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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Section:V Motor Vehicle License Plate Classifications & RequirementsEffective: 10/09/1989
Number:37.00Revised: 01/16/2013

TOW TRUCK PLATES
To view Louisiana Statutes: http://www.legis.state.la.us/

AUTHORITY
R.S. 32:1713
R.S. 32:1716
DEFINITION
Any motor vehicle equipped with a boom or booms, winches, slings, tilt beds, semi-trailers, and/or similar equipment designed for the towing and/or recovery of vehicles and other objects which cannot operate under their own power or for some reason must be transported by means of towing.

REQUIREMENTS
  • A copy of the registration certificate of the vehicle on which the plate will be placed if the vehicle is registered in the applicant's name. OR
  • If the vehicle is not titled in the applicant's name, the necessary documentation and fees must be submitted to process the application for title.

Business Owners
In accordance with Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 55
  • The same legal trade name of the business used to mark the tow trucks shall be listed on the tow truck affidavit, registration, insurance certificates, towing and storage invoice, and storage inspection license.
  • The business name must be indicated on the registration as the owner or lessee. The business name indicated as a mail-to on the registration will not be sufficient.

Tow Truck Owners
  • Each tow truck owner applying for the first time or renewing a tow plate will be required to complete and sign the Tow Truck License Application Affidavit (copy attached), certifying he has met all equipment and insurance requirements of the law as well as all requirements of the Department's rules and regulations.
  • The applicant must also provide the insurance declaration page(s) of his policy and the vehicle registration.

Liability Insurance
  • Automobile liability coverage in an amount of not less than three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) combined single limits coverage.
  • Garage keeper's legal liability insurance in an amount of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00).
  • Garage liability insurance in amount of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00).
  • On-hook coverage in an amount of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00).
  • All certificates must contain the initial and the expiration dates of carriage and coverage and the serial number (VIN) of the vehicle for which the towing license plate is being applied.
  • Car carrier companies which transport less than five motor vehicles and do not store or hold motor vehicles shall be licensed as tow trucks upon application and submission of an affidavit stating such. These companies are not required to carry garage keeper's legal liability or garage liability insurance.

ENFORCEMENT ISSUES
EXEMPTIONS FROM TOW TRUCK REQUIREMENTS:
  • Car carriers that are capable of carrying five or more vehicles and have Interstate Commerce Commission authority.
  • Tow trucks that are registered in another state with Interstate Commerce Commission authority.
  • Tow trucks that are owned by a governmental entity and that are not used for commercial purposes.
  • Tow trucks that are owned by a business not engaged in towing and/or storage for direct or indirect compensation. An example of this is a tow truck owned by a company to tow vehicles belonging to that company's fleet. Another example would be a tow truck used to pick up vehicles from salvage pools provided that the owner of the tow truck is also the owner of the salvage vehicle. This must be documented by title and/or bill of sale for the vehicle being towed.

A towing company whose nature of initial moves involves heavy trucks, buses, off-road equipment, etc., is exempt from GVW and axle weight enforcement by DOTD in the initial move if the towing vehicle is registered for the maximum weight for that type vehicle.

In other words, if the towing vehicle is registered for the maximum amount for that type vehicle and is towing a heavy vehicle that results in the hitch axle being over the allowable weight limits, no ticket would be issued in the initial move. The towing vehicle cannot be registered for the minimum or unladen weight. The maximum weight for the type vehicle is determined by vehicle type and tire size.

EXAMPLE: TYPE I Steering axle tire size = 10.00
Single axle - Dual tires
35,000 pounds maximum allowable

TYPE II Steering axle tire size = 11.00
Tandem axle - Dual tires
52,000 pounds maximum allowable

The above are examples only. Always refer to the License Weight Chart for information on specific vehicles.

Questions are to be directed to State Police Towing & Recovery Unit at (225) 925-6113.

RELATED POLICIES
Section IV 2.0 Basic Requirements for Obtaining a Certificate of Title

Tow Affidavit rev 0712.pdfTow Affidavit rev 0712.pdf