Vehicle for Hire
General Requirements for Towing & Immobilization Businesses
To apply for a certificate/permit you will need the following:
- A properly completed Certificate/Permit Application. Click here to find the application. Click Vehicle for Hire – Forms – Application for Wrecker Service Certificate
- The business must identify & list all tow trucks utilized by the business. The list shall include the year, make, model, class, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the prescribed form.
- Three Proofs of Insurance: Commercial motor vehicle liability insurance (Acord) for each tow truck, garage liability insurance and garagekeeper’s legal liability insurance.
- Vehicle Registration for each vehicle.
- An ASE Certification form for each vehicle. Each vehicle must be inspected and certified safe by an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified mechanic or commercial auto repair facility licensed by the State of Florida. (Towing-Mechanical Inspection Form HCTC REV 08/20) HCTC Rev 08/20 NOTE: If the ASE Certificate Number is not in the correct format, you will be required to submit a copy of the ASE Certificate
- The business must identify & list all drivers utilized by the business. The list shall include the name, address, date of birth and phone number for each driver on the prescribed form. Note: All drivers must be issued a public vehicle driver’s license to operate any Vehicle for Hire.
- Copy of current Business Tax Receipt.
- Articles of Organization, FL Profit Corporation or Limited Partnership, registered with the Division of Corporations at Sunbiz.org. Include fictitious name registration when applicable.
- Acknowledgement of Ordinance and Compliance Affidavit
All towing and immobilization businesses must renew their certificates and permits annually.
To renew, you must submit an application renewal along with your application fee. Click here to find the application. Click Vehicle for Hire – Forms – Application for Wrecker Service Certificate
Business Rules of Operation
Click here to reference Section 11 of Ordinance 17-34.
- 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:
- A cradle or tow plate with safety chains to pick up vehicles
- Dual rear wheels
- Clearance and marker lights
- A rotor beam or strobe-type light, amber in color, mounted on the tow truck so that it can be seen from the front, rear, and both sides
- The name, address, and telephone number of the business permanently on the vehicle
- One flashlight
- At least one five pounds 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
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Applications & Forms