Register an imported vehicle

To register an imported vehicle in Victoria, there are specific documentation requirements, including Vehicle Import Approval (VIA).  An appointment is also required to have the vehicle inspected.  

Getting import approval

Any vehicle being imported into Australia will require Vehicle Import Approval. 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.

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

  • visiting www.infrastructure.gov.au (External link)
  • calling 1800 815 272 (inside Australia) or +61 2 6274 7444 (international)
  • writing to Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Vehicle Safety Standards Branch, GPO Box 594, Canberra, ACT, 2601.

Any enquiries about the requirements for the importation of vehicles must be directed to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) (External link). DIRD defines the criteria for what vehicles can be classified as Personal Imports.

Categories of imported vehicles

Most imported vehicles will fall under 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.

Documentation requirements to get the vehicle registered differ depending on the category that applies to the imported vehicle.

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 12 months.

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.

VASS is the Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme.

 

Eligibility

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 import approval documents for vehicles imported under RAWS.

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:

  • a VASS approval certificate is required, 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 or suspension rail or strut tower before the vehicle is registered.

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

These vehicles are not issued a compliance plate.

Follow the steps included in registering your vehicle 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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