TOW TRUCK COMPANY (124)
DCA Licensing Center
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
For more information, call 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside of New York City).
A business must have a Tow Truck Company license if it tows vehicles for profit within the five boroughs of New York City.
This description is only a general explanation of which businesses need to have a Tow Truck Company license.
Important Update from DCA: DCA is investigating Metropolitan NY Towing, Auto Body & Salvage Association for allegedly engaging in fraudulent and illegal activity. Read the press release and letter to licensees for more information.
Until the investigation is complete, DCA will not accept paperwork from the Association. You can submit your application personally or through an authorized representative other than Metropolitan NY Towing, Auto Body & Salvage Association.
ADDITIONAL DCA LICENSES YOU MAY NEED:
- If you drive a tow truck in the City of New York, you must also obtain a Tow Truck Driver license.
- If you or your business will buy or sell secondhand articles (e.g., repair vehicles with secondhand auto parts), you must also obtain a Secondhand Dealer General license.
Note: New York City businesses must comply with all relevant federal, state, and City laws and rules. All laws and rules of the City of New York, including the Consumer Protection Law and Rules, are accessible using the Public Access Portal. For convenience, sections of the New York City Licensing Law (and Rules, if enacted) are available as a downloadable handout.
Please note that businesses are responsible for knowing and complying with the most current laws, including any City Council amendments. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is not responsible for errors or omissions in the handout. The information is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer.
Before You File Your DCA License Application:
You must obtain the following required documents before filing your application.
- Applicable Business Certificates based on your Business's Legal Structure
Sole Proprietorships operating under a name other than your own must file a Business/Assumed Name Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
Sole Proprietorships doing business under your own name—and not under a trade or Doing-Business-As (DBA) name—do not need a Business Certificate.
General/Business Partnerships must file your Partnership Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships must register and remain active with the New York State Department of State. Active status will be verified by DCA prior to license issuance. You can confirm the status of your business entity at NYS Web site. If applicable, you must also file an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.
Businesses incorporated out of state must obtain a Certificate of Doing Business in Good Standing from your home state’s Secretary of State and file this with an application for Authority to Conduct Business in New York with the New York State Secretary of State.
When You File Your DCA License Application:
Below are requirements when filing your license application:
- Basic License Application
Applying for the license online does not mean the license is automatically approved. A major credit card is required to submit applications online. Convenience fees apply. After reviewing application requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of this Web page to submit your application online.
For in-person application submission, applicants can download and complete the Basic License Application Form (in PDF).
- Business Certificate
See description above.
Attention: Corporate Applicants. If you file your application in person, DCA can print a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation and/or Certificate of Authority to Conduct Business in New York from the New York State Department of State’s Web site.
- Sales Tax Identification Number OR Certificate of Authority Application Confirmation Number
The Sales Tax Identification Number is the 9, 10, or 11-digit number on your New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority. You must enter this number on the Basic License Application form. If you have not received your Certificate of Authority, please enter the 6-digit confirmation number you received when you successfully submitted the application for a Certificate of Authority.
To obtain an application for a Certificate of Authority, visit the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance online at http://tax.ny.gov or call (518) 485-2889. Allow four to six weeks after applying to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to receive your Certificate of Authority.
- Roster of Vehicles (download)
Applicants must provide identifying information for each tow truck owned by the business on the Roster of Vehicles.
- New York State Commercial Truck Registrations
Submit a copy of the current New York State Commercial Truck Registration for each vehicle listed on the Roster of Vehicles. The address on your registrations must match the address provided on your license application. Note: Commercial tow trucks registered or renewed after January 22, 1995 must display “Tow Truck” plates.
- Department of Buildings Document
You must submit a copy of the Certificate of Occupancy, Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (expiring no less than 30 days from date of application submission) OR Letter of No Objection from the Department of Buildings (DOB) confirming that your premises is suitable to operate your business. If you submit a Certificate of Occupancy or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, it must be the most current version and show approval of the premises for “M1” Zoning and/or “Use Group 16.”
- Two current color passport-size photographs of License Applicant
Each individual named on the license application must submit two current color passport-size photographs of themselves.
Please note that you can upload image files if you submit your license application online.
- Business Information (download)
Applicants for a Tow Truck Company license must indicate which credit cards the business will accept and confirm whether or not the business will repair vehicles. If your business plans to repair vehicles, please submit a copy of your business’ current Repair Shop Registration from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance
Provide a copy of ONE of the following documents as proof of workers’ compensation insurance information:
- An Insurance Certificate for workers’ compensation insurance from a private insurance carrier or the New York State Insurance Fund Office. The Insurance Certificate must name the Department of Consumer Affairs as the certificate holder OR
- A Certificate of Attestation of Exemption from the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (if you claimed exemption from the requirement to hold workers’ compensation insurance)
To learn whether you can claim exemption from holding workers’ compensation insurance, visit NYS Workers’ Compensation Board at www.wcb.ny.gov
Please note: You must provide DCA with proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance should your business cease to qualify for Workers’ Compensation Exemption.
- Personal and Property Liability Insurance for Tow Trucks
You must submit a copy of the Insurance Certificate for your tow trucks. Your Insurance Certificate must name the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) as the certificate holder. Minimum amounts of coverage are:
- $250,000 for personal injury or death of any one person resulting from any one accident
- $500,000 for personal injury or death of two or more persons resulting from any one accident
- $50,000 for injury to or destruction of property of one or more persons resulting from any one accident
- $25,000 for on hook coverage
- $300,000 Combined Single Limit (CSL) with $25,000 for on hook coverage
Note: You must notify DCA within 14 days if your insurance policy is cancelled, expired, or was terminated for any reason. Notification must be in writing and submitted in person OR by mail to:
Attn: Licensing Center
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
- DCA Trust Fund Enrollment OR Copy of Surety Bond (or Third Party Bond), properly signed
- If you want to enroll your business in the Trust Fund, complete the Trust Fund Enrollment Form. The fee for joining the Trust Fund is $200 OR
- If you do not enroll your business in the Trust Fund, you must submit a copy of a $5,000 Surety Bond (or Third Party Bond), properly signed. The copy of the bond must name the Department of Consumer Affairs as the Certificate Holder. Your corporate name, Doing-Business-As (DBA) name (if any), and premises address must be exactly the same on all documents. You must also submit a copy of the bond receipt showing that the bond has been paid in full and does not expire before the end of the licensing period.
Download a list of bonding companies (in PDF)
The companies listed have provided bonds for licensees, or have communicated to the Department of Consumer Affairs an interest in doing so. The list must not be considered a recommendation of any company, or a complete listing. All applicants are advised to investigate and compare these and other bonding companies. Some companies may provide only certain types of bonds. Companies are listed in alphabetical order.
- Proof of Right to Use Premises
Submit ONE of the following documents as proof of right to use premises for your business:
- A copy of your deed or bill of sale OR
- A copy of your current lease
- Roster of Employees (download)
Please indicate if you are currently applying for a Tow Truck Company License and a Tow Truck Driver License and provide employee information on the Roster of Employees. Note: If you are not applying for both licenses, at least one person in your business must hold a current and valid Tow Truck Driver license issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs (e.g., sole proprietor, general partner, director, corporate officer, shareholder owning 10% or more of company, or employee).
- Child Support Certification Form (download)
If your business is a SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP or GENERAL or LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, the proprietor or each individual general partner must submit a Child Support Certification Form.
- Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download)
If this application will be filed by someone other than the license applicant, the license applicant must submit a Granting Authority to Act Affirmation.
- Fingerprints and Processing Fee
All sole proprietors, general partners, directors, corporate officers, and all shareholders owning 10% or more of company stock must be fingerprinted at the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Licensing Center. EXCEPTIONS: Any person who currently has fingerprints on file with DCA does not need to be fingerprinted. DCA has fingerprints on file for anyone who provided fingerprints within the last three years and for those who provided fingerprints for an active DCA license. Each person who must be fingerprinted must visit the DCA Licensing Center, located at 42 Broadway, 5th Floor, in lower Manhattan, with photo identification (ID) and pay a $75 processing fee by check or money order, payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. Acceptable forms of ID include:
- driver’s license or non-driver’s license identification issued by a State Department of Motor Vehicles
- license or permit issued by a government agency
- alien card/green card
- a City, State, or Federal employee ID card
Your fingerprints will be checked for any criminal record that you may have. Note that a conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being granted a license. However, failure to reveal a conviction can constitute grounds for the denial of your application.
- License Fee
The License Fee must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted at the DCA Licensing Center include MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Credit card payments are subject to a 2.49% convenience fee. Checks or money orders must be payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed. The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed and the number of tow trucks operated by your business. Note: An odd year is any year ending in an odd digit; for example, 2011, 2013, etc. An even year is any year ending in an even digit; for example, 2012, 2014, etc.
Please note that convenience fees apply if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online.
Tow Truck Company License
|License Term||License Expiration Date||If You File Your Application Between These Dates:|
Your License Fee Per Truck is:
|2 years||April 30|
|From May 1 in an even year to October 31 in an even year|
From November 1 in an even year to April 30 in an odd year
From May 1 in an odd year to October 31 in an odd year
From November 1 in an odd year to April 30 in even year
*Note: If you are applying for the license between November 1 in an odd year and April 30 in an even year, you can pay the prorated fee for the license period about to end ($150 per truck) PLUS the fee for the new two-year license period ($600 per truck), for a total of $750 per truck. If you pay both fees, you will not need to renew the license until April 30 of the next even year.
Online Applicants: If you submit your license application online between November 1 in an odd year and April 30 in an even year, you will be required to pay the combined fee totaling $750 per truck. You will not need to renew the license until April 30 of the next even year.
APPLICATION FILING PROCESS:
Please make sure that you have reviewed and recorded the information required to submit a license application online before clicking the button below. Note: After successfully filing the application form online, Tow Truck Company applicants must visit the DCA Licensing Center within five (5) business days to be fingerprinted. As outlined in the “When You File” section, applicants must submit the following supporting documents: Business Certificate, Roster of Vehicles, NYS Commercial Truck Registrations, Department of Buildings document, Photographs, Repair Shop Registration (if applicable), Workers’ Compensation Insurance Information, Personal and Property Liability Insurance Certificate, Bond Information (if applicable), Proof of Right to Use Premises, Roster of Employees, Child Support Certification Form (if applicable), and Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (if applicable). Please note that the image file you upload (for the photograph requirement) must be digital passport photo quality. A digital camera with a resolution of 1 mega-pixel will be more than adequate. If you do not upload required documents as part of the application form submission, you must fax, e-mail, or bring documents to the DCA Licensing Center within five (5) business days after successfully filing the application form online. Applicants should follow instructions on the printed confirmation page. Your license application will not be complete without these requirements.
You will be routed to NYC Business Express.
Applications may be filed in person at the DCA Licensing Center at the address above between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
After You File Your DCA License Application:
Below is information you need to know after submitting your license application:
- Inspection of Your Premises and Trucks
The Department of Consumer Affairs will contact you to schedule an appointment to inspect your business premises and tow trucks before your business can operate.
Note: All trucks listed on your Roster of Vehicles must be present at the time of the inspection. You must present a validated New York City Department of Finance Commercial Motor Vehicle Tax Receipt (tax stamp) for each vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
- DARP/ROTOW Program Enrollment
After holding a Tow Truck Company license for more than one year, you may apply for acceptance in the Directed Accident Response Program (DARP) and Rotation Tow Program (ROTOW). For more information, please call 311 and ask to be transferred to DCA with a question about your existing license.