Program offers three levels, so it’s critical to know which one you want.
All candidates must pass the “Level 1 – Light Duty” certification test. This permits drivers to tow automobiles and small trucks with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds. If you know you want to take on larger or more sophisticated works, you can apply for a “Level 2 – Medium/Heavy Recovery” or “Level 3 – Heavy Recovery Specialist” certification. You can tow specialist vehicles and respond to hazardous chemicals incidents if you have these higher-level certificates.
- Towing licenses can be obtained through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
The next step is to apply to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for a towing license. All candidates must have a valid driver’s license and, if available, national certification from the Towing and Recovery Association of America. Candidates must also complete an online or mail application and pay a non-refundable application fee. Candidates must only complete step one if they desire a private property or incident management license. Step one is optional if you simply want a consent tow license.
- Complete any required ongoing education.
After the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation accepts your application and awards your license, you can pursue any necessary continuing education. Holders with incident management licenses simply need to complete eight hours of continuing education during their initial renewal cycle. Each year, holders of private property licenses and consent tow licenses must complete four hours of continuing education.
- Look for work as a tow truck driver.
There are several options to work as a tow truck driver. If you possess a car, you may promote your services on local web forums or distribute leaflets across your community. A full-time employment with a private firm is also possible.
What does a tow truck driver earn in Texas?
A tow truck driver in Texas earns an average of $97,309 a year, which is comparable to the national average of $97,456. Tow truck drivers may be able to make more money based on the firm they work for and their level of expertise. Independent tow truck contractors, for example, may earn more than drivers who work for several firms.
Proof of Insurance is Required Before Applying
You must obtain tow truck insurance from a licensed and permitted firm to do business in Texas. All insurance certificates must include a provision indicating that the insurer will inform TDLR 30 days before canceling an insurance policy.
The name and address on your insurance certificate must exactly match the name and address on your application form. You should notify TDLR of any changes in your name or address and present updated proof of insurance.