Apply for a tow company license

Tow companies can apply for a license that allows them to provide towing services in Seattle. This is a regulatory license and is required in addition to a standard Seattle business license tax certificate. If you do not already have a Seattle business license tax certificate, visit get a business license tax certificate.

Once your company is licensed, it will be added to the licensed tow company list.

You must file a daily report listing impounded vehicles that have been redeemed by the customer. Download the private property impound redeemed vehicle list form.

Towing license cost

A tow company license costs $500 per year. The license is valid for the calendar year issued: Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. The license fee cost is not prorated for partial-year licenses.

Towing license requirements

Before filling out the tow company license application, gather the following information:

  • state and local business registration numbers
  • physical addresses of secured areas used for vehicle storage
  • class, license plate number and VIN for each tow truck
  • impound rates you charge
  • copy of state inspection report for each storage lot
  • copy of state permit for each tow truck

If any business information provided on your application changes, you must inform the City of Seattle within seven days.

The City of Seattle caps what you can charge for impounding from private property.

Submit a tow license application

To apply for a license, fill out the tow company license application.

Mail the completed tow company license application and documents to:

Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Protection
ATTN Laura Beck
P.O. Box 34214
Seattle, WA 98124-4214

Please do not send in license payment with your license application.  Once your application is complete and approved by the City of Seattle, you will receive an invoice for the $500 regulatory license fee. Payment received prior to receiving an invoice will be returned to the towing company.

If you would like to submit a tow company application in person, schedule an appointment with Inspector Laura Beck by calling 206‑386‑1084.

Read the code

You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) for legal details about tow company licenses and regulations.

SMC Chapter 6.214 covers tow company licenses and regulations.
CPU-04-2015 Maximum Private Impound Fees
CPU-05-2015 Private Property Impound Administrative Fees