Houston Police Department

Auto Dealers Detail - Auto Theft Division


Home | Business Licenses | Individual Licenses | Vehicle Auction | Auto Dealers Detail FAQ | Automotive Repair Facility FAQ | Towed Vehicles FAQ | License Fee Schedule | Automotive Board | PATSA Contract | Heavy Duty PATSA Contract | PPSLA Contract | Contact Us | Background Check | Appointment Scheduling (Wreckers Only) | FastPass Form | Proposed Changes to Chapter 8



Our Mission

The Auto Dealers Detail is responsible for the licensing and regulation of automotive related businesses and the disposal of abandoned motor vehicles in vehicle storage facilities. The mission of the unit is to insure that the automotive industry complies with the many laws that govern their operations and to dispose of unclaimed vehicles through public auction.

Business Licensing

Created in 1945, the unit licenses a variety of automotive related trades including car dealerships and salespersons, repair shops, salvage yards, storage lots, tow truck drivers, paid parking lots, and auto parts stores. Each of these trades must meet their own unique licensing requirements and comply with business specific federal and state laws and city ordinances. To learn more go to Business Licenses or Individual Licenses. All license applications are subject to the approval of the City of Houston Automotive Board.  For applications pending Board approval see Applications Pending

We now offer appointment scheduling for wrecker driver licensing. Please go to Appointment Scheduling (Wreckers Only) to schedule an appointment.


Vehicle Auction Process

The Houston Police Department conducts the public auction of unclaimed vehicles in state licensed vehicle storage facilities as required by Chapter 683 of the Texas Transportation Code. This process includes the notification of registered owners and lienholders of a pending sale and a notice of auction to the general public. For details go to Vehicle Auction

Safe Clear

The purpose of the Safe Clear program is to save lives, reduce traffic congestion, and ensure that citizens are treated fairly by wrecker drivers. Citizens who have questions or complaints about the City’s Safe Clear program should contact Auto Dealers Detail by phone or go to Contact Us. The Safe Clear Motorist Bill of Rights link is below and is both in English and Spanish.

Motorist Bill of Rights

Safe Clear Web Site


Complaint Investigation

Regulation includes the investigation of complaints received on licensed and unlicensed businesses. To file a complaint with our office go to Contact Us


Issues of the day!

When involved in a crash in the City of Houston, an important law to remember is that the tow truck operators role is to tow your vehicle per a police officers direction. The law forbids tow truck operators to solicit your business for towing, removing, or repairing any abandoned or disabled vehicle at a police scene by words, cards, or gestures until such time as a law enforcement officer has departed from the scene. Therefore, under this Ordinance, a tow truck operator will be in violation of the law if they should approach you offering, suggesting or requesting to have your vehicle taken to a body shop for the repair of your vehicle.


Auto Dealers Detail
Click the map to open an interactive map in a new window.
Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 4 PM
Phone:
(832) 394-4800
24/7 Emergency Number:
(832) 394-4869 (HTOW)
Fax:
(832) 394-4801
Address:
Houston Permitting Center
1002 Washington Ave.
Mail:
PO Box 3408
Houston, TX 77253-3408
E-mail: