Registering and using a historic vehicle
If your historic vehicle is 30 years of age or older, you may be eligible for historic vehicle registration. Find out how to apply.
How to register a historic vehicle
You can apply for registration of historic vehicles under the Historic Vehicle Scheme (HVS). This includes ordinary passenger cars, utilities, light commercial, buses and Special Purpose Vehicles.
Historic vehicle registration is mainly for operators who only drive their vehicles occasionally. If you drive your historic vehicle regularly, consider applying for standard registration. See used or second-hand vehicles.
To be eligible for the HVS:
- your vehicle must be at least 30 years of age or older from the year it was manufactured. The vehicle must not be modified.
- your vehicle must comply with the applicable vehicle standards as at the date of vehicle manufacture.
- your vehicle must be as close to original condition as possible, with no alterations except for safety features such as seatbelts, turn indicators or period options, accessories and safety items
- you must be a member of a Transport recognised historic vehicle club.
Important – industrial plant and agricultural vehicles are not eligible for the Historic Vehicle Scheme.
Contact your club to check if you are eligible for registration under the Historic Vehicle Scheme or Classic Vehicle Scheme.
Vehicles converted to LPG are allowed providing they are approved by a Transport for NSW recognised historic vehicle club. Find out more about LPG vehicle standards.
Vehicles converted from left-hand to right-hand drive are allowed provided they meet all HVS requirements. Left-hand drive vehicles where the GVM is greater than 4.5 tonnes, must display a sign. Find out the signage requirements.
Applying for historic vehicle registration
You need a number of documents to register a historic vehicle. Find out about the historic vehicle registration for historic vehicles.
You should also read the historic vehicle sheet to find out the minimum mandatory conditions associated with your vehicle.
Renewing and cancelling registration
Find out how to renew or cancel registration on historic vehicles.
You can't transfer historic vehicle registration. You need to cancel your registration before a new operator can register the vehicle in their name.
When historic vehicles can be used
If your vehicle has historic vehicle registration, it can only be used:
- for events organised by recognised historic vehicle clubs, such as primary and secondary
- for events organised by community organisations if an official invitation is received and recorded by the primary club in the official minutes or 'Day Book'
- for short journeys to service and inspect the vehicle
- on longer journeys if you notify your primary club and the details are recorded in the primary club's official minutes.
Historic vehicle log books
If you record vehicle use in a historic vehicle log book, you can drive your registered vehicle for 60 days each year outside of organised club events. Find out more about historic and classic vehicle log books.
Using your vehicle for functions
If your historic vehicle is operating a passenger transport service – for example, for weddings or other functions – you must:
- comply with the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) legislation – see Point to Point Transport – and,
- seek approval from the primary club and have the details recorded in the club's official minutes or 'Day Book'.
Interstate vehicles and travelling outside NSW
If your historic vehicle is registered in NSW, you may use it temporarily in other states and territories. You'll need to abide by the same conditions that apply in NSW.
If you are visiting from interstate and your vehicle is registered under a similar scheme in your home state or territory, you may use it temporarily in NSW. You'll need to observe the same conditions that apply in your home jurisdiction.
Number plates and certificates
Once they are registered, historic vehicles must display historic vehicle registration number plates.
Name bars may be fixed to the number plate, provided the position of the name bar does not obscure the number plate.
The Certificate of Approved Operations, detailing the conditions applicable to the operation of the vehicle, must be carried in the vehicle whenever it is used on a road or road-related area.
Towing and loads
Historic vehicles can tow a trailer that is either:
- fully registered or
- registered as an historic vehicle (trailer) or
- exempt from registration or
- has a current unregistered vehicle permit.
Historic vehicles must meet these 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
- loads must be restrained to the standards detailed in the Load Restraint Guide
- buses may only carry 7 occupants unless otherwise approved in writing by Transport for NSW.
Seatbelts and child restraints
Cars, tourers and limousines can only carry 1 person per seating position. Seatbelts must be worn, where fitted.
Drivers of historic vehicles under the Historic Vehicle Scheme are exempt from fitting child restraints when carrying children between 12 months and 7 years, 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 7 years.
All passengers under 12 months must be restrained in an approved child restraint.
See Period options, accessories and safety items for a list of approved items for historic vehicles.