Requirements to Drive a Tow Truck

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

careertrend article image
towing truck image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

The requirements for driving and operating a tow truck are fairly demanding because of the nature of maneuvering such complex machinery and the liability the tow truck company faces if any damage is done to the owner's car in the process of attaching it to the tow truck.

Tow Truck License

Drivers must have a valid tow truck driver's license. The two types of tow truck licenses are consent or non-consent licenses; a non-consent towing license permits you to remove illegally parked cars. The requirements for getting a license vary from state to state. For instance, to apply for a license in the state of New York, you must file a Basic Individual License Application with the Department of Motor Vehicles; part of the application entails being fingerprinted by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Education and Training

Most tow truck companies prefer that their drivers have high school diplomas or GED equivalents. Specialized training and an exemplary driving record also are required. Familiarity with car repair is an additional benefit because many tow truck operators are responsible for determining the cause of the vehicle's problem.


Once a tow truck driver has been certified, he is qualified to drive any of three types of tow trucks: a conventional low truck that has a hook and sling; a flatbed truck, generally used when towing higher-end cars; and a wheel-lift or full-float truck, which uses winches to raise cars to off the ground and place wheels under the axles so it can be towed.