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.
If your vehicle has been seized for this reason the driver should have received a seizure notice. If the driver of the vehicle isn't the owner, then the registered owner/keeper will also have received a similar notice by post.
If your vehicle has been seized for this reason the driver should have received a seizure notice.
If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner, then the registered owner/keeper will also have received a similar notice by post.
How to reclaim your vehicle
You have 14 days to prove satisfactory ownership and provide a legitimate insurance for the vehicle at the specified police station on the seizure notice to reclaim your vehicle or it will be disposed of. You must also produce a valid driving licence.
If you haven't received a seizure notice as the owner or registered keeper, please contact Operation Wolverine below.
To prove your identity you need valid photo ID, such as:
EU national identity card
immigration document/British Residence Permit
If the seizure notice says that the documents have to be produced at Operation Wolverine, then you must contact Operation Wolverine and make an appointment:
Eccles Police Station Gorton Street Eccles Greater Manchester M30 7LZ
Opening times are 7am to 4pm Monday to Friday only.
Do not attend Eccles Police Station without an appointment.
In some cases enquiry counter staff may also direct you to contact Operation Wolverine.
After your documents have been recorded at the relevant police station or by Operation Wolverine we'll tell the pound who the vehicle can be released to. Take the seizure notice and your proof of identity documents to the pound.
Pounds won't accept a seizure notice unless documents have been produced at a police station or permission has been given by Operation Wolverine.
There will be a further final check of all of the documentation at the pound.
Valid driving licence
Your driving licence must be either:
a UK photo card driving licence; if you have the old paper licence you need to bring your passport or another verifiable form of photo ID (one from the list above)
an EU/EEA photo card driving licence along with a passport or EU/EAA identity card
a non-EU/EEA driving licence together with an International Driving Permit or an official translation, plus a passport or other evidence of immigration status and date of arrival in the UK. International driving permits are only accepted along with the international driving licence.
Valid certificate of insurance
You'll need to produce a valid certificate of motor insurance that permits the release of a vehicle impounded by a government authority before your vehicle will be released, even if you don’t intend to drive it on a public road.
You must inform your insurance company that your vehicle has been seized. The insurance company may insist on what is known as compound release insurance before the vehicle is released by the police. Make sure you check this with your insurance provider.
a paper certificate of motor insurance
copies sent by email
Please make sure you've declared all the relevant facts to your insurer, including:
correct owner and registered keeper details
any motoring convictions in the last five years
any relevant criminal convictions
correct date of birth
any modifications to your vehicle from standard specification
If you took out the policy after the vehicle was seized you must also declare relevant pending convictions, including those which may be pending in respect of the incident for which the vehicle is currently impounded.
You must also tell the insurer that the vehicle has been seized and is in a police pound.
It's a serious criminal offence to fail to declare the correct material facts or to give false information when getting insurance. This can render your insurance invalid and we will report all suspected fraud to the relevant company.
We may share information with your insurer or the Motor Insurers' Bureau if we suspect an offence.
Short-term insurance or temporary cover (for a period of up to 30 days) may not be valid to reclaim a seized vehicle. Please check the wording on the certificate or cover note. If in doubt, contact your insurer before you come to the pound.
If we're not satisfied that your insurance is valid for the release of an impounded vehicle, we won't grant release of the vehicle.
Financed vehicles ordinarily require an annual fully comprehensive policy. Please confirm this with your finance provider.
Motor trade policies don't always cover the release of impounded vehicles. Please check with your insurance provider.
Proof of ownership
You should produce a valid full vehicle registration document (V5C) in your name together with proof of address.
Please note a V5 document is not overall proof of ownership.
You may be required to provide further evidence of ownership such as a purchase or credit agreement.
If you have a V5C/2 new keeper supplement, you'll need to register for a V5C before you can collect your vehicle.
Finance documents may be required in certain circumstances.
If a vehicle ‘in trade’ has been driven on the road without a valid trade licence displayed it must be registered to the owner immediately. The staff at the police station can send the relevant documents to DVLA on your behalf.
If your vehicle is over three years old and doesn't have a current MOT test pass certificate, you must:
only take your vehicle from the pound directly to a pre-booked MOT appointment, or
arrange recovery at your own expense
If someone is reclaiming the vehicle on your behalf
As the registered keeper/owner you are legally responsible for the vehicle. You should attend the police station in person to prove ownership, unless:
you can provide evidence that you're out of the country, the owner must make initial contact with Operation Wolverine by email or phone on 0161 8565209
to confirm they are out of the country, or
there are compelling medical or compassionate circumstances that stop you being able to
If after coming to the police station to establish your ownership, you nominate someone to collect the vehicle on your behalf, they must present the documents listed above, plus:
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 as proof of signature
You must inform the owner or registered keeper that the vehicle has been seized if you are the driver at the time of the seizure. This includes if the owner or keeper is out of the country.
If the vehicle is being driven, they must also have a valid driving licence and a valid certificate of insurance that allows them to reclaim a seized vehicle and drive it from the pound.
The nominated driver should normally be named as an additional driver on the registered keeper's own policy. Contact your insurer before coming to the pound if you're in doubt.
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.
You may need to check with the relevant compound or recovery agent their opening times.
Acceptable methods of payment vary but usually the following are accepted:
cash (British currency only)
Collecting property only (not the vehicle itself)
We'll only release property from the vehicle to the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle.
We require proof of ID in all cases.
If the registered keeper or owner is collecting property, we'll require proof of ownership or a V5C. The driver’s details can normally be confirmed from the seizure notice.
If the registered keeper or owner can't come to the pound in person to collect the property, we'll require a letter of authority and proof of signature (see above).
If you haven't provided the correct and legitimate proof of ownership within 14 days of the time of the issue of the seizure notice, your vehicle will be disposed of via the government approved vehicle disposal scheme.
This means your vehicle will either be scrapped or sold at auction. Please note, this isn't working days. There will be some discretion applied to this timeframe in exceptional circumstances such as a medical episode.
If your vehicle has been disposed of. You may be entitled to claim the net proceeds of the sale of the vehicle within 12 months if you have proved legitimate and satisfactory proof of ownership to the police. You will be given further details and if you are eligible to claim from the police officer who has dealt with your vehicle seizure.
Please note owners of E-Scooters or off-road motorcycles will not be eligible for net proceeds payments.