Disputes, Appeals and Reviews - Driver Behaviour and Road Safety - Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles
Review of a Vehicle Impoundment and Early Release of the Vehicle
Whether you are the driver of an impounded vehicle or owner of the impounded vehicle, you have the right to request an administrative review of the impoundment if the period of impoundment is over seven days. There are instructions on how to apply for a review on the 'Notice of Impoundment' that was issued at the roadside.
For information see, Vehicle Impoundment
To apply for a review, attend the nearest ICBC Driver Licensing Office to complete a Vehicle Impoundment Application for Review for and pay the review fee – see Fees for Services
When a review decision is made, you will receive the decision by regular mail. It will be sent to the address you provided on your review application. If your review results in the impoundment being lifted, the Superintendent's office will notify you and fax an 'order of release' to the impoundment lot. You may pick up your vehicle and pay the storage and towing fees that apply.
Stolen Vehicle: Police can authorize the release of the vehicle if they are satisfied it was stolen. The cost of towing and storage accrued to that point must be paid by the vehicle owner before the vehicle is released.
Unlicensed Driver: If your vehicle was impounded because you or the person operating it was unlicensed at the time, your vehicle can be released when you or the person who operated the vehicle is issued a new driver's licence. For driver licence information see ICBC. This option is not available if the driver was prohibited from driving at the time the vehicle was impounded.
Driving Prohibition and Impoundment: If police impounded your vehicle and also served you with a driving prohibition, and you have grounds to have the prohibition reviewed, you may request a review of the driving prohibition. Only the driver of the vehicle who received the driving prohibition by police may apply for the review. If successful, the vehicle will be immediately released and the towing and impound fees refunded.
Other Impoundable Offences: For example, impoundments not related to an impaired driving infraction, such as driving while prohibited or suspended; excessive speeding, racing or stunt driving; or failure to obey a driving restriction.
A request for a review can be made by the owner of the vehicle (who was not the driver receiving the impoundment sanction) on grounds of absence of consent to allow the driver to use the vehicle.
Early Release on Compassionate Grounds: An individual who holds a valid driver's licence and who cohabits with the owner of the vehicle who received the vehicle impoundment sanction may apply for early release on compassionate grounds (such as economic hardship) – the request for review must be submitted within 15 days of the date of the impoundment. Information on the review process is printed on the back of the Notice of Impoundment.
To request a Review, visit any ICBC Driver Licensing Office to fill out the appropriate form, make application and pay the required fees. ICBC will submit your review application and schedule any necessary hearings.
Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRP) – 3-day, 7-day, 30-day, 90-day
You have seven days from the date you received the Notice of Driving Prohibition to request the Office of the Superintendent of Motor to review the prohibition. The adjudicator can only consider these grounds during the review:
You were not the driver or in care or control of a motor vehicle;
You were not advised of your right to a second test on an approved screening device (ASD);
You requested a second test, but the officer did not perform the test;
Your second test was not performed on a different ASD;
The prohibition was not served on the basis of the lower ASD test result;
The result of the ASD test was not reliable;
The ASD, which formed the basis for the prohibition, did not register a WARN reading;
The ASD registered a WARN, but your blood alcohol content was less than 0.05 (50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood);
The ASD, which formed the basis for the prohibition, did not register a FAIL reading;
The ASD registered a FAIL, but your blood alcohol content was less than 0.08 (80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood);
You did not refuse or fail to comply with a demand to provide a breath sample, or you had a reasonable excuse for refusing or failing to comply with a demand; OR
You did not have the required number of previous WARN range prohibitions for a 7 or 30 day prohibition (in which case the Superintendent may reduce the length of the prohibition and related monetary penalties)
The hardship that may be caused by the loss of your driving privileges cannot be considered during a review.
To request a review you must complete an 'Application for Review of an Immediate Roadside Prohibition' form, available from any ICBC Driver Licensing Office. You will need to include the date and location where you were issued the prohibition by police and all relevant information to support your request to review the decision. There is a fee that must be paid when you submit your request – see Fees for Services. The fee differs depending on how you will present your case – written submissions can be provided for any immediate roadside prohibition or you may present your case by phone (oral) for any 30-day or 90-day prohibition on the date scheduled by the Superintendent's office.
Prior to the review you will receive a copy of police information the adjudicator will consider. You are given an opportunity to present further information to the adjudicator before the review is held. Important: even though you are going through a review process, you may not drive while the prohibition is in effect.
After the review the adjudicator will send you a written decision. In most cases, the decision will be sent within 21 days from the date you were served with the Notice of Driving Prohibition. The three possible decision outcomes are the driving prohibition:
The prohibition will be revoked (i.e., removed from your driving record) and you can apply for a new driver’s licence (the driver's licence reinstatement fee and any monetary penalties will be waived);
The length of the prohibition will be reduced;
Or, the prohibition is confirmed, unchanged.
Drivers dissatisfied with the outcome of their review may also make an application under the Judicial Review Procedure Act to have the decision reviewed by the Supreme Court.
Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP) – 90-day
The review process is the same as what is outlined above for 3-day, 7-day, 30-day and 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. The difference is that if you apply for a review, the ADP driving prohibition does not begin until the review is complete and finds the ADP stands as issued. When reviewing ADPs, the adjudicator can only consider the following:
you did not operate or have care or control of the vehicle;
you did not have a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 within three hours;
you did not fail or refuse to comply with a demand for a breath or blood tests; or
you had reasonable excuse for failing or refusing to comply.
Review of a Prohibition Decision issued due to a Poor Driving Record
The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles can issue a driving prohibition if a review shows you have a poor driving record – this process of reviewing your driving record is part of the Driver Improvement Program. If this is the case for you, you will have received a ‘Notice of Intent to Prohibit’. If you wish to have the decision to prohibit you from driving reviewed, you have 21 days from the date of the ‘Notice of Intent to Prohibit’ – after which you will receive the final 'Notice Of Prohibition' that orders you to stop driving immediately and sets out the length of the prohibition.
You may request an administrative review of the decision (it is not a court process) even if you have been issued the final Notice of Prohibition and have begun to serve your driving prohibition. The driving prohibition remains in effect while the review is being conducted, so you may not drive.
The application form you must complete may be downloaded below:
Driver Improvement Program – Application for Review
. . . or you can pick on up from any ICBC Driver Licensing Office – Form MV2323 ' Driver Improvement Program Application for Review'. There is a fee to apply – see Fees for Services .
Along with the completed form and payment, you must include your written reasons as to why you think the driving prohibition should not have been issued or why the length of the prohibition should be shorter. The ICBC Driver Licensing Center will give you a copy of the review guidelines which outlines the full process. You will also receive a copy of any information the adjudicator will consider when reviewing your case, including information from the police, and you will be given the opportunity to provide additional evidence.
If review overturns the decision, the prohibition is revoked. This means the record is removed from your driving history. Drivers dissatisfied with the outcome of their review may also make an application under the Judicial Review Procedure Act to have the decision reviewed by the Supreme Court. You are responsible for the costs of the appeal.
For more information, read the Driver Improvement Program page on this website and / or download this factsheet: Driver Improvement Program