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Drivesmart column: What happens when vehicle has serious defects

A car whose frame was so rotten that you could see the sag in the body
Tim Schewe

By Tim Schewe

Sometimes you run across a vehicle in your patrols that has such serious defects that it should never have left the driveway. A Notice & Order #1 is the tool used by the police to remove the vehicle from the highway and keep it removed until it has been repaired and passed inspection.

Examples of serious defects that I ran across include:

• A pickup truck being driven at night with only one light working, the high beam on the passenger side.

• A car whose frame was so rotten that you could see the sag in the body when you looked at it from the side.

• A pickup truck with no brake fluid in half of the master cylinder.

In situations like these Division 25.30 MVAR gives an officer the authority to do three things:

• Order the vehicle to be removed from the road immediately, be taken to an inspection facility for examination and not to be driven on the road again until the vehicle has passed inspection.

• Order the driver to surrender the vehicle licence document and licence plates to the officer.

• Notify the officer who issued the order that inspection has been passed before the vehicle is driven on the road again.

If it is necessary to use a tow truck to remove the vehicle the cost of the tow is the responsibility of the vehicle’s owner.

The Notice & Order #1 is forwarded to ICBC and the licence record is marked to indicate when the order was issued. That mark remains until the vehicle has passed inspection and the inspection facility forwards a copy of the passed inspection report to ICBC.

In addition, ICBC will refuse to carry out any licence transactions for the vehicle until the pass is received.

If you continue to drive the vehicle before it passes inspection and are stopped by police, the routine computer checks of you and your vehicle will reveal the outstanding Notice & Order #1.

A tow truck will be called and a $598 violation ticket will be issued.

If the vehicle is not worth fixing, notify ICBC and cancel the insurance. You will not have to present it at a facility for inspection prior to disposal.

If you sell the vehicle to someone other than a scrap dealer you must advise them of the outstanding Notice & Order #1 because the order follows the vehicle. It will now be up to them to deal with it.

The issuing officer does have the authority to cancel a Notice & Order #1. If you think that it has been issued in error you will have to convince them to withdraw it.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit