Learn what to do if your vehicle is impounded

Short-term impound information

A short-term impoundment is when your vehicle is held for less than 30 days.

How to get your vehicle back

  1. Contact Motor Vehicles.
    In person: Gold Creek Building, Unit A, 2251-2nd Avenue in Whitehorse. Our office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Email: motor.vehicles@gov.yk.ca
    Phone: 867-667-8217 or toll-free in Yukon: 1-800-661-0408 ext. 8217
    Fax: 867-393-6220
  2. Provide proof of valid insurance and registration.
  3. A customer service person will let you know how long to expect the authorization process to take which will depend on each circumstance.
  4. A customer service person will provide you with the impound release form.
  5. You can go to the tow yard once a release is authorized.
  6. Pay the tow and storage fee, if applicable, directly to the towing company.
  7. Retrieve your vehicle.

Long-term impound information

If you get a 90-day suspension, your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days or longer. The length of impoundment depends on the circumstances.

Some examples of long-term impounds are:

  • driving while impaired;
  • driving without a valid licence;
  • leaving the scene of an accident; or
  • driving with no insurance.

How to get a hearing to have you car released

The registered owner will receive a letter from Motor Vehicles, by registered mail, with the following information:

  • where the vehicle is impounded;
  • how long it has to stay there; and
  • how to pick it up when the impoundment period is over.

Once a vehicle has been impounded, it can only be released by a judge. An Application for Review must also be submitted to Court Services. For more information on this process, email motor.vehicles@gov.yk.ca or phone: 867-667-8217.

At the hearing, the judge will determine if the vehicle qualifies for early release. This decision is based on the information in the Application for Review. Court Services will contact you before the hearing if more information is needed.

Time-frames for impoundment are outlined in the Motor Vehicles Act.

Wrongful impoundment

The RCMP can only release a vehicle:

  • for insurance purposes; or
  • if the impound is deemed “wrongful” i.e., theft of a motor vehicle.

How to pick up the vehicle yourself

When the vehicle's impoundment period is over, a registered owner can get an Order of Release in person from a Motor Vehicles office. This form must be presented at the impound facility before the vehicle will be released. You must also show proof of insurance, registration and a valid drivers’ licence to release your vehicle.

A vehicle can be impounded for not having insurance. The vehicle must have insurance for it to be released.

Ask for a 'tow only' release for any impoundment reason other than 'no insurance'.

How to have someone else pick up your vehicle

If someone other than the registered owner is picking up the vehicle, they must have:

  • written permission;
  • a valid drivers' licence; and
  • an Order of Release.

If you do not pick up your vehicle

If vehicles are not picked up on the date of release, the vehicle will be impounded for an additional 30 days.

If unclaimed after 30 days, Motor Vehicles may dispose of the vehicle to cover:

  • outstanding fees;
  • towing; and
  • storage.

A debt may be applied to the registered owner. This means you can't renew your driver's licence or vehicle registration until the debt is paid.