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TRAA Call to Action

Washington, DC, November 5, 2015 - The Towing and Recovery Association of America, Inc. ® (TRAA) has been closely monitoring H.R.2563 - State and Local Predatory Towing Enforcement Act since its introduction by representatives from Maryland and Virginia on May 21, 2015. The proposed new law would permit broader regulation of the towing industry by state and local governments.  On Tuesday, that proposed new towing law was attached to the 2015 federal highway funding bill which is rocketing through Congress.  Earlier today, the funding bill, with the towing amendment attached, was referred to a joint conference committee for final consideration.


The proposed new towing law would amend Title 49, Section 14501 of the U.S. Code to read as follows: [The 1994 federal deregulation law] does not apply to the authority of a State or a political subdivision of a State to enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision relating to the price of for-hire motor vehicle transportation by a tow truck, if such transportation is the regulation of tow operations performed without the prior consent or authorization of the owner or operator of the motor vehicle."


The law expands local regulatory authority over non-consensual towing beyond the current authority to regulate only price, safety and prior written authorization.  While the amendment proposed in the Bill may seem simple please do not underestimate its intent, TRAA is concerned that it would allow for the regulation of all non-consent "tow truck operations," not just private property impounding (PPI). 


Predatory towing is not an activity engaged in by most towers. Of the towers that do perform PPI, many use aggressive towing practices.  While the instances of PPI towing problems are limited, they have become much publicized and a concern for the general motoring public. With that in mind, some in Congress believe that all towing industry practices need to be regulated. In essence the philosophy is to regulate the whole in order to eliminate the problematic minority.


We must continue to conduct ourselves as professionals in our work and in our charges. Those that engage in aggressive PPI towing practices need to develop more professional techniques. Once regulation starts, more will come. This is the time for the towing industry to stand united for the good of everyone large and small.


TRAA will lobby the members of the Conference Committee against the further passage of the towing amendment in its current form and at minimum press for an amendment to stipulate the regulation of private property tow operations rather than the regulation of all non-consent tow operations. This amendment would better represent the legislature's true intent.


TRAA will be submitting a position paper outlining the deficiencies with this bill, highlighting the fact that no public hearings were held to allow for input from the towing industry.  This we believe was a gross oversight and should be corrected.


This is a call to action to the industry as a whole! Please contact the TRAA office via email at for a copy of the legislative action bulletin providing a summary of TRAA objections, and then call or e-mail your congress members offices to express your concerns about this last minute amendment to the highway funding bill. We still have a chance to make a difference. Don't and email today!


TRAA has been the "The Voice of America's Towing Industry" for over 35 years. Our mission is to serve the needs of the towing and recovery industry through legislation, education and communication. Working diligently with state associations and members we strive for professionalism and a fair and profitable industry. Our National Driver Certification Program (NDCP) developed through a grant from the Federal Department of Transportation is recognized as the national standards for tow truck operators. TRAA is proud to have contributed to the safety of our industry through the certification of over 16,000 tow operators across the country.


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Joanne Blyton, Legislative Chair

at 888.392.9300 or email at

700 12th St NW, Suite 700  Washington, DC  20005

Keystone Tape and Supply returns to San Antonio


logo-2-1 The guys at Keystone Tape returned to the San Antonio Tow show with one mission , to continue providing the #1 Krash Wrap to the Tow Industry along with other key products that they all use Everyday. owner: Chuck Johnson has been in the Adhesive Based products for over 25plus years and continues to listen to the end users and all the Industries to keep providing them the very Best products for there companies to get the Job done.

The last couple years Keystone Tape and Supply has been providing A safe Water Spill Recovery Product to the Salvage Industry , This Safe Water spill System has caught the Attention of the Tow Industry . and other First responders on the crash scene, Keystone Tape has Teamed with ECS , and are providing the Knowledge to correctly recover the Spill with the FM-186-2 Hydrocarbon Mitigation Chemical and provide the cleanup properly, In San Antonio Keystone brought in Jim Figueira from ECS to provide information on the Recovery System and the Spill Recovery Cost to be billed to the Insurance companies.


Show Bolsters Texas Tow Industry


The successful draw to San Antonio for the recent Tow Expo Int'l not only benefitted the 100 plus industry suppliers who exhibited, and not only the thousands of towers who attended, but the industry at large in Texas. "The show," said Southwest Tow Operators Executive Director Tommy Anderson, "provided education to help towers be more successful and more professional. And our legislative meetings, well attended, helped update towers on what they need to know to be compliant with the state's laws regulating the towing industry. Once again this was an important event for the Texas towing industry."

2015 Legislative Wrap-Up

During the now-completed 84th Session of the Texas Legislature, three bills affecting the towing and vehicle storage facility industries were passed and subsequently signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott:;Bill=HB2213">HB 2213 - Relating to the tow rotation list in certain counties. This bill amended Sec. 2308.209(b)(1) of the Texas Occupations Code, adding Montgomery County to the counties that fall within the requirements for tow rotations. Signed by the Governor 5/23/15, effective immediately.;Bill=HB00804">HB 804 - Requires the operator of a VSF to accept each of the following forms of payment for any charge associated with delivery or storage of a vehicle:

(1)  cash;

(2)  debit card; and

(3)  credit card.

HB 804 also prohibits a VSF from refusing to release a vehicle based on the inability of the facility to accept payment by debit card or credit car for fees or charges associated with delivery or storage of the vehicle, unless the VSF operator, through no fault of their own, is unable to accept the debit card or credit card because of a power outage or a machine malfunction. Effective 9/1/15.;Bill=SB1820">SB 1820 - Clarifies that the term “tow truck” does not include a truck-trailer combination that is owned or operated by a dealer licensed under">Chapter 2301 (Sale or Lease of Motor Vehicles) and used to transport new vehicles during the normal course of a documented transaction in which the dealer is a party and ownership or the right of possession of the transported vehicle is conveyed or transferred; or a car hauler that is used solely to transport, other than in a consent or nonconsent tow, motor vehicles as cargo in the course of a prearranged shipping transaction or for use in mining, drilling, or construction operations. Signed by the Governor 5/23/15, effective immediately.

For more information on SB 1820, see the FAQs below.


FAQs: Car Haulers

1. I am a car hauler who only moves vehicles for dealerships.  Do I need a license with TDLR?

No, if you use a truck and trailer combination owned by the new car dealer you are hauling for, and you are moving new vehicles as part of a transaction in which the dealer is a party, then you do not need to be licensed by TDLR.

“Transactions” include but are not limited to:

  • Delivering new cars from the manufacturer or a shipping terminal;
  • Delivering new vehicles to the new owner or person leasing the vehicle;
  • Inventory swaps with other new vehicle dealerships.

2. I have a four-car hauler and only pick up vehicles from VSF’s and take them to salvage dealers.  Do I need a TDLR license?

No. If you ONLY transport these vehicles as cargo as part of a pre-arranged shipping transaction you do not need a TDLR license.  

3. I move trucks to the oil fields on a low boy trailer.  Do I need to be licensed with TDLR?

No, because you are moving the vehicles for use in mining, drilling, or construction operations.

4. I have a new car dealership and a tow company license because we have a tow truck we use to pick up cars for repair.  When that tow truck is busy, may we use our truck-trailer car hauler on an occasional emergency basis to pick up cars for repair without a truck permit or tow license for the operator?

No. The exemption only applies when a new vehicle is being transported in the course of a transaction in which the ownership or right to possess and use the vehicle, such as in a sale, trade or lease, has been transferred to or from the dealership. Picking up a car and taking it to a repair shop is a tow, and both the truck and truck operator would need TDLR licenses to do so. 

5. If I own the truck-trailer combination and the dealership does not, do I need a TDLR tow truck and tow operator license?

No, so long as you are hauling the vehicles as part of a prearranged shipping transaction and have documentation in the truck to show proof of the prearranged shipping transaction.

Affordable Care Act - Continues


Contact Info

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

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