A Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Towing Endorsement

Just like any other profession, driving heavy, bulky vehicles laden with significant weight isn’t as straightforward as getting behind the wheel and hitting the road. There are regulations to follow, licenses to obtain, and skills to master. Among the licenses needed in the realm of professional driving, a towing endorsement holds a unique place. Let’s delve into the why’s and how’s of getting your endorsements.

Why Should You Care about a Towing Endorsement?

So, you have a standard driving license. That’s great! But the second you decide to tow larger trailers or haul hefty loads, you’re stepping into a whole new playing field. The game-changer here is the sheer size and weight of the vehicles and the load they carry.

The different types of endorsements depend on the specifics of the towing job you’re planning to handle. A commercial driver transporting massive trailers across states might require a different endorsement than a passionate boater hauling their precious vessel to the beach.

Setting the Stage: The Requirements

If you’re aiming to get a towing endorsement, the requirements might vary a bit depending on where you live and what kind of towing work you’ll be doing. But generally, here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Age and Driver’s License

First up, you have to be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. This makes sure you’re legally old enough to drive and have the basic driving skills down.


Then, you’ll need to go through some specific training. These courses teach you how to manage a heavy truck, understand how different weights affect driving, and follow key safety rules. It’s all about making sure you know your stuff before you hit the road with a tow truck.


After your training, you’ll have to pass a couple of tests. There’s a written exam to check what you know on paper, and a practical test to see how you handle a tow truck in real life. Both are important to make sure you’re ready to tow safely and efficiently.

Health Check

In some cases, you may need to get a health examination to ensure you’re able to handle the physical demands that towing requires.

How to Get a Towing Endorsement: Step-by-Step

  1. Find the Right Training Program: Start by looking into approved training programs near you that match the specific requirements for your towing endorsement. These programs usually offer a mix of classroom learning and hands-on practice. It’s a great way to not only hear about the best practices but also get out there and try them under supervision.
  2. Finish the Training: Take your training seriously. Pay attention and make sure you understand both the theories behind what you’re learning and the practical skills you’re developing. This isn’t just about passing a test—it’s about ensuring you can do the job safely and efficiently.
  3. Ace the Exams: Once you’ve completed the training, you’ll need to pass some exams to prove you’ve got the hang of things. There’s usually a written test that covers all the theoretical knowledge you’ve gathered. Then, you’ll have a practical exam where you demonstrate your towing skills in real-world scenarios. Make sure you’re prepared for both.
  4. Secure the Endorsement: After passing your exams, you’re ready to apply for your towing endorsement. This will involve submitting proof that you’ve completed the training and passed the exams. You’ll also likely need to pay some fees. Once you have your endorsement, you’re officially ready to start towing professionally.

Keep in mind that exact requirements might change based on local laws and the type of towing job. Always check with your local transportation or licensing department for specifics.

Bottom Line

Becoming a certified tow truck operator might look like a lot of work, but the effort pays off in the end. With the right training and a valid towing endorsement, you’ll be ready to tackle any towing task that comes your way with confidence and skill.


Resources for Tow Truck Drivers:




We can help you save on your tow truck insurance.