POLICE Department

Auto Dealers Detail - Auto Theft Division

    The SafeClear Program, originally begun in 2005, has recently been made a part of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s regional traffic management plan, and will now be known as the Tow and Go Program. The Program operates as follows:

    • • Stalled vehicles on Houston’s freeways will be towed to a nearby safe location off the freeway at no cost to the motorist
    • • If your vehicle has a good spare and a jack, the wrecker driver will change your flat tire at no cost
    • • If you wish to be towed to your home or another location, the City of Houston’s non-consent tow fee applies, which is currently $167 for the first 20 miles, and 2% per mile thereafter
    • • Your vehicle can be towed to a nearby storage lot, where it will be stored at no cost for up to 48 hours.  Storage fees will begin to accrue after 48 hours
    • • The tollways and the Katy Freeway HOT lanes are not included

    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.


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