Get a NSW registration

All vehicles, including trailers, caravans and motorcycles, which are driven or towed on NSW roads, must be registered.

Vehicles which must be registered

All vehicles, including trailers, caravans and motorcycles, which are driven or towed on NSW roads, must be registered.

There are some limited circumstances in which vehicles may be driven unregistered. See Unregistered vehicles for information.

Who can register a vehicle?

A vehicle can be registered in the name of one person, or in the name of an incorporated organisation. Vehicles cannot be registered in more than one name.

The person or organisation named on the Certificate of Registration is considered the registered operator of the vehicle, and is responsible for it.

As an individual, you must be at least 16 years old to be the registered operator of a light vehicle (less than 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass), and at least 18 years old to register a heavy vehicle.

Organisations must be a legal entity, for example an incorporated company.

Courtesy name

A vehicle can only be registered in one name - more than one name on the Certificate of Registration is no longer permitted.

Roads and Maritime Services does however, allow the use of a courtesy name, which may be used to record the name of a business or organisation associated with the registration. It cannot be used to record an individual’s name – this is a breach of privacy legislation.

To add, change or delete a courtesy name, call Roads and Maritime on 13 22 13, or visit any registry or service centre. You must provide acceptable proof of identity.

Roads and Maritime has the discretion to refuse to record a courtesy name which may be considered offensive or in bad taste.

Brand new vehicles

If you buy a brand new vehicle from a motor dealer, they will generally be able to register it for you, as long as you’ve had dealings with Roads and Maritime before, for example you hold a current driver or rider licence, or have had a registration in your name before.

The dealer will be able to provide a Certificate of Registration and number plates.

If you’ve never dealt with Roads and Maritime before, you’ll need to go to a registry or service centre in person and provide acceptable proof of identity so that you can be recorded in our system.

Insurance

You’ll need to buy Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance (a green slip) for the vehicle. The period of cover for the CTP policy must be 12 months for light vehicles, and it must be issued by NSW insurance provider.

If you buy a brand new vehicle from a motor dealer, the dealer will generally organise the CTP policy at the same time as the registration.

Most CTP insurers send your CTP insurance details to Roads and Maritime electronically.

Trailers and caravans do not require CTP insurance.

Fees and charges

In addition to the cost of the vehicle and the CTP insurance, you’ll generally need to pay:

You can use our registration calculator to work out the costs of registering your vehicle.

Used or second-hand vehicles

Before purchasing a used vehicle, you should consider checking its history. See Buying a vehicle for more information.

If you’ve bought a used vehicle that already has a current NSW registration, see Transfer your registration.

Inspections and certifications

If you buy a used vehicle that is not currently registered in NSW, the first thing you need to do is have the vehicle inspected at an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection Station (AUVIS). If the vehicle passes inspection, the examiner will give you a signed, printed identity and safety check.

If the vehicle is modified or non-standard, you’ll also need a Compliance Certificate from a licensed certifier. See Modified and non-standard vehicles for more information.

Insurance

You’ll need to purchase Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance (a green slip). The period of cover for the CTP policy must be 12 months for light vehicles, and it must be issued by a NSW insurance provider.

Most CTP insurers send your CTP insurance details to Roads and Maritime electronically.

Trailers and caravans do not require CTP insurance.

Checklist

Once you have your inspections, certifications and CTP insurance, go to a registry or service centre in person (or send a representative) to apply for registration.

You’ll need to provide:

You can use our registration calculator to estimate the costs of registering your vehicle.

Interstate vehicles

Any vehicle (including a caravan or trailer), which is driven on NSW roads must be registered in NSW. An exemption to this requirement applies when the vehicle is:

  • temporarily in NSW, and
  • currently registered in another state (‘the home state’), and
  • displaying all the number plates and registration labels required by the home state.

Interstate vehicles kept or garaged in NSW

A vehicle that is kept or garaged in NSW may be in breach of its home state registration provisions. For example, if an interstate authority requires the vehicle to be garaged in its home state, that authority may take action to cancel or suspend the registration.

Vehicles kept or garaged in NSW are required to be registered in NSW. If not, they are considered to be unregistered and cannot be driven (or towed in the case of a caravan or trailer) on NSW roads. You should also be aware that substantial penalties apply if you drive an unregistered or uninsured vehicle.

NSW Police hold the view that interstate registered vehicles kept or garaged in NSW are not 'temporarily' in NSW and are therefore 'unregistered'. As such, if the operator of that vehicle holds a NSW driver’s licence or is resident in NSW, and drives or uses the vehicle on NSW roads, they may be issued with a penalty notice.

General requirements in Australian jurisdictions

The common view in Australian states and territories is that any vehicle should be registered in the state or territory in which the owner/operator lives and where the vehicle is generally kept.

Where you are a genuine visitor, or temporarily in NSW, and you drive a vehicle that is registered in your home state on NSW roads, you will not require NSW registration.

Corporations must not cause, permit or allow such vehicles to be used in NSW unless:

  • The vehicle has been owned, controlled or managed by the corporation for less than 90 days
  • The vehicle was outside NSW for at least 48 hours in the last 90 days
  • The corporation is in the vehicle leasing or hiring business, and the vehicle was leased or hired to the same person for the last 90 days.

Interstate number plates

When you register an interstate vehicle in NSW, Roads and Maritime assigns NSW plates, and records that the interstate plates are no longer associated with the vehicle. This information is also sent to the interstate authority.

You’ll be issued with a receipt, which you may be able to take to the interstate authority in order to receive a registration refund. Contact the interstate authority for specific information.

Some states and territories allow you to keep number plates when they are no longer associated with a vehicle:

  • Queensland: You may keep all special, personalised, custom and prestige plates
  • South Australia: You may keep some special plates, Grand Prix, Jubilee and Numeral-only plates
  • Victoria: All plates may be kept
  • Tasmania: All personalised plates may be kept.

Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory do not allow you to keep plates.

If your vehicle is from one of these jurisdictions, you’ll need to hand in the existing plates at the registry or Service NSW centre when you apply for NSW registration.

Vehicles written off interstate

If your vehicle has been written off interstate, see Written off vehicles for information.

Applying for NSW registration

To apply for NSW registration for a vehicle with interstate registration, follow the steps shown in the Used or second-hand vehicles section.

Imported vehicles

There are strict requirements for importing vehicles into Australia. If you intend to import a vehicle and register it in NSW, see Imported vehicles.

Visiting overseas vehicles

Vehicles that are registered overseas and only in NSW temporarily do not require NSW registration, as long as all plates and labels required by the overseas registration authority are displayed. Roads and Maritime also recommends that the overseas Certificate of Registration is carried when using the vehicle.

These vehicles do not require Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance (green slip). In the case of an accident, a NSW third party personal injury claim involving a visiting overseas vehicle is made against the Nominal Defendant Scheme, administered by the State Inurance Regulatory Authority.

For information about standards for overseas vehicles visiting NSW, please contact Roads and Maritime Technical Enquiries by phoning 1300 137 302, or emailing tech-enq@rms.nsw.gov.au.

Identity checks and inspections

All vehicles presented for registration may need to be inspected by the Roads and Maritime Vehicle Identification Inspection Unit (VIIU). If this is required for your vehicle, you’ll be informed when you apply for registration. You’ll need to make a booking and pay the VIIU inspection fee.

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