POLICE Department

Auto Dealers Detail - Auto Theft Division

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  • Automotive Board meeting will be held on Monday, May 9th, 2016 at 10 AM for the month of May
  • New Non-Consent and Heavy Duty Tow Rates – Effective January 1, 2018

    Non-Consent Tow Fees
    Non-Consent Tows $167.00
    Heavy-Duty Tows $253.50 per hour, 2-hour minimum

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.  For applications pending Board approval see Applications Pending

New link for wrecker drivers to schedule appointments. https://coh.hosted.acftechnologies.com/

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
(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