Colorado Tow Laws

Colorado Tow Laws: Towing Regulations (Need A 24-Hour Notice?)

by Samuel Gitukui

Understanding Colorado’s Towing Laws: What You Need to Know

Colorado tow laws are complex and can be confusing for those unfamiliar with them. It is important to understand the regulations in order to ensure that your vehicle is towed legally and safely.

This article will provide an overview of Colorado tow laws, including what types of vehicles may be towed, when a tow truck may be used, and how much a tow truck operator can charge for services.

In Colorado, any vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds must have a valid permit from the Department of Transportation before it can be towed on public roads or highways.

The permit must include information about the type of vehicle being towed as well as its weight and length (for more context, check out our guides on the average car weight). Additionally, all tow trucks operating in Colorado must meet certain safety standards set by the state government to ensure that they are properly equipped for safe operation on public roads or highways.

Tow trucks may only operate between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm unless they have been granted special permission by local law enforcement authorities or if they are responding to an emergency situation such as an accident or breakdown on the side of the road.

Tow truck operators cannot charge more than $150 per hour for their services unless otherwise specified by local law enforcement authorities or if additional fees apply due to special circumstances such as long-distance hauling or hazardous materials transportation fees associated with certain types of vehicles being transported.

It is also important for drivers who need their vehicles towed in Colorado to know that there are specific requirements regarding how far away from other cars parked along a street a tow truck operator can park his/her vehicle while performing services; this distance varies depending upon whether it is day time (25 feet) versus night time (50 feet).

Furthermore, all drivers should make sure that their insurance policy covers any damage caused during transportation so that they do not incur unexpected costs related to repairs after having their car moved by a tow truck service provider.

Finally, it is important for drivers who need assistance from a tow truck service provider in Colorado to understand what rights they have under state law when dealing with these companies; these rights include but are not limited to receiving written estimates prior to payment, having access too records detailing charges incurred during transportation, receiving notification prior too any changes made regarding pick up location and being able to receive refunds if unsatisfied with services rendered.

Understanding Colorado tow laws helps keep everyone safe while ensuring compliance with applicable regulations governing this industry within our state borders.

By familiarizing yourself with these rules you will help protect yourself against potential legal issues which could arise due to improper use of licensed professionals providing roadside assistance within the state.

How to Avoid Unlawful Towing in Colorado

Towing is a necessary service in many cases, but it can also be used unlawfully. In Colorado, there are laws and regulations that must be followed to ensure that towing is done legally. Knowing these rules and the Colorado tow laws can help you avoid unlawful towing in the state of Colorado.

First, it’s important to understand who has the authority to tow your vehicle. Generally speaking, only law enforcement officers or parking lot owners have the right to tow vehicles from their property without permission from the owner of the vehicle.

If you find your car has been towed without authorization from either of these parties, then it may have been done unlawfully and you should contact an attorney for advice on how best to proceed with getting your car back or seeking compensation for damages caused by an illegal tow.

Second, if a parking lot owner does authorize a tow truck operator or company to remove vehicles from their property they must follow certain procedures as outlined by Colorado tow laws:

• The parking lot owner must post signs at least 12 inches square with letters at least two inches high stating that unauthorized vehicles will be towed away at the owner’s expense;

• The sign must include contact information for both the parking lot owner and/or authorized tower;

• A notice containing all relevant information about where and when a vehicle was towed must be left on or near each vehicle before it is removed;

• All fees associated with any storage costs incurred while waiting for payment of fines related directly to the removal of said vehicle shall not exceed $50 per day;

• Any charges related directly to removal shall not exceed $150 plus applicable taxes unless otherwise agreed upon between parties involved prior to removal taking place;

• No lien may be placed against any motorized conveyance until all fees associated directly with its removal are paid in full including applicable taxes due thereon (if any).

Finally, if you believe that your car has been wrongfully towed in violation of these laws then you should contact an attorney immediately as they will know how best advice on what steps need to be taken next so as protect yourself legally against such actions being taken again in future instances involving same party(ies).

Fun fact, if you want to learn more about traffic and car laws, check out our other reviews below:

The Pros and Cons of Using a Private Tow Company in Colorado

The decision to use a private tow company in Colorado can be a difficult one. On the one hand, it can provide convenience and cost savings, but on the other hand, there are potential risks involved.

To help you make an informed decision about whether or not to use a private tow company in Colorado (as well as the Colorado tow laws), here is an overview of some of the pros and cons associated with this option.


1. Cost Savings: Private tow companies often charge lower rates than those charged by government-run services such as police departments or highway patrol units. This can result in significant cost savings for those who need to have their vehicle towed away from an accident scene or other location where it has become disabled.

2. Convenience: Private tow companies are typically available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, making them much more convenient than government-run services which may only operate during certain hours of the day or night depending on their jurisdiction’s regulations and staffing levels at any given time.

3. Professionalism: Many private tow companies employ experienced professionals who understand how to safely transport vehicles from one location to another without causing further damage or injury to either people or property along the way – something that cannot always be said for government-run services which may lack adequate training and experience when it comes to handling these types of situations properly.


1. Liability Issues: Private tow companies do not always carry sufficient insurance coverage for accidents that occur while they are transporting vehicles from one place to another. This means that if someone is injured due to negligence on behalf of the driver, then they could potentially sue both parties involved – including you as well as the company itself.

2. Quality Control: Since there is no governmental oversight over private tow companies, there is no guarantee that they will adhere strictly adhere safety standards when transporting your vehicle. This could lead to problems down the road if something goes wrong during transit due to poor maintenance practices by staff members employed by these businesses.

3. Unreliability: It’s possible that some unscrupulous operators might take advantage of unsuspecting customers by charging exorbitant fees for substandard service, leaving them stranded without recourse after having paid out large sums of money upfront with nothing show for it afterward except frustration and wasted time spent waiting around helplessly until help arrives (if ever).

What Are the Penalties for Violating Colorado’s Towing Laws?

Violations of Colorado tow laws can result in serious penalties. Depending on the severity of the violation, a person may face fines, jail time, or both.

  • The most common violations are related to improper signage and notification requirements for tow truck operators. If a tow truck operator fails to post proper signs at the scene of a tow or fails to provide written notice prior to removing a vehicle from private property, they may be subject to fines up to $500 per violation.
  • In addition, if an operator charges excessive fees or engages in deceptive practices such as failing to return personal items left in towed vehicles without charging additional fees, they may be subject to civil penalties of up $2,000 per violation and/or criminal prosecution with potential jail time of up six months and/or fines up $750 per violation.
  • Finally, if an operator is found guilty of operating without proper licensing or insurance coverage they could face suspension or revocation of their license as well as potential criminal prosecution with possible jail time and/or fines depending on the severity of the offense.

If you want to learn more about how this works in other states, check out our other explainers on the Illinois towing law and procedure.

Tips for Navigating the Complexities of Colorado’s Towing Regulations

1. Familiarize yourself with the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) regarding towing regulations. The CRS contains all of the laws and regulations governing towing in Colorado, so it is important to understand them thoroughly before engaging in any tow-related activities.

2. Understand that there are different types of tows that require different levels of regulation and licensing requirements. For example, a private property tow requires a license from the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), while an emergency or police-ordered tow does not require such a license.

3. Make sure you have all necessary permits and licenses before beginning any towing operations in Colorado, as failure to do so can result in fines or other penalties from DORA or local law enforcement agencies.

4. Be aware that certain areas may have additional restrictions on when and where you can perform a tow, such as noise ordinances or parking restrictions for certain times of day/night or locations within cities/towns/counties across the state.

5. Know your rights as well as those of your customers when it comes to billing practices for services rendered during a tow job; this includes understanding what fees are allowed by law and which ones may be considered excessive charges by DORA if challenged by customers.

6. Stay up-to-date on changes made by DORA regarding licensing requirements (not to mention the Colorado tow laws), fees, insurance coverage, etc., since these can change over time without notice.

7. Make sure you keep accurate records for each job performed including dates, times, locations, customer information, vehicle information, etc., since these will be needed if ever questioned about your services at some point down the road.

Exploring the Different Types of Tow Trucks Used in Colorado

Tow trucks are an essential part of the transportation industry in Colorado. They provide a valuable service to drivers who need assistance with their vehicles, whether it be due to mechanical failure or an accident.

There are several different types of tow trucks used in Colorado, each designed for specific purposes and tasks (which can also help out with understanding the Colorado tow laws).

  1. The most common type of tow truck is the flatbed truck. These vehicles have a large flatbed that can be raised and lowered using hydraulics, allowing them to transport cars and other large objects safely from one location to another. Flatbeds come in various sizes depending on the size of vehicle they will be transporting, ranging from small pickup trucks up to full-sized semi-trucks.
  2. Another type of tow truck commonly seen on Colorado roads is the wheel lift truck. This vehicle has a metal frame attached at its front end which can be used to lift one side or both sides of a car off the ground so it can then be towed away safely without damaging its tires or suspension system. Wheel lifts also come in various sizes depending on what kind of vehicle they will need to move around, ranging from small passenger cars up to larger SUVs and vans.
  3. The third type is known as a boom truck which uses an extendable arm with either hooks or chains attached at its end for lifting heavier objects such as boats or construction equipment onto its bed for transport purposes. Boom trucks are typically much larger than other types due to their increased weight capacity requirements but still remain relatively maneuverable when compared with other heavy-duty vehicles like semi-trucks and trailers.
  4. Finally, there are integrated units that combine two different types into one single unit such as combining wheel lifts with flat beds so that both functions can be performed by just one driver instead of having two separate operators working together. Integrated units offer greater flexibility when dealing with multiple tasks but require more specialized training since operating them requires knowledge about both systems.

In conclusion, there are four main types of tow trucks used throughout Colorado: flatbeds, wheel lifts, boom trucks, and integrated units. If you want to learn more, check out our write-up on how much is a tow truck.

Each has their own unique advantages depending on what kind of task needs completing making them invaluable tools within this industry.

How to File a Complaint Against an Unlicensed or Unethical Tow Company in Colorado

If you have experienced unethical or unlicensed towing services in Colorado, it is important to file a complaint with the appropriate authorities.

Doing so can help protect other consumers from similar experiences and ensure that the tow company is held accountable for its actions.

This guide will provide information on how to file a complaint against an unlicensed or unethical tow company in Colorado.

Step 1: Gather Evidence

Before filing a complaint, it is important to gather evidence of any wrongdoing by the tow company. This may include photos of damaged property, copies of contracts and invoices, witness statements, and any other relevant documents that support your claim. It is also helpful to keep records of all communication with the tow company regarding your experience.

Step 2: Contact Your Local Law Enforcement Agency

If you believe that criminal activity has occurred as part of your experience with an unlicensed or unethical tow company in Colorado, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. Provide them with all relevant evidence and information about what happened so they can investigate further if necessary.

Step 3: File a Complaint With The Department Of Regulatory Agencies (DORA)

The Department Of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates businesses operating within Colorado’s borders including those providing consumer services such as auto repair shops and vehicle storage facilities like those used by many tow companies in the state. To file a formal complaint against an unlicensed or unethical tow company in Colorado, visit DORA’s website at www. dora. state. co. us/consumer-protection/file-a-complaint/. You will need to provide detailed information about what happened along with supporting documentation such as photos, contracts, invoices, etc., if available. Once submitted, DORA will review your case and take appropriate action if necessary which could include fines or revoking business licenses for repeat offenders.

Step 4: Contact The Better Business Bureau (BBB)

If you are unsatisfied with how DORA handles your case or would like additional assistance resolving issues related to an unlicensed or unethical tow service provider in Colorado, contact The Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB provides dispute resolution services between consumers and businesses free of charge which may be able to resolve disputes without having to go through legal channels such as small claims court proceedings which can be costly time-consuming processes depending on circumstances surrounding each individual case. Visit BBB’s website at / for more information on filing complaints against businesses operating within its jurisdiction including those providing consumer services such as auto repair shops and vehicle storage facilities like those used by many Tow Companies throughout the State.

An Overview of Insurance Requirements for Tow Companies Operating in Colorado

Tow companies operating in the state of Colorado are required to carry certain types of insurance to remain compliant with state regulations.

These requirements vary depending on the type and size of the tow company, as well as the services they provide.

  • The most common type of insurance required for tow companies is commercial auto liability insurance. This coverage protects against any bodily injury or property damage caused by a tow truck while it is being operated for business purposes. It also covers any legal fees associated with defending a claim made against the company due to an accident involving one of its vehicles.
  • In addition, many states require tow companies to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ drivers or other staff members who may be injured while performing their duties. This coverage provides financial protection for employees who suffer an injury or illness related to their job duties and can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with such incidents.
  • Finally, some states may require that tow companies have general liability insurance in place as well. This coverage helps protect businesses from claims related to negligence or errors that could lead to financial losses for customers or third parties affected by their operations. It can also help cover legal fees associated with defending such claims should they arise during business operations.

By understanding these requirements and carrying appropriate levels of coverage, tow companies operating in Colorado can ensure compliance with state regulations while protecting themselves from potential liabilities arising from accidents involving their vehicles or personnel during business operations

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