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This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Motor Vehicle Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 318

Part 9 — Motor Vehicle Impoundment

Definitions

250  In this Part:

"impound" includes to immobilize, in a manner approved by the superintendent, a motor vehicle at the place referred to in section 215.46 or 251 (1) (g);

"irreparable vehicle" means a motor vehicle that has its title transferred, under an agreement referred to in section 255 (8), to a person who, in accordance with that agreement, is to transfer the title of the motor vehicle to a person who is in the business of wrecking used motor vehicles and who intends to use the motor vehicle for parts or scrap;

"person who has custody", when used in reference to a motor vehicle, includes a person who has, at the direction of a peace officer under section 215.46 or 251 (1) (g), impounded a motor vehicle by immobilizing it;

"race" means circumstances in which, taking into account the condition of the highway, traffic, visibility and weather, the driver or operator of a motor vehicle is driving or operating the motor vehicle without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway or in a manner that may cause harm to an individual by doing any of the following:

(a) outdistancing or attempting to outdistance one or more other motor vehicles;

(b) preventing or attempting to prevent one or more other motor vehicles from passing;

(c) driving at excessive speed in order to arrive at or attempt to arrive at a given destination ahead of one or more other motor vehicles;

"stunt" means circumstances in which, taking into account the condition of the highway, traffic, visibility and weather, the driver or operator of a motor vehicle is driving or operating the motor vehicle without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway or in a manner that is likely to cause harm to an individual or likely to distract, startle or interfere with users of the highway by doing any of the following:

(a) causing any or all of the motor vehicle's tires to lift from the road surface;

(b) causing the motor vehicle to lose traction while turning the motor vehicle;

(c) driving the motor vehicle in a manner to cause the motor vehicle to spin;

(d) driving the motor vehicle in a lane intended for oncoming traffic for longer than necessary to pass another vehicle;

(e) slowing or stopping the motor vehicle in a manner that prevents other motor vehicles from passing or in a manner that blocks or impedes other motor vehicles;

(f) without justification, driving as close as possible to another motor vehicle, a pedestrian, or a fixed object.

Impoundment of motor vehicle

251  (1) If a peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person

(a) has driven or operated a motor vehicle on a highway while the person is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle under

(i)   this Act, or

(ii)   the Youth Justice Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) or the Criminal Code,

(b) has driven or operated a motor vehicle on a highway while the person's driver's licence and his or her right to apply for or obtain a driver's licence are suspended under section 89 (1) (b) or (c), 232 or 233,

(c) has driven or operated a motor vehicle on a highway while

(i)   the person did not hold a subsisting driver's licence issued under this Act and was not exempt under section 34 from holding a driver's licence issued under this Act, and

(ii)   a notice under section 252 was in place on the driving record of the person,

(d) has committed an offence under section 148,

(e) has driven or operated a motor vehicle on a highway in a race or in a stunt and the peace officer intends to charge the person with a motor vehicle related Criminal Code offence or an offence under section 144 (1), 146 or 148 of this Act, or

(f) has committed an offence under

(i)   section 194 (1) or (2), or

(ii)   section 25 (15) by violating a requirement, restriction or condition prescribed under section 25 in relation to a driver's licence that allows the person to drive or operate a motorcycle, which requirement, restriction or condition is specified in the regulations for the purposes of this provision,

the peace officer or another peace officer must

(g) cause the motor vehicle to be taken to and impounded at a place directed by the peace officer, and

(h) if paragraph (c) of this subsection applies, serve on the person a notice of driving prohibition in the form established by the superintendent.

(2) The notice of driving prohibition referred to in subsection (1) (h) must contain all of the following:

(a) a statement of the right to have the driving prohibition reviewed by the superintendent under section 259;

(b) instructions describing how to apply for that review;

(c) a statement that unless the person applies for a review under section 259 and the review results in the revocation of a prohibition under section 261, the person is prohibited from driving until he or she is issued a driver's licence under this Act.

(3) A peace officer who serves a notice of driving prohibition under subsection (1) (h) must promptly forward to the superintendent

(a) a copy of the notice of driving prohibition, and

(b) a certificate of service, in the form established by the superintendent, showing that the notice of driving prohibition was personally served on the person subject to the prohibition.

(4) If a person is served with a notice of driving prohibition under subsection (1) (h), the person is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle until the person is issued a driver's licence under this Act or the notice of driving prohibition is revoked under section 261.

(5) If a peace officer is satisfied that the impoundment of a motor vehicle under subsection (1) or section 215.46 would

(a) jeopardize the safety of the occupants of the motor vehicle, or

(b) leave the occupants stranded,

the peace officer must arrange for transportation of the occupants of the motor vehicle to the nearest safe area where they can summon an alternative form of transportation.

(6) Personal property present in a motor vehicle that has been impounded under subsection (1) or section 215.46, other than personal property attached to or used in connection with the operation of the motor vehicle, must be returned to the owner on request.

(7) Despite subsection (1) or section 215.46, if, at any time before a review is conducted under section 256 a peace officer is satisfied that a motor vehicle impounded under subsection (1) of this section or section 215.46 is stolen property, the peace officer must

(a) order the person who has custody of the motor vehicle to release the motor vehicle to the owner or a person authorized by the owner on payment by the owner or other person of the fees, costs, charges, surcharges and the deposit, if applicable, referred to in section 255 (2), and

(b) promptly give notice to the superintendent of the release of the impounded motor vehicle.

(8) If the person who was driving or operating a motor vehicle at the time the motor vehicle was impounded under subsection (1) or section 215.46 is not the owner of the motor vehicle, the person must make all reasonable efforts to notify as soon as practicable the owner that the motor vehicle has been impounded.

(9) If the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia issues a driver's licence under this Act to the person who was driving or operating a motor vehicle at the time the motor vehicle was impounded in accordance with subsection (1) (c), the superintendent must, if the fees, costs, charges, surcharges and the deposit, if applicable, referred to in section 255 (2) have been paid to the person who has custody of the motor vehicle, order that the motor vehicle be released to the owner or a person authorized by the owner.

Liability for impoundment

252  (1) The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, for the purposes of motor vehicle impoundments in accordance with section 251 (1) (c) and driving prohibitions under section 251 (4), must place a notice on the driving record of the following persons indicating that, if the person drives or operates a motor vehicle on a highway, the motor vehicle is liable to be impounded and the person prohibited from driving under those sections:

(a) a person who has been convicted of an offence under section 24 (1) since the expiry or cancellation of the most recent driver's licence issued to the person under this Act;

(b) a person who has been convicted of an offence under section 24 (1) and who has never held a driver's licence under this Act.

(2) If the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia issues a driver's licence under this Act to a person referred to in subsection (1) (a) or (b),

(a) the corporation must remove a notice placed on the driving record of the person under subsection (1), and

(b) the superintendent must terminate any prohibition served under section 251 (1) (h) as a result of the notice.

Period of impoundment

253  (1) In this section, "impounded motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that has been impounded by an impoundment

(a) authorized under any of paragraphs (a) to (f) of section 251 (1), and

(b) not revoked under section 258,

but does not include a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) that is released under section 251 (7).

(2) Subject to section 255 (5), a motor vehicle impounded under any of paragraphs (a) to (f) of section 251 (1) is to remain impounded for a period of 7 days from the day it is impounded.

(3) Despite subsection (2) and subject to section 255 (5),

(a) if the owner of a motor vehicle impounded under any of paragraphs (a) to (f) of section 251 (1) has once within the 2 years before the date of the impoundment been the owner of an impounded motor vehicle, the motor vehicle is to remain impounded for a period of 30 days from the day it is impounded, and

(b) if the owner of a motor vehicle impounded under any of paragraphs (a) to (f) of section 251 (1) has on 2 or more occasions within the 2 years before the date of the impoundment been the owner of an impounded motor vehicle, the motor vehicle is to remain impounded for a period of 60 days from the day it is impounded.

(4) If a motor vehicle is subject to the period of impoundment authorized under subsection (3) (a) or (b), the superintendent must give to

(a) the registered owner of the motor vehicle, and

(b) the person who has custody of the motor vehicle under the impoundment

notice that, unless the superintendent revokes the impoundment under section 258, the motor vehicle will not be released until the expiry of the period of impoundment authorized under subsection (3) (a) or (b) of this section, as applicable.

(5) The notice required by subsection (4) (a) must be sent by mail to the last known address of the registered owner as shown in the records maintained by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

(6) Subject to section 255 (5), a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 (1) is to remain impounded for a period equal to the period that the person referred to in section 215.46 (1) is prohibited from driving under section 215.43 (1) (a) or (b).

(7) Subject to section 255 (5), a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 (2) is to remain impounded for a period of 30 days from the day it is impounded.

(8) If a driving prohibition is substituted or revoked under section 215.5, the superintendent must,

(a) in the case of a substitution of a 3-day or 7-day prohibition for a 30-day or 90-day prohibition, revoke the corresponding impoundment imposed under section 215.46,

(b) in the case of a substitution of a 3-day prohibition for a 7-day prohibition, vary to the same extent the corresponding impoundment imposed under section 215.46, if any, or

(c) in the case of a revocation, revoke the corresponding impoundment imposed under section 215.46,

and subject to the lien described in section 255 (2), the expiry of the period of impoundment in the case of a substitution and the expiry of another period of impoundment, if any, under section 251 (1), order the person who has custody of the motor vehicle to release the motor vehicle to the owner or a person authorized by the owner.

Duties of peace officer

254  (1) A peace officer who impounds a motor vehicle under section 215.46 or 251 (1) must

(a) complete a notice of impoundment,

(b) give a copy of the notice of impoundment to the driver and the person who has custody of the motor vehicle, and

(c) forward to the superintendent

(i)   a report, in the form established by the superintendent, and

(ii)   a copy of the notice of impoundment.

(2) When the superintendent receives a copy of the notice of impoundment under subsection (1) (c) (ii), the superintendent must promptly send a copy of that notice by mail to the last known address of the registered owner of the motor vehicle as shown in the records maintained by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

(3) The notice of impoundment must contain

(a) a statement of the right to have the impoundment reviewed by the superintendent under section 256,

(b) instructions describing how to apply for that review,

(c) a statement that unless the owner of the motor vehicle applies for a review under section 256, the motor vehicle will be impounded for the period authorized under section 253,

(d) a statement that the filing of an application for review does not stay the impoundment of the motor vehicle, and

(e) a statement that if the owner of the motor vehicle does not pay the fees, costs, charges, surcharges and the deposit, if applicable, referred to in section 255 (2), the motor vehicle may be disposed of under the Warehouse Lien Act or under section 255 (7) of this Act.

Storage of impounded motor vehicle

255  (1) A motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) is to be stored at a place directed by the peace officer.

(2) The following constitute a lien on the motor vehicle:

(a) fees, costs, charges and surcharges prescribed by the superintendent in respect of the transportation, towing, care, storage, disposition and other related activities respecting the impoundment of the motor vehicle;

(b) charges for searches and registrations under the Personal Property Security Act that are reasonably necessary to fulfill the obligations of the person who has custody of the motor vehicle under the impoundment;

(c) the amount prescribed for a deposit, whether the deposit is paid in advance or not, for a device used to immobilize a motor vehicle, if there is damage to the immobilization device at the end of the period of impoundment.

(3) The lien described in subsection (2) may be enforced under the Warehouse Lien Act or under subsection (7) of this section.

(4) The person who has custody of a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) must notify the superintendent if that motor vehicle is sold under the Warehouse Lien Act.

(5) Subject to sections 251 (7) and (9), 253 (8), 258, 262 and 263 and to subsection (9) of this section, a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) must remain impounded until the expiry of the applicable impoundment period set out in section 253, and for a further period that expires when

(a) the lien is paid, if it is paid after the expiry of the applicable period set out in section 253,

(b) the date referred to in subsection (6) of this section is reached, if an agreement referred to in that subsection is in place, or

(c) the motor vehicle is disposed of

(i)   under the Warehouse Lien Act, or

(ii)   under subsection (7) of this section.

(6) If a person who has custody of a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) enters into an agreement with the owner of the motor vehicle respecting the earliest date, after the applicable impoundment period has expired, before which the person will not begin to take action to dispose of the motor vehicle under subsection (7) of this section or under the Warehouse Lien Act, the person who has custody of the motor vehicle must notify the superintendent of the agreement as soon as practicable.

(7) If a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) remains impounded after the expiration of the impoundment period referred to in section 253, the person who has custody of the motor vehicle may, with the approval of the superintendent, dispose of the motor vehicle by sale or otherwise, if the person

(a) surrenders to the superintendent any number plates, issued under this Act, from the motor vehicle, and

(b) files with the superintendent a statutory declaration declaring that

(i)   the amount of the person's lien on the motor vehicle exceeds the amount calculated by subtracting $1 000 from the person's estimate of the value of the motor vehicle,

(ii)   the person, at least 14 days before making the statutory declaration, sent to the registered owner of the motor vehicle, by mail, a notice that the person intends to dispose of the motor vehicle if the lien is not paid, and

(iii)   the person has obtained a certificate issued under the Personal Property Security Act showing that no security interest is registered against the motor vehicle under that Act.

(8) A person who has custody of a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) may enter into an agreement, in a form established by the superintendent, with the owner of the motor vehicle according to which the title of the motor vehicle is to be transferred to the person as an irreparable vehicle.

(9) If an agreement has been entered into under subsection (8), the lien under subsection (2) held by the person who has custody of the motor vehicle is discharged and the person must, whether or not the applicable impoundment period set out in section 253 has expired, dispose of the motor vehicle as an irreparable vehicle, provided that the person

(a) surrenders to the superintendent any number plates, issued under this Act, from the motor vehicle,

(b) files with the superintendent

(i)   a copy of the agreement, and

(ii)   a statutory declaration declaring that the person has obtained a certificate issued under the Personal Property Security Act showing that no security interest is registered against the motor vehicle under that Act,

(c) delivers to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia within 10 days after the transfer

(i)   a notice of transfer and change in status of the motor vehicle, in the form required by the corporation, signed by the owner of the motor vehicle and the person who has custody of the motor vehicle, and

(ii)   the fee prescribed under section 17.1 (3) (b) for its filing, and

(d) obtains the approval of the superintendent.

(10) The notice of transfer referred to in subsection (9) (c) (i) may be delivered to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, a government agent or a person authorized in writing by the corporation for the purposes of section 17 (4), but the person delivering the notice of transfer must at the same time surrender the licence last issued under section 3 for the motor vehicle, and the person to whom it is surrendered must endorse on it a memorandum of the notice of transfer and the date of its delivery to him or her.

(11) If the superintendent approves the disposal of a motor vehicle under subsection (7), the superintendent

(a) must

(i)   direct the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to cancel any vehicle licence issued under this Act with respect to the motor vehicle,

(ii)   direct the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to transfer the registration of the motor vehicle to the person who has custody of the motor vehicle under the impoundment,

(iii)   direct the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to forward any refund from the cancellation of the vehicle licence to the previous registered owner of the motor vehicle, and

(iv)   forward to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia any number plates that have been surrendered to the superintendent under subsection (7), and

(b) may, after the expiry of 30 days from the day the superintendent approved the disposal, direct the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to refuse, under section 26 (1) or (2) or both, to issue to the person who was the owner of the motor vehicle when it was impounded a driver's licence or a licence and corresponding number plates for a motor vehicle or trailer or both until the superintendent rescinds the direction.

(12) If the superintendent approves the disposal of a motor vehicle under subsection (9), the superintendent must do everything set out in subsection (11) (a).

(13) If the amount of the lien described in subsection (2) is discharged by disposal of the motor vehicle under subsection (7) or by payment by the person who was the owner of the motor vehicle at the time of its impoundment or by a combination of both,

(a) the person who made a filing under subsection (7) or who received the payment must notify the superintendent of the discharge, and

(b) after receiving the notice referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection, the superintendent must rescind the direction to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, if any, made under subsection (11) (b).

(14) A person who contravenes a requirement under subsection (9) or (10) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $2 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or to both.

Review of impoundment

256  (1) The owner of a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 (2) for a period of 30 days or under section 251 (1) for a period of 30 or 60 days may, within 15 days after the impoundment begins, apply to the superintendent for a review of the impoundment by

(a) filing an application for review with the superintendent, and

(b) paying to the superintendent the prescribed hearing fee.

(2) An application for review must be in the form, contain the information and be completed in the manner required by the superintendent.

(3) An applicant may attach to the application for review any statements or other evidence that the applicant wishes the superintendent to consider.

(4) The filing of an application for review does not stay the impoundment of the motor vehicle.

(5) The superintendent is not required to hold an oral hearing unless the applicant

(a) requests an oral hearing at the time of filing the application for review, and

(b) pays the prescribed oral hearing fees.

(6) If a person requests an oral hearing and fails to appear on the date and at the time and place arranged for the hearing, without prior notice to the superintendent, the right to an oral hearing is deemed to have been waived by the person.

Considerations for review of impoundment

257  In a review under section 256 of a motor vehicle impoundment, the superintendent

(a) must consider the report of the peace officer forwarded under section 254 (1) (c) (i), and

(b) may consider

(i)   the driving record of the person named as the driver of the motor vehicle in a copy of the notice of impoundment completed under section 254, or

(ii)   information and records kept by the superintendent under this Act in relation to any previous impoundments under section 215.46 or 251 (1), or under section 104.1 (1), 105 (1), 105.1 (1), 242 (1) or 243 (1) before their repeal, of motor vehicles owned by the person who applied for the review.

Decision of superintendent on review of impoundment

258  (1) If, after considering an application for review made under section 256 by an owner who was not the driver or operator of the motor vehicle at the time the motor vehicle was impounded, the superintendent is satisfied

(a) that the driver or operator was in possession of the motor vehicle without the knowledge or consent of the owner,

(b) that the owner exercised reasonable care and diligence in entrusting the motor vehicle to the person who was, at the time of the impoundment, in possession of the motor vehicle,

(c) if the impoundment was made under section 251 (1) (a), that the driver or operator was not prohibited from driving under any of the provisions referred to in section 251 (1) (a) at the time the motor vehicle was impounded,

(d) if the impoundment was made under section 251 (1) (b), that the driver's or operator's driver's licence and his or her right to apply for or obtain a driver's licence were not suspended under section 89 (1) (b) or (c), 232 or 233 at the time the motor vehicle was impounded, or

(e) if the impoundment was made under section 251 (1) (c), that

(i)   at the time the motor vehicle was impounded, the driver or operator

(A)  held a subsisting driver's licence issued under this Act, or

(B)  was exempt under section 34 from holding a driver's licence issued under this Act, or

(ii)   a notice should not have been placed on the driving record of the driver under section 252 (1),

the superintendent must

(f) revoke the impoundment, and

(g) subject to the lien described in section 255 (2), order the person who has custody of the motor vehicle to release the motor vehicle to the owner or a person authorized by the owner.

(2) If, after considering an application for review made under section 256 by an owner who was the driver or operator of the motor vehicle at the time the motor vehicle was impounded, the superintendent is satisfied

(a) if the impoundment was made under section 251 (1) (a), that the owner

(i)   was not prohibited from driving under any of the provisions referred to in section 251 (1) (a) at the time the motor vehicle was impounded, or

(ii)   before he or she drove or operated the motor vehicle, had no reason to believe that he or she was prohibited from driving under any of the provisions referred to in section 251 (1) (a),

(b) if the impoundment was made under section 251 (1) (b), that

(i)   the owner's driver's licence and his or her right to apply for or obtain a driver's licence were not suspended under section 89 (1) (b) or (c), 232 or 233 at the time the motor vehicle was impounded, or

(ii)   before he or she drove or operated the motor vehicle, the owner had no reason to believe that his or her driver's licence and his or her right to apply for or obtain a driver's licence were suspended under a section referred to in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, or

(c) if the impoundment was made under section 251 (1) (c), that

(i)   at the time the motor vehicle was impounded, the owner

(A)  held a subsisting driver's licence issued under this Act, or

(B)  was exempt under section 34 from holding a driver's licence issued under this Act,

(ii)   before he or she drove or operated the motor vehicle, the owner had a reasonable belief that he or she

(A)  held a subsisting driver's licence issued under this Act, or

(B)  was exempt under section 34 from holding a driver's licence issued under this Act, or

(iii)   a notice should not have been placed on the driving record of the owner under section 252 (1),

the superintendent must

(d) revoke the impoundment, and

(e) subject to the lien described in section 255 (2), order the person who has custody of the motor vehicle to release the motor vehicle to the owner or a person authorized by the owner.

(3) If, after considering an application for review made under section 256 by an owner of a motor vehicle impounded under section 251 (1), the superintendent is satisfied that the period of impoundment determined under section 253 is not supported by the facts of the case, the superintendent must

(a) adjust the period of impoundment in accordance with section 253, or

(b) if the period of impoundment has expired, subject to the lien described in section 255 (2), order the person who has custody of the motor vehicle to release the motor vehicle to the owner or a person authorized by the owner.

(4) The decision of the superintendent under subsection (1), (2) or (3), and the reasons for the decision, must be in writing and a copy must be sent to the applicant within 7 days of the date the application was considered or the oral hearing was held.

(5) The copy referred to in subsection (4) must be sent to the applicant

(a) at the last known address of the applicant as shown in the records maintained by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, or

(b) at the address shown in the application for review, if that address is different from the address in the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's records.

Review of driving prohibition

259  (1) A person may, after being served with a notice of driving prohibition under section 251 (1) (h), apply to the superintendent for a review of the driving prohibition by

(a) filing an application for review with the superintendent, and

(b) paying to the superintendent the prescribed hearing fee.

(2) An application for review must be in the form, contain the information and be completed in the manner required by the superintendent.

(3) An applicant may attach to the application for review any written statements or other evidence that the applicant wishes the superintendent to consider.

(4) The superintendent must conduct a review under this section on the basis of written submissions and must not hold an oral hearing.

Considerations for review of driving prohibition

260  In a review of a driving prohibition under section 259, the superintendent may consider only

(a) the driving record of the person on whom the notice of driving prohibition was served, and

(b) relevant information provided by the person on whom the notice of driving prohibition was served.

Decision of superintendent on review of driving prohibition

261  If, after considering an application for review under section 259, the superintendent is satisfied that

(a) the person, at the time the notice of driving prohibition was served, was exempt under section 34 from holding a driver's licence issued under this Act,

(b) the person has, since the notice of driving prohibition was served, become exempt under section 34 from holding a driver's licence issued under this Act, or

(c) a notice should not have been placed on the driving record of the person under section 252 (1),

the superintendent must

(d) revoke the notice of driving prohibition, and

(e) if the superintendent is satisfied of the matter referred to in paragraph (c) of this subsection, direct the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to remove the notice referred to in that paragraph.

Early release of motor vehicle on grounds of economic hardship

262  (1) A person who

(a) is the owner of a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 (2) for a period of 30 days or under section 251 (1) for a period of 30 or 60 days or, if not the owner of the impounded motor vehicle, a person authorized by the owner, and

(b) has a valid driver's licence and is not prohibited from driving,

may, within 15 days after the impoundment of the motor vehicle begins under section 215.46 (2) or 251 (1), apply to the superintendent under subsection (2) of this section for the release of the motor vehicle.

(2) An applicant must

(a) apply in a form acceptable to the superintendent,

(b) provide the superintendent with any information the superintendent may reasonably require,

(c) pay to the superintendent the prescribed hearing fee, and

(d) establish, to the satisfaction of the superintendent, that the owner is eligible for early release of the motor vehicle on the grounds set out in subsection (3).

(3) The grounds for an early release under this section are that

(a) the motor vehicle is used in an active sole proprietorship, partnership or company,

(b) the sole proprietorship, partnership or company has a reasonable prospect for generating income that is dependent on the impounded motor vehicle, and

(c) the prospective income dependent on the impounded motor vehicle represents a substantial proportion of the anticipated income to be earned by the sole proprietorship, partnership or company during the period of impoundment, or otherwise imposes an economic hardship on the sole proprietorship, partnership or company.

(4) If the superintendent is satisfied, with respect to an application, that the grounds set out in subsection (3) have been established, the superintendent may, subject to the lien described in section 255 (2),

(a) with the consent of the owner of the motor vehicle or a person authorized by the owner, and

(b) on receiving payment of the prescribed vehicle release fee,

order the person who has custody of the motor vehicle under the impoundment to release the motor vehicle to the applicant.

(5) If a motor vehicle has been released under this section during the course of an impoundment that occurred in respect of a particular period during which

(a) the person referred to in section 251 (1) (a) was prohibited from driving a motor vehicle,

(b) the person's driver's licence and his or her right to apply for or obtain a driver's licence was suspended under section 89 (1) (b) or (c), 232 or 233, or

(c) the person referred to in section 251 (1) (c) failed to hold a subsisting driver's licence issued under this Act and was not exempt under section 34 from holding a driver's licence issued under this Act,

no further application for the release of a motor vehicle may be made under this section with respect to an impoundment that occurred in respect of that same period.

Early release of motor vehicle on compassionate grounds

263  (1) A person who

(a) holds a valid driver's licence and is not prohibited from driving, and

(b) is cohabiting with the owner of a motor vehicle at the time the motor vehicle is impounded under section 215.46 (2) for a period of 30 days or under section 251 (1) for a period of 30 or 60 days,

is eligible to apply for the release of the motor vehicle under subsection (2) of this section.

(2) An eligible person may, within 15 days after the impoundment of a motor vehicle begins under section 215.46 (2) or 251 (1), apply to the superintendent for the release of the motor vehicle on the grounds that

(a) the impoundment of the motor vehicle

(i)   will cause the eligible person to suffer a loss or curtailment of employment or educational opportunities, or

(ii)   will prevent the eligible person, or someone under the care of the eligible person, from obtaining medical treatment, and

(b) the eligible person has no reasonable alternative form of transportation, including public transportation, that would

(i)   prevent the loss or curtailment referred to in paragraph (a) (i) of this subsection, or

(ii)   allow the medical treatment referred to in paragraph (a) (ii) to be obtained.

(3) An applicant must

(a) apply in a form acceptable to the superintendent,

(b) provide the superintendent with any information the superintendent may reasonably require, and

(c) pay to the superintendent the prescribed hearing fee.

(4) If the superintendent is satisfied, with respect to an application, that the grounds set out in subsection (2) have been established, the superintendent may,

(a) with the consent of the owner of the motor vehicle, and

(b) on receiving payment of the prescribed vehicle release fee,

subject to the lien described in section 255 (2), order the person who has custody of the motor vehicle under the impoundment to release the motor vehicle to the applicant.

(5) If a motor vehicle has been released under this section during the course of an impoundment that occurred in respect of a particular period during which

(a) the person referred to in section 251 (1) (a) was prohibited from driving a motor vehicle,

(b) the person's driver's licence and his or her right to apply for or obtain a driver's licence was suspended under section 89 (1) (b) or (c), 232 or 233, or

(c) the person referred to in section 251 (1) (c) failed to hold a subsisting driver's licence issued under this Act and was not exempt under section 34 from holding a driver's licence issued under this Act,

no further application for the release of a motor vehicle may be made under this section with respect to an impoundment that occurs in respect of that same period.

Release of motor vehicle after impoundment period

264  (1) Subject to subsection (2), when the impoundment period referred to in section 253 has expired, or, if an agreement referred to in section 255 (6) is in place, the date for release under that agreement has been reached, the owner or a person authorized by the owner may request that the motor vehicle be released by

(a) completing a request for release of the motor vehicle, and

(b) delivering the request to the superintendent.

(2) A request under subsection (1) need not be made to have an impounded motor vehicle released if the impoundment period for the motor vehicle was less than 30 days.

(3) A request under subsection (1) must be in the form, contain the information and be completed in the manner required by the superintendent.

(4) Subject to the lien described in section 255 (2), the superintendent may, on receiving a request under subsection (1) of this section, order that the motor vehicle be released to the owner or a person authorized by the owner.

(5) Subject to section 255 (5), a person who has custody of a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) must release the motor vehicle when ordered to do so by the superintendent.

Owner's right against driver

265  The owner of a motor vehicle impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1) may recover from the person who was the driver or operator at the time the motor vehicle was impounded, as a debt in any court of competent jurisdiction, the fees, costs, charges, surcharges and deposit, if applicable, under section 255 (2) that the owner has paid with respect to the impoundment.

Superintendent may indemnify for wrongful impoundment

266  If the superintendent is satisfied that a motor vehicle has been wrongfully impounded under section 215.46 or 251 (1), the superintendent may

(a) order the release of the motor vehicle from impoundment,

(b) waive any fee, cost or charge payable to the superintendent, and

(c) indemnify the owner of the motor vehicle for any direct cost incurred by the owner in respect of the impoundment of the motor vehicle.

Appropriation

267  Money required for the purposes of a waiver of any fee, cost, charge or indemnification under section 266 may be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund without any other appropriation other than this section.

Power to make regulations — Lieutenant Governor in Council

268  Without limiting any other provision of this Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) specifying a requirement, restriction or condition for the purposes of section 251 (1) (f) (ii);

(b) prescribing hearing fees for the purposes of sections 256 (1) (b) and (5) (b), 259 (1) (b), 262 (2) (c) and 263 (3) (c);

(c) prescribing vehicle release fees for the purposes of sections 262 (4) (b) and 263 (4) (b).

Power to make regulations — superintendent

269  The superintendent may make regulations prescribing the fees, costs, charges, surcharges and the deposit amount for the purposes of section 255 (2).

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