Do you need a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) to operate a tow truck in Virginia? According to the United States Department of Transportation, federal law requires that anyone who wishes to tow more than 26,000 pounds must possess a CDL. However, there is no law that states that a license is necessary to become a tow truck driver. When driving a crane, tow truck drivers must have their crane driver registration document on hand. Submitting an application does not grant permission to drive a tow truck.