Towing Business Registration
The towing industry in Miami-Dade is licensed and regulated by Miami-Dade County.
Licensing and regulatory program covers among other things, vehicle safety standards, insurance requirements, and background checks on business owners.
The program encompasses several consumer protection measures:
- Establish maximum towing rates (rate sheet en Español)
- Prohibit cash only policies,
- Require the express authorization of a property owner or agent prior to towing a vehicle,
- Require Tow-Away Zone signs to be prominently posted
- Provide additional protections for consumers who have been towed
Unless you are parking at a single-family residence you should look for a sign using the phrase "Tow-Away Zone." This sign means that if you are parked there without authorization, your vehicle may be towed without your permission.
The sign must display the name and telephone number of the towing company as well as the address of its storage facility. This should help in the process of recovering your vehicle.
If your vehicle is towed from a tow-way zone, the towing company must report this action to the Miami-Dade Police Department within 30-minutes of the tow. You may call your local police station to find out where your vehicle is being stored and how you can retrieve it.
To avoid putting yourself at risk be mindful of where you park.
However, if you believe your vehicle was towed improperly or that your consumer rights were violated, you should contact the Miami-Dade County Consumer Mediation Center at 305-375-3677 for assistance or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out additional Towing Tips
How to Apply
Any person(s) or corporation that operates a towing business in Miami-Dade County must apply Monday through Friday (except holidays) 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Initial applicants must apply in person.
Bring with you:
- Completed Towing Business Initial Renewal Application
- Copy of current, permanent Occupational License
- Certificate of Occupancy (only applies to non-consent towers)
- Written business agreement authorizing parking of tow truck(s) (only applies to consent towers)
- Articles of Incorporation/Fictitious Name Registration
- Certificate of insurance (type and amounts of insurance as required by Section 30-465 of the Miami-Dade County Code)
- Description of management plan
- Description of services (only applies to non-consent towers)
- Towing and storage rates (only applies to non-consent towers)
Initial applicants must complete a criminal background check and have two passport photos taken as part of the application process. Information regarding these requirements will be provided when the application is submitted.
Once the application and background check are complete, an enforcement officer will inspect the truck(s) to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Miami-Dade County Code. A decal will be placed on the windshield of the truck(s) when it passes inspection which authorizes its use as a towing vehicle.
- Summary of Miami-Dade County Towing Ordinance
- Questions and Answers about the Miami-Dade Towing Ordinance
If the application process is not completed within 60 days from the date that the application was filed with the Sustainability, Planning and Economic Enhancement Department, the application will be considered abandoned and closed and a new application and fee will be required.
Cash will not be accepted. The non-refundable fees can be paid by check, money order or cashiers check made payable to the "Board of County Commissioners". If renewing in person, the renewal fee can be paid by credit card (MasterCard or Visa).
Change of Ownership
In the event of a change in ownership of a towing business, a new application and fee is required.
Changes in any material aspect of the towing business shall be provided to Miami-Dade County in writing along with proof of the change and the required fee, if replacement of the license is required, within 30 days of the change.
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