To operate a tow truck business you must hold an operator licence. You can apply for your operator licence by lodging an application form with NSW Fair Trading.

There are 3 different types of work, and each requires a different licence:

  • Category A (4 digit TT plates) – accident and breakdown/trade tow
  • Category B (3 digit TT plates) – breakdown/trade tow
  • Category B-Restricted (3 digit TT plates) – scrap work

Note: You do not need a tow truck operator licence if you are towing, salvaging or storing exempted vehicles or trailers.


You must already hold a tow truck driver certificate.

What you need

Your business details, and copy(s) of:

  • photo IDs (back and front of driver licence, passport) of:
    • directors
    • partner
    • close associates
    • yourself (if a sole trader)
  • certificate of incorporation (if applicable)
  • registration of business name (sole traders)
  • latest annual company statement/extract with shareholder and director details (if applicable)
  • certificate of currency for public liability insurance (place of business and holding yard(s))
  • current Transport for NSW certificates of registration for each vehicle operating
  • lease agreement for any vehicle not owned by the applicant
  • certificate of currency for on hook insurance for each vehicle operated (if applicable)
  • proof of ownership of holding yard (rates notice) or lease agreement
  • clear colour photographs of the holding yard(s), as described on the form
  • a National Police Check (no more than 6 weeks old) for anyone nominated on the form who has lived overseas or in another Australian state or territory in the last 10 years
  • printout of interstate/overseas criminal record(s) (if applicable)
  • evidence of council approval for:
    • place of business
    • holding yards (if applicable)
  • details of all employed/engaged tow truck drivers
  • a credit card or PayPal account for your payment
  • the PDF form – 'Application for Tow Truck Operators Licence'.

How to apply

  1. Select the 'Download PDF form' button.
  2. Complete the form.
  3. Ensure you and all directors, partners and close associates sign the declaration.
  4. Make your payment by credit card or PayPal using the payment portal link.
  5. Enter your payment receipt number.
  6. Gather all the required supporting documentation.
  7. Lodge your application using the address on the form.

Once your completed form, supporting documentation and payment are received, your application will be assessed. This can take from 10 to 12 weeks.

If your application is approved we will send you your licence. It will be valid for one year from the date it is issued.

More information

  • If you make false or misleading statements or falsify any documentation, your application may be refused.
  • If your application is refused, you'll be notified in writing. You can apply for a review if you disagree with the decision.
Last updated: 7 November 2023

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