TRN-17.01 - PPI Tower Registration

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number


Administrative Rule Adopted by Portland Bureau of Transportation Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority


1.  Application

A.  Towers seeking a PPI permit will submit to the Director an application form, provided by the City and containing all of the following information:

1.  A description of the business, including:

a.  The legal business name of the registrant

b.  Company dba,

c.  Business entity type,

d.  Social Security Number or F.E.I.N.,

e.  Business mailing address,

f.  Street addresses of the vehicle release office and all storage facilities,

g.  Customer service telephone number(s),

h.  E-mail address,

i.  Fax number,

j.  Name of the dispatcher or dispatch service, with street address and telephone number; and, 

k.  Emergency contact telephone.

B.  The full name, date of birth and Social Security Number of all owners, part-owners, partners, principal parties, officers, directors, agents, investors, or any other persons having a financial interest in the business activities regulated by Portland City Code (PCC) 7.24.

C.  The name, telephone, email and mailing address of the person responsible for complaint resolution.

D.  Proof of insurance coverage in the amounts specified in PCC 7.24, including:

1.  The name of the insurance provider,

2.  Policy number,

3.  Expiration date,

4.  Agent’s name,

5.  Agent’s telephone number; and,

6.  List of insured trucks.

E.  A list of all drivers and any staff having contact with vehicles or vehicle owners, including the following information:

1.  First, middle and last name.

2.  Social Security Number.

3.  Date of Birth.

4.  Driver’s license or state Identification Card number.

F.  A list of all tow trucks to be used for PPI towing, including DMV plates and Vehicle Identification Numbers.

G.  Name, telephone, address and any other contact information for any company with which the PPI tower may sub-contract for special equipment.

1.  A list of rates applicable to the work the sub-contractor will do.

H.  A list of all locations in the city deemed by the PPI tower to be “proscribed property,” for approval by the City.

1.  The status of each such property must be individually approved by the City prior to commencement of towing.

2.  A determination will be made by the City within 3 business days of receipt of the registration.

3.  This information will be updated with each yearly renewal. 

4.  Registration of proscribed properties will include all information specified below:

a.  The correct street address of the proscribed property, or a property tax identification number available from PortlandMaps.

b.  Name, position and contact information of the property owner/operator who has engaged the PPI tower to tow.

c.  A detailed description of the characteristics that qualify the location as “proscribed.”

d.  Photograph(s) of the property.

5.  PPI towers who have held a PPI permit in 2012 have until August 1, 2013 to submit pre-existing “proscribed” property accounts for approval. The status of all pre-existing proscribed properties will be reviewed prior to December 31, 2013.

6.  Proscribed property accounts acquired by a permittee after adoption of this Administrative Rule must be submitted for approval before towing starts.

7.  Any properties not registered and approved as “proscribed” as of December 31, 2013 will not be exempt from these regulations until approved by the City.

8.  Tow companies not previously permitted who apply for a new PPI permit after adoption of this Administrative Rule will be required to submit any proscribed properties for approval with the initial application.

9.  The Director’s determination on the exemption of a proscribed property is final.

I.  Such other information as the Director may require.

2.  Retention and Inspection of Records

The PPI tower will, within 24 hours of written notice, or by a date specified by the Towing Coordinator, provide such documentation as may be needed for investigation of towing practices. Such documentation may include, but not be limited to, tow invoices, patrol contracts or specific authorization, and photographs. Such documentation must be retained in retrievable form by the PPI tower for a minimum of 2 years after the date of the tow.

3.  Equipment and Facilities Inspections

A.  Except as provided in PCC 7.24, the Director will cause the PPI tower’s towing equipment, dispatching, release and storage facilities to be inspected prior to issuance of a PPI permit. If it is determined that the PPI tower complies with all of the requirements of PCC 7.24, the Director will approve issuance of a permit.

B.  If any aspect of the insurance, equipment, dispatching, or release and storage facility does not comply with the requirements of PCC 7.24, the permit will be denied until all deficiencies are corrected.

C.  Towers registered under this PPI Code will maintain towing equipment, dispatching, release and storage facilities for safe operation and to prevent damage to towed vehicles. All equipment used must be clean, in good working condition and free of excessive wear.

D.  Towing equipment. 

1.  All tow trucks used to perform PPI tows must beequipped as follows:

a.  Current registration and insurance documentation.

b.  Permanently identified on each side of the vehicle with the tow company name, city, state, and telephone clearly marked in letters not less than 3 inches high.

c.  A four-way emergency flashing system and at least one flashing amber light (or other color permitted by state law) at least 5 inches in diameter, mounted high on the tow vehicle.

d.  Upper and lower work lights; a light mounted behind the cab of the tow vehicle which is capable of illuminating the area of the tow under dark or foggy conditions.

e. Tow lights; portable auxiliary brake lights, turn signal, and tail light for use on towed vehicles. Also required on all rollbed trucks capable of towing multiple vehicles at once.

f.  Tires, adequate in size and rating for the size and weight of the tow vehicle, with not less than 3/32nds inch of tread and mounted on rims secured with the correct number of lug bolts and nuts in accordance with factory specifications.

g.  Tow dollies. Also required on rollbed trucks capable of towing multiple vehicles at once.

h.  Two-way radio equipment or cellular telephone with “push to talk” (PTT) function, capable of communicating with the PPI tower’s dispatcher at all times.

i.  Cellular telephone for initiation of tows with Tow Desk.

j.  If a registered tow truck or other piece of equipment is found to be mechanically unsound, the Director may require the PPI tower to submit the truck or equipment to inspection by an ASE Certified Master Technician. The truck or equipment will not be approved for use until the PPI tower provides original documentation of having passed the inspection.

E.  Dispatching facilities.

1.  At minimum, the tower’s dispatching facility must be maintained with required equipment as follows:

a.  Radio equipment or cellular telephone system with “push to talk” (PTT) function, capable of communicating with the PPI tower’s tow vehicle(s) at all times.

b.  At least one telephone line for voice communication.

c.  A facsimile machine on a dedicated telephone line set up to send and receive at all times.

d.  A PPI tower’s dispatching facility may be located in two or more different locations, or may be contracted to another firm, provided:

1.  Each location is equipped to communicate with the tow drivers at all times.

2.  At least one such location has a dispatcher on duty at all times.

3.  The contracted or secondary dispatcher can reach the PPI tower’s primary dispatcher or other PPI tow company official at all hours.

4.  Storage facilities.  

A.  All PPI facilities used for storing vehicles towed from private property must be:

1.  Located within the city limits of Portland; and,

2.  Secure, protected and located within an enclosure at least six feet high topped with at least 3 strands of taut barbed wire; and,

3.  All gates, doors and other openings into the storage facility must be equipped with locks and secured at all times; and,

4.  Trees, vines and shrubs must be kept trimmed to allow an unobstructed view of the entire fence and prevent unauthorized access into the storage lot

5.  All fences, walls or surrounds must be free of holes or weak spots which could allow unauthorized entry; and,

6.  The PPI tower’s name, telephone number, address and regular business hours must be posted, in a location clearly visible from the public right-of-way, on a sign in letters not less than 3 inches high; and

7.  City-approved towing and storage rates for PPI towing must be posted in a conspicuous place in the location where release transactions occur, so that they are readable by persons redeeming their vehicles.  Such fees may not exceed the rates established by the Bureau Director; and,

8.  A placard, provided by the City, listing Citizens’ Rights, must be prominently displayed in the location where release transactions occur, so that they are readable by persons redeeming PPI towed vehicles.

B.  Any facility from which a PPI tower releases vehicles will be located within the city limits ofPortlandand will have a customer reception area which includes:

1.  Accommodations to serve persons with disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);

2.  A clearly marked entry that is clean, well lit and free of debris;

3.  A clean, well-lit counter space for writing; and,

4.  Seating for at least one person while waiting to be served.

C.  PPI towers will establish locations for storage and release of towed vehicles in such a way that no vehicle will be towed a greater distance than is necessary and reasonable.


Renumbered and moved to Portland Bureau of Transportation February 21, 2020.

Amended by Director of Revenue Bureau December 17, 2013.

Revised document filed in PPD April 20, 2006.

Submitted for inclusion in PPD April 23, 2004.

Originally adopted by Bureau of Licenses as Administrative Rule 013.03-1.

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