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Tow/Recovery Vehicles

 
You need a tow/recovery business certificate and registration if you:
 
  • Tow or recover vehicles, other than vehicles you own, for compensation;
  • Tow or recover vehicles that are wrecked, damaged, disabled, or abandoned or replacement vehicles; or
  • Solicit or advertise that you perform towing services.
You do not need a tow/recovery business certificate and registration if you are helping another motorist, as long as it is not for business purposes.
 

Tow vehicle is defined in ORS 801.530

Oregon Tow/Recovery Vehicle Requirements

Each tow/recovery vehicle must have:
 
  • Valid registration with DMV or Motor Carrier Transportation Division;
  • Insurance coverage for $50,000 cargo and $750,000 liability per accident; and
  • A tow/recovery business certificate and tow/recovery plates from DMV.
DMV issues title and registration if:
  • The combined weight (empty vehicle weight plus the total weight of the load) is 26,000 pounds or less. 
MCTD issues registration if:
  • The combined weight is over 26,000 pounds, or the vehicle has prorate registration.
    • When you register with MCTD, you must put both the DMV and MCTD plates on the vehicle. 

Out-of-State Tow/Recovery Vehicle Requirements

Each tow/recovery vehicle, for out-of-state tow/recovery businesses towing in Oregon, must have:
 
  • Valid prorate registration (apportioned registration, international registration plan or IRP);
  • Insurance coverage for $50,000 cargo and $750,000 liability per accident;
  • A temporary pass from Motor Carrier Transportation Division, if the vehicle has a combined weight (empty vehicle weight plus the total weight of the load) over 26,000 pounds; and
  • A tow/recovery business certificate and tow/recovery plates from DMV.
    • To apply:
      • Complete the application
      • Provide a valid Certificate of Liability Insurance; and
      • Submit your payment of $41, application, and insurance certificate to DMV.

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