Tow Service Program
- Tow Service Program
- TSA Forms
- Towing Firms
- Common Ownership Complaint
- Registered Vehicle Owners
- Impound Hold
The Department of Public Safety developed the tow program to ensure:
- Safe, efficient and rapid removal of disabled vehicles or vehicles involved in collisions on Arizona state highways.
- Fairness in rates charged to the motoring public.
- Fair profit margin for contracted tow companies utilized by DPS.
- Safety of the motoring public, DPS troopers and Tow Truck Operators.
- Reductions in secondary accidents.
In accordance with Arizona Revised Statute 41-1830.51, the Director of DPS may enter into a contractual agreement with a towing firm or firms for towing and/or storage services. DPS utilizes Tow Service Agreements (TSA), with local towing firms for towing, storage and roadside assistance services to address this need.
Purpose: Meet the needs of the public, the towing industry and the Department of Public Safety.
Objective: Ensure the public receives ethical and fair business practices on the part of private towing companies utilized by DPS.
The TSA provides towing firms with clear requirements for acceptance and continued service to DPS. The agreement ensures statewide consistency in the interpretation and enforcement of its terms and conditions. The TSA also ensures that towing firms used by the Department are competent to respond to calls with minimal time delays.
Please be aware of Arizona's Move Over Law. If you see flashing lights, it is the law to move over one lane to allow for additional space or, if you are unable to move over due to other vehicles, you must slow down, or you can face a fine of at least $150. This law is to protect stranded motorists, road and highway workers, roadside-assistance providers, emergency responders and law enforcement officers.
For general tow inquiries, email [email protected].
Below are a list of documents (exhibits) that provide information for all districts. Additionally, there are forms (attachments) that ALL districts need to download, complete and submit, including a TSA, in order to be considered for the DPS Tow List.
Forms To Be Completed
- Tow Service Agreement (TSA) - Revised January 2018
- Attachment A – See "District Specific Forms" below
- Storage Yard Inspection Form (Attachment B)
- Tow Truck List (Attachment C)
- Administrative Requirements (Attachment D)
- Tow Operator's List (Exhibit C)
- Metro Tow Service Agreement (TSA) - Phoenix Area Districts Only - June 2017
- Rural Tow Service Agreement (TSA) - Phoenix Area Districts Only - June 2017
- Tow Service Agreement (TSA) - Northern Districts Only - August 2017
- Tow Service Agreement (TSA) - October 2017
- Amendmant 1 for TSA - October 2017
- Tow Service Agreement (TSA) - Revised January 2018
- TSA Rate Sheet (Exhibit A) Effective July 11, 2022
Expand "District Specific Forms" below to access your district specific forms.
District Specific Forms
You will need to fill out an Attachment A & B for each Storage Yard Location submitted.
- Forms To Be Completed
- Business Presence (Attachment A)
- Forms To Be Completed
- Business Presence (Attachment A)
- Forms To Be Completed
- Forms To Be Completed
Completed TSA’s shall be sent via E-mail to [email protected] for review. Completed TSA's shall consist of the last two signature pages of the TSA; Attachments A, B, C and D, and Exhibit C.
If selected for the DPS Tow Program, towing firms must have certificates of insurance and any applicable waiver forms received by the DPS Procurement Department at one of the addresses below. Failure to submit proof of insurance will subject tow firm to removal from the applicable tow list(s).
Towing firms shall have and maintain at its place of business, completed and approved DPS Tow Truck Company Registration Application for its company and DPS Tow Truck Inspection Application for all tow trucks used during its day-to-day business operations and when performing work under the Tow Service Agreement (TSA).
Tow Truck Company Registration ApplicationTow Truck Inspection Application
Towing firms under agreement with DPS shall have and maintain its tow truck(s) in accordance with all applicable sections of A.A.C. Title 13, Chapter 3 and/or any revisions, additions or deletions thereto that may be incorporated by the state during its day-to-day business operations and when performing work under the TSA. Towing firms' tow trucks shall also:
- have completed DPS tow truck inspection application on file with DPS
- have identification requirements that are not interchangeable from one tow truck to another tow truck
- e.g., use of temporary and/or magnetic type identification are expressly prohibited
- be properly maintained, mechanically sound and roadworthy
- have adequate supplies of road safety devices
- e.g., safety flares, lights, reflective highway stands, etc.
- be equipped with jack stands and tire sliding devices
- be equipped with sufficient safety and ancillary equipment required to safely clear vehicles and prepare them for towing to the firm's nearest storage facility, and perform all required "on-scene" site cleanup services
- e.g., chains, slings, bumper, snatch blocks, brooms, shovels, sand buckets, containers available for trash and vehicle debris, etc.
- be equipped with motorcycle tie down straps on rollback and/or tilt bed trucks
Tow Truck Drivers
All tow truck drivers ("agents") utilized by the towing firm shall be in, and maintain, compliance with all applicable sections of A.A.C. Title 13, Chapter 3, Article 12 and/or any revisions, additions or deletions thereto that may be incorporated by the state during the towing firm's day-to-day business operations and when performing work under the agreement.
Traffic Incident Management Training (TIM)
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines TIM as a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to and clear traffic incidents so that traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible. Tow truck drivers utilized by DPS shall complete a four-hour block of training entitled SHRP2 National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training, within three months after the TSA has been awarded and/or within 90 days of the date the individual tow truck driver starts to perform work under the TSA. TIM training is available through DPS and other FHWA qualified instructors. Tow truck drivers having completed the TIM training prior to TSA award or prior to performing work under the TSA, shall not be required to re-complete the training. For additional information regarding the TIM program, please click here.
Tow Truck Inspections
Tow truck inspections are completed by our Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit.
DPS works with the towing industry to improve the safety and quality of towing and recovery firms in the state of Arizona. One of our key industry partners is the Arizona Professional Towing and Recovery Association.
Per ARS 41-1830.51, Section F, if an owner of a towing firm has a common ownership interest in another towing firm or the assets, or shared uses of the assets of another towing firm, the owner may not participate in any other application for a contractual agreement within the same geographic towing area for that application. The Department or a county, city or town must determine that each towing firm is in compliance with the subsection. The Director or a county, city or town must view any complaints that are submitted with supporting documentation and that alleged a violation of this subsection.
Stolen or Abandoned Vehicles
If your vehicle was stolen or abandoned and located by DPS, no additional paperwork is required; go directly to the towing firm that is storing your vehicle. You can contact DPS Dispatch to determine which towing firm is storing your vehicle:
- DPS Main Line: (602) 223-2000
If you do not claim your vehicle immediately, the tow company will apply for an abandoned title. This is allowed under ARS Title 28 Chapter 11: Abandoned, Seized and Junk Vehicles. You are responsible for all tow and storage charges associated with the tow. If you feel your vehicle was not towed legally, you may request a Post Storage Hearing at (602) 223-2957.
Required Information to Release Vehicle
Vehicles can be released to the registered owner or owner's agent. In addition to paying the towing and storage fees, in accordance with ARS 28-4842, you will need to bring a government issued photo ID and one of the following to release your vehicle:
- A valid certificate of title
- Proof of current vehicle registration, not including a restricted use three-day permit
- A repossession affidavit, a hold harmless liability release from legal claims and, if applicable, a proof of lien on the vehicle
- An insurance company release pursuant to ARS 28-4847
- A certified motor vehicle record
- Proof of a bona fide security interest or other financial interest in the vehicle that exists at the time of the tow
Accepted Forms of Payment
The following forms of payment shall be accepted by storage lots:
- Credit or Debit Cards
- Money Orders
- Cashier Checks
Storage Lot Fees
The following are the daily maximum allowed daily fees that can be charged by towing companies under agreement with DPS based on Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR). You can find your vehicle's GVWR on the driver's door panel or on your vehicle title. Most cars and light trucks are light duty.
- Light Duty Vehicle (≥ 14,000 lbs. GVWR) Daily Maximum Rate - $32.50
- Medium Duty Vehicle (14,001-26,000 lbs. GVWR) Daily Maximum Rate - $39.50
- Heavy Duty Vehicle (≤ 26,001 lbs. GVWR) Daily Maximum Rate - $57.00
Arizona law (ARS 28-3511) Removal and immobilization or impoundment of vehicle; Arizona crime information center database, requires vehicles be towed and impounded for any of the following violations:
A. A peace officer shall cause the removal and either immobilization or impoundment of a vehicle if the peace officer determines that:
1. A person is driving the vehicle while any of the following applies:
a. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the person's driving privilege is revoked for any reason. A peace officer shall not cause the removal and either immobilization or impoundment of a vehicle pursuant to this subdivision if the person's privilege to drive is valid in this state.
b. The person has not ever been issued a valid driver license or permit by this state and the person does not produce evidence of ever having a valid driver license or permit issued by another jurisdiction. This subdivision does not apply to the operation of an implement of husbandry.
c. The person is subject to an ignition interlock device requirement pursuant to chapter 4 of this title and the person is operating a vehicle without a functioning certified ignition interlock device. This subdivision does not apply to the operation of a vehicle due to a substantial emergency as defined in section 28-1464.
d. In furtherance of the illegal presence of an alien in the United States and in violation of a criminal offense, the person is transporting or moving or attempting to transport or move an alien in this state in a vehicle if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien has come to, has entered or remains in the United States in violation of law.
e. The person is concealing, harboring or shielding or attempting to conceal, harbor or shield from detection an alien in this state in a vehicle if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien has come to, entered or remains in the United States in violation of law.
2. A person is driving a vehicle in violation of section 28-693 and the peace officer reasonably believes that allowing the person to continue driving the vehicle would expose other persons to the risk of serious bodily injury or death.
3. A person is driving a vehicle in violation of section 28-708 and the peace officer reasonably believes that allowing the person to continue driving the vehicle would expose other persons to the risk of serious bodily injury or death.
4. A person is obstructing a highway or other public thoroughfare in violation of section 13-2906 and the peace officer reasonably believes that allowing the person to continue driving the vehicle would expose other persons to the risk of serious bodily injury or death.
5. The vehicle is displayed for sale or for transfer of ownership with a vehicle identification number that has been destroyed, removed, covered, altered or defaced.
B. A peace officer shall cause the removal and impoundment of a vehicle if the peace officer determines that a person is driving the vehicle and if all of the following apply:
1. The person's driving privilege is canceled or revoked for any reason or the person has not ever been issued a driver license or permit by this state and the person does not produce evidence of ever having a driver license or permit issued by another jurisdiction.
2. The person is not in compliance with the financial responsibility requirements of chapter 9, article 4 of this title.
3. The person is driving a vehicle that is involved in an accident that results in either property damage or injury to or death of another person.
C. Except as provided in subsection D of this section, while a peace officer has control of the vehicle the peace officer shall cause the removal and either immobilization or impoundment of the vehicle if the peace officer has probable cause to arrest the driver of the vehicle for a violation of section 4-244, paragraph 34 or section 28-1382 or 28-1383
If your vehicle was towed per ARS 28-3511, it has a hold period. This means it must stay in impound for hold period. Do not contact the towing firm for vehicle release. DPS will notify registered vehicle owners within three (3) business days of the impound with a copy of the Vehicle Removal Report and information regarding post storage hearing scheduling. For more information about a post storage hearing and releasing of a vehicle, please call the DPS Impound location that is listed on the lower half of the Vehicle Removal Report under the "Impound/Seizure Information" section.
If a peace officer removes and either immobilizes or impounds a vehicle pursuant to ARS 28-3511, the immobilizing or impounding agency may provide the owner, the spouse of the owner or any other person providing indication of ownership or other interest in the vehicle, immediately before the immobilization or impoundment, with the opportunity for an immobilization or post storage hearing. The hearing will determine the validity of the immobilization or storage or consider any mitigating circumstances relating to the immobilization or storage or release of the vehicle before the end of the 20-Day immobilization or impoundment period.
A hold may be released early if:
- the vehicle is a stolen vehicle
- the vehicle is subject to bailment and is driven by an employee of a business establishment, including a parking service or repair garage, who is subject to ARS 28-3511, subsection A, B or C
- the owner was operating the vehicle at the time of removal and either immobilization or impoundment and presents proof satisfactory to the immobilizing or impounding agency that the owner's driving privilege has been reinstated
- all of the following apply:
- the owner or the owner's agent was not the person driving the vehicle pursuant to ARS 28-3511, subsection A
- the owner or the owner's agent is in the business of renting motor vehicles without drivers
- the vehicle is registered pursuant to ARS 28-2166
- there was a rental agreement in effect at the time of the immobilization or impoundment. At the time or the end of the hold, the registered owner must go through the regular release process
A vehicle shall not be released after the end of the immobilization or impoundment period unless the owner or owner's agent presents all of the following to the impounding or immobilizing agency:
- A valid driver's license issued by this state or by the owner's or owner's agent's state of domicile.
- A current vehicle registration or valid salvage or dismantle certificate of title.
- Evidence that the vehicle is in compliance with the financial responsibility requirements of the Mandatory Motor Vehicle Insurance section, referenced in Chapter 9, Article 4.
Holds shall not exceed $25.00 per day for vehicle storage, pursuant to ARS 28-3511.
Hold Related Statutes:
- ARS 28-3511: Removal and immobilization or impoundment of vehicle; Arizona crime information center database
- ARS 28-3512: Release of vehicle; civil penalties; definition
- ARS 28-3513: Administrative charges
- ARS 28-3514: Hearings; notice of immobilization or storage; definition
- ARS 28-3515: Unclaimed vehicles
Are charges still billed at lighter duty service rates if a heavier class tow truck is used for a lighter duty tow?
Yes, this is a statutory requirement and cannot be changed.
Are towing firms required to charge the maximum rates?
No, rates are the maximum allowed and towing firms may charge less than the maximum, if they so choose.
Are towing firms required to notify dispatch when they are responding to a non-DPS call?
Towing firms are only supposed to notify OpComm/Dispatch when they are being called out to a scene and are unable to respond due to responding to a non_DPS call. Dispatch does not need to be notified every time a tow firm is responding to a non_DPS call.
Are tow operators required to accept checks and/or bank cards?
No, towing firms are required to accept cash, cashier's check, money orders or major credit or debit card for services rendered. Personal checks are not accepted. Towing firms are not allowed to add a fee for use of credit/debit cards by vehicle owners.
Are tow operators required to Attend tow driver training?
Yes, tow truck drivers utilized by DPS shall either have completed or will complete a four-hour block of training entitled SHRP2 Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder Training within three months after TSA award and/or within 90 days of the date the individual tow truck driver starts to perform work under the TSA. SHRP2 training is available through DPS and other FHWA qualified instructors.
Are tractor trailers considered one or two vehicles?
They are considered one vehicle from the perspective of how a vehicle is towed and the charge rate. We issue two tow sheets because the truck and trailer could have different owners and this makes things clearer for owners and insurance companies.
Can a scene manager call for a rotation tow company that is not at the top of the rotation tow list if the company possesses the necessary resources to clear a hazard as expeditiously as possible?
Yes, in such an instance, the towing firm selected would be the next tow company on the list with the necessary resources to provide the required service.
Can the rate structure be amended if an unforeseen need or issue comes up before the two-year term of the agreement?
Yes, the TSA allows for amendments at any time.
Do owners need to do e-verify on existing employees and themselves?
No, owners do no not need to run e-verify on themselves or existing employees, but are encouraged to run them on existing employees if it was not done in the past.
Does a tow firm need to have a storage yard in each district?
No, a storage facility can be in an adjacent tow area, district or state per the Business Presence Attachment A.
How do I know what roadways are included in a given tow area in a District?
Go to the District Specific Forms section on the TSA Forms tab for Exhibit B, which defines all the District tow areas.
How is the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) canceled?
The operator must provide written notification to the DPS Procurement Office.
How long must a towing firm maintain business records?
Towing firms shall retain all records for a period of five (5) years from the date of termination of the TSA.
I suspect a person or company is towing for DPS using different company names in the same area. Who should I notify?
Arizona Statute dictates that an owner or towing firm cannot have common ownership in another towing firm in the same geographical towing area. If you suspect a person or company is performing towing services for DPS in the same tow area under different company names, please click here.
I'm a sole proprietor of my towing firm with no employees; do I need to have Worker's Compensation Insurance?
No, sole proprietors do not need to have Worker's Compensation Insurance, but do need to submit a completed Sole Proprietor Waiver.
If a towing firm's insurance policy is canceled, will the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) be nullified?
Yes, the operator will be removed from the rotation list and may be subject to an additional suspension for failure to notify the DPS Procurement Office prior to the policy cancelation.
If an operator disagrees with the decision of a trooper on why extra labor is required, what can be done?
The trooper will assess the situation for reasonableness of the request at the scene. If there is a disagreement, refer question to the District Captain.
If I buy a towing firm on the tow list, will I be able to remain on the tow list?
If you are not already on the tow list for that geographical tow area, you may sign a TSA at any time during the remainder of the previous owner's TSA term. Your tow firm will be subject to passing DPS inspections and meeting the requirements of the TSA.
Is it a violation of the agreement when a tow driver is unable to properly release a vehicle after hours?
Yes, employees should be trained to conduct transactions regarding towing/storage and the release of vehicles and property.
Is the tow rate per vehicle deployed? If you need two vehicles can you charge for both?
Yes, unless the scene commander has determined extra vehicles were not necessary.
Is there a definition of light, medium and heavy duty so troopers or OpComm can let the towing firm know the correct type of truck needed when they call?
Troopers should know the GVWR of the vehicle needing tow. Standard classifications are light duty ≤ 10,000 lbs, medium duty 10,001 to 26,000 lbs, and heavy duty ≥ 26,001 lbs.
If tow different towing firms are responding to a scene, who is responsible for scene cleanup?
The scene commander is responsible for designating which tow firms get which vehicle to tow along with cleanup. Be sure to document any deficiencies to DPS when they occur.
May a towing firm add a different class of truck during an agreement period?
Yes, if deemed necessary by the District Commander for the safety of the public, safety of DPS trooper(s), tow truck response times, improved traffic incident management or convenience to the public.
May a towing firm be added to the tow list during a TSA term with DPS?
Yes, if deemed necessary by the District Commander and signed TSA's are on file to select. If no previously submitted TSA's are available, District Commander may hold a mid-term open enrollment for the deficient tow area.
May a towing firm call out additional resources from another towing firm to the scene?
Yes, the DPS scene manager may allow a towing firm to use additional resources from another towing firm equipment company if DPS deems the use of those additional resources is necessary for traffic incident management.
May a towing firm change storage yard locations mid-term?
Yes, all requests shall be made on company letterhead and submitted to the respective DPS District Commander or authorized designee for review and disposition. Requests shall, at a minimum include the street address, city, state and zip code of the proposed vehicle storage facility(s). After inspection, and if approved through a TSA amendment, the towing firm shall immediately provide written notice to all vehicle owners affected by the change of the new address and any other pertinent information, such as changes to business phone numbers, etc. and shall post the same information on a sign that is clearly visible and readable at the towing firm's existing vehicle storage facility's main entrance for a period of no less than 90 days.
May a towing firm enter into a subcontract with another towing firm for trucks/equipment?
Yes, if approved via the Tow Service Agreement by the District Commander prior to agreement commencement date.
May a towing firm on TSA assign their call to another tow firm if unable to respond?
No, this is a violation of the agreement. Towing firms should decline the call and DPS dispatch will call the next towing firm on the list.
May a tow operator attach a lien to personal property in or on a vehicle?
No, all personal property shall be released upon demand to the registered owner or agent without charge during normal business hours.
May a tow operator provide service in more than one DPS district?
Yes, with the approval of each District Commander.
Must there be separate areas in the storage yard for towed vehicles and where alternate work is performed?
Yes, DPS stored vehicles must be separated from where other work is done in the yard.
Must tow firms tow to the closest storage facility?
Yes, unless directed by vehicle owner or scene commander to deliver elsewhere.
What is the length of the Tow Service Agreement (TSA)?
Current TSA term lengths are two years, but are subject to change based on the Department's needs.
What is the requirement of storage yards to be accessible to the public on Saturdays?
It is required of firms to have their storage yards accessible to the public on Saturdays, regardless of location. While a tow firm doesn't have to be open, it needs to be accessible for an employee to come by and retrieve the vehicle for the owner between 8:00am and 12:00pm, without charging an after-hours gate fee. The tow firm's phone number is supposed to be listed on the yard sign to call if it is not already open. This also applies to the 5:00-6:00PM hour Monday through Friday.
What happens if one towing firm on TSA acquires another towing firm on TSA?
If a towing firm that has an agreement with DPS acquires another towing firm that has an agreement with DPS, both agreements will remain valid for one year after the date of the acquisition. At the end of the one year period, the agreements shall be treated as being one. The acquired towing firm's agreement shall be terminated.
Whose responsibility is it if a tow truck rolls over during a tow (as far as the insurance) - the tow operator or the vehicle owner?
The tow truck company and their insurance company would be responsible.
Will DPS be doing background checks on new drivers?
No, DPS will not be doing background checks. It is the responsibility of the tow firms to run checks that DPS can audit.
Below are a list of statutes related to the towing process. Additional information can be found on the Arizona State Legislature site.
- ARS 41-1830.51. Vehicle towing; rules; contractual agreement for towing services; weight exemption
- ARS 41-1830.52. Department of public safety contractual agreements; towing; maximum allowable rates
- ARS 41-1830.53. Heavy-duty rotator recovery vehicle classification; rates and guidelines; definition
- ARS 28-674. Traffic accidents; quick clearance
- ARS 28-775. Authorized emergency vehicles; approaching; following fire apparatus; passing stationary vehicles; defensive driving schools; driver license examinations
- ARS 28-872. Removal of vehicles; notice; liability for costs; hearing
- ARS 28-3512. Release of vehicle; civil penalties; definition
- ARS 28-4805. Towing company; reimbursement
- ARS 28-4834. Vehicle removal
- ARs 28-4836. Towed vehicles; notification; Arizona crime information center database; violation; classification
- ARS 28-4837. Towing and storage costs
- ARS 28-4841. Abandoned vehicle; notice of intent to transfer vehicle
- ARS 28-4842. Unclaimed vehicle; transfer of ownership; immunity
- ARS 28-4847. Insurance companies; release; fees; vehicle repair facilities; applicability; local laws violation; classification; definitions
- ARS 28-4848. Access to vehicle; ignition interlock device installer; lienholder; fee prohibited; violation; classification
- ARS 28-4882. Junk vehicle; disposition