20-49.3. Bureau of License and Theft; custody of seized vehicles.

(a) Vehicles Seized by the Division of Motor Vehicles. - Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Division of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of License and Theft, may retain any vehicle seized by the Division of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of License and Theft, in the course of any investigation authorized by the provisions of G.S. 20-49 or G.S. 20-49.1 and forfeited to the Division by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) Vehicles Seized by the United States Government. - Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Division may accept custody and ownership of any vehicle seized by the United States Government, forfeited by a court of competent jurisdiction, and turned over to the Division.

(c) Use of Vehicles. - All vehicles forfeited to, or accepted by, the Division pursuant to this section shall be used by the Bureau of License and Theft to conduct undercover operations and inspection station compliance checks throughout the State.

(d) Disposition of Seized Vehicles. - Upon determination by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles that a vehicle transferred pursuant to the provisions of this section is of no further use to the agency for use in official investigations, the vehicle shall be sold as surplus property in the same manner as other vehicles owned by the law enforcement agency and the proceeds from the sale after deducting the cost of sale shall be paid to the treasurer or proper officer authorized to receive fines and forfeitures to be used for the school fund of the county in the county in which the vehicle was seized, provided, that any vehicle transferred to any law enforcement agency under the provisions of this Article that has been modified to increase speed shall be used in the performance of official duties only and not for resale, transfer, or disposition other than as junk. The Division shall also reimburse the appropriate county school fund for any diminution in value of any vehicle seized under subsection (a) of this section during its period of use by the Division. Any vehicle seized outside of this State shall be sold as surplus property in the same manner as other vehicles owned by the law enforcement agency and the proceeds from the sale after deducting the cost of sale shall be paid to the treasurer and placed in the Civil Fines and Forfeitures Fund established pursuant to G.S. 115C-457.1. (2009-495, s. 1.)