Understanding Your Automotive

Answering Some Commonly Asked Questions About Vehicle Registrations in NSW

Having a properly registered vehicle in New South Wales is very important, as driving a vehicle that is not properly registered can result in heavy fines for you, and may also result in having the vehicle impounded. To avoid these risks, note a few questions you might have about vehicle registrations in NSW, and then discuss any concerns you have about your vehicle in particular with someone from the department of roads and transportation, as needed.

Do all vehicles need a safety inspection?

Most vehicles less than five years old won't need a safety inspection; however, if the vehicle is used in point-to-point transport, it may require a yearly inspection no matter its age. Vehicles that have an expired registry may also need a check. Typically the NSW department of roads and transport will send you a notice if your vehicle needs a rego inspection, although you can visit a local office with your registration, whether or not its current, and they will tell you if the vehicle will need a safety check before you can renew that registration.

Can you drive in other states without a registration sticker?

Vehicles in New South Wales are not required to have a registration sticker on their car windows, as cameras and license checking software are now used by police to note if a vehicle is not properly registered. You can still drive your vehicle in other states without this label, as other states recognize the laws in NSW and allow vehicles without such stickers to be legally driven on their roads.

What if an unregistered vehicle doesn't belong to the driver?

It's easy to think that you have no responsibility if you drive a friend's vehicle, or a company vehicle, that isn't properly registered, but drivers are obligated to ensure that any vehicle they operate is properly registered. If you were to be pulled over by police, telling them that you're driving a friend's car won't get you out of liability for operating that vehicle, and you may still face heavy fines and seizure of the car.

This also applies if the vehicle is parked on a public road or other such area, and is not registered. Police may still check the license plate for the vehicle's registration information and have the right to seize the expired plates and the vehicle itself. Be sure you understand this if you tend to borrow someone's car for errands, commuting, and the like, and ensure all vehicles you operate are properly registered and insured as needed.