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Vehicle Seizure Programs

Alberta’s Vehicle Seizure Programs are aimed at making roads safer by swiftly removing unsafe drivers off Alberta roads.

Table of contents

Overview

Alberta Transportation administers 2 different Vehicle Seizure Programs:

  • Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) Program for impaired driving
  • Suspended Driver Vehicle Seizure Program for driving while under suspension/disqualification

A vehicle can be seized, even in cases where the vehicle is:

  • borrowed to a family member or friend
  • rented or leased
  • used for business or employment purposes
  • being driven by someone who holds a driver’s licence from another province or country

If you had your vehicle seized, please note:

  • a vehicle does not have to belong to the driver to be seized; the vehicle seizure is based on the action of the driver at the time of the occurrence
  • the registered owner at the time the vehicle is seized is responsible for all costs involved in the vehicle seizure
  • details of your vehicle seizure, including the length of the vehicle seizure, location of the seized vehicle and information on the tow lot operator can be found on the Seizure Notice given to you by law enforcement
  • the associated costs of the vehicle seizure are payable upon expiry of the vehicle seizure or upon termination of the vehicle seizure by SafeRoads Alberta

IRS Vehicle Seizure Program

If you are issued a contravention under the IRS Program for impaired driving, your vehicle will be seized by law enforcement for a specific length of time:

IRS Program Vehicle seizure length
IRS: FAIL 30-day
IRS: WARN First occurrence: 3-day

Second (or subsequent occurrence): 7-day
IRS ZERO: Novice 7-day
IRS ZERO: Commercial none
IRS: 24-HOUR 24-Hour

Please note there is no related vehicle seizure to a contravention under the IRS ZERO: Commercial Program.

Suspended Driver Vehicle Seizure Program

30-day Vehicle Seizure

A person found to be operating a vehicle while under suspension/disqualification of:

  • section 94 or section 94.1 of the Traffic Safety Act
  • section 320.18 of the Criminal Code (Canada)

will have their vehicle seized for a 30-day period pursuant to section 173(1) of the Traffic Safety Act.

60-day Vehicle Seizure

If it is a second occurrence within a 3-year period of the first occurrence, a person found to be operating a vehicle while under suspension/disqualification of:

  • section 94 or section 94.1 of the Traffic Safety Act
  • section 320.18 of the Criminal Code (Canada)

will have their vehicle seized for a 60-day period pursuant to section 173(2) of the Traffic Safety Act. A 60-day vehicle seizure will occur when the driver and the registered owner are the same in both occurrences.

File a review

Through SafeRoads Alberta, you can request a review for your vehicle seizure under the Immediate Roadside Sanctions or Suspended Driver Vehicle Seizure Program.

Applying for a review does not guarantee the return of your vehicle.

More information on the vehicle seizure review process can be found online through SafeRoads Alberta.

Contact

Connect with Driver Fitness and Monitoring:

Driver fitness monitoring contact form
Phone: 780-427-8230
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

Connect with SafeRoads Alberta:

SafeRoads contact form
Phone: 780-427-SAFE
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

Hours: 8:15 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

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