Overview of Wrecker and Tow Operator Bond Requirements

Vehicle wreckers, tow truck operators and towing companies in a number of state must post a license surety bond as part of their licensing application. Among others, this bond is required in: Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada, NYC, Texas, and Washington.

The purpose of this bond is to guarantee their compliance with state and local laws. A further purpose of the bond is to protect the state and the public from any violations on behalf of such licensees that lead to damages or losses due to non-compliance. Another common feature of these bonds is the condition that they serve as a guarantee that any fines, penalties or other obligations owed by wreckers or tow truck operators will be paid.

The amount of this bond varies from state to state but is on average around $5,000. There are certain exceptions, though. In Nevada, wreckers and tow car operators are required to obtain a $50,000 bond.

If a wrecker or operator are found to have violated the conditions of their bond agreement and caused losses or damages to the state or public, a claim can be filed against their bond to secure compensation. Such compensation can be as high as the full penal sum of the bond.

If you are new to surety bonds, have a look at our ‘What is a surety bond’ guide for a detailed explanation of what bonds are and how they work!

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See the sections below for full details regarding the possible cost of your wrecker and tow operator bond, how bond claims arise, and how you can get bonded!

Would you rather speak to someone personally? Call us anytime at (866)-450-3412!

Wrecker and Tow Operator Bond Cost

The cost of your bond is equal to a percentage, usually small, of the total amount of the bond you need to obtain. This percentage, or rate, is determined by the surety company which issues your bond. The surety primarily looks at your personal credit score, and may sometimes also evaluate your financial statements, liquidity and assets, to determine the right rate for you.

The higher your credit score is, the easier and cheaper it will be for you to get bonded. Applicants with a score of 700 FICO or more are typically offered some of the lowest rates possible.

Bond amounts for this bond vary widely from state to state.

  • Connecticut issues these licenses only for already licensed vehicle dealers or repairers - the former must obtain a $50,000 bond, and the latter a $5,000 bond

  • NYC requires a $5,000 bond for wreckers but may increase it up to $25,000

  • Washington requires a $1,000 for wreckers and a $5,000 bond for tow operators

  • Minnesota requires a $10,000

  • Nevada requires a $50,000 bond

  • Texas determines the bond amount on a case-by-case basis

You can easily get an estimate of the cost of your bond by using our bond calculator below or you can have a look at the bond cost table featuring the most common wrecker and tow operator bond amounts.

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Bond Cost Based on Credit Score
Wrecker and Tow Operator Bond Surety bond amount Above 700 Between 650-699 Between 600-649 Below 599
$1,000 $100 $100 $100 $100
$5,000 $100 $100-$125 $125-$250 $250-$375
$10,000 $100-$150 $100-$250 $250-$500 $500-$750
$25,000 $187.5-$375 $250-$625 $625-$1,250 $1,250-$1,875
$50,000 $375-$750 $500-$1,250 $1,250-$2,500 $2,500-$3,750
$100,000 $750-$1,500 $1,000-$2,500 $2,500-$5,000 $5,000-$7,500

Bad Credit Bond Program

Applicants with low rates who wish to obtain a surety bond can do so through our Bad Credit Program!

Thanks to the sureties we work with that grant us access to a large variety of markets, we are able to provide applicants with low rates with surety bonds. Rates for such applicants are higher than for those with better scores due to sureties’ perception of a greater risk involved in issuing bonds for them.

Yet, by improving your credit score, you can get significantly better rates over time, as you apply to have your bond renewed.

For more information regarding getting bonded with low credit, see the program page!

Claims Against Your Bond

Licensing requirements for wreckers and tow operators vary from state to state. Typically though, the bonds they are required to obtain have similar conditions. A general condition of these bonds is that licensees must comply with state rules and regulations that govern their business. An additional rule that is often included is that such bonds are intended to guarantee that licensees will pay any payments they owe to the state in the form of fees, penalties or else.

If a licensed wrecker or tow truck operator violates their bond’s conditions and thereby causes losses or damages to an individual or to the state they operate in, a claim can be filed against their bond. Under the conditions of a bond claim, the surety that backs the bond must investigate the issue and compensate claimants in full, up to the full amount of the bond.

Yet, once a surety covers a claim, the bonded licensee must reimburse the surety in full. For this reason, in order to avoid paying costly surety bond claims, tow operators and wreckers are advised to strictly comply with the conditions of their bond agreements!

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Complete our bond form to get a free and precise quote on your bond. We will shortly provide you with your quote along with full details on completing your application and getting bonded.

Issuance of your surety bond will take at maximum two working days after which we will forward it to you by post and email.

Not ready to apply? Then simply get a free no-obligations quote, so you can see our low prices!

For requests for further information or if you are in need of assistance with your bond application, call us anytime at (866)-450-3412!


About the author:
Todd Bryant
Todd Bryant is a graduate of Germantown Academy and the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration Honors College. He has been President of Bryant Surety Bonds, Inc., an A+ rated Business with the Better Business Bureau, since 2007. Licensed as a producer with the Department of Insurance, he has been published in the National Association of Surety Bond Producers newsletter and on numerous authoritative publications such as The Washington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Azcentral.com and many more.