Historic vehicles may be registered under the Conditional Registration Scheme. The conditional registration of historic vehicles is referred to as the Historic Vehicle Scheme (HVS). The HVS was developed in consultation with industry.
Historic vehicles (including trailers) must be 30 years of age or older as from the year of manufacture.
The registered operator must be a member of a Roads and Maritime recognised historic vehicle club.
If the operator changes clubs during the currency of the conditional registration, an Historic Vehicle Declaration proving vehicle and operator eligibility for the new club is required.
Historic vehicles must be as close to original condition as possible, with no alterations except for safety features such as seatbelts and turn indicators, or period accessories and options, if desired.
LPG conversions are allowed providing it is approved by the Roads and Maritime recognised historic vehicle club.
Vehicles converted from left-hand drive to right-hand drive are allowed provided that the vehicle otherwise meets all requirements for the Historic Vehicle Scheme.
Registering a vehicle in the Historic Vehicle Scheme
To conditionally register a vehicle in the Historic Vehicle Scheme, you must attend a registry or service centre in person and present:
- A completed Application for Conditional Registration
- Proof of identity such as a NSW driver licence
- Proof of registration entitlement (eg an original receipt for the vehicle, which clearly shows the buyer’s name, the seller’s name, address and signature, the VIN or Chassis/frame or serial number and the date of acquisition)
- A Historic Vehicle Declaration, signed by an official of a recognised and participating historic vehicle club, not greater than 42 days old. Please note that a vehicle safety inspection report must be presented if the club is less than two years old.
Vehicle suitability for safe use
Historic vehicles must be declared suitable for safe use by:
- A vehicle safety check inspection report, or
- An Historic Vehicle Declaration not greater than 42 days old
Note: A vehicle safety inspection report must be presented if the club is less than two years old
- For historic plant vehicles, a Vehicle Suitable for Safe Use Declaration must be presented.
Historic vehicles can be used for events organised by Roads and Maritime recognised historic vehicle clubs or community organisations, provided an official invitation has been received and recorded by the club in the official minutes, or 'Day Book'.
Historic vehicles can also be used on a road or road related area for:
- Servicing within a short distance from their place of garaging
- The inspection of the vehicle.
If a longer journey is necessary, the operator must notify the club and the details recorded by the club in the official minutes or 'Day Book'.
Operators wishing to use historic vehicles for the passenger transport for weddings or other functions should first check the requirements under the Passenger Transport Act 1990. For information about passenger transport requirements, contact the Enrolment Processing Unit on 1800 227 774 or (02) 9891 8900. The operator must also seek approval from the club, and the details recorded by the club in the official minutes or 'Day Book'.
Historic vehicles must display conditional registration number plates and a current registration label.
Name bars may be affixed to the number plate provided the positioning of the name bar does not obscure the number plate.
NSW historic vehicles may be used temporarily in other States and Territories, under the same conditions as apply in NSW.
Visiting vehicles under a similar scheme in their home State or Territory may be used temporarily in NSW, under the same conditions as apply in their home jurisdiction.
Historic vehicles under the historic vehicle scheme may be operated on roads and road-related areas only under the following conditions:
- 'Registered operator must be a member of an authorised motoring club'
- 'Use only in conjunction with an authorised club event or maintenance'.
The name of the registered operator's club is also recorded as a special condition. If the registered operator belongs to more than one club, the name of the primary club or other clubs may be recorded as a special condition as requested.
Other conditions may be recorded as required.
The Certificate of Approved Operations, detailing the conditions applicable to the operation of the vehicle, must be carried in the vehicle whenever the vehicle is used on a road or road related area.
Classic Vehicle Log Book Trial
The log book trial will allow classic vehicles to be used for 60 days of general use (ie maintenance and personal use) each year, outside of club organised events. Each day’s use must be recorded in a log book issued at a registry or service centre.
Vehicles under the Historic Vehicle Scheme can be part of the log book trial. The registered operator must be a member of a Roads and Maritime recognised historic vehicle club that is participating in the log book trial.
For additional information see Classic Vehicle Log Book Trial.
Historic vehicles can tow a trailer that is either fully registered, exempt from registration, has an Unregistered Vehicle Permit or is conditionally registered.
Historic vehicles must meet the following requirements if carrying a load:
- Loads cannot be carried for commercial purposes
- Loads must be the private property of the vehicle operator and/or carried as part of a club event
- The load must be restrained to the standards detailed in the Load Restraint Guide.
Seatbelts and child restraints
Cars, tourers and limousines can only carry one person per seating position. Seatbelts must be worn, where fitted.
Drivers of historic vehicles under the historic vehicle scheme are exempt from the requirement to fit child restraints when carrying children between 12 months and seven years of age, provided:
- They have written advice from a Licensed Certifier that it is not reasonably practicable to install seatbelts and/or child restraints in the historic vehicle, and
- This written advice is carried in the vehicle when transporting any child between 12 months and seven years of age.
All passengers under 12 months of age must be restrained in an approved child restraint.
Left-hand drive vehicles
Left-hand drive historic cars, trucks and buses that have a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) up to 4.5 tonnes are not required to display a 'left-hand drive' sign.
Where the GVM is greater than 4.5 tonnes, these vehicles require the words ‘left-hand drive’ to be displayed on the rear of the vehicle in letters at least 75 millimetres high, with a colour contrast background.
Vehicles with Left-hand drive to Right-hand drive conversions
Prior to 1999 the former Roads and Traffic Authority (now Roads and Maritime) required left-hand drive vehicles (including historic vehicles) to be converted to right-hand drive in order to obtain registration. Since 1999 left hand-drive vehicles have been able to be registered in New South Wales.
Historic vehicles which were converted from left-hand drive to right-hand drive in order to meet the requirements for registration prior to 1999, and which otherwise meet all the requirements of the Historic Vehicles Scheme may be registered in the Historic Vehicles Scheme.
Where a vehicle is being registered for the first time (i.e. the vehicle has not previously been registered in NSW with the left-hand drive to right-hand drive modification) a certificate from a licensed certifier must be provided for the left-hand drive to right-hand drive modification. The certificate from the licensed certifier should be presented to the Historic Vehicle Club at the time of completing the Historic Vehicle Declaration and will also need to be presented Service NSW to obtain registration.
Vehicles which have previously been registered in NSW as left-hand drive to right-hand drive conversion do not require re-certification if the vehicle was fully registered or conditionally registered in the Historic Vehicles Scheme prior by the current operator or a previous registered operator.
In seeking a Historic Vehicle Declaration for a vehicle with a left-hand drive to right-hand drive conversion the registered operator will be asked to produce certification documentation to support the Declaration. Certification documentation can be:
- Previous registration papers on which a modification condition has been recorded (and the vehicle has no other significant modifications); or
- Evidence of previous full NSW registration (such as old registration papers); or
- Evidence of previous registration in the Historic Vehicle Scheme; or
- A certificate from a licensed certifier for the left-hand drive to right-hand drive modification (where the modification was undertaken after 2011 or the vehicle has not previously been registered in NSW).
Please view or download the Factsheet on vehicles with Left-hand drive to Right-hand conversions.
Becoming a recognised club under the Historic Vehicle Scheme
To become a recognised club under the Historic Vehicle Scheme, club officials must complete an Application for a Historic Vehicle Club and attach the following information:
- Evidence of the organisation’s corporate status (eg Certificate of Registration issued by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, or Certificate of Incorporation issued by NSW Fair Trading)
- A copy of the club’s constitution demonstrating that the club can meet the Historic Vehicle Scheme policy. A sample constitution may be obtained by contacting Enrolment Processing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A list of the club's officials
- A list of approved Scrutineers able to conduct Historic Vehicle inspections
- A list of representatives forming the club's proposed Eligibility Committee
- The name and contact details of the proposed Eligibility Committee's Responsible Person
- The inspection process and proof of compliance requirements used to demonstrate that an eligible Historic Vehicle meets the Historic Vehicle Scheme policy
- Materials (such as policies and procedures documents, etc) that demonstrate the club has professional and safety standards to provide sufficient administrative controls over the following areas:
- Vehicle construction
- Vehicle logbooks
- Training and competency levels for vehicle scrutineers.
Completed applications and attached information may be sent to Roads and Maritime by emailing email@example.com or by post to:Enrolment Processing Unit
(Historic Vehicle Scheme)
PO Box 122
Glen Innes NSW 2370