Apply for a tow truck certificate

To drive a tow truck in the greater metropolitan area of Adelaide you must hold a tow truck certificate. Outside metropolitan Adelaide, a tow truck is driven according to its weight and a certificate is not required.

Eligibility requirements

To obtain a tow truck certificate, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • hold a current South Australian driver's licence of a classification appropriate to the weight of the tow truck you wish to drive
  • know the laws about driving and operating tow truck equipment
  • be a 'fit and proper person' - you can prove this with a national police certificate, available from any police station.


Car trailers are exempt from holding a tow truck certificate provided the tow truck is of a trailer combination type and is not being used in expectation of a fee, reward, or benefit of any kind or in the course of business of motor vehicle towing.

Vehicles that are classed as a tow truck

A tow truck is defined as a vehicle that has been constructed or adapted for the specific purpose of towing or carrying another vehicle that cannot be driven on its own and is fitted with a winch or some type of lifting equipment. This includes trailers that are attached to another vehicle by a normal ball coupling.


You will need to pay the relevant tow truck certificate fee.

How to apply

1. Complete and lodge the application forms

In person


  • phone ATA on 8260 0572 and ask for the forms and information to be posted to you
  • post to:
    Accident Towing Authority
    GPO Box 1533
    Adelaide SA 5001

2. Assessment

Your application will be assessed by an authorised officer on behalf of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

The authorised officer will determine whether you are eligible to be issued a certificate. If you are eligible a temporary tow truck certificate valid for three months will be posted for you, during which time you will need to complete a practical and proficiency test in a tow truck.

The temporary tow truck certificate will be restricted to driving a tow truck for any purpose other than attending crash sites.

3. Pass the tow truck practical and proficiency test

You'll need to:

When you pass the test you will be issued a tow truck certificate. this is valid for one year and is renewable annually.

If you will be working for a business granted a position on the accident towing rosters you will need to be issued an accident tow truck certificate. This incurs a higher fee than the trade-only tow truck certificate.

Related information


Accident Towing Authority
Department for Infrastructure and Transport
Phone - 8260 0572

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Page last updated 21 February 2023

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