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 Tow Truck Drivers

During its 2012 Session, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation eliminating the Board of Towing and Recovery Operators (BTRO) and the towing regulations managed by BTRO. The new law became effective on January 1, 2013. However, certain responsibilities of BTRO will continue under the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). DCJS will be responsible for licensing of tow drivers only. Tow operators and companies will no longer be licensed or regulated by any state government entity. This does not impact any local governance or oversight of the towing industry.

Below is a summary of the legislative changes that are effective January 1, 2013:

  • A person licensed by BTRO and holding a valid driver authorization document (DAD) shall continue to be licensed in the same manner by DCJS. After January 1, 2013, initial and renewal driver applicants will make application for a towing license with DCJS. Tow companies and operators will no longer be required to be licensed.
  • Effective January 1, 2013 towing related consumer complaints' will be handled by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), through the Division of Consumer Counsel. The Division will serve as a central coordinating agency and clearinghouse for receiving and investigating towing complaints by consumers. http://www.oag.state.va.us/Consumer%20Protection/Where_to_File.html
  • The 2012 legislation enacted by the General Assembly also made changes in the criminal history requirements for drivers. Specifically, subsection C in Section 46.2-116 of the Code of Virginia now prohibits issuing a registration to any person who has been convicted of a violent crime as defined in subsection C of Section 17.1-805 of the Code, or has been convicted of any crime involving driving a tow truck, including drug or alcohol offenses but not including traffic infractions. As was the case previously, the law still prohibits issuing registrations to persons required to register as sex offenders.
  • These are the exemptions from DCJS licensing as a tow driver; driving for a franchised motor vehicle dealer as defined by Section 46.2-1500 of the Code of Virginia; using a tow truck owned by a dealer when transporting a vehicle to or from a repair facility owned by the dealer; towing when the dealer does not receive compensation from the vehicle owner for towing of the vehicle; or when transporting a vehicle in which the dealer has an ownership or security interest. All other persons driving a tow truck will be required to hold a towing license with DCJS.
  • Customer Service:804-367-0714
    Fax:804-367-0718
    E-mail:towing@dcjs.virginia.gov



    Applications may be submitted to the Department using one of the following options:
    • In-person at the Washington Building, 1100 Bank St., Richmond, VA 23219 (you may use the secure drop box located inside the main entrance)
    • Regular mail to this address: Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, ATTN: Tow Truck Driver Registration , P.O. Box 1300, Richmond, VA 23218
    • Fax at 804-786-6344 (applications must have the Credit Card Authorization Form attached for processing)
    1. Use this application to apply for an initial driver's authorization document.
    2. Complete this application in its entirety, including attaching a completed fingerprint card (no copies and must show a current date) for a Federal criminal background check (Card No. FD-258). DO NOT LEAVE ANY BLANKS. Processing will be delayed for incomplete application and/or missing fingerprint card.
    3. Please print or type all answers, do not use pencil, make sure application is signed and dated, and retain a copy for your records.
    4. Additional information may be requested after receipt of and review of the application and any attachments.
    5. Include a contact phone number where you can be easily reached.
    6. All fees are nonrefundable. Enclose a check or money order made payable to the "Treasurer of Virginia" in the amount of $137.00. You may also pay by credit card as provided in this application.
    7. Mail the completed application, fingerprint card for a Federal criminal background check (Card No. FD-258), and $137 payment to the Department of Criminal Justice Services, ATTN: Tow Truck Driver Registration, PO Box 1300, Richmond, VA 23218.
    Applications may be submitted to the Department using one of the following options:
    • In-person at the Washington Building, 1100 Bank St., Richmond, VA 23219 (you may use the secure drop box located inside the main entrance)
    • Regular mail to this address: Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, ATTN: Tow Truck Driver Registration , P.O. Box 1300, Richmond, VA 23218
    • Fax at 804-786-6344 (applications must have the Credit Card Authorization Form attached for processing)
      1. Use this application when applying to renew a current valid driver's authorization document. Submit this form and required documents 45 days in advance of the current license expiration.
      2. Complete this application in its entirety, including attaching a completed fingerprint card (no copies and must bear a current date) for a Federal criminal background check (Card No. FD-258). DO NOT LEAVE ANY BLANKS. Processing will be delayed for incomplete application and/or missing fingerprint card.
      3. Please print or type all answers, do not use pencil, make sure application is signed and dated, and retain a copy for your records.
      4. Additional information may be requested after receipt of and review of the application and any attachments.
      5. Include a contact phone number where you can be easily reached.
      6. All fees are nonrefundable. Enclose a check or money order made payable to the "Treasurer of Virginia" in the amount of $137.00. You may also pay by credit card as provided in this application.
      7. Mail the completed application, fingerprint card for a Federal criminal background check (Card No. FD-258), and $137 payment to the Department of Criminal Justice Services, ATTN: Tow Truck Driver Registration, PO Box 1300, Richmond, VA 23218.

    Towing

    Tow Truck Driver – INITIAL LICENSE APPLICATION

    PDF   DOC  

    Tow Truck Driver – RENEWAL LICENSE APPLICATION

    PDF   DOC  

    Tow Truck Driver – ADDRESS CHANGE FORM

    PDF   DOC  

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Department of Criminal Justice Services
1100 Bank Street
Richmond, VA 23219
804.786-4000
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