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Private Property Towing for Expired Registrations

TDLR Updates

March 26, 2020

Private Property Towing for Expired Registration

Question: Can I perform a private property tow for a vehicle with an expired registration?

Answer: No. On March 13, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation, declaring a state of disaster for all counties in Texas due to the threat of COVID-19. Governor Abbott also issued a statement on March 16, 2020, granting a temporary extension to obtain an initial registration and renewal of registration for a vehicle. Tex. Occ. Code § 2308.253 (d) and (e) prohibit the towing of vehicles from private property on the basis of an expired license plate or registration unless certain requirements are met. Due to the extension granted for obtaining the initial registration or renewal of registration for a vehicle, tow companies may not tow vehicles from private property for expired registration or renewals until further notice.

Essential Critical Infrastructure

TRAA Letter Legal Opinion Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker-1

Essential Businesses

Important – Essential Businesses


We hope that you and your families are doing well and remain safe during these unusual times.  It goes without saying that none of us have experienced anything like this in our lifetime.  Regardless of orders in particular counties in Texas, our association is still working on your behalf.


While we believe the services that we render to consumers, law enforcement, and auto mechanics around the state fall within the “essential duties” set out by the U.S. Homeland Security Office, we have been hearing different jurisdictions may be handling it differently depending on the local order. 


Today, Southwest Tow Operators contacted Governor Abbott’s staff to request that tow truck operators and businesses be deemed an essential business.  It is important to the safety of those still on the roadways to not have to worry about vehicles on the side of the road.  Likewise, it does not make sense for these vehicles to be sitting until the order is lifted when auto mechanics and body shops are considered essential. 


Please contact Governor Abbott’s office today to ask him to deem towing companies as an essential business to keeping our roadways safe and clear. 


Governor Abbott’s Phone Number:  512-463-2000.


Thank you,


Southwest Tow Operators

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Sunset Survey - Please Read


The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)’s mission, operations, and performance are undergoing Sunset review as directed by the Texas Legislature in the Texas Sunset Act. The Sunset Advisory Commission evaluates state agencies to determine if they are still needed and operating effectively. Based on the commission’s recommendations, the Legislature decides whether to continue an agency and, if so, how to improve its effectiveness, efficiency, fairness, and accountability.

As the Sunset Commission’s staff, we are seeking input from licensees to help identify problems and propose workable solutions for agencies under Sunset review. Please complete the Sunset survey on TDLR linked below by December 6, 2019. Completing the survey should take about 15 minutes. TDLR is sending this notice to you on behalf of the Sunset Commission, but your responses will come directly to Sunset staff, are confidential, and will not be shared with TDLR. To ensure the free flow of information, any other comments you wish to provide before the Sunset staff report is published in June 2020 also are confidential and will not be shared with the agency.

Please note: State law specifies that programs transferred to TDLR on or after September 1, 2016, are not under review. Although these programs are not subject to abolishment, and Sunset staff will not evaluate their professional standards or requirements, we would like to hear your views regarding how TDLR operates and appreciate you also completing the survey.

Sunset survey on TDLR

Join our email list for updates on the Sunset staff report and public hearings on TDLR. Visit the Sunset website to learn more about the Sunset review process. If you have specific questions about the Sunset review on TDLR, please contact Emily Johnson at (512) 4631300 or

We greatly appreciate your assistance and look forward to receiving your comments and ideas.


Jennifer Jones
Executive Director
Sunset Advisory Commission

Contact Info

  • Southwest Tow Operators
  • 660 N Central Expressway, Suite 230
  • Plano, Texas 75074
  • Toll Free: (866) 320-9300

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