When peace officers intercept drivers who are committing certain offences under the Highway Safety Code, they can seize and impound vehicles for 7, 30 or 90 days.
If the seized vehicle does not belong to the driver, the driver must inform the vehicle's owner of the seizure without delay.
Seizure and impoundment applies to the vehicle of any owner who loans or rents a vehicle to an offender.
Check the validity of that person's driver's licence. You could save yourself a lot of trouble and avoid having your vehicle seized!
When peace officers are witness to certain offences under the Highway Safety Code, they can seize and impound vehicles for 7, 30 or 90 days. Vehicle owners must claim their vehicles no later than 10 days after the end of the impoundment period.
If you wish to recover your vehicle before the end of the seizure and impoundment period, please note that you can only apply to have your vehicle released from seizure in the following cases:
If your vehicle was seized and impounded because you were driving it without a valid licence (if you failed to pay the renewal fees for your licence), you may only recover it in the following case:
If your vehicle was seized because you were driving while your licence was under penalty, only the following reason can be put forward:
If your vehicle was seized for street racing, only the following reason can be put forward:
If your vehicle was seized for car surfing, only the following reason can be put forward:
If your vehicle was seized because you offered remunerated passenger transportation without being a qualified driver or without holding the appropriate licence class (section 112 of the Act respecting remunerated passenger transportation by automobile), only the following reason can be put forward:
If your vehicle was seized for any of the following reasons, you can recover it only if you can prove that you did not commit the offence in question:
To prove you did not commit the offence in question, you must file an Application for a review of the suspension of your licence or of your right to obtain one (PDF, 372.6 ko).
If any of the reasons listed above apply to you and you wish to recover your vehicle before the end of the impoundment period, you can either:
Step 1 – Complete the Application for Vehicle Release from Seizure (PDF, 122.6 ko) form
This form is also available in our service outlets.
Step 2 – Send us your application
You must send us the Application for Vehicle Release from Seizure form, along with the documents you are required to enclose with it.
Service du suivi du privilège de circuler
Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
333, boulevard Jean-Lesage
Case postale 19500, succursale Terminus
Québec (Québec) G1K 8J5
Québec area: 418-643-2200
Elsewhere (Québec, Canada, United States): 1-866-680-1939
Step 3 – Await our decision
If the release of your vehicle is authorized, make an appointment with the pound's representative in order to pay the vehicle's towing and impoundment fees. You can then claim your vehicle.
…the vehicle was seized because the person driving the vehicle was street racing or car surfing, or was offering remunerated passenger transportation without being a qualified driver or without holding the appropriate licence class.
You have a maximum of 10 days from the end of the impoundment period to claim your vehicle.
Step 1 – Make an appointment with the pound's representative
You must make an appointment with the representative of the pound where your vehicle is being held. The pound's contact information is provided on the statement of seizure.
Step 2 – Pay the towing and impoundment fees
You will be able to claim your vehicle only once the towing and impoundment fees have been paid.
Make sure you bring a valid driver's licence with you. If your vehicle is prohibited from road use, it will have to be towed at your expense.
If the seized vehicle bears a personalized licence plate, and you do not recover the vehicle, the personalized licence plate will be destroyed and you will not be able to have it reprinted.
In the 10 days following the expiry of the deadline, you and any other person or business that has a right to the vehicle (such as a creditor or a long-term lessee registered in the register of personal and movable real rights) will receive a notice informing you that you must recover the vehicle. If the vehicle is valued at more than $3,000, the notice will also be published in various newspapers.
The following steps will be taken:
We will transfer ownership of the vehicle to the pound custodian in payment of the towing and impoundment fees.
We will sell the vehicle. The proceeds from the sale will be used to, among other things:
The remaining balance, if any, will be remitted to the person who was the owner of the vehicle at the time of the seizure.
Note: In both cases, you must pay the management fees for the disposal of an unclaimed impounded vehicle; otherwise, you will lose the right to obtain or renew your driver’s licence, or to register a vehicle or renew your vehicle registration. For information regarding these fees, see the table “Disposal of an unclaimed impounded vehicle” on the Fees for other services page.
Last update: July 21, 2021