Unlicensed Drivers and Vehicle Impounds

Vehicle ImpoundTaking your neighbour's request at face value turned out to be an expensive lesson for Jessica. She had loaned her vehicle to a neighbour and somewhere along the journey the neighbour met up with the police. The neighbour was a vehicle impound candidate because they didn't have a valid driver's license.

The neighbour was well aware that they were unlicensed because vehicle impoundment does not occur until after the person is convicted of driving without a driver's license and they don't bother to renew.

Police Must Impound

The officer who stopped the driver was left without a choice because the legislation requires that the impoundment take place.

Review of Impoundment

Jessica was now faced with making an application to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to attempt to have her vehicle returned to her before the end of the impoundment period. The review is only possible if the impoundment period is 30 days or more. If it is less, no review is possible.

She will be required to pay a fee and complete a document explaining her reasoning for the review. Being shown what appears to be a valid driver's license may not be enough peace of mind. Many drivers fail to turn in their licenses as the law requires.

Grounds for Review

Discretion may be exercised by the Superintendent who can decide to return the vehicle to the owner before the end of the impoundment period. Stolen vehicles, errors by police or ICBC regarding a driver's status as an impound candidate, or the exercise of due diligence by the owner in loaning the vehicle may be considered.

Economic hardship or compassionate grounds may also be considered.

Impound Fees

Vehicle impound fees are set by the Lien on Impounded Vehicles Regulation and vary according to the location that the impound takes place.

The vehicle owner may recover impound fees from the driver like any other debt.

Owner Beware

Unless you are absolutely certain of the driver's status, it is not a good practice to loan your vehicle.

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