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Maryland Code, Transportation § 13-920

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(a)(1) In this section, “tow truck” means a vehicle that:

(i) Is a Class E (truck) vehicle that is designed to lift, pull, or carry a vehicle by a hoist or mechanical apparatus;

(ii) Has a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more;  and

(iii) Is equipped as a tow truck or designed as a rollback as defined in § 11-151.1 of this article.

(2) In this section, “tow truck” does not include a truck tractor as defined in § 11-172 of this article.

(b) When registered with the Administration every tow truck as defined in this section is a Class T vehicle.

(c) A tow truck registered under this section may be used to tow vehicles for repair, storage, or removal from the highway.

(d)(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection, for each vehicle registered under this section, the annual registration fee is based on the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating as follows:

Manufacturer's Gross Weight


Rating (in Pounds)

10,000 (or less) to 26,000


More than 26,000


(2)(i) The annual registration fee for a vehicle registered under this section that is used for any purpose other than that described in subsection (c) of this section shall be determined under subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph if the maximum gross weight of the vehicle or combination of vehicles:

1. Exceeds 18,000 pounds and the vehicle has a manufacturer's gross weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less;  or

2. Exceeds 35,000 pounds and the vehicle has a manufacturer's gross weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds.

(ii) The annual registration fee shall be the greater of:

1. The fees set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection;  or

2. The fees set forth in § 13-916(b) of this subtitle.

(e) Notwithstanding §§ 24-104.1, 24-108, and 24-109 of this article, a tow truck registered under this section, while engaged in a tow, may move a vehicle or vehicle combination on a highway for safety reasons if:

(1) The tow truck and the vehicle or vehicle combination being towed comply with all applicable statutory weight and size restrictions under Title 24 of this article when measured or weighed separately;  and

(2) The vehicle or vehicle combination is being towed by the safest and shortest practical route possible to the vehicle's destination.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, while engaged in towing, a tow truck registered under this section is subject to:

(1) Weight restrictions imposed on restricted bridges;  and

(2) All applicable statutory weight and size restrictions under Title 24 of this article while being operated within the limits of Baltimore City, unless the vehicle is being operated on an interstate highway.

(g) Except for tow trucks operated by dealers, automotive dismantlers and recyclers, and scrap processors displaying special registration plates issued under this title, the vehicle shall display a distinctive registration plate as authorized by the Administration.

(h) Subject to § 25-111.1 of this article, a person who registers a tow truck under this section, including a dealer, an automotive dismantler and recycler, or a scrap processor who operates a tow truck in the State, or a person who operates a tow truck in this State that is registered under the laws of another state, shall:

(1) Obtain commercial liability insurance in the amount required by federal law for transporting property in interstate or foreign commerce;  and

(2) Provide a federal employer identification number and, if applicable to the tow truck under federal requirements:

(i) A U.S. Department of Transportation motor carrier number;  or

(ii) An Interstate Commerce Commission motor carrier authority number.

(i)(1) Except as provided under paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person may not operate a rollback in combination with a vehicle being towed unless the rollback is registered as a tow truck.

(2) This subsection does not apply to a vehicle that is registered and operated in accordance with § 13-621 or § 13-622 of this title.

(j)(1) This subsection applies only to a vehicle required to be registered in the State.

(2) A person may not operate a tow truck for hire unless the tow truck is registered under this section.

(3)(i) A person convicted of operating a tow truck in violation of this subsection shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $3, 000 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or both.

(ii) A tow truck that is improperly registered or unregistered shall be impounded.

§ 1-115.1. Disposition of vehicle or vehicle part. The purchase, exchange, transfer, sale, assignment or other change of ownership or possession or the junking or wrecking of a vehicle or vehicle part.

Cite this article: - Maryland Code, Transportation § 13-920 - last updated December 31, 2021 |

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