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Towing policy

Here you can learn more about the Massachusetts State Police's towing policy and various scenarios where removal would apply.

Note: This applies only to tows ordered and/or authorized by the Massachusetts State Police.

Table of Contents


Public safety is the our primary concern and guides the application of this policy. When authorized to remove vehicles, officers will remove such vehicles to an area which will ensure the safety and well-being of the occupants, security of the vehicle, and allow for safe and efficient flow of traffic.

All personnel and approved tow companies shall adhere to and comply with all Division Commanders' Standard Operating Procedures relating to towing, as well as the Department of State Police Tow Service Agreement SP 357.

Nothing in this policy shall prevent personnel assigned to Troop F from adhering to Massport towing regulations.



Causes for Removal

Officers are authorized to remove (or cause to be removed) any vehicle found upon a road or state highway when:

  • The vehicle was stolen or taken without the owner's consent
  • The vehicle is disabled as to constitute an obstruction to traffic and/or is an obvious hazard
  • The operator of the vehicle is arrested and the vehicle would be left unattended on a public way
  • The vehicle is improperly parked or standing in violation of a state or municipal law or regulation
  • The vehicle is not validly registered or insured
  • The vehicle, in its current condition, is too hazardous or dangerous to be driven
  • The vehicle is impounded/towed pursuant to Massachusetts General Law or state or federal court order;
  • Adverse weather conditions or other emergency reasons necessitate the removal in the interest of public safety, or when requested by the Massachusetts Highway Department or other agency having jurisdiction over maintenance of the roadway

Public safety is of paramount importance when considering the time, manner, and method of off-loading and/or towing of a large vehicle. The key determinants are current and impending road, weather, and traffic conditions.

All crash or recovery scenes are to be cleared as quickly as possible in order to return the highway to its normal traffic flow. If necessary, cargo may be pulled or pushed to adjacent shoulders or medians before the vehicle is towed.

The off-loading and/or towing of large trucks involved in crashes and recoveries on high density or congested roadways are to be avoided during peak commuter hours (6 a.m.-9 a.m. and 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) as it may contribute to additional delays and/or crashes.

Contact for Towing policy


General Headquarters
470 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01702

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