What License Do You Need to Drive a Tow Truck in NY?

Driving a tow truck in New York requires a special license, not just a regular driver’s license. The license is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is known as the Tow Truck Operator (TTO) license.

In order to obtain this license, applicants must meet specific eligibility requirements and have the appropriate knowledge and skills to safely operate a tow truck.

To be eligible for a TTO license, applicants must be 18 years of age or older, have held a valid driver’s license for at least two years, and have no convictions for motor vehicle violations in the last three years. They also must possess basic knowledge of motor vehicle laws and regulations, including those pertaining to operating a tow truck, as well as understanding the proper loading and towing techniques.

A DMV-approved training course must also be completed before applying for the TTO license. This course is typically offered by specialized schools or organizations that teach how to safely operate a tow truck.

The course typically covers topics such as traffic laws, defensive driving techniques, vehicle inspections, accident prevention strategies, safety rules when loading and unloading vehicles onto flatbeds or dollies, proper securing procedures for loaded vehicles on flatbeds or dollies, and other related topics.

Once the training course has been completed and the minimum eligibility requirements are met, applicants can then apply for their TTO license at their local DMV office. In addition to providing proof of completion of the training course, they must also provide proof of identity such as an official government-issued photo identification card or passport. The DMV also requires applicants to submit proof of insurance coverage on both their own vehicles and any tow trucks they will be operating.


In summary, obtaining a Tow Truck Operator (TTO) license in New York requires meeting specific eligibility requirements including being at least 18 years old with two years of driving experience; completing an approved training program; passing a written exam; providing proof of identity; and having adequate insurance coverage on both their personal vehicle and any tow trucks they will be operating.

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James Gardner