Register an imported vehicle

There are specific requirements to register an imported vehicle in Victoria and an appointment is required to have the vehicle inspected.  

Getting import approval

The Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 replaced the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA) on 1 July 2021.

To get import approval and for any enquiries about the requirements for the importation of vehicles, contact the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC) by: 

  • visiting www.infrastructure.gov.au (External link)
  • emailing [email protected] for general information
  • emailing [email protected] for ROVER assistance
  • calling 1800 815 272 (inside Australia) or +61 2 6274 7444 (international)
  • writing to Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Vehicle Safety Standards Branch, GPO Box 594, Canberra, ACT, 2601.

All imported light vehicles less than 30 years old and all imported heavy vehicles must be in right hand drive configuration before they can be registered.

Categories of imported vehicles

Up to 30 June 2021, imported vehicles were granted approval under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 and are in one of the following categories:

  • personal imports, where the vehicle was manufactured after 1988
  • vehicles imported under the Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS), manufactured after 1988
  • vehicles manufactured before 1989.

From 1 July 2021, imported vehicles will be granted approval under the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018. Further information at www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports (External link).

Documentation and requirements for registration differ depending on the category of import and date of import approval was granted.

Only a Registered Automotive Workshop can import a vehicle that is manufactured after 1988 and that is not a personal import.

This applies to the registration of imported used light and heavy motor vehicles (including motorcycles) manufactured after 1988 and that have been imported and certified under RAWS.

Documentation

Documentation required by VicRoads as part of the registration application:
VicRoads does not need to sight an approval notice document for these vehicles.

A Registered Automotive Workshop can modify or manufacture a vehicle that is:

  • covered by an entry on the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles (SEVs) Register, or
  • a used two-wheeled vehicle or a used three-wheeled vehicle, or
  • a road vehicle that is entered on the RAV via the type approval pathway, has not been provided to a consumer for the first time in Australia, and has been, is currently undergoing or will be subject to second stage of manufacture (SSM) before being provided to a consumer for the first time in Australia

The vehicle must comply with the Standards for Registration applicable at its date of manufacture.

Documentation

Documentation required by VicRoads as part of the registration application:

VicRoads does not need to sight an approval notice document for these vehicles.

Documentation required by VicRoads as part of the registration application:

  • a copy of the entire Vehicle Import Approval, or if imported before September 1989, a customs clearance document 
  • current and original Certificate of Roadworthiness

If the vehicle was manufactured between 1969 (after June 1975 for motorcycles) and 1989:

  • VASS approval certificate  and a blue Modification Approval Plate will always be required (even if the vehicle is not modified), and
  • the vehicle will be inspected to confirm that the VIN has been stamped on a substantial portion of the vehicle such as the firewall, chassis rail, suspension rail or strut tower before the vehicle is registered.

If the vehicle was manufactured before 1969 (before 1975 for motorcycles):

  • VASS approval certificate is required if converted from left hand drive to right hand drive or otherwise modified. A blue Modification Approval Plate will also be required.

Documentation required by VicRoads as part of the registration application:

  • Certificate of Roadworthiness
  • VIN must be recorded on RAV
  • VIN must be stamped on vehicle
  • If vehicle is manufactured after 1968 (after June 1975 for motorcycles) and over 25 years old:
    • a VASS Approval Certificate is required and a blue Modification Approval plate is required (even if the vehicle is not modified)
  • If vehicle is manufactured pre 1969 vehicle (pre-July 1975 for motorcycles) and it has had major modifications or a steering conversion from LHD to RHD:
    • a VASS Approval Certificate and a blue modification plate is required

A personal import vehicle is one that was manufactured after 1988, and was owned and used overseas by the applicant for at least 12 months prior to being imported. The applicant must not have imported another personal import vehicle in the previous 5 years.

Vehicle requirements

The vehicle must be:

  • in the right hand drive configuration
  • fitted with complying seat belts
  • fitted with child restraint anchorages for the rear seating positions
  • fitted with head restraints to the front outboard seating positions
  • otherwise comply with the standards for registration set out in Schedule 2 of the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2009
  • be in a roadworthy condition

Documentation

Documentation required by VicRoads as part of the registration application:

Vehicle requirements

The vehicle must be:

  • in the right hand drive configuration
  • fitted with complying seat belts
  • fitted with child restraint anchorages for the rear seating positions
  • fitted with head restraints to the front outboard seating positions
  • otherwise comply with the standards for registration set out in Schedule 2 of the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2009
  • be in a roadworthy condition

Documentation

  • Certificate of Roadworthiness
  • VIN must be recorded on RAV
  • VIN must be stamped on vehicle
  • a VASS Approval Certificate (to L03) and a blue Modification Approval plate
  • if the vehicle has undergone other major modifications (for example a steering conversion from LHD to RHD), a full VASS Approval Certificate is also required

VicRoads does not need to sight an approval notice for these vehicles.

Follow the steps included in registering your vehicle (External link) to make an appointment to attend a Customer Service Centre and prepare for and attend your appointment.

As part of your registration appointment, you will need to take along the additional documentation that is based on the category that applies to the imported vehicle.

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