A Full Guide to Becoming a Tow Truck Driver

Are you interested in becoming a tow truck driver, but don’t know how? In this article we’ll discuss the guidelines for becoming a tow truck driver and the necessary training and certifications you’ll need.

How to Become a Tow Truck Driver

Eligibility Criteria

You’ll need to follow certain guidelines to be able to operate a tow truck. These guidelines are different from state to state, and most ask candidates to enroll in various licensing programs. Tow truck operators need flexibility, pristine driving skills, and excellent interpersonal skills.

The candidates applying for this position need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be drug free
  • Have good eyesight
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Pass their background check (some companies may require this)


Before you’re allowed to tow over 25,000 pounds, you’ll need a commercial drivers license. Although, some states may require you to have one regardless of the weight you tow. It’s important to check your state’s guidelines beforehand.

In order to get your commercial license you’ll need to participate in training, take a written exam, and pass your driver’s test.

Training Required

Most new tow truck drivers learn their skills by watching and learning from more experienced drivers. Some companies may have certain training programs in place, which can consist of job shadowing and safety education. This helps them get the hang of the different strategies they can apply, the procedures they need to follow, and the policies they need to know. Typically, candidates don’t need a college degree; however, most companies would like candidates to have at least a high school diploma.

Certification Courses

To certify yourself, you need to reach out to the Towing and Recovery Association of America. They offer courses both online and in person.

Also, there’s 3 different levels you can choose from when it comes to your training:

Level 1: This is the most basic certification you can get. You’ll need to have at least 90 days of experience as a tow truck driver. You’ll also have to take a 100 question test, which can be taken at a local community college or a tow show. Once you pass you’ll receive your certification within a couple days.

Level 2: You must have at least 12 months of experience working as a medium or heavy duty tow truck driver. Also, you must possess a commercial drivers license and have the level 1 certification already. The exam will test your knowledge and ability to handle real life situations.

Level 3: For a level 3 certification you’ll need to be certified at level 2, have a commercial drivers license with endorsements, and have at least 2 years of experience. There will be a written and oral exam testing your knowledge and how you handle real life situations.



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