• WORLD CLASS TRAINING – As we always say, a trained driver is an effective and productive driver. California Tow Truck Association offers incredible training opportunities through the Emergency Road Service Coalition of America (ERSCA) platform at discounted rates for our members. 
  • Intro to Towing – Excellent online entry level training for new operators onboarding/orientation.
    • Essentials of Standard Duty Towing & Recovery – Outstanding training program for all drivers who operate any towing or service unit under 26,000 lbs.  Meets the TSAAC/CHP requirements for Operators working with the motoring public under the direction of the California Highway Patrol along with local law enforcement agencies and many of the motor clubs. 
    • Electric Vehicles – New for 2024.  No prerequisite however those who have taken Essentials of Standard Duty Towing & Recovery and have a current certificate, this will qualify as continuing education and will be issued a certificate that meets the TSAAC/CHP requirements.
    • Advanced Winch & Rigging Safety for Standard Duty – New for 2024.  No prerequisite however those who have taken Essentials of Standard Duty Towing & Recovery and have a current certificate, this will qualify as continuing education and will be issued a certificate that meets the TSAAC/CHP requirements.
    • Essentials of Heavy Duty Towing & Recovery – For operators who operate towing units above 26,000 GVW.  Commercial License or Permit are the only prerequisite requirements.  Meets the TSAAC/CHP requirements for Operators working with the motoring public under the direction of the California Highway Patrol along with local law enforcement agencies and many of the motor clubs.
    • Advanced Winch & Rigging Safety for Heavy Duty – New for 2024.  Commercial License or Permit is the only prerequisite requirements.  Operators who have taken Essentials of Heavy-Duty Towing & Recovery and have a current certificate, this will qualify as continuing education and will be issued a certificate that meets the TSAAC/CHP requirements.
    • Electronic Certificates – for all training events that meet the TSAAC/CHP requirements.  These certificates are QR code protected so the receiver can verify the issuance and expiration can be validated.

Our training platform along with additional information is located at the Emergency Road Service Coalition of America (ERSCA) Website –

CARB Clean Truck Check Compliance Begins January 1, 2024

Beginning on January 1, 2024, all heavy-duty vehicles operating in California will need proof of compliance with the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Clean Truck Check regulations to continue operating in the state. Vehicles must be registered in the Clean Truck Check database by December 31st, 2023, which is found here:

Clean Truck Check, formerly known as the Heavy-Duty Inspection and Maintenance Program, was approved by CARB in 2021 to test heavy-duty vehicles’ emissions control systems for proper operation. Nearly all diesel and alternative fuel vehicles over 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating that operate in California, including personal vehicles, will be required to comply.

Clean Truck Check is being implemented in three phases.

Phase 1, which started January 1, 2023, began with the deployment of Remote Emissions Monitoring Devices (REMD) to monitor the exhaust emissions of passing heavy-duty vehicles and flag potential high emitters that may receive a Notice to Submit to Testing (NST).  NST’s require vehicle owners to submit a passing compliance test to CARB after any necessary emissions-related repairs are made within 30 days of receipt of the notice.

Phase 2, which started October 1st, 2023, requires vehicle owners who are subject to the program to enter their vehicles in CARB’s Clean Truck Check database and pay an initial annual compliance fee of $30 per vehicle by December 31st, 2023.  Starting January 1, 2024, all trucks driving in California will need proof of compliance with these requirements to continue operating in the state. Operating in California without registration in the compliance database could result in violations from CARB and/or the CHP.

Phase 3, which starts January 1, 2024, and applies to all compliance deadlines after July 1, 2024, requires heavy-duty vehicle owners to conduct periodic emissions testing on their vehicles, similar to California’s Smog Check program for cars.  Per CARB, for 2024 only, all vehicles subject to semiannual compliance testing will be required to test and submit results to CARB one time.  Starting in 2025, these vehicles will have semiannual compliance deadlines (two each year, one every six months).  In three years, this testing requirement will jump to four times a year. 

For California-registered vehicles, the due dates, called compliance testing deadlines, are linked to each vehicle’s DMV registration expiration/renewal date. Passing test results may be submitted up to 90 days before a compliance deadline (so, as early as April 2024).

Testing requirements vary based on whether the vehicle is equipped with onboard diagnostics (OBD).  OBD-equipped vehicles are required to undergo a scan of the engines’ OBD data using a CARB-validated OBD test device. Non-OBD vehicles are required to undergo a smoke opacity test and a visual inspection of the vehicle’s emissions control equipment, referred to in this program as the Vehicle Emissions Control Equipment Inspection. The smoke opacity test is the same SAE J1667 snap acceleration smoke inspection used to comply with CARB’s Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP).

Clean Truck Check program information can be found here:


Sacramento, CA • January 8, 2020

After years of working closely with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) on the changes, the California Tow Truck Association (CTTA) is proud to report that revisions to California’s hours-of-service regulations for California tow truck operators have been finalized and will take effect on April 1, 2020. Given the unworkability of existing hours-of-service rules for the tow industry – whose workload is unpredictable by nature – CTTA’s Towing Regulatory Oversight Council (T-ROC) worked exhaustively to help craft amendments that address the unique working conditions of
the tow industry without jeopardizing motorist safety. The T-ROC brought these proposed changes to the CTTA Board for approval before the CHP ultimately completed the lengthy
legal process required to enact regulatory amendments.

Specific to “tow truck operators,” the following provisions were added to California’s hours-of service regulations found in Title 13, California Code of Regulations, section 1212, paragraph (q):

  • Tow truck drivers will be allowed to use the 16 hour “on-duty” time non-consecutively, similar to farm products drivers. It will not be limited to a 24-hour period, rather whenever a tow truck driver first hits 12 hours of non-consecutive driving time or 16 hours of nonconsecutive on-duty time, he or she would need to take 10 hours off-duty. Previously the “on-duty” time kept running once a driver began his or her shift. This increased flexibility will help address the unpredictable nature of the tow industry.
  • The exemption will apply when driving all light- and heavy-duty tow trucks “as defined in Section 615(a) CVC, equipped with at least one permanently mounted and operational boom, winch, under-lift device, or other equipment designed, used, or maintained for the purpose of lifting, carrying, securing or towing a disabled vehicle.” It will also not have any geographic or line of business limitations – it will apply equally across the industry, regardless of how the tow was initiated or by whom. Equal application to all towers was critical for the T-ROC. It will not apply when driving a Haz Mat truck, or truck-tractor, any motor truck used to tow a trailer (defined in section 34500(e)), or any other vehicle not equipped as described above.
  • It includes the following two “tracking” requirements:
    • Drivers using this exception shall complete a driver’s record of duty status pursuant to section 1213 for each 24 hour period while using the exception and for the seven 24-hour periods immediately following the use of the exception.
    • The employing motor carrier of any driver shall report all incidents to the CHP within 15 calendar days. An “incident” would include any injury to a driver, public, emergency response personnel, or other party at the scene, directly attributable to the driver that results in lost time beyond the employee’s work shift or medical treatment beyond first aid, or damage to any property exceeding $500.

The final adopted regulatory text is available on the CHP’s Regulatory Actions website at:

CTTA thanks the T-ROC for its tireless dedication to this issue. Addressing hours-of-service workability issues was a priority for the T-ROC from day one of its inception in 2013. While not a quick, nor easy process, it demonstrates the tow industry’s ability to progress when united, thoughtful, and persistent. Please direct any questions or comments to


CLICK HERE to download a .pdf of this release

Recent CTTA Legislative & Regulatory Victories

CTTA’s legislative program is designed to protect and advance the interests of professional towing companies at the California State Capitol.  Thanks to the dedication of CTTA’s Towing Regulatory Oversight Council (T-ROC), with help from its legislative advocates Ellison Wilson Advocacy and other stakeholders including the Emergency Road Service Coalition of America (ERSCA), CTTA has proudly achieved the following legislative and regulatory victories over recent years:

  • Changes to Hours-of-Service Regulations for Tow Truck Operators were the result of years of collaborative discussions with state regulators to address the unique working conditions of the tow industry – whose workload is unpredictable by nature – without jeopardizing motorist safety.  In order to increase flexibility for tow companies, amendments were ultimately adopted to allow tow truck operators to use the 16-hour “on-duty” time non-consecutively.
  • AB 2825 (Jones-Sawyer) would have required towing companies to provide free oral and written translation services to non-English speakers, and would also have applied the burdensome, and expensive requirements that currently apply to debt collectors to “at the counter” tow company transactions.  CTTA worked closely with the author and Legislature to explain the workability problems with the bill, as well as the negative financial consequences it would have on our small businesses, and ultimately the bill was killed before it made it to the Governor’s desk.
  • AB 1222 (Bloom) would have authorized every city and county in the state to regulate and tax any tower that simply drove through its jurisdiction, which would have been economically disastrous to towing companies throughout the state.  CTTA had its entire membership directly contact Assemblymember Bloom and other members of the Legislature, which successfully persuaded him to remove the offensive provision and work with CTTA on a reasonable bill that minimized the impact on professional towers.
  • AB 2392 (Santiago) was introduced by the insurance industry to reduce perceived “unreasonable” fees in the towing industry.  After months of negotiations between the tow industry, insurance representatives, and other stakeholders, the bill was amended to minimize the negative repercussions and ultimate tied “reasonable” rates to those authorized by law enforcement or comparable rates charged by other towing companies in the same locale.
  • AB 873 (Jones) would have subjected towing companies to regulation by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) if they did so much as change a vehicle’s battery.  In order to avoid more unnecessary governmental regulation on the towing industry, CTTA successfully argued alongside fellow stakeholders for a complete exemption from BAR for all towers performing roadside service that have a valid Motor Carrier Permit and are in the BIT Program.
  • AB 306 (Lowenthal) was formulated and sponsored by CTTA to increase safety on California’s roadways and level the playing field by requiring any business that contracts with a tow company to obtain proof of a valid motor carrier permit (MCP) before allowing the tower to retrieve vehicles from or deliver vehicles to its premises.
  • AB 198 (Frazier) legally allowed tow truck drivers to use the center median or right shoulder upon the direction of a peace officer.  Supported by CTTA, AB 198 allowed tow trucks to more rapidly render assistance to disabled vehicles or debris obstructing a roadway, as well as facilitating the free flow of traffic, thus reducing the number of secondary crashes.
  • AB 2586 (Gatto) included an unreasonable provision that would have required towers to provide free towing and storage to owners of stolen vehicles.  After intense lobbying from the tow industry, the author agreed to remove this offensive towing provision from his bill due to the unjustified negative impact this provision would have had on the small businesses in the tow industry.

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