Vehicle Impound Information
In this Division—
Approved means approved by the Commissioner;
Commissioner means the Commissioner of Police;
Day of the offence means the day on which the relevant offence was committed;
Hired, in relation to a vehicle, means a vehicle that—
(a) Is owned by a person whose business is the short term hire of vehicles; and
(b) Is part of the business’s fleet; and
(c) Under a written agreement, is hired for the hirer’s short term use;
Impounding offence (driver’s licence) means—
(a) An offence against section 49(1)(a) that is committed by a person described in section 49(3)(a), (b) or (c); or
(b) An offence against section 38(1)(a); or
(c) an offence committed before the coming into operation of the Road Traffic Amendment Act 2008 section 5(a) that was an impounding offence (driver’s licence) as defined in this section as in force when the offence was committed;
Impounding offence (driving) means an offence against section 60 or 62A committed after the coming into operation of the Road Traffic Amendment (Hoons) Act2009 section7 or an offence committed before the coming into operation of that section that was an impounding offence (driving) as defined in this section as in force when the offence was committed;
Impounding or confiscation order means a court order under section 80A(1), 80B(1), 80C(1), 80CA(1), 80CB(1) or 80FA;
Impounding order means a court order under section 80B(1), 80CA(1) or 80FA;
Impounding period means the period for which the vehicle is specified to be impounded;
lent in addition to the ordinary meaning of the word means hired in the ordinary meaning of that word, or subject to a hire purchase agreement within the meaning of that term in the Hire‑Purchase Act 1959 or subject to a goods mortgage in connection with a credit contract within the meaning of the National Credit Code (Commonwealth);
Road rage circumstances accompany the commission of an offence if—
(a) The offence is committed as a reaction to, and is to a substantial extent motivated by, an occurrence that takes place on a road, or in any place to which the public is permitted, whether on payment of a fee or otherwise, to have access, while—
(i) The offender is driving a vehicle on the road or in the place; and
(ii) A victim of the offence is using the same road or place, whether as the driver of, or a passenger in, another vehicle or otherwise;
Road rage offence means an offence the commission of which is accompanied by road rage circumstances, but only if it is—
(a) An offence of which it is an element that the offender—
(i) Assaults a victim; or
(ii) Damages property in the possession of, or under the control of, a victim;
(b) An offence against section60 in circumstances that involve the offender driving in a manner that is dangerous to a particular victim;
Senior police officer means a person appointed under the Police Act 1892 Part I to be a member of the Police Force of Western Australia who is, or is acting as, an inspector or an officer of a rank more senior than an inspector;
Surrender period, in relation to a vehicle, means the period specified under section 80F in an order as the period in which the vehicle is to be surrendered to the Commissioner;
Vehicle referred to in section 80GA means a vehicle for the impounding or confiscation of which an application may be made in accordance with section 80GA.
The impoundment period for the qualifying offences varies depending on the offence type and the number of charges or convictions for a ‘like’ offence. Further, upon application by police, an additional impoundment period or an order for confiscation may be issued by a court depending on the offence type and number of convictions.
Roadside impoundment by police applies to hoon and unauthorised driving offences only. In relation to hoon offences, previous charges apply when determining the impoundment period. Police are required to interrogate both IMS and Briefcase to ensure quality assurance of the data. Charges that have been withdrawn or have resulted in an acquittal are not to be considered as a previous charge. The following roadside impoundment periods apply:
|Based on previous
convictions or charges
|1st offence||2nd or subsequent
|Charges||28 days||3 months|
|Convictions||28 days||28 days|
Court ordered impoundment or confiscation
Upon conviction of a qualifying impounding offence, police may make application to the court, depending on the offence type and number of convictions, for the court to order an impoundment period or confiscation order. In relation to offence types that already attract a roadside impoundment, this is in addition to the period already served. The following table identifies when a court application may apply and the penalty associated with it:
|1st conviction||2nd or subsequent conviction||3rd or subsequent conviction|
|N/A||N/A||Confiscation order must be granted
unless hardship applies to a person
other than the driver or alternatively
6 months impoundment
|N/A||3 months impoundment||6 months impoundment or confiscation
order may apply
|Road rage||6 months impoundment
or confiscation order may apply
|6 months impoundment
or confiscation order may apply
|6 months impoundment or confiscation
- You can reduce costs by electing to have the vehicle stored in open storage if available, some storage providers will offer a reduced daily fee when stored in the open. To arrange this, contact the storage provider.
- After 48 hours of having the vehicle impounded, the owner can apply to have the vehicle disposed of, the driver will be responsible for any impound costs not covered by the disposal of your vehicle an application to sell an impounded vehicle (form 80JA) is available from (link to form). Please see the information below.
- Pick up your vehicle on the scheduled release date, any delay in collecting your vehicle will incur additional storage costs for each day the vehicle remains in storage.
Application for the Disposal, with consent, of vehicles impounded under s. 79 or 79A
If the Commissioner is satisfied that each person who has an interest in an impounded vehicle has, in accordance with subsection (4), consented to the Commissioner doing so, the Commissioner, on behalf of those persons, may sell or otherwise dispose of the vehicle.
WA Police can dispose of an impounded vehicle before the scheduled release date if the registered owner completes an 80JA application
Failure to attach the correct information will result in your application not being processed, a request for further information will be sent to the applicant.
The following is an outline of the type of information required to progress your application.
- Complete the 80JA application form
- Have your signature witnessed (list available on the last page of your application form)
- Your signature must not be witnessed by a staff member from WA Police (conflict of interest)
- If you require property from within the vehicle please complete a Property Release form.
The storage costs will cease when WA Police receive you completed application form, the driver of the vehicle will be invoiced for any outstanding towage and storage costs associated with the impounding of your vehicle.
Although police officers and public service staff working for WA Police are ordinarily authorised to witness a statutory declaration, it is WA Police policy that neither police officers nor police staff will witness a Statutory Declaration for applications under section 80ja of the Road Traffic Act 1974, requesting the Commissioner of Police to sell a vehicle impounded with consent of owner/s.
There are currently three types of offences that are subject to vehicle impoundments:
- Impounding Offence (driving);
- Impounding Offence (driver’s licence); and
- Road Rage offences.
Specifically, the offences include:
Impounding Offence (driving)
- s.60 Driving in a reckless manner
- s.60A Driving at a reckless speed; and
- s.62A Causing excessive noise or smoke
Impounding Offence (driver’s licence)
- s.49(1)(a) that is committed by a person described in s.49(3)(a), (b) or (c):
- the driver had applied for the grant or renewal of a driver’s licence and had been refused;
- the driver had never held a driver’s licence AND is also disqualified from holding a driver’s licence for any reason other than fine suspension;
- the driver has held a driver’s licence but ceased to hold it for any reason other than voluntarily surrendering the licence, the licence expired or fines suspension; or
- the driver’s licence is suspended for any reason other than fines suspension;
- s.38(1)(a) driving contrary to extraordinary licence (EL) conditions:
- the driver is driving contrary to an EL in regards to time, purpose or location only.
Road Rage offences
- s.78A is a road rage offence where the offender:
- assaults a victim;
- damages the victim’s property; or
- commits a reckless driving offence where the victim is endangered,
- where the offence is committed as a reaction to, and motivated by, an event that occurs on a road or any place accessible to the public while:
- the offender is driving a vehicle on the road or in the place; and
- the victim of the offence is using the same road or place, whether as the driver, or a passenger in another vehicle.
Note: Photo identification must be included in the 100 points.
Note: A vehicle will not be released unless photo identification is supplied, if you are unable to produce photo ID you must attend your local Police station for a stamped release form.
The documents below can be used for the 100 points of identification.
Only one of the following may be claimed:
- Birth Certificate
- Birth Card issued by a Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
- Citizenship Certificate
- Current Passport
- Any of the following, which must contain a photograph and a name. Additional documents from this category are awarded 25 points.
- Driver licence issued by an Australian State or Territory
- Licence or permit issued under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or Territory Government - (e.g. a boat licence)
- Identification card issued to a public employee
- Identification card issued by the Commonwealth, a State or Territory Government as evidence of the person's entitlement to a financial benefit
- An identification card issued to a student at a tertiary education institution
- Name and address of signatory verified from any of the following:
- A mortgage or other instrument of security held by another financial body
- Must have name and address on:
- A mortgage or other instrument of security held by a financial body
- Local government (council) land tax or rates notice
- Document from your current employer or previous employer within the last 2 years
- Land Titles Office record
- Must have name and signature on:
- Marriage Certificate (for maiden name only)
- Credit Card
- Foreign Driver Licence
- Medicare Card (signature not required on Medicare Card)
- Membership to a Registered Club
- NRMA Membership
- EFTPOS Card
- Must have name and address on:
- Electoral roll compiled by the Australian Electoral Commission and available for public scrutiny
- Records of a public utility - phone, water, gas or electricity bill
- Records of a financial institution
- Lease/rent agreement
- Rent receipt from a licensed real estate agent
A Senior Officer working within the Property Management Division may authorise an impounded vehicle to be released prior to the expiration of the impounding period if the owner of the vehicle involved provides sufficient justification of the existence of “exceptional hardship”.
The burden of proof of exceptional hardship rest with the applicant and is a legislative requirement not a police requirement. A senior Officer will conduct an appreciation of the application to ensure a fair and just process has been undertaken. The officer’s determination is based on all of the circumstances presented and if those circumstances are considered to have met the requirements of the legislation.
An Early Release of an Impounded Vehicle application received at the Vehicle Impound Unit will be processed as soon as possible, a staff member from the Vehicle Impound Unit will contact you when a decision has been made. See Vehicle Impound forms.
Information to consider when applying for an early release
The application must include as much information as possible to substantiate the applicant’s claim of exceptional hardship.
Some examples of what is not exceptional hardship is
- “I need the car for work”
- ”I need to visit the Doctor or go to the hospital.”
- “I need the car to travel to school or university”
- “I’ll lose my job”
- “It’s my boss's car and if he finds out he will sack me”
Some examples of what may constitute exceptional hardship is
- “I need my car for work, to assist you I have attached a letter from my employer stating I need the vehicle to undertake my job”. It is specially modified and another vehicle cannot be used. I have attached some photographs of the vehicle to show the modifications.
- “I’ll lose my job as I am a plumber and need to use my vehicle for work. It carries my tools and specialist equipment”. I have attached a photograph of the vehicle and the tools and a letter from my employer to assist you in your determination.
- “I am a shift worker, to assist you I have attached a copy of my shift hours and a letter from my employer” this proves I am unable to use public transport and without a vehicle I will loose my job.
- “I have a medical condition, to assist you I have attached a letter from my Doctor or information from the hospital regarding my condition” this will allow the Senior Officer to make a fair assessment of your condition.
Access to other vehicles.
If another licenced vehicle could be accessed and used by the applicant during the impound period the application will be rejected. Some examples are
- Another vehicle is registered to the applicant’s or
- Another vehicle is registered to the applicant’s business or
- Another vehicle is registered to the applicants spouse or partner.
The application will be rejected unless the application includes proof as to why another other vehicle accessible to the applicant could not be utilised by the applicant. Some examples of the proof to be included on the application is
- Mechanic’s report stating that the other vehicle is not in a working order
- Disposal slip from a scrap metal company that the vehicle has been disposed of
- The other vehicle is not modified or suitable for the purpose of the applicants business or intended use.
- The other vehicle is un-road worthy or unlicensed.
Impounded vehicles can be released if a suitable substitute vehicle is provided by either the driver or owner of the impounded vehicle. The substituted vehicle must be of equal or a higher value, licenced and road worthy. Included with the details of the vehicle such as registration number, owners name and address and proof of licence must be included with a detailed explanation required as to why a substitution is required.
Owner not the Driver
- “I am the owner of the car but not the driver” or
- “I loaned the car to someone who loaned it to someone else”
An application made on this basis will be rejected as Section 79 (d) (6) of the Road Traffic Act 1974 deems the owner of the vehicle fully responsible for what happens to it.
Financial hardship due to the vehicle’s impound is taken into consideration but WA Police are unable to reduce costs.
- A payment plan is available at the expiry of the 28 day impound period but cannot be used in conjunction with early release.
- For low value vehicles, it is worth considering completing an 80JA form giving the Commissioner of Police authority to dispose of the vehicle on your behalf. On receipt of an 80JA form all further storage costs cease.
If you have considered all of the information provided and have formed the opinion that your circumstances could be considered as Exceptional Hardship you should complete the form provided. You should attach all and any documentation that supports your application and forward it to the VIU.
On receipt of an Application the Vehicle Impound Unit will use all of the resources available to investigate your application. Be assured we will check your criminal driving history and who owns what vehicles within your household or business. We will if considered necessary contact all or any of the people or businesses nominated by you in your application that supports your application. This includes but is not limited to Doctors, vehicle owners, wives, husbands, friends, relatives and associates. You should assume we will do the following
- Confirm the owner is the applicant for the early release
- Confirm that the owner, partner, spouse or relative or company has no other vehicles registered.
- Confirm that all documents applicable to the application are attached, Some examples may be but are not limited to:
- Letter from the applicants Doctor
- Medical appointment information
- Hospital discharge information
- Work rosters
- Letter from the applicants employer
- Review the data to establish if the vehicle or driver was the subject of previous impounds
- Review the availability of Public Transport in the vicinity of the applicants home
- Review the time and distance from home to school or work
- Investigate all reasons given on the application and find possible solutions
- Complete the application and seek the adjudication of the senior officer
If our inquiries determine that the circumstances described in the application are not as stated, your application will be rejected.
|Address:||PO Box 106
Belmont WA 6984
|Office hours:||07.00am to 03.00pm
Monday to Friday
|08 9373 2440|
|Early release:||08 9373 2422|
|Payment plans:||08 9373 2421|
|Surrender notice:||08 9373 2424|
|Encumbered vehicles:||08 9373 2490|