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4 Ways to File a Complaint Against a Towing Company

Camila Lopez - Towing - June 5, 2024

Start by writing a demand letter to the towing company using our free tool.

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Contents

    If you are currently dealing with a dispute against a towing company and can’t seem to reach a resolution, consider filing a complaint against the towing company. 

    In this article, we go over 4 ways on how to file a complaint against a towing company:  

    1. Demand Letter. Send a demand letter to the towing company. 

    2. BBB. File a Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaint against the towing company. 

    3. Small Claims Court. Sue the towing company in small claims. 

    4. Government Complaint. File a complaint with the agency in your state that regulates towing companies. 

    Save this article for future reference as you may need to try multiple ways of filing a complaint to resolve your problem with the towing company.

    Did you know that we have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a demand letter to a towing company?  Check out our demand letter tool.

    Common Complaints Against Towing Companies

    Here are some common types of complaints we see against towing companies: 

    • Damage to Vehicle

    • Damage to Property

    • Refusal to Return Property Left in Vehicle

    • Charged an Excessive Rate for Tow

    • Predatory Towing

    • Nonconsensual Towing

    Option 1: Send a Demand Letter

    A demand letter outlines the problem you are having with the towing company, what action you would like the towing company to take and a deadline for when they need to take that action. 

    For example, if the towing company damaged your side-view mirror while towing your car, you could proceed to write a demand letter demanding reimbursement for the cost of replacing the side-view mirror.

    Here is what you can consider including in your demand letter: 

    • How much money you are owed.

    • Why are you owed money.

    • Where to send payment. 

    • A deadline when you expect a response. 

    A demand letter is an effective way to let the tow company know you are serious about your complaint and are willing to escalate the problem until they have resolved it. 

    Did you know that we have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a demand letter to a towing company?  Check out our demand letter tool.

    Here is a video on how our demand letter tool works:

    Option 2: File a BBB Complaint

    Still haven’t resolved your complaint? Consider filing a BBB complaint.

    The BBB is a nonprofit organization with the goal of promoting transparency between businesses and consumers by providing information and resources to consumers to help resolve disputes with businesses. 

    Despite not having the authority to force a towing company to resolve consumer complaints, a towing company may respond to BBB complaints for the following reasons: 

    • Businesses accredited with the BBB can have their accreditation revoked if they do not respond and the complaint would become part of their profile. 

    • Unaccredited businesses will have the complaint become part of their BBB profile. 

    • Negative BBB reviews can hurt a business’s reputation. 

    Before filing the BBB complaint, review the towing company’s profile on the BBB to determine if they have a history of responding to complaints. If they have left their complaints unresponded to, you may be wasting your time filing a complaint with the BBB.

    Once you file your complaint against a towing company, the BBB will forward your complaint to the towing company within 2 business days. The towing company will be asked to respond within 14 days and you will be notified of the business’s response when the BBB receives it or if the business fails to respond. 

    Learn more about filing a complaint with the BBB.

    Option 3: Sue the Tow Company in Small Claims

    If your previous attempts at resolution have been unsuccessful, it may be time to take the tow company to small claims court. 

    Each state has a different process for small claims court, so make sure to check out our 50-state guide to small claims court

    Here are some quick facts about suing a towing company in small claims: 

    • The maximum amount you can sue for ranges between $2,500 and $25,000. 

    • The filing fees range between $0 and $125.

    • You may also need to pay to notify the the towing company about the lawsuit (serving), and this can range from $0 and $125. 

    Option 4: File a Complaint Against the Towing Company with your State Regulator

    If the tow was between different states, consider calling the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) complaint line: 1-888-368-7238 as they may review your complaint. 

    Otherwise, towing companies are regulated on a state level (and sometimes even at a city level) so you would need to file a complaint with the government agency that regulates towing companies in your state. 

    If there isn’t a specific agency that regulates towing companies in your state, you would file the complaint with your state’s attorney general (here is a guide to attorney general complaints in all 50 states). 

    Below we have provided a 50-state guide detailing how to file your complaint against a towing company with your state regulator.

    Alabama

    The Alabama Public Service Commission regulates the transportation services in the state and processes complaints against towing companies. 

    • Online: To file a complaint online, submit your complaint against the towing company here. 

    • Mail: To mail your complaint, follow the instructions outlined here. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone line at 800-392-8050 or 334-242-5211. 

    Alaska

    The Alaska Department of Law Consumer Protection unit assists victims of unfair business practices by encouraging citizens to file a consumer complaint. 

    • Online: To file a complaint online, fill out this complaint form and email it to [email protected]

    • Mail: To mail your complaint, print and fill out this complaint form and send it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone line at 907-269-5200 or 1-888-576-2529. 

    Arizona 

    The Arizona Attorney General’s Office investigates consumer complaints involving deceptive or unfair practices in the sale or advertisement of goods or services. Arizona does not have a state regulatory agency for towing companies. 

    • Online: To file a complaint online, submit your complaint here. 

    • Mail: To mail your complaint, print and fill out this complaint form and mail it to this address: 2005 N Central Ave, Attn: Consumer Information and Complaints, Phoenix, AZ 85004. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Office’s phone line at 602-542-5025. 

    Arkansas

    The Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board offers a complaint process for consumers designed to handle disputes that cannot be resolved through a normal course of business. 

    • Online: To file a complaint online, fill out this complaint form and email it to [email protected]

    • Mail: To mail your complaint, print and fill out this complaint form and mail it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Board’s phone line at 501-682-3801. 

    California

    In the California Vehicle Code Section 21100, the legislature permits local authorities to regulate tow truck services companies and operators. The local government determines the laws regulating the towing industry and in many California cities, the police department is where to file a complaint against a towing company. 

    Learn more about filing a complaint against a towing company in California. 

    Colorado

    The Colorado Public Utilities Commission regulates Colorado’s approximately 730 towing companies and processes consumer complaints. 

    • Online: To file a complaint online, answer the following questions here. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone line at 303-894-200 or email: [email protected]

    Connecticut

    The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles investigates issues of nonconsensual towing and storage charges. 

    • Mail: To mail your complaint, print and fill out two copies of this form and send one copy to the DMV consumer complaint center and the other to the dealership or repair shop that the complaint concerns.  

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Connecticut DMV’s phone line at 860-263-5700 or 800-842-8222. 

    Delaware

    The Delaware Division of Professional Regulation regulates towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To file a complaint online, answer the following questions here. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Division’s phone line at 302-744-4500 and ask to speak to an investigator or email: [email protected]

    Florida

    The towing laws in Florida are defined by Florida Statute §715.07 and do not prevent the enactment of additional laws by any city or county. To file a complaint refer to local law enforcement.

    Georgia

    The Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) regulates nonconsensual towing from private property, however, the Georgia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division recommends the following steps for filing a complaint about a consensual towing experience: 

    • Contact the towing company to resolve the issue. 

    • If the vehicle was towed from property within city limits, review that city’s towing laws for any special regulations that towing companies must comply with. 

    • You may be able to file a complaint with local law enforcement. 

    Hawaii

    The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission regulates all towing companies operating in the state and processes complaints filed against them. 

    • Online: To file a complaint online, fill out this complaint form. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone line at 808-586-2020 or email [email protected]

    Idaho

    The regulations of towing companies in Idaho vary from city to city. The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for regulating tow companies within Canyon County. Questions: Direct your questions to the Office’s phone number: 208-649-1818. 

    Illinois

    The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) licenses relocation towing companies and tow truck operators and is where you can file your complaint with a towing company. 

    • Mail: To mail your complaint, download and print this form and send it to the ICC Transportation Division. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone number at: 217-782-4654 and Press 7. 

    Indiana

    The Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services processes complaints for the city of Indianapolis. 

    • Online: To file a complaint with the Department online, email [email protected] with the details of your complaint. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number 317-327-8697 or email: [email protected]

    Iowa

    The regulations of towing companies in Iowa vary from city to city. Direct your complaints to the law enforcement agency that towed your vehicle. 

    Kansas

    The Kansas Corporation Commission Transportation Division (KCC) ensures regulatory oversight of motor carriers with the goal of protecting the public interest. 

    • Online: To file a complaint with the KCC, follow the instructions listed on their website here. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone number 785-271-3140 or email: [email protected]

    Kentucky

    The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Division of Motor Carriers aims is where you can file your consumer complaint against a towing company in the state of Kentucky. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, download and fill out this form and email it to: [email protected]

    • Mail: To mail your complaint, download and print this form and mail it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Division’s phone number at: 502-564-1257. 

    Louisiana

    The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) regulates nonconsensual towing in the state and allows consumers to file a complaint against a towing company via email, postal mail, or by phone/fax. The Commission requests the following information when submitting a complaint: 

    • Name, Address, Parish, and Phone Number

    • Email Address, if applicable

    • Name of Company you are complaining about

    • A brief statement of facts

    Maine

    The Maine Attorney General’s Consumer Information and Mediation Service processes complaints against towing companies and offers mediation services to assist in resolving your dispute. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form.

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Division’s phone number at: 207-626-8849. 

    Maryland

    The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration processes complaints against towing companies. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint to the administration fill out this form and mail it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the administration’s phone number 410-333-6830. 

    Massachusetts

    The Massachusetts State Police serves as the statewide law enforcement agency and processes complaints against towing companies.

    • Online: To submit a complaint to the State Police online, submit this report. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail fill out this form and mail it to the address listed in it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the State Police’s phone number at: 508-988-7018 or email: [email protected]

    Mississippi

    The Mississippi Highway Patrol states that no law in Mississippi regulates what towing companies can charge but individual cities have their laws. Direct your questions to the Patrol’s phone number 601-987-1212.  

    Missouri

    The Missouri Department of Revenue processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail fill out this form and mail it to the address listed in it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number: 573-526-3669 or email: [email protected]

    Montana

    The Montana Office of Consumer Protection advocates on behalf of Montana consumers in matters of unfair business practices. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint to the office, fill out this online complaint form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail fill out this form and mail it to the address listed in it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the office’s phone number at: 406-444-4500 or email: [email protected]

    Nebraska

    Regulation of towing companies in Nebraska at the state level is unclear but in Omaha, the state’s biggest city, there is an appeal process if you feel your vehicle should not have been towed. 

    The Omaha Police Department says you may request a Fee Waiver Request form in person to dispute fees or the towing of your vehicle. 

    Nevada

    The Nevada Transportation Authority enforces state laws having to do with towing companies. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out the tow complaint form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail fill out this form, print it, and mail it to either of the office locations listed: 3300 W. Sahara Ave, Ste 200, Las Vegas, NV 89102 or 1755 E. Plumb Lane, Ste 229, Reno, NV 89502

    • Questions: Direct your questions to this phone number: 702-486-3303 or email: [email protected]

    New Hampshire

    The New Hampshire Department of Justice is responsible for processing complaints filed against towing companies. 

    • Online: To file a complaint online, you need to register with the state. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, download this form and mail it to the address listed in it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to this phone number: 603-271-3641 or email [email protected]

    New Jersey

    The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form with the correct type of complaint. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail fill out this form and mail it to the address listed in it.

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Division’s phone number: 973-504-6200 or email: [email protected]

    New Mexico

    The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone number: 1-888-427-5772. 

    New York

    The New York Department of State Division of Consumer Protection processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form.

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to the addresses listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number: 518-474-8583. 

    North Carolina

    The North Carolina Department of Transportation processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number: 919-715-7000. 

    North Dakota

    The North Dakota Attorney General processes consumer complaints in the state. North Dakota does not have a state regulatory agency for towing companies. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Mailing: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Office’s phone number: 701-328-2210. 

    Ohio

    The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio regulates private towing in the state and processes filed complaints. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone number: 800-686-7826. 

    Oklahoma

    The Oklahoma Corporation Commission processes complaints for nonconsensual towing in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone number: 405-522-0131 or email: [email protected]

    Oregon

    The Oregon Department of Justice offers consumer protection services and processes towing complaints in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number: 1-877-877-9392. 

    Pennsylvania

    The Pennsylvania Attorney General Bureau of Consumer Protection processes complaints against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Bureau’s phone number: 1-800-441-2555 or email: [email protected]

    Rhode Island

    The Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities Commission processes complaints against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone number: 401-941-4500 or email the motor carrier clerk: [email protected]

    South Carolina

    The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs helps resolve consumer complaints to promote a healthy competitive business climate. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, register an account and fill out this form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number: 800-922-1594.

    South Dakota

    The South Dakota Office of the Attorney General receives complaints filed against businesses in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Office’s phone number: 605-773-4400. 

    Tennessee

    The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security ensures the safe and efficient removal of vehicles being towed in the state. 

    • Mail: Submit a written complaint to the District Wrecker Lieutenant where the vehicle was towed. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number 615-251-5166. 

    Texas

    The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number: 512-463-6599. 

    Utah

    The Utah Department of Transportation processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number: 801-965-4000 or email: [email protected]

    Vermont

    The Vermont Office of the Attorney General processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Office’s phone number: 802-828-3171. 

    Virginia

    The Virginia Office of the Attorney General processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state.

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Office’s phone number at 800-552-9963 or 804-786-2042. 

    Washington

    The Washington State Department of Licensing processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this online vehicle business complaint form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number at 360-664-6484 or email: [email protected]

    West Virginia

    The West Virginia Public Service Commission helps resolve complaints in third-party towing cases in the state. 

    • Online: To submit an informal complaint online, fill out this online complaint form.

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and submit it to this address: Karen Buckley, Executive Secretary Public Service Commission of West Virginia 201 Brooks Street, P.O. Box 812 Charleston, West Virginia 25323. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Commission’s phone number at: 800-344-5113. 

    Wisconsin

    The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection processes towing company complaints filed by consumers in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this online complaint form. 

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail, fill out this form and mail it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number 800-422-7128 or email [email protected]

    Wyoming

    The Wyoming Highway Patrol processes complaints filed against towing companies in the state. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this complaint form and email it to [email protected]

    • Mail: To submit a complaint via mail fill out this form and mail it to the address listed within it. 

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Patrol’s phone number: 307-777-4375. 

    Washington D.C. 

    The Washington D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs processes complaints filed against towing companies. 

    • Online: To submit a complaint online, fill out this form.

    • Questions: Direct your questions to the Department’s phone number: 202-442-4400 or email: [email protected]

    Author

    Camila Lopez

    Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Camila holds a law degree and is a certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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