Queensland is different to other states and requires a Roadworthy Certificate when:
- a registered car, van, motorbike, or commercial vehicle, under 4.5 Tonne is placed for sale in Queensland, or trailers and caravans between 750kg and 3,500kg
- if you are transferring registration to a new owner, or
- you have moved to QLD from another state, or
- you have decided to re-register another vehicle that has lapsed it’s registration.
For General reference, vehicles requiring a roadworthy certificate include:
- trailers and caravans between 750kg and 3,500kg (ATM) which means aggregated trailer mass. ATM or Aggregated Trailer Mass simply means the full weight of the trailer empty. GTM or Gross Trailer Mass is the weight of the trailer fully loaded (the weight the trailer is legally built to carry.
- any other vehicles up to 4,500kg gross vehicle mass (GVM).
The Queensland Transport Department have set guidelines under the Roadworthy Inspection covering the safe operating standard for numerous components such as:
- all lights both front and rear
- suspension components
- windows all working correctly
- body rust or damage
- All instruments working correctly
The Queensland Department of Transport has set guidelines to explain how the inspection is performed and the reasons why a car, trailer, Caravan or motorbike might fail. Whilst this is a guide, it is not exact as each vehicle varies as does the componentry. Not being an exact science does cause frustration with people wanting to sell their vehicle quickly. Untrained people do not understand why some components fail as the car drives and operates fine in their mind.
It is best to plan the sale of your vehicle and allow time should you need to do any repairs on the vehicle to achieve the Roadworthy Certificatestandard as set by Transport. Vehicle Inspection Guidelines
Roadworthy inspections are not Pre-Purchase Inspections. Pre-Purchase inspections are a comprehensive mechanical inspection on the quality, or life expectancy of a vehicle. Before buying a second hand (used) vehicle it is always advisable to have a comprehensive check of the vehicle to save you buying a lemon and potentially costing you thousands in repairs.
Most reputable inspection companies offer this service.
“It is important to note that Roadworthy Certificates are not needed in every instance”
How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate
Before putting your vehicle up for sale you need to consider the condition of the vehicle and would it pass a roadworthy certificate inspection as you have two options.
- You may think that the car needs considerable repairs to meet the conditions of the roadworthy certificate standards and you don’t want to spend more money on the vehicle. In this case you have an option to hand in the remaining proportion of the vehicles registration and sell it unregistered.
The only issue with this approach is the buyers should be aware that the responsibility to ultimately repair the car to a pass a roadworthy certificate standard is their responsibility.
- Should you wish to sell your vehicle registered you will require a roadworthy certificate before advertising the vehicle for sale. Should you fail to do this, then you could receive a fine up to $500
Should you decide to place your vehicle up for sale you will need a roadworthy certificate which are completed by Approved inspection stations (AIS). These businesses offer both a workshop service or a mobile service and are the only businesses approved by Queensland transport to conduct roadworthy inspections in this state. Currently (AIS) Approved inspection stations can provide you with either a handwritten certificate or an electronically issued certificate.
Prior to Electronically issued certificates all handwritten certificates were required to be displayed on the vehicle for sale. The new electronic versions no longer need to be printed and displayed; however, you must be able to produce it if requested by a buyer, buyer’s agent, police officer or transport inspector. Authorised Inspection stations should email you the certificate within minutes of the inspection being completed. The important part of this document is the number in the top right hand corner of the certificate. It could start with either
- LV-Light Vehicle
- MC- Motorbike
- LT- Light Trailer or Caravan
- HV- Heavy Vehicle over 4.5 tonne
- HT- Heavy Trailer over 3.5 tonne
When you obtain and identify this number you can register your vehicle with transport or transfer your vehicle with transport. Electronic Roadworthy inspections when complete are emailed directly to Queensland Department of Transport. So quoting one of the above numbers from your certificate will identify you as the customer and the vehicle in question. When obtaining a handwritten roadworthy certificate, the old rules apply, and you will need to display the blue copy from the book on a registered light vehicle from the time you advertise it for sale. This is not limited to marketing through a third party, it also includes:
- Any public display that it is for sale i.e on the side of the road or your front lawn.
- Driving around with a sign in the window with any wording that may suggest the car is for sale and a contact number.
Can you drive your unregistered vehicle to get a Roadworthy Inspection
It is legal to drive your car to obtain a Roadworthy Certificate however you must follow the rules:
- All licence plates are to be removed and handed into Queensland transport
- Take your CTP insurance documents
- take with you a complete vehicle registration application (F3518)
- It is important that you go to the closest AIS station or authorised gas installer if you have a caravan or LPG car by taking the shortest rout.
If you get to an AIS and the car does not pass the roadworthy inspection and the AIS station cannot fix the issues to have the vehicle pass. Providing it is in a safe and drivable condition, you can go online and obtain a day pass unregistered vehicle permit to get the vehicle home. Or worst-case scenario, you must have the vehicle towed.
Once you have the approved Roadworthy Certificate, you can legally drive to a QLD transport office and complete the registration.
When you have a safety certificate and gas certificate (if applicable), you can drive your vehicle to a transport and motoring customer service centre to apply for vehicle registration.
Displaying Handwritten Roadworthy Certificates
Handwritten Roadworthy Certificates (the blue cover label) must always be displayed in an obvious area, such as:
- car—on the windscreen or dislayed clearly in a window easily visible.
- trailer—on the drawbar or on a side panel easily visible.
- motorcycle—on the seat, front forks or guard, providing that it is clearly visible.
It is important that no matter where the roadworthy certificate is displayed it must be clearly visible and the handwriting is clear and legible. Not displaying this correctly can result in a fine of $560
Electronically issued safety certificates don’t need to be displayed on your vehicle when you list it for sale. However, you must have already obtained it and be able to produce it if requested by a buyer, buyer’s agent, police officer or transport inspector. This could be printed, or via an electronic method like your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Roadworthy Certificates are Valid for 2 Months
- For all private sellers—certificates are valid for 2 months or 2,000km (whichever comes first) from the date of issue.
Roadworthy Certificates are valid for 3 Months
- For licensed motor dealers—certificates are valid for 3 months or 1,000km (whichever comes first) from the date of issue.
Roadworthy Certificates can be used to register unregistered vehicle and transfer them providing it is done within the parameters set.
When selling vehicles, you can only use the roadworthy certificate once and within the parameters set. You will require a roadworthy certificate every time you sell a vehicle.
Roadworthy Certificates are not required when
Selling a vehicle without a safety certificate
- Vehicles that are unregistered
- Vehicles are traded between; licensed motor dealers
You Can transfer a car without a Roadworthy Certificate when
- The seller lives in an exempt area
- You are a beneficiary of a deceased estate
- between spouses
- You live in a remote location.
For more information go to https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/registration/roadworthy
Safe & Happy Driving!