The Wrecker Enforcement Unit oversees various components related to towing in Austin, which include coordinating the APD Rush Hour and collision rotation rosters, inspecting trucks and licensing drivers, investigating crimes related to towing ordinances, and lastly, working with City Council, citizens, and local wrecker companies to address current issues. 

Booting procedures & permit

Presently, APD works closely with over 40 local wrecker companies to service the citizens of Austin at collision scenes or when a car breaks down on the road. Additionally, each morning and evening Monday-Friday (except major holidays), APD manages the TIM’s program which allows citizens who break down on one of the major roadways listed, to be towed to a place of safety free of charge off of the major highway. These wreckers are dispatched using GPS data and the nearest tow truck will respond. The major roadways include, IH-35, MoPac Expressway, and Hwy 183 as part of our Rush Hour Zone program. 

Additionally, the City of Austin went to a GPS dispatch system in January 2016 for wreckers which allows for the nearest tow truck to be dispatched to an accident scene to tow a vehicle disabled from the crash.  This program has reduced the amount of time that roadways are blocked due to a collision.

To ensure that the companies that participate in our programs meet safety standards, each truck is inspected yearly and issued a license. Each tow truck driver must pass a background check to receive a City wrecker license. Additionally, the tow companies are subject to monthly and quarterly compliance checks.

The Wrecker Enforcement Detectives investigate all crimes of towing ordinance violation. They issue citations, testify in court, and build cases where crimes have been committed. The hot spots of vehicles being towed from private property are downtown and near the UT campus. If you feel that your car was towed illegally, please call 3-1-1 and file a police report for “wrecker ordinance violation.”

APD works with the citizens, the towing industry and City Council to provide the greatest service possible to the public.

See Wrecker Enforcement FAQ's for more information.

Notice of Proposed Rule