Frequently asked questions

What happens if you commit a type 1 or type 2 vehicle related offence?

You can be issued an infringement notice, a notice to appear or arrested and have to appear before a magistrates court. In addition to any infringement notice or court penalties, the vehicle you are driving may be subject to being impounded or immobilised for a prescribed period.

What are the periods of impoundment or immobilisation?

For Type 1 vehicle related offences:

  • 1st Offence – 90 day period
  • 2nd Offence – vehicle is impounded and subject to forfeiture at the end of all proceedings

For Type 2 vehicle related offences:

  • 1st Offence – No impoundment or immobilisation
  • 2nd Offence – 7 day period
  • 3rd Offence – 90 day period
  • 4th Offence – vehicle is impounded and subject to forfeiture at the end of all proceedings

What is immobilisation?

In certain circumstances your vehicle may be subject to immobilisation by removal and confiscation of the number plates. This provides an alternative to impounding a motor vehicle in a holding yard for the prescribed period.

Who is liable for the costs of towing and/or storage?

The driver of the vehicle is liable to pay all fees of towing and storage of the vehicle for the prescribed impoundment period. The owner of the vehicle will be liable for any excess storage if the vehicle is not collected, these fees will continue to grow daily. This vehicle may also be sold if not collected. Dependent on the length of the impoundment period this could be a substantial cost.

Can you apply for early release of your motor vehicle?

The owner or usual driver of the motor vehicle can make an application to the Commissioner of Police for the release of a vehicle prior to the impoundment or immobilisation period ending. The application must be made on the following grounds:

  • severe financial or physical hardship
  • the circumstances giving rise to the offence have been rectified – unlicensed and unregistered only
  • the offence occurred without the owner’s consent


  • the impoundment or immobilisation was unreasonable.

The application can be made through the Queensland Police Service website and must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation to substantiate the application.

All towing & impound fees must be paid in full prior to the release of your vehicle.

On what grounds can I apply for early release of an impounded or immobilised vehicle?

The early release of an impounded or immobilised vehicle process described here relates specifically to chapter 4 (Motor Vehicle Impoundment) of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000.

The owner or usual driver of the impounded vehicle can apply in writing to the Commissioner of Police for early release if:

  • severe hardship – financial or physical
  • the offence happened without the owners consent
  • the Type 2 offence has been rectified (unlicensed and unregistered only)
  • the grounds for impoundment or immobilisation were unreasonable.

The Commissioner of Police must, if reasonably practicable, make a determination on the early release application within five business days of receiving it. Should the owner or usual driver disagree with the Commissioner’s decision, the decision is appealable to a Magistrates Court.

Submit Application for release of impounded or immobilised vehicle form (you must have a valid and current email address)

If you do not have access to a valid email address you can print the below form, fill in the applicable information and post it to:

Queensland Police Service
GPO Box 1440
Or email: mviearlyrelease@police.qld.gov.au


This fact sheet is provided as general information only. We encourage you to seek independent legal advice regarding your specific circumstances.

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