Tow Truck Act 1973 - Queensland

Service summary

The Act was established to assist in the management of, and set standards for, the crash related towing industry within regulated areas.

The Act provides for the licensing/certification of:

Tow truck drivers (certificate holders) - authority to drive a tow truck
Tow truck assistants (certificate holders) - authority to assist at the scene of an accident/incident or police seizure
Tow truck licence holders - authority to operate a tow truck business
Tow truck vehicle licences - licensed tow truck/s operating in regulated areas in accordance with scheme requirements.

The main purpose of licensing/certifying tow truck licence holders and drivers (including assistants) is to regulate and control the towing of damaged vehicles from the scene of incidents and police seizures and subsequent handling and storage of those vehicles. The scheme does not regulate vehicle breakdown towing, trade towing or towing from private property.

It also sets out the powers of authorised officers under the Act and the procedures and penalties for dealing with offences against the legislation.

Service type

Regulatory Obligation

An obligation defined in law. A business must comply with relevant services.

Definition of terms

Tow truck

A motor vehicle:

  • equipped with a lifting or loading device capable of being used for the towing of a motor vehicle; or
  • being used at the material time for the towing of a trailer on which a damaged or seized motor vehicle is being carried.



Authorised officers have powers to monitor and enforce compliance with the Act. A licence, permit or certificate may be suspended or cancelled where breaches of its conditions or offences against the Act occur. Offences may be prosecuted in a Magistrates Court.


Appeal process


A person who is aggrieved by a decision of the chief executive may ask in accordance with section 28 of the Act for a review of the decision.

While the decision is being reviewed by the chief executive, a person may apply for the original decision to be stayed in accordance with the Transport Planning and Coordination Act 1994, Part 5, Division 2. A person would need to make application to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

If a person is not satisfied with the outcome of the chief executive's reviewed decision, a person may apply to have the decision reviewed by the QCAT in accordance with section 29 of the Act.

While the decision is being reviewed by the QCAT, a person may apply to have the chief executive's decision stayed.

Administering agency

Department of Transport and Main Roads
Customer Services, Safety and Regulation Division
Transport Regulation Branch

Regulation(s) name

Tow Truck Regulation 2009 (Queensland)

Contact details

Department of Transport and Main Roads
Customer Services, Safety and Regulation Division
Transport Regulation Branch

Operating address:
Customer Service Centre


13 23 80


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Supporting information


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