New regulations for Ottawa’s towing industry


Beginning on January 1, 2022, there will be new regulations for tow service providers, tow truck drivers, and vehicle storage facility operators in Ottawa.

View the Council report and supporting documents here

Tow customers: know your tow!

  • Tow truck drivers will be required to provide you with an authorization to tow form prior to your vehicle being towed. Make sure you sign the form and get a copy from your driver.


An authorization to tow form must include contact information of the tow operator and vehicle owner, date and time of tow, tow service plate number, itemized bill of the services to be provided, and destination of the tow.




  • An authorization to tow form must include the contact information of both the tow service operator and vehicle owner, date and time of tow, tow service plate number, an itemized bill of the services to be provided, and the destination of the tow.
  • You can only be charged prescribed rates for key services:

TABLE 1 - Rates

Tow Service

Flat rate

Standard collision tow, up to 3000 kg

$300

Medium collision tow, 3001 kg to 4500 kg

$350

Flat Bed tow

$350

Non-collision tow

$175

Mileage after 20km for all towing

$3.25 per km

Winching Recovery Service

$125

Upright overturned vehicle

$125

Second tow truck to assist

$125

Re-tow from Collision Reporting Centre

$150

Collision Reporting Centre wait time

$60 per hour

Vehicle storage (daily)

$60

HST

Added to above flat rates

  • Towing related to auto clubs or pre-arranged contracts as well as tows for vehicles heavier than 4,500 kg are exempted from the prescribed rates noted in Table 1.
  • You have first choice of tow provider. Have the name and contact information of your preferred tow service ready in case of an accident or breakdown.
  • A police contract tow will only be ordered if you are unable to choose a tow provider or if your vehicle is being impounded for investigation.
  • You have the right to obtain access to the vehicle to collect personal possessions.
  • If your vehicle is towed to a vehicle storage facility, the facility must notify you within 72 hours of the location of your vehicle.

Towing licensing categories:

Tow service operators (companies), tow truck drivers, and storage facility operators will be required to have a City issued business licence to operate in Ottawa, beginning in January 2022.

Graphic depicting towing licensing categories of storage facility operators, tow truck operators, and tow truck drivers.


Tow companies will be required to:

  • Have a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (Level 2), CVOR, and proof of insurance to apply for and renew a business licence
  • Maintain a record of each tow service
  • Display the operator’s name and phone number on all tow trucks
  • Provide a schedule of all rates in each tow truck
  • Refrain from receiving or charging drop fees

Tow truck drivers will be required to:

  • Have a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (Level 2) to apply for and renew a business licence
  • Provide a written authorization form to tow customers prior to towing, ensure it is signed by both parties and provide a copy to the tow customer
  • Only charge prescribed rates for key services (see Table 1 above)
  • Maintain a record of each tow service that is provided
  • Maintain a good driving record to continue operating
  • Be honest with consumers and never make false representations
  • Allow the tow customer access to their vehicle
  • Refrain from receiving or charging drop fees

Vehicle storage facility operators will be required to:

  • Provide security fencing and ensure the lot is well-lit
  • Post signage with their business name and contact information
  • Notify vehicle owner within 72 hours of receiving vehicle
  • Maintain minimum business hours between 8:00-18:00 daily, except for statutory holidays, with staff present to greet visitors and transact with customers
  • Maintain a log of all vehicles stored
  • Provide access to vehicles to customers to retrieve personal possessions
  • Charge a flat rate of $60.00 per day for storage

Parking Enforcement Agencies (PPEAs) will:

  • Be prohibited from being a licensed tow operator or tow truck driver
  • Follow new procedures when facilitating tows from private property

Public Garages will:

  • Charge a maximum of $60.00 per day for vehicle storage
  • Be prohibited from receiving or charging a drop fee

If you have any questions, please email towingregulations@ottawa.ca

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