POLICE Department

Auto Dealers Detail - Auto Theft Division

  • 2021 PATSA
  • The 2021 revised Police Authorized Tow Service Agreement can be found here. Auto Dealers has prepared a Power Point presentation to assist you in filling out the PATSA. Call Auto Dealers at (832) 394-4800 if you have any questions.

  • The 2021 PATSA is due in Auto Dealers by November 1, 2021, at the close of business. The three major changes are as follows:

  • Only workers’ compensation insurance is acceptable
  • Cargo on hook insurance has been raised to $100,000
  • Only the name of the tow company can be on the front door of the wrecker.

  • This must be completed upon submission of the PATSA.

  • New PPSLA contract and ordinance changes:
  • After the industry meetings in June, Auto Dealers received feedback. Some changes to the PPSLA and Chapter 8 were made in response to the feedback. Please review the proposed revisions. A video was made highlighting the changes. You can view the video here: Bit.ly/PPSLASeptRevisions.
  • For information regarding the upcoming PPSLA contract and ordinance changes, please click on the following video links.
  • Ordinance Revision: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAmCdMTPrZc
  • PPSLA: https://youtu.be/Tb2etE0n5Cc

  • After watching the videos and reviewing the documents, please email any questions, comments, or concerns to hpd.autodealers@houstonpolice.org. We will not be responding to individual emails. However, the Auto Dealers Detail will host question and answer sessions via Microsoft TEAMS and in-person meetings tentatively scheduled for June 15th and June 16th to address the questions, comments and concerns we receive.

    Please ensure that your email address on file is current, as we will be sending out meeting information to existing contract holders as soon as the dates/times are finalized. You will not need to download the TEAMS app to join a virtual meeting. You can access a meeting using a computer or a phone.

  • Auto Dealers Detail
    Phone:  (832) 394-4800
    E-mail: HPD.AutoDealers@HoustonPolice.org

    PPSLA_Revision_9-2021.pdf | PPSLA_CODE_AMENDMENTS_REDLINE_5.12.21.pdf

Our Mission

The primary objective of the Auto Dealers Detail is to regulate, inspect, and license automotive businesses and salespersons, oversee the towing and storage industry, dispose of vehicles abandoned in storage facilities, and to administer agreements with storage lots and towing companies that service the police department. Another goal of the unit is to ensure that the automotive industry complies with the many laws that govern their operations and to ensure consumer protection. The Auto Dealers Detail is devoted to working cooperatively with all of its customers seeking creative and innovative ideas to continually provide excellent quality customer service.

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. 

Link to schedule appointments. https://cohcal.cxmflow.com/AppWizard/AppHome.aspx

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.


The purpose of the TOW AND GO 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 TOW AND GO program should contact Auto Dealers Detail by phone or go to Contact Us. The TOW AND GO Motorist Bill of Rights link is below and is both in English and Spanish.

Motorist Guidelines


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
Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 4 PM
(832) 394-4800
24/7 Emergency Number:
(832) 394-4869 (HTOW)
(832) 394-4801
Houston Permitting Center
1002 Washington Ave.
PO Box 3408
Houston, TX 77253-3408