Trespass Towing & Immobilization Business Information

Hillsborough County passed an ordinance in 2017 regulating Trespass Towing and Immobilization Services. Businesses must have a valid certificate to engage in the business of operating Tow Trucks.

You must have your Business Tax Receipt prior to applying for a Vehicle for Hire Certificate. Learn how here.

** Special Note: The BOCC has provided a 90-day extension on all credentials for persons who are currently operating Towing and Immobilization Services in the County. This extension is valid through March 11, 2018.  

General Requirements for Businesses

  • Businesses must comply with all city, county, state, and federal laws and ordinances at all times
  • Businesses must accept cash and debit cards as a form of payment made by vehicle owners to retrieve vehicles that are subject of a tow or immobilization. If the business does not accept credit cards, it must also accept cashier’s checks and money orders
  • Businesses must ensure that all vehicles are up to date on inspections and valid permits
  • Businesses must maintain motor vehicle insurance for each vehicle used by the business
  • Businesses must maintain records of all tow trucks utilized by the business, all tow truck inspections, proof of insurance for all vehicles, and all drivers employed by the business for at least 5 years
  • Businesses must cooperate with all audit requests
  • Business owners must renew their certificate annually
  • Business owners must notify the Hillsborough County Tax Collector in writing no later than 10 days after changing its physical address
  • Business owners must not permit any person to drive any vehicle for hire unless the person has a valid the person has a valid Public Vehicle Driver License

To see a full list of requirements, see Section 7 of Hillsborough County Ordinance No. 17-34

Business Rules of Operation

Click here to reference Section 11 of Ordinance 17-34.

Vehicle Requirements

  • All vehicles must have a valid permit to be in operation
  • Each vehicle must pass an inspection and be certified by an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified mechanic or commercial auto repair facility licensed by the State of Florida annually
  • All vehicles must be structurally sound and be maintained in proper operating condition at all times
  • All tow trucks must be equipped with:
    1. A cradle or tow plate with safety chains to pick up vehicles
    2. Dual rear wheels
    3. Clearance and marker lights
    4. A rotor beam or strobe-type light, amber in color, mounted on the tow truck so that it can be seen from front, rear, and both sides
    5. The name, address, and telephone number of the business permanently on the vehicle
    6. One flashlight
    7. At least one five pound or larger fire extinguisher
  • All vehicles must be kept clean sanitary, and free from damage
  • Any vehicle exceeding 10 model years on December 31 of any year shall obtain an additional annual inspection of interior restraint and safety equipment
  • All vehicles must display 2 permit stickers: one on the bottom corner of the rear window on the driver’s side and the other on the bottom corner of the front windshield on the passenger side
  • All vehicles are subject to inspection at any time

To see a full list of requirements, see Section 8 of Hillsborough County Ordinance No. 17-34

Insurance

Insurance Requirements:

A towing and/or immobilization service shall at all times maintain commercial motor vehicle liability insurance for each tow truck that meets or exceeds the requirements of Florida Statutes, as may be amended. In addition, a towing and/or immobilization service must maintain the following coverages:

  • Garage liability insurance. A garage liability insurance policy covering the towing and/or immobilization service operations, including, but not limited to, the towing and/or immobilization service business, equipment and vehicles, which covers all locations within Hillsborough County. The limits of liability of this policy shall be no less than $300,000.00 for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage liability combined single limit each occurrence and aggregate. This aggregate limit shall apply separately for each location to be used by the towing and/or immobilization service.
  • Garagekeeper's legal liability insurance. A garagekeeper's legal liability insurance policy insuring its legal liability for loss of or damage to vehicles of others towed or stored by a towing and/or immobilization service which covers fire, theft, collision, and other insurable perils. The deductible for these coverages shall not exceed $1,000.00 per vehicle. The limits of coverage shall not be less than $50,000 for each occurrence, at each location, including towing, for property damage liability. If separate on hook liability insurance is obtained, the minimum coverage will also be $50,000 as with property damage liability.

Rates

Click here to see rate guidelines for Trespass Towing and Immobilization Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to see a list of FAQ's

Applications & Forms  

Click here to see a list of Vehicle for Hire Applications and other forms.