Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill to Regulate Towing Industry

BOSTON – On March 22, Senator Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in taking action to protect the motoring public by establishing a licensing mechanism for voluntary towing.

The bill, filed by Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) who serves as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, requires all companies, whether voluntary or involuntary, that perform towing services to hold a certificate from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Presently in Massachusetts, anyone can purchase a tow truck and hold themselves out to be a tow company.

“Public safety and accountability must continue to be a top priority,” said Senator Friedman. “This legislation takes an important step in protecting consumers by mandating proper safeguards and insurance measures for tow companies to ensure the safety of drivers and their motor vehicles.”

As it currently stands, only those companies that perform involuntary towing services, such as police-ordered tows after an accident or law enforcement related incidents where there is no one to drive the car, are required to have a DPU certificate, which mandates proper safeguards and insurance.  In addition, companies that provide involuntary towing services for the Massachusetts State Police are required to have a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background and minimum insurance standards.

By requiring DPU to establish minimum insurance requirements and CORI standards for all tow trucks, the motoring public will know that there are safety standards in place when a tow company arrives to tow their vehicle.  In addition, by requiring tow companies to obtain a certificate, the Commonwealth will ensure tow companies are maintaining workers’ compensation insurance and other legally required documentation.

The legislation, which passed the Senate unanimously, has now been referred to the House of Representatives for consideration.

To continue tracking the bill, S.2354, please visit the Legislature’s website,