Here, you can find out how to reclaim a vehicle that has been seized under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means an officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the driver was uninsured or was not driving in accordance with their driving licence.
Your vehicle can also be seized if it's being driven on a public road or place and:
it hasn't been taxed for two months and one day or longer
it's registered as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification)
If your vehicle has been seized for any of these reasons the driver should have received a seizure notice.
You'll need the seizure notice that was given to you at the roadside to get your vehicle back. It's important that, within 14 working days, you go to one of our designated police stations with documents that prove your ID and your ownership of the vehicle to start the process of reclaiming your vehicle. You'll might also have to pay the release and storage fees.
Your vehicle will be held at an assigned recovery agent compound for 14 working days from midnight on the day of the seizure. After this time, if it's not collected, it may be scrapped or sold.
These are the designated police stations in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire or Hertfordshire you can attend to prove your identity:
If you weren't driving the vehicle but you are the registered keeper, you'll be sent a letter by recorded delivery telling you about the seizure. You have 14 days from the date the letter was posted to reclaim your vehicle.
The enquiry office at the police station will check your documents and stamp the seizure paperwork, which you can then take to the recovery compound holding your vehicle (the address will be on the paperwork). You'll then need to pay the recovery operator the release and storage fees (if incurred).
The correct documents you need to reclaim your vehicle
When you go to one of our designated police stations you must produce the following documents (originals, not copies) to prove your identity and get your vehicle released:
valid V5C (log book in your name) or new keeper slip
valid certificate of insurance (it must show the registration mark of the vehicle being released)
driving licence (you can produce your passport alongside the paper counterpart if you do not possess a photocard driving licence)
valid MOT certificate or proof of a pre-booked MOT, if required
If you're the legal owner, but not the registered keeper
If you don't have the V5C log book or new keeper slip, we'll need to see verifiable proof of ownership – this could be an official receipt from the garage where you bought the vehicle, or evidence of purchase, such as a bank transfer or bill of sale. It will need to include the details of the previous keeper so we can contact them to verify that you bought the vehicle from them.
You also have to complete a V62 application for a new V5C while at the station. We'll send this to the DVLA on your behalf, registering the vehicle in your name. You'll also need to bring a postal order made payable to 'DVLA SWANSEA' to cover the DVLA set fee of £25. We'll send this to the DVLA with the V62.
If you're a motor trader and the owner of the vehicle at the time of the seizure
If you have the V5C log book or V5C/3 (yellow Motor Traders Supplement), we'll need to see verifiable evidence of trading in relation to the seized vehicle, such as a stock book or similar containing details of purchased vehicles. This must include the date and time of purchase for the seized vehicle (a single piece of paper with the vehicle details written on it will not be acceptable).
If you have the V5C, you'll also have to complete a V62 application form while at the station. We'll send this to the DVLA on your behalf, along with the V5C (minus the V5C/3 yellow Motor Traders Supplement), registering the vehicle in your name.
If you don't have the V5C you'll also need to bring a postal order made payable to 'DVLA SWANSEA' to cover the DVLA set fee of £25. We will send this to the DVLA with the V62 form and the vehicle will be registered in your name.
If the seized vehicle is not registered in the UK
If you're visiting the UK, you'll need to bring the following documents to the police station:
proof of ownership of the vehicle
certificate of insurance
photo ID (passport or driving licence)
If you've imported or brought a vehicle into the UK and intend to stay for longer than six months, you must go through a process that includes registering and taxing the vehicle with DVLA. Find out the full process of importing a vehicle into the UK.
If your vehicle is seized while you're going through this process, you need to attend one of the designated police stations within 14 days of the date of seizure to tell us that. You'll need to produce all the documents listed above to get your vehicle released.
If someone is reclaiming the vehicle on your behalf
As the registered keeper/owner you are legally responsible for the vehicle. You must attend the police station in person to prove ownership, unless:
you can provide evidence that you're out of the country, or
there are compelling medical or compassionate circumstances that stop you being able to
If that's the case you must provide:
an authority letter – a letter signed by you, authorising the third party to collect the vehicle on your behalf
a copy of your passport or driving licence – so we can verify the signature on the letter of authority
The person collecting the vehicle on your behalf must also have a valid driving licence and a valid certificate of insurance that allows them to reclaim a seized vehicle and drive it away from the recovery operator's pound. These documents must also be produced at the police station.
If you can't drive the vehicle yourself
If you can attend the police station to establish your ownership but you can't drive the vehicle yourself, you may nominate someone to collect it on your behalf. Both you and the third party need to go to the police station together.
You need bring photo ID (passport or driving licence).
The third party needs to bring their driving licence and photo ID (passport or driving licence).
Your insurance policy must cover the third party to drive the seized vehicle, this isn't covered by an 'allowed to drive other vehicles not owned by them' extension on the third party's insurance policy.
These charges are set by government, not the police, and vary depending on the weight and condition of the vehicle.
Please note, the daily storage charges start from midday on the next working day after the vehicle was seized.
If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, isn't roadworthy or won’t start
If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, isn’t roadworthy or won’t start, you need to arrange for a fully trained, equipped and insured vehicle recovery operator to collect it at your own expense.
We don’t allow vehicles to be repaired while they’re at the pound (this includes changing tyres, repairing windscreens or jump starting).
Provisional driving licence holders
If you’re driving under a provisional licence you must bring someone who:
is over 21 and
has held a licence for more than three years
Make sure you have L plates on the vehicle.
If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle
If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle, this is called 'disclaiming', you don’t need to take any action. We'll dispose of it after 14 days.
Things to be aware of
Bring a set of keys, in case the driver (if you weren't the driver) didn't leave the keys in the vehicle.
If your vehicle doesn’t have correct number plates and you’re planning on driving it, you must attach valid replacement plates when you collect it.