A licence is required to own a tow truck, which is a vehicle that the public can pay to tow other vehicles. Individual owners may drive their tow truck without obtaining a separate tow truck driver licence.

Individuals, partnerships or corporations.

Apply in person at the Licence & Permit Issuing Office located inside the East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell, 3rd floor.


Original documents required for all applications (and renewal transactions).

Two pieces of government-issued identification from ALL directors/officers on the Corporation (one must be photo ID):

  • Canadian Passport (Photo ID)
  • Driver’s Licence (Photo ID)
  • Canadian Birth Certificate
  • Citizenship Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • SIN Card (Social Insurance Number)
  • Valid Work Permit

Criminal Records/Background Check

  • Issued within the last 280 days


  • First and last names must match on all identification
  • We do not accept Health Cards

Partnerships and corporations must also provide the following:

  • a business location/address;
  • a copy of provincial business name registration or signed franchise agreement; and
  • a partnership agreement or a copy of Articles of Incorporation. (Note: If there has been a change to the list of officers and directors, please also provide a current Corporate Profile Report.)

If the president, director or officer of the corporation is unable to apply in person at the Licence & Permit Issuing Office, a designate may apply on their behalf. The designate must:

  • have an original letter advising of their signing authority on the corporation letterhead;
  • provide two pieces of identification for themselves; and
  • provide two pieces of identification for each officer and director of the corporation, or, if original identification is not available, notarized photocopies of the identification.
  • one piece of identification must be an approved photo ID

Applicants must provide an original Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check issued by a Canadian Police Service within 280 days prior to the application.

Please note:

After November 1st, 2018, under Province’s Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015, Municipal Licensing and Standards will require “Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Checks” for all applications and renewals. “Criminal Record Checks” will not be accepted.

All tow truck operators must sign an Acknowledgment Form which includes

  • Consent to Tow and
  • Bill of Services

This form MUST be signed in person by one of the officers or directors of the company.

Applicants must present a valid provincial driver’s licence.

Applicants must provide proof of

  • $100,000 in Legal Liability insurance for damage to customers’ vehicles while in the care, custody or control
  • $50,000 in Cargo insurance
  • $2,000,000 in Personal Liability and Personal Damage (PLPD) insurance.

A form certificate will be provided at time of application for your insurance provider to complete.

Original completed forms that are signed and stamped by the insurer can be submitted by fax and emailed directly from the insurer.

Staff will take a photo of the applicant , if a Sole Proprietor, at the Licence & Permit Issuing Office.

A schedule of rates is to be filed at the East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue. The schedule of rates should list maximum charges for specific towing services. Towing rates set by the City do not need to be filed.

A schedule of rates must be re-filed when any changes occur or when upon renewal of a licence. The list of rates will only be accepted on the approved City of Toronto form.

An original copy of the provincial vehicle registration, where the name and address match the applicant’s.

If the applicant is a partnership or corporation, the vehicle ownership must be registered to the partnership or corporation.

If you lease your vehicle, a lease contract must be provided with all applicable signatures.

The sheet which tow truck drivers will use to record their tows must be approved by City staff.

It must include:

  • The name of the tow truck owner
  • The name of the tow truck driver
  • A description of the vehicle towed including its provincial motor vehicle permit number, the rate charged and the total charge collected.

A valid Safety Standards Certificate issued by an approved Ministry of Transportation Vehicle Inspection Centre, not be more than 36 days old, is to be submitted.

After a completed application is submitted, staff will obtain a copy of the applicant’s driving record abstract: a three year driving history recorded by the Ministry of Transportation. This record may also be supplied by the applicant, but should be less than 30 days old.

This record, along with other documents submitted, will determine whether there are concerns with the applicant obtaining a licence.

Your licence will expire annually on the anniversary of the date that the licence was first issued.

The renewal fee is $797.49

A renewal notice, identifying any documents required to renew the licence, will be mailed to the address on file.

Payments received after the licence expiry date are subject to late fees in addition to the annual licence fee.

If you fail to renew your licence within 90 days of the specified renewal date, your licence will be cancelled and you will have to reapply.