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When a vehicle can be forfeited and sold

A forfeiture order means that the vehicle owner loses that vehicle permanently. The vehicle is forfeited (handed over to the Crown). A vehicle may be forfeited if a driver is found guilty of a relevant offence, and within the previous 6 years, the driver has committed 2 or more relevant offences second or third relevant offence within a 6 year period. This depends on:

  • whether the court, after considering all of the circumstances, believes that this is appropriate
  • whether the offences were tier one or tier 2 offences.

See s. 84T—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Which are the relevant offences?

How is the 6 year period calculated?

The 6 year period is calculated from the date that the offences happened. These offences must have been defined as relevant offences at the time that the offences were committed.

See s. 84T—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Which are the relevant offences?

If the court declines to make the forfeiture order

After considering the circumstances, the court may decide that it is not appropriate to make a forfeiture order, however if they do not make an order for forfeiture they must order that the vehicle used when the offence was committed (or a substitute vehicle), is impounded or immobilised for at least 45 days. The court may also make an order for search and seizure of the vehicle at the same time.

Exceptions

The Act sets out grounds when an immobilisation or impoundment order does not have to be made.

See If owner was not the driver.

Forfeiture if an immobilised or impounded vehicle is not collected

The driver (and owner if applicable) have 2 months to collect the vehicle after the notice or order ends. If the vehicle is not collected in this time the police may sell or dispose of that vehicle and any contents left inside.

Police have to give notice at least 14 days before they dispose of the vehicle.

See s. 84Z(4)—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic).(opens in a new window)

More information

Legislation

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 84T—when a court may order that a vehicle be forfeited to the crown
  • s. 84Z—exceptions, when an immobilisation or impoundment order do not have to be made
  • s. 84S—orders for impoundment or immobilisation of a vehicle
  • Part 6A Div 5 sub-div 2—Disposal or motor vehicles, items of things subject to disposal order
  • s. 84Z(4)—power to dispose of an uncollected vehicle

See Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic).(opens in a new window)

Updated