Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FSP logo

How do I use the FSP service? 

The FSP tow trucks patrol on selected San Joaquin County freeways looking to help stranded motorists during the specified service time. FSP drivers also receive information from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) regarding cellular 911 and call box callers requesting assistance.

How can the Freeway Service Patrol help?

If you are stranded on the freeway, the FSP can:
  • Jump-start a your engine if you have a dead battery
  • Tape leaking hoses and refill your radiator with water
  • Change a flat tire 
  • Provide a gallon of gas if you run out of fuel
  • Assist with other minor repairs
If FSP cannot get your car going within a short period of time; it will be towed, at no charge, to a location designated by the CHP.

What should I do if my car breaks down on the freeway? 

First, make sure you and your vehicle are in a safe location, such as the shoulder. You may call for roadside assistance from any roadside call box or by dialing 5-1-1 from your cell phone. When the FSP operator is not on duty, you will be connected with a call center to reach other roadside assistance operators. 

How can I recognize the Freeway Service Patrol?

All FSP trucks are white and easily recognizable by the FSP logo on the doors. FSP drivers wear blue uniforms and brightly colored FSP safety vests. Drivers also carry an identification card issued by the CHP.

Are FSP drivers certified?

Yes. Drivers receive their certification after completing a CHP training program.

Can the Freeway Service Patrol tow me to a private repair facility or to my home?

No. The FSP drivers can tow vehicles only to CHP-designated locations off the freeway. Also, FSP drivers cannot recommend service companies or repair/body shops.

Can I pay or tip the tow truck driver?

No. Drivers are not allowed to accept any compensation including tips or gratuities. However, you can support your driver by completing the customer survey card provided by the driver or complete the online survey to tell us about your experience. 

Who is responsible for operating  the roadside ssistance program in San Joaquin? 

The San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) operates the FSP program in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The statewide program was established in 1993 with the passage of the Freeway Service Patrol Act. The San Joaquin FSP services began in 1996 and plays an important role in achieving the goal to keep the freeways moving, reduce the chance of secondary accidents, and to help make the freeways safer and less congested. 

SJCOG is responsible for contracting with tow service operators and prepares budgets and annual reports. Caltrans is responsible for administering state FSP funding and providing statewide guidance, planning, and program coordination. CHP is responsible for training, certifiying, and supervising the tow serivce operators as part of the daily field operations in San Joaquin County. 

FSP service is contracted through Stanislaus Towing and Mike's Towing Service, Inc. 

How is the FSP program funded? 

State funding is provided by Caltrans. The $25 million annual budget is divided among 23 counties with FSP programs based upon population, freeway miles, and freeway delay. Local matches are provide by Measure K, the local one-half cent sales tax dedicated to transportation projects, and the Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (SAFE) program managed by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. 

With the passage of SB 1, Caltrans was able to direct an additional $25 million per year to the statewide FSP program. This means $405,000 for the first year in additional funds for new or expanded services in San Joaquin County!