​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

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Losing your car or number plates

The police can impound (take away) your car or number plates if they have reason to believe that the car was involved in:

  • street racing
  • burnouts
  • a police pursuit
  • speeding by more than 45 km/h.

The power of the police to do this is called a 'sanction' and these offences are called 'sanctionable offences'. The laws that allow this are often called 'hoon laws'.

    What can the police do?

    If your car was involved in a sanctionable offence, the police officer can:

    • immediately impound your vehicle
    • immediately remove your number plates and attach a notice to the vehicle stating that the number plates have been removed. This is called a 'number-plate confiscation notice'.
    • send you a notice, called a 'production notice', telling you that you have to take your vehicle to be impounded or remove your number plates and give them to the police.

    Icon - alertIf you do not hand over your vehicle or number plates when directed to, you may be given a fine or be charged. If you are convicted, you could be fined and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) may suspend your registration for up to 3 months.

    Icon - alertIf your number plates are confiscated you may have to arrange for your car to be towed to avoid parking fines. If your vehicle is impounded you may have to pay towing fees as well as impound fees.

    Icon - alert  Driving your vehicle during the number-plate confiscation period is a criminal offence. If you are charged and found guilty, you could be fined.

    When and how can I get my car or number plates back?

    Car or other motor vehicle

    At the end of the impound period, you should contact the police to find out where your car has been impounded to arrange to pick it up.

    The police can ask you to pay towing and storage fees before they will release the car. If you cannot pay these fees you can ask the police to waive the charges.

    Number plates

    Police should have delivered your number plates to RMS. At the end of the confiscation period, you should contact RMS to arrange to pick up your number plates.

    If your number plates were damaged when they were removed, they should give you replacement number plates.

    If you have any trouble getting your car or number plates back, you should get legal advice.

    What if I was not the driver?

    If the vehicle is registered in your name but you were not driving the vehicle when it was involved in an offence, RMS may send you a warning notice. If your vehicle is involved in any further sanctionable offences in the next five years, the vehicle's registration may be suspended for up to three months.

    If you receive a warning letter from RMS, you should get legal advice.

    Can I get my car and number plates back early?

    You can apply to the local court to get your car or number plates back before the impound or confiscation period ends. You do not need to be the registered owner of the vehicle to make the application but you will need to show the court that you need or use the vehicle.

    The court will consider:

    • whether it is reasonably likely that the vehicle will be used for hoon offences again, or
    • any extreme hardship caused to someone other than the registered owner because the vehicle or number plates have been taken away.

    The court cannot release your vehicle or your number plates earlier than five days after they were confiscated.

    If you want to apply to the court for early release of your vehicle or number plates, you should get legal advice first.

    For more information, see Getting your car or number plates back early. ​​