Towing From Private Property - Trespass Tow Licensing

The Office of Consumer Protection is responsible for licensing and regulating companies that tow vehicles from private property without the permission of the owner of the vehicle. Howard County Code Sections 17.600 - 17.611, commonly referred to as the "Trespass Tow Law," sets forth the licensing and operation requirements that trespass tow companies must follow.

Licensing Requirements

Trespass tow companies must be registered with the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) before any trespass towing can be performed in Howard County.  

To register, tow companies must provide OCA with:

  • A completed application form;
  • Its schedule of rates for the towing and storage of vehicles (not to exceed the maximum rates set by annually by the Howard County Council);
  • A copy of the current registration certificate issued by the Maryland Motor  Vehicle Administration for each tow truck operated by the company;
  • Proof of insurance coverage for each tow truck operated by the company;
  • Copies of the tow slips and receipts used;
  • A signed copy of the Tow Procedures acknowledging the company’s receipt and understanding of the procedures;
  • $150 license fee.

Towing Requirements and Prohibitions