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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Launching New Certification for Towing Industry

TORONTO — The Ontario government is increasing safety, supporting customers and improving standards in the towing industry. Effective July 1, 2024, Ontario will become the first province in Canada to require both tow truck drivers and vehicle storage operators to have a certificate to operate, helping protect drivers against fraudulent towing companies.

“While the vast majority of Ontario’s towing industry operates in good faith, bad actors have preyed on vulnerable drivers for too long,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation. “That is why our government is helping to level the playing field, giving people confidence and peace of mind when they need help at the side of the road.”

Among the new protections, consumers will be able to choose the company that tows their vehicle (unless directed by police) and request a driver’s proof of certificate. In addition, tow truck drivers will be required to provide information on the maximum fees (rate) they are permitted to charge and take the customer’s vehicle to the desired location using the most direct route.

To receive or maintain a towing certificate, tow truck drivers will be required to complete a mandatory training program and complete a criminal record check. Drivers found operating without appropriate credentials will face fines, possible vehicle impoundment and risk forfeiting future certification.

Quick Facts

  • More than 300,000 people in Ontario have their vehicles towed each year.

  • Tow truck operators’ certificate status, along with rates, can be verified by visiting the ministry’s online portal.

  • Tow truck drivers who have applied for certification before July 1, 2024, have three years from their application date to complete training and will be prompted at the time of renewal (in year three) to provide proof of training.

  • Towers who apply for a certificate on or after July 1, 2024, must complete mandatory training requirements from the Ministry of Transportation before submitting their application.

  • Tow and vehicle storage operators have needed a certificate to operate in Ontario since the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021 came into force on January 1, 2024.

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