Do I Need a Safety Certificate to Sell My Car in Brisbane?

Do I Need a Safety Certificate to Sell My Car in Brisbane?

WARNING this could save you $1000’s

In 2018 Queensland had the highest population increase from migration from other states than any other state.

Queensland had the highest net gain with 23,800 people, up from 22,500 people in the year ended 31 December 2017.

With so many people moving to God’s country, all trying to find accommodation, getting their kids settled into schools etc, etc there are always things that are forgotten.

Changing your registration over to Queensland as well as your licence, slips the mind of lots of people. Whilst this should happen in the first 14 days, I understand that these things tend to slide down the scale compared to other family matters. I speak from experience when I say this, as it took me considerably longer to change some of these documents than the 14 days. Fortunately, the 14-day law is not one that is highly policed as I am sure authorities understand the difficulties involved. With all that said, getting your registration and licenced changed as soon as you can is very important and could save you $1000’s of dollars in fines.

Avoid Heavy Fines

What happens more and more frequently is that people are being fined for driving unregistered vehicles. When we speak to them about how this happened, they explain that they moved to Brisbane or the Gold Coast, changed locations a few times before settling, and did not change their address details or transfer their registration or licence with Queensland Transport. Queensland transport has sent renewal notices to the old address and people have been unaware that their registration had lapsed. Unfortunately, when detected by the police cameras, you can be fined up to $1,800. The police can also remove your plates, leaving you to tow your car home or to an Authorised Inspection Station in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. All up this could cost you over $2,000 plus your registration renewal. Oouch!

Dont Forget

When buying, selling or transferring a car in Brisbane, it is a Queensland Government requirement that a Safety Certificate inspection be carried out by a Licensed Inspector with a registered and approved AIS (Authorised Inspection Station).

If you are a resident of Queensland, you are probably aware of the requirements to have a safety certificate prior to advertising your car for sale. Whilst it is a legal requirement to have a current safety certificate before advertising your vehicle, it seems to be a law that is very poorly policed. If caught however it attracts a $500 fine.

I am sure no one wants to get a fine, however many people ignore the rules and advertise without the inspection being completed. The main reason for this is to potentially save money on the re-inspection cost if the car, truck, van, caravan, motorbike or trailer does not sell in the time frame specified under the Brisbane safety certificate.

Queensland Transport specify that the safety certificate is valid for 2 months or 2,000 whichever is the greater. Car dealers are an exception to this rule and the certificate is valid for 3 months or 1,000 klms. The time frames and kilometre specifications are what is deemed reasonable that the vehicle should be in the same or similar condition as when the vehicle was inspected in Brisbane or the Gold Coast and approved.

Safety Certificates in Brisbane follow a state-wide code as legislate by the Queensland government. These laws are put in place to protect the buyer as well as meeting a minimum safety standard before on selling any vehicle, trailer, or caravan with an ATM over 750 kilo. These laws give comfort to potential buyers that the vehicle they are looking to purchase meets a basic safety standard.

When transferring your registration to Brisbane or the Gold Coast you will also require a Brisbane or Gold Coast Safety Certificate. The inspection is a Queensland Transport requirement and again is in place to ensure that all vehicles transferring into Queensland meet a minimum safety requirement. All vehicles are classified under the Queensland transport guidelines.

Light Vehicles are those under 4.5 tonne and cover cars, vans, some light trucks, some commercials and small busses.

Caravans and trailers under 3.5 tonne are classified as light trailers and may require up to three inspections to be completed.

  1. Safety Certificate- This must be conducted by an approved Authorised Inspection Station which can either be a mobile service that comes to you or at a fixed location.
  2. HVRAS – This is a requirement for all trailers light and Heavy to be measured, ensuring they meet Queensland transport standards and are recorded by Queensland transport for the life of the trailer.
  3. Gas- For all trailers that have gas appliances, it is a requirement to have all gas piping and connections checked by a licenced inspector who is essentially a plumber.


Motorbike fall under the same rules as light vehicles when it comes to transferring the registration to Brisbane, Gold Coast or any other Queensland location. All motorbikes will need to be inspected prior to offering the motorbike for sales or transferring it from interstate. Authorised inspection stations that are approved to inspect motorbikes are a little more difficult to find as not all companies are qualified or experienced to do them. So, when googling you need to check the qualifications of their inspectors and allow for additional time for the inspection to be completed as they are in high demand.

Brisbane Safety Certificate inspectors follow strict rules as set out under the code of practice to ensure cars in Brisbane and Queensland are safe to be on the road. Unfortunately, the law has many flaws and the biggest is not checking cars regularly (yearly) to ensure they are maintained in a proper and safe manner. With the exception of Heavy Vehicles (trucks). Cars, vans, caravans, motorbikes can be driven indefinitely without being checked unless they are sold, transferred or re-registered. It is left completely up to the owner to understand the service requirements of any vehicle as well as any repair requirements that maybe required to keep the vehicle safe and to a minimum standard.

Please be mindful and write your list of things to do when moving to Queensland. On top of the list you need to remember to change your licence and registration over to Queensland and also complete change of address details to Queensland Transport when moving locations. This can save you $1,000’s and loads of frustration, time and embarrassment.

Happy & Safe Driving!

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