Buying and registering a vehicle
Planning to buy a car but unsure about rego? Here’s how to check registration before you buy, get registration in your name and understand costs.
Before you buy a car, it's a good idea to do a rego check. You can check a vehicle's registration details online for free through Service NSW. All you need is the vehicle's NSW registration plate number to find:
- the registration expiry date
- whether the registration is suspended or cancelled
- any registration restrictions
- any registration concessions (additional charges that might apply when transferred to a new owner)
- the Compulsory Third Party insurer and policy expiry date.
Registering your vehicle
All vehicles that are driven or towed on NSW roads must be registered. This includes trailers, caravans and motorcycles.
Depending on whether you’ve bought your vehicle brand new or secondhand, you’ll need to do one of the following:
- used vehicle with registration that is current or expired less than 3 months – transfer the registration into your name within 14 days to avoid a surcharge
- used vehicle with cancelled or interstate registration – re-register the vehicle
- new car – get a new registration set up through the dealer.
Additional steps apply for:
If you buy a vehicle that has conditional registration, such as a classic or historic vehicle, a street rod or rally car, the registration cannot be transferred. The previous owner will need to cancel their registration and you'll need to apply for conditional registration in person at a service centre.
Who can register a vehicle
You don't need to hold a driver licence to register a vehicle in NSW. However, if you don't have a NSW licence, you need to have a customer number with us before you can register a vehicle in your name.
Once you are set up in our system, you'll be able to 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.
Organisations must be a legal entity (for example, an incorporated company) to register a vehicle.
The person or organisation named on the Certificate of Registration is the registered operator of the vehicle, and is responsible for it. The registered operator of a vehicle is not necessarily the owner of the vehicle.
To be the registered operator of:
- a light vehicle (4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass or less) you must be at least 16 years old
- a heavy vehicle you must be at least 18 years old.
Use our calculator to estimate the cost of transferring, renewing or getting a new registration.
Use the NSW government greenslip calculator to compare CTP insurance costs for all insurers.
Or check if you're eligible for a registration concession.
An inspection report may be required to register a vehicle and ensure it complies with vehicle identity, design and safety standards. Find out more about safety checks and inspections.
If your vehicle requires an inspection by Transport’s Vehicle Identification Inspection Unit you’ll be informed when you apply for registration.