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Level 3- Heavy Recovery (Heavy Recovery Specialist®)

Given the analytical abilities required in heavy duty recoveries, Level 3 certification testing has two separate subtests: written and oral. The written portion evaluates academic content knowledge deemed necessary by the Advisory Committee (minimum passing score= 80%). The oral portion gives him/her the opportunity to demonstrate their skills. The individual is presented with images and a written description of actual incidents and must describe the recovery procedure to a panel of certified Heavy Recovery Specialist (minimum passing score=70%). The individual must pass both subtests in order to gain Level 3 certification.




  1. The applicant must be NDCP Level 2 certified (Master Tower®)
  2. 2 Years of experience as a recovery specialist
  3. Letter of recommendation from the candidate’s employer, training school or sponsor documenting that the candidate is qualified to take a test of this level and has participated in at least 10 heavy recoveries.
  4. Meet all applicable federal, state, and local requirements for towing and recovery professionals (ABC, CDL, etc.)

Test Delivery Options

– The LV3 written subtest is available online. Online testing allows participants to test from virtually any location with secure internet access, a web-cam, a microphone, and privacy. Not sure if your computer will meet the requirements? Click here to verify your settings and equipment now. In addition to being convenient, computer testing is also the fastest testing method with results available within 48 hours of the testing event.

– Both the oral and the written subtests are available during tow shows or industry events the NDCP Office/TRAA attends annually. Please visit the Upcoming Testing Events page for a list of upcoming certification testing dates and locations. The official turnaround time for the oral subtest and paper/pencil testing is 4-6 weeks after the testing date.


  • TRAA Member                          $320        (current TRAA members only, requires verification)
  • Non-Member                             $400
  • Retest Fee/Subtest                   $100         (reduced retesting fee only applies if retesting within one year registration window)
  • No Show Fee/Subtest               $100

Important Details

– Once submitted, the registration is non-transferable and all associated costs/fees are non-refundable.
– In accordance with FERPA guidelines, all communication between the NDCP Office and the registrant will be directed to the individual’s personal contact information. Unless the Employer Communication check-box is ticked, the registrant retains all responsibility for communicating his/her certification status and other pertinent details to his/her employer (if applicable).
– As with all testing events, validating and confirming the security at testing location is subject to the discretion of the proctor.
– By participating in the program, registered participants authorize us to include their name, level achieved, ID number, city/state/zip, and expiration information in our online certification directory and any related publications/documentation at our discretion.


1. Register for certification testing online or download the LV3 Registration Form & Informational Page.
2. Please allow up to ten (10) business days for the initial processing of the registration. Participants and their employers (provided the Employer Communication check-box on the registration form was ticked) will receive their authorization letter via email.
3. The testing date/time can be scheduling as soon as the authorization letter has been received by the participant.
4. Unlike LV1 and LV2, there is no study guide for LV3 as the level is based primarily on on-the-job experience. If you’d like to prepare further, we recommend reviewing some of the following materials:

– Industry periodicals such as Tow Times and America Towman Magazine
– Advanced Towing and Recovery Manual, available on our Products Page
National Driver Certification Program® LV2- Master Tower® Study Guide
– Physics Made Simple (ISBN 038524228X), available on Amazon and other online retailers
– The Way Things Work (ISBN 0395938473), available on Amazon and other online retailers

5. If you are unable to keep your test appointment and fail to cancel at least 24 hours prior, you will be subject to a no show fee.
6. Registrants must attempt and pass the test within one year of the original registration date. Those unable to attempt or pass the test within one year must submit a new test registration form and initial registration fee.

– After successfully passing the certification test you will receive 2 patches, 1 ID card and a Heavy Recovery Specialist wall certificate. Additional patches and decals are available for purchase on our Products page.
– Please note, all NDCP certifications expire every five (5) years. Failure to recertify within 90 days of your expiration date will result in the cancellation of your status (highest certification level completed only). In this event, you will need to complete the initial certification process over again.
– In the unfortunate event that you fail and need to retest, another test application and retest fee will be required.

Additional questions? Contact Elizabeth Martineau, Director of Certification at certification@traaonline.com

* All prices and policies are subject to change without notice. Effective February 1, 2014.

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