If a peace officer arrests or cites the operator of an on or off-road vehicle for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or of a boat for a BUI (Boating Under the Influence), the officer is required by Utah law to seize and impound the vehicle or boat.
To obtain a release, the vehicle owner, or authorized agent, must:
- Present legal picture identification that proves them to be the legal, registered owner.
- Provide a copy of the TC-540, Vehicle Impound Report, which is provided by the arresting officer. To be released from impound, the vehicle must be properly registered. If the Vehicle Impound Report shows the vehicle is not properly registered, the vehicle must be registered and all taxes and fees paid before release.
- Pay an administrative fee in addition to any other taxes or fees due. The administrative fee applies to off-highway vehicles and watercraft as well.
- If an authorized agent is obtaining the release, a letter of permission from the registered owner granting them permission to release the vehicle must also be submitted.
Note: The administrative fee must be paid, regardless of whether or not the owner was the driver arrested for DUI.
Once fees have been paid a letter of release will be given. If the vehicle or watercraft is not claimed within 30 days, legal procedures will be initiated to sell the vehicle.
Utah law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from drinking “a drop” of alcohol. When an under-aged person is stopped by a police officer, their vehicle may be impounded if the driver has been drinking, even if the driver’s blood alcohol level is lower than Utah’s standard for a DUI. The owner of a vehicle impounded under the “Not A Drop” law is subject to the same procedure as other “DUI” impounds. The owner of the vehicle is still the one required to obtain the release.
Utah law requires the Division of Motor Vehicles to collect an impound administrative fee prior to releasing any vehicle that is impounded during an arrest for driving under the influence. The DMV will refund the fee ONLY if the vehicle owner provides evidence or documentation for one of the following situations:
- Proof of duplicate payment.
- The owner filed a bona fide stolen vehicle report with a police agency and submits a copy of the police report with the refund request within 180 days of the date of the impound.
- The owner submits a letter from the Driver License Division stating that the operator’s driver license will not be revoked or suspended as a result of this incident. The refund request must be submitted within 180 days of the date of the Driver License Division letter.
To request a refund of fees paid to the DMV, visit Utah’s Motor Vehicle Portal. Submitting a claim for refund does not guarantee the refund will be approved. Upon receipt of your request and the supporting documentation, the Division will review the refund request. If a refund is approved, the Division will issue a refund check to the address provided. If a refund is denied, the Division will issue a letter explaining the reason for the denial. Please allow 6–8 weeks from the date received for processing.