vehicle sanctions


Vehicle sanctions lessen the chance of high-risk drivers on the road. This keeps people from reoffending.

What are vehicle sanctions?

Vehicle sanctions can be either –

  • The police can impound your vehicle if you are driving illegally.
  • The police can confiscate any vanity plate they deem offensive.

The vehicle sanctions imposed by the government last for 3 months. If you were disqualified from driving at the time, police can sanction your car for six months. Even if the driver of a vehicle is not the person listed as the owner of the car, the police can impound it if a sufficient violation occurs.  It includes company registered vehicles as well. NSW police can confiscate a vehicle that has been involved in a serious driving offence if the registered owner is a company.


Police may issue a vehicle sanction at the roadside for serious driving offenses like –

  • Repeated outlawed driving
  • Repeated driving while drunk
  • Driving over 45km/h
  • Racing

For a combined drink and drug driving offense, the vehicle may be impounded up to 60 days after the offense. The laboratory checks the results of the roadside drug test against its database. If the database shows that the driver has a positive test, the driver is given a longer wait time to get back on the roadway.

Repeated offenders

If you continuously commit serious driving offenses in New South Wales, you may lose your vehicle. As a result, the police or court will take control of the vehicle and you will no longer be its owner. In some cases, the government can sell your car to recover the costs of storing and collecting it. Depending on the situation, the New South Wales government can authorize the use of cars as crash test dummies.

Appealing vehicle sanctions

If you are able to demonstrate that your vehicle or number plates were not used in an offense, you can apply to the court to get them back before the end of the confiscation period. You must show the court that you need to use the vehicle because you have a condition that necessitates the use of a vehicle. The court will determine –

  • The car can commit the same driving offense.
  • The vehicle release can affect someone other than the registered owner.

The court can not release a vehicle or number plates earlier than 5 working days after it sanctions them.

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