You need a Tow Company License to operate a towing company. You are also required to obtain a separate Tow Truck (Towing) License to register a tow vehicle.
You must get a Tow Company License before you can get a Tow Truck (Towing) License(s).
The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this license.
Business owners and their agents can apply for this license.
Include the following information with your application:
- Driver information
- Posted locations
- Towing agreement: You must have a written agreement with the owner or custodian of any property that you tow vehicles from. It must include the name of the business, its address, and a list of towing rates.
Other licenses and registrations
- Garage Keeper’s Legal Liability Insurance (if storing vehicles) for at least $100,000. You must list the City of Philadelphia as Certificate Holder.
- Automobile Insurance (identifying make, model, and VIN number of each vehicle covered)
- At least $200,000 per injury
- At least $500,000 per incident
- At least $50,000 per property damage claim
You must be current on City taxes to get this license.
Where and when
You can apply online using eCLIPSE.
If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.
You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center in person.
Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.
Renewal fee: $348
Renewal fee: $116
There is a non-refundable application fee of $20 applied to the license fee. The balance of the license fee is due once your application is approved.
Renewal late fee: If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.
Payment methods and details
Accepted payment methods
|Online through the eCLIPSE application
(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)
|In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building||
|In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building
(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)
Checks and money orders
- Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
- The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
- Personal checks are accepted.
- Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected
L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:
- Starter checks without account info.
Returned payment policy
If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:
- You will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
- You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
- The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
- If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
- You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
- The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
- You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.
Late license payment
If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.
You can apply for this license online using eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.
Applications are reviewed within five business days.
If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.
- Renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.
Required for renewal:
- Be current on all City taxes.
- Hold current insurance.