Fee refunds or waivers after a natural disaster

If you've been affected by a NSW natural disaster or emergency you might be eligible for vehicle registration or licensing fee refunds or waivers.

Find out if you're eligible

When a natural disaster or emergency happens, normal life can become stressful and hard to predict.

If you're a customer who has been genuinely affected by a NSW natural disaster or emergency, you are eligible for help. This means that you were living in, had a vehicle garage address, or were visiting a natural disaster or emergency affected area in NSW.

The help we offer depends on what you may have lost, or what has been destroyed as a result of a natural disaster or emergency.

Assistance is available for 6 months after a natural disaster or emergency has been declared.

What counts as a natural disaster or emergency?

Resilience NSW publishes a list of declared natural disaster areas and a record of State of Emergency declarations.

A natural disaster or emergency includes:

  • declared Natural Disaster
  • declared State of Emergency
  • an event related to a natural disaster or emergency where the NSW Minister for Transport and Roads declares that certain fees and requirements can be waived.

How to apply for help

A customer service staff member will check that the area you were living in or visiting was a genuine natural disaster or emergency declared area.

You will also need to meet specific requirements to receive some free services or products (for example, proof of identity requirements for a free replacement licence).

To get help, you can visit your nearest service centre, or call 13 22 13 or 13 77 88.

Which products we can waive

Free replacement products

The following products can be replaced for free if you have been affected by a natural disaster or emergency:

  • driver licence (including learner, P1, P2 and unrestricted)
  • mobility Parking Scheme (MPS) permit
  • NSW Photo Card
  • boat licence
  • Personal Watercraft (PWC) licence
  • Certificate of Registration for a vehicle and/or vessel (and registration label if applicable)
  • number plates (number plate reissue, remake or hold fees may also be waived)
  • e-toll tag
  • learner driver log book.

Which fees we can waive or refund

Some fees can also be waived or refunded if you have been affected by a natural disaster or emergency.

All vehicles except trailers and caravans must have compulsory third party (CTP) insurance. All normal CTP fees apply.

Transfer of registration fee

If you buy a vehicle or vessel to replace one damaged in a disaster or emergency, you don't need to pay the transfer registration fee when transferring the registration to the replacement vehicle or vessel.

Late registration transfer surcharge

If you are delayed in transferring the registration of a vehicle or vessel as a result of a disaster or emergency, the late surcharge may be waived.

Registration cancellation fee

If your vehicle is written-off due to a natural disaster or emergency, you may be eligible to have the registration cancellation fee waived for the written-off vehicle.

If your vessel has been damaged as a result of a natural disaster or emergency, you may be eligible to have the registration cancellation fee waived.

Late vessel registration renewal fee

If you are delayed in renewing your vessel registration for reasons relating to the declared natural disaster or emergency, the fee may be waived.

Inspection fees for written-off vehicles

Once a vehicle has been notified to the Written-off Vehicle Register (WOVR), we automatically cancel the vehicle’s registration after 14 days

Registration for written-off vehicles can only be re-established if the registered vehicle operator has been issued with an Authorisation to Repair notice. The vehicle must be repaired and inspected to confirm that it meets our requirements.

The Vehicle Identification Inspection Unit (VIIU) inspection fee may be waived for written-off vehicles that meet certain criteria.

If you already have an Unregistered Vehicle Inspection Report (also known as a blue slip) for the written-off vehicle, the cost may be refunded.

Number plate reissue, remake and hold fees

If your vehicle’s number plates (general issue and special number plates) are lost or destroyed in a natural disaster or emergency, the re-issue, remake or hold fees may be waived.

You must provide a completed Number plate form to the service centre to reapply for your number plates.

Motor vehicle stamp duty refunds

We do not refund or waive stamp duty on vehicles written off due to a natural disaster or emergency. However, if you purchase a replacement vehicle due to a natural disaster or emergency you can submit an application for a refund to Revenue NSW.

Replacing a licence, permit or photo card

To help you to receive these free replacement products as quickly and easily as possible following a natural disaster or emergency, the normal licence replacement procedures and proof of identity requirements are simplified.

Simplified proof of identity requirements

To get a free replacement licensing product, if your photo is stored in our system, you can use either:

  • a List 1 proof of identity document, or
  • a List 2 proof of identity document.

Your signature stored in our system must match your signature on the proof of identity document you provide, or on the application form.

If your proof of identity is lost or destroyed during a natural disaster or emergency and we don't have a stored photograph of you, you can answer some identity questions at a service centre to receive a free interim driver licence receipt.

Simplified licence replacement

If you cannot get to a service centre, and an Australia Post service is available, you may be able to request a replacement licence using a Photo Kit form.

If you cannot get to a service centre, and an Australia Post service is not available, you may request a free interim driver licence receipt over the phone. In some situations, you may be able to renew your licence over the phone. Call 13 22 13 for more information.

Help with fines

Revenue NSW can help eligible customers in affected areas who have outstanding fines. Fine related actions may be temporarily deferred or the timeframes to make payments extended. See the Revenue NSW website or contact them by calling 1300 655 805.

Financial hardship help

If you've been affected by a declared natural disaster, you may also be able to get help for financial hardship from other government agencies.

See Resilience NSW for more information on help available.

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