Tow truck operators

Applying 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 of 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).

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 for a tow truck certificate

1. Complete and lodge the application forms

You'll need to:

  • Go to a metropolitan Service SA customer service centre and ask for the tow truck certificate application forms (MR410, MR420 and MR428).
  • Take your national police certificate, five passport type photographs of yourself, the appropriate fee and your driver's licence.
  • Your application will then be forwarded to Accident Towing & Investigations (ATI) for assessment.


  • phone ATI on 8260 0572 to arrange for the applications and information to be posted to you
  • post your application to ATI at Post Office Box 196, Ingle Farm SA 5098 (applications can't be lodged in person at ATI).

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 with 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:

  • pay the fee for the test at a Service SA customer service centre
  • telephone 8260 0572 and quote your receipt details to arrange a test date.

For further information about the test phone 8463 3912 and ask to speak to an accreditation officer.

When you pass the test you will be issued with 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 with an accident tow truck certificate. This incurs a higher fee than the trade-only tow truck certificate.

Related information


Accident Towing and Investigations
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
Phone - 8260 0572

Was this page useful?

Take a moment to tell us why. If you need a response send an enquiry instead.

Page last updated 30 November 2016

Provided by:
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
Last Updated:
Printed on:
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2018