Tow truck drivers must obtain a licence to drive a tow truck in Toronto.
Please note, starting January 1, 2024, the City’s authority to licence the towing and vehicle storage sector will end and all of the provincial Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act (TSSEA) provisions will come into effect. This means that starting January 1, tow truck drivers, tow truck owners and public garages that exclusively receive or store towed vehicles will no longer require licences from the City, but will require certification from the province.
During the transition period leading up to January 1, the City will continue to issue tow truck owner and driver licences and applicants will need to pay the $438.72 non-refundable application fee.
The City will automatically renew licences that expire between October 1 to December 30, 2023. A new licence that will expire on December 31, 2023 will be mailed to applicable licence holders.
The province is now accepting applications for towing or vehicle storage certificates. To reduce an overlap in fees paid to both the province and municipalities, the province’s certificate fees are waived until July 2024.
Find out how to get a towing or vehicle storage certificate.
In June 2021, the Ontario government passed the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act (TSSEA) to establish a framework to transition municipal oversight of the towing and vehicle storage sectors to the province as of January 1, 2024.
The Transitioning Oversight of the Towing and Vehicle Storage Sector to the Province of Ontario staff report outlines recommendations to facilitate this transition including:
Learn more about the province’s changes to tow and storage rules and the consultation and research results from the province’s towing task force.
Must hold valid G Class Province of Ontario driver’s licence.
Two pieces of government-issued identification:
AND one of the following:
Applicants must provide an original Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check issued by a Canadian Police Service within 280 days prior to the application.
A copy of the applicant’s driving record abstract: a three year driving history recorded by the Ministry of Transportation.
The abstract should be less than 30 days old.
Applications for new tow truck licences need to be submitted online. You cannot apply for these licences in-person.
Save yourself time and apply online. Please have all required documents ready to upload before starting the application, as it requires 10-15 minutes to complete and cannot be saved. Download a step by step guide on how to submit a new application. Licence application fees can be paid online or by sending a cheque.
If you have already submitted an application you may upload additional documents using your upload token.
If you need to pick up or drop off plates in-person, you must book an appointment at the Licence and Permit Issuing Office, 850 Coxwell Avenue, 3rd Floor. Walk-ins will not be accepted. You must be the owner or custodian of the plate.
Please arrive 10-15 mins early to check in and be on time for your appointment or you may be turned away and asked to re-book for another day and time, subject to availability.
A photo of the applicant must be submitted with all other required application documents. It is essential that the photo provided complies with the Licence Application Photo Requirements. Failure to do so may result in delayed or rejected applications.
ML&S shall deny an application for, or a renewal for any business, trade or calling for which a vehicle and it’s driver are licenced or required to be licenced by the City under this Chapter and for which a licencesee is required to hold a valid provincial driver’s licence under this Chapter where the licensee or applicant has:
Despite these screening criteria, if a licence has been previously issued or renewed and the applicant’s or licensee’s record discloses no new breach of the screening criteria, the licence may be issued or renewed without the matter being referred to the Toronto Licensing Tribunal.
These screening criteria do not apply to any offence for which a licensee or applicant has been granted a criminal record suspension (i.e. a pardon) by the Parole Board of Canada.