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Show Bolsters Texas Tow Industry


The successful draw to San Antonio for the recent Tow Expo Int'l not only benefitted the 100 plus industry suppliers who exhibited, and not only the thousands of towers who attended, but the industry at large in Texas. "The show," said Southwest Tow Operators Executive Director Tommy Anderson, "provided education to help towers be more successful and more professional. And our legislative meetings, well attended, helped update towers on what they need to know to be compliant with the state's laws regulating the towing industry. Once again this was an important event for the Texas towing industry."

2015 Legislative Wrap-Up

During the now-completed 84th Session of the Texas Legislature, three bills affecting the towing and vehicle storage facility industries were passed and subsequently signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott:;Bill=HB2213">HB 2213 - Relating to the tow rotation list in certain counties. This bill amended Sec. 2308.209(b)(1) of the Texas Occupations Code, adding Montgomery County to the counties that fall within the requirements for tow rotations. Signed by the Governor 5/23/15, effective immediately.;Bill=HB00804">HB 804 - Requires the operator of a VSF to accept each of the following forms of payment for any charge associated with delivery or storage of a vehicle:

(1)  cash;

(2)  debit card; and

(3)  credit card.

HB 804 also prohibits a VSF from refusing to release a vehicle based on the inability of the facility to accept payment by debit card or credit car for fees or charges associated with delivery or storage of the vehicle, unless the VSF operator, through no fault of their own, is unable to accept the debit card or credit card because of a power outage or a machine malfunction. Effective 9/1/15.;Bill=SB1820">SB 1820 - Clarifies that the term “tow truck” does not include a truck-trailer combination that is owned or operated by a dealer licensed under">Chapter 2301 (Sale or Lease of Motor Vehicles) and used to transport new vehicles during the normal course of a documented transaction in which the dealer is a party and ownership or the right of possession of the transported vehicle is conveyed or transferred; or a car hauler that is used solely to transport, other than in a consent or nonconsent tow, motor vehicles as cargo in the course of a prearranged shipping transaction or for use in mining, drilling, or construction operations. Signed by the Governor 5/23/15, effective immediately.

For more information on SB 1820, see the FAQs below.


FAQs: Car Haulers

1. I am a car hauler who only moves vehicles for dealerships.  Do I need a license with TDLR?

No, if you use a truck and trailer combination owned by the new car dealer you are hauling for, and you are moving new vehicles as part of a transaction in which the dealer is a party, then you do not need to be licensed by TDLR.

“Transactions” include but are not limited to:

  • Delivering new cars from the manufacturer or a shipping terminal;
  • Delivering new vehicles to the new owner or person leasing the vehicle;
  • Inventory swaps with other new vehicle dealerships.

2. I have a four-car hauler and only pick up vehicles from VSF’s and take them to salvage dealers.  Do I need a TDLR license?

No. If you ONLY transport these vehicles as cargo as part of a pre-arranged shipping transaction you do not need a TDLR license.  

3. I move trucks to the oil fields on a low boy trailer.  Do I need to be licensed with TDLR?

No, because you are moving the vehicles for use in mining, drilling, or construction operations.

4. I have a new car dealership and a tow company license because we have a tow truck we use to pick up cars for repair.  When that tow truck is busy, may we use our truck-trailer car hauler on an occasional emergency basis to pick up cars for repair without a truck permit or tow license for the operator?

No. The exemption only applies when a new vehicle is being transported in the course of a transaction in which the ownership or right to possess and use the vehicle, such as in a sale, trade or lease, has been transferred to or from the dealership. Picking up a car and taking it to a repair shop is a tow, and both the truck and truck operator would need TDLR licenses to do so. 

5. If I own the truck-trailer combination and the dealership does not, do I need a TDLR tow truck and tow operator license?

No, so long as you are hauling the vehicles as part of a prearranged shipping transaction and have documentation in the truck to show proof of the prearranged shipping transaction.

Affordable Care Act - Continues


Beacon Software

Upgrade-your-drivers-01Over the last 15 years Beacon Software has provided software for your towing and roadside business. We’ve developed features to accommodate the more difficult and time consuming processes that effect your daily operation. With a modular system we can accommodate any size business, and allow you to add in additional features as they become feasible to you. Beacon’s suite of products work together to give you the most comprehensive towing solution.

Dispatch Anywhere covers you from call request to billing and accounts receivable. We remove repetition as a call moves from dispatch to the field by utilizing Dispatch Anywhere for Drivers. Calls are updated on scene with photos, vehicle damage, as well as signature capture for tickets, key drop offs, and payment. Real time updates keep drivers and dispatch on the same page. Whether you’re taking payment in the field, sending monthly statements, or releasing from your impound we have you covered.

We integrate digital calls from your motor clubs and keep your phone lines open with TowMagic. Stop retyping information and bill your clubs at a rate of 15 calls per minute with our Motor Club Billing feature.

Let TowLein do your leg work for you. No lines, no post office, and less money. Stay legal and efficient by taking the guesswork out of your lien vehicles.

We are proud to work with the associations to be on the forefront of industry changes, legislation, and innovation. As an associate member you will receive a $100.00 discount when you purchase Dispatch Anywhere, and we’ll donate an additional $100.00 directly to your association. Contact us to see which products work for you.

Car Part Salvage

carpartimg has introduced Car-Part Salvage, a new way to connect auto recyclers and salvage sellers online!

Eighteen years ago, introduced itself into the automotive marketplace – chances are, you have used to find parts before. Since then, we have developed a suite of products designed to help auto recyclers buy vehicles, manage their businesses, and sell parts. We have also developed the Car-Part Pro professional part search, giving auto body shops, mechanical shops, and insurance companies the ability to find and acquire quality parts. allows you to search for parts according to your business needs, using our simplified online process. We hope you have already begun to use Car-Part Pro in your business.

Last year we introduced a new service to our products suite: Car-Part Salvage. With this, we are providing new opportunities for towers to sell vehicles directly to recyclers. Car-Part Salvage is our online auto sale that connects auto recyclers with salvage sellers from different areas of the marketplace. We are excited to finally have a product that opens the door to working directly with the towing industry!

Car-Part Salvage sells the vehicles from their current location to our extensive buyer base, all of whom are recycler customers located throughout the United States and Canada. Car-Part Salvage sellers in the towing industry are able to list their units at their convenience from home or office, and we offer our training on-site or remote/online. We don’t charge seller’s fees, we allow reserve pricing per unit, and you control how long your vehicle will be listed. (Ownership, Storage Lien paperwork, or a title is required.)

Car-Part Salvage offers buyers all levels of vehicles, from “run and drive” units to those with extensive damage. We don’t stop with the sale – we also offer a service to those buyers who need their purchases to be transported to them. Before purchasing, buyers are notified that transportation is offered from the unit’s seller at an additional cost.

Our goal is to simplify your process and get the most for your vehicle, while also providing our buyers with vehicles that benefit their business needs.

We’d love to talk to you more about how Car-Part Salvage can work for your business. To learn more or sign up, contact us at or call 859-344-1924 and ask for Lynette or Sable.

We look forward to meeting you at the San Antonio Tow Expo International in August and the Baltimore American Towman Exposition in November!

Contact Info

  • Southwest Tow Operators
  • 811 S Central Expwy Suite 200
  • Richardson, Texas, 75080
  • Toll Free: (866) 320-9300

Important Messages

I hope you like the new look! We have updated the documents (requires a login to view). The store is starting to take shape, check it out!