Yes. Unlike most traditional businesses, the towing industry plays a prominent role in city regulation and maintenance, mostly in helping enforce parking and automotive laws. Therefore, it is common for cities to pass laws regulating and controlling the use of tow trucks.
Though vehicle towing laws vary from city to city, some possible forms of regulation include:
- Towing licenses
- Franchise zoning (i.e. determining what area a towing business can service)
- Towing classification (i.e. creating special requirements for certain types of towing)
- Lists of towing services available to drivers who are stopped by police
- Restricting transfers of towing licenses when a tow truck is sold
- Requiring additional qualifications beyond a towing license
- Barring unrestricted solicitation of towing services on city streets
- Requiring authorization for a towing a vehicle beyond city limits
- Limits on hours of operation in certain areas
- Maximum fees chargeable for towing
If you are looking to start or purchase your own towing service, an experienced business attorney can help you learn more about local vehicle towing laws, including which laws are applicable in your area. A lawyer can also assist you with all the legal procedures necessary to starting a legitimate business.