Vehicles non-compliant with Australian standards

Find out how to use your vehicle on the roads if it doesn’t meet the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) or vehicle standards. 

How to register a non-compliant vehicle

You’ll need to contact us to book an appointment.

Before you contact us to make an appointment, make sure you have the following information ready:
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN) /chassis number
  • Engine number
  • Registration plate number (if applicable).

A fee applies for the registration appointment. You’ll be advised if the vehicle requires an inspection when making your appointment.

Make an appointment by:

* A card payment fee applies

What you need to bring to your appointment

You’ll need to bring along the following to your appointment:

  • The vehicle (if an inspection is required
  • Completed the Machinery Pack Forms [PDF 941Kb]
  • Heavy Vehicle Standards Exemption Permit obtained from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (External link), if the vehicle is a Heavy Vehicle that is not a Agricultural or a Special Purpose Vehicle.
  • Evidence of your identity
  • Letter of authority, if registering on behalf of a company or person (if you're registering the vehicle in the name of a company or organisation, proof that the company or organisation is a legal entity)
  • Evidence of operator eligibility (see approved operator groups above)
  • Proof of entitlement to register the vehicle (original receipt and/or proof of sale)
  • Payment for the applicable registration fee. The fee includes an administration fee, registration fee (if applicable), number plate fee and Transport Accident Commission (TAC) charge (if applicable).

Renew the registration

We'll send a renewal notice to the registered operator four to six weeks prior to the expiry date.  To renew your registration, visit Pay your registration.

Buying and selling a vehicle with conditional registration

Buying a vehicle

If you buy a registered non compliant vehicle with conditional registration you, or your representative, must visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre and provide the following:

  • Evidence of your identity
  • A bill of sale or receipt
  • Evidence of concession eligibility (if applicable)
  • Evidence of operator eligibility (see approved operator groups above)
  • A completed Application for Registration Transfer form [PDF 368 Kb] and pay the relevant transfer fees to register the vehicle in your name.

You’ll then be issued with a new Certificate of Approved Operations (if it applies).

Selling the vehicle

If you’re selling a conditionally registered vehicle, you need to advise the purchaser of the registration conditions and inform them that they must apply to us to have a new Certificate of Approved Operations issued in their name.

Some vehicles are conditionally registered on the basis that the registration can’t be transferred. If this is the case, you need to cancel the registration and inform the buyer that they should contact us about re-registration requirements.

Cancel the registration

For information on cancelling conditional registration, see the Cancel registration page.

The conditions of use shown below do not affect, limit or remove the vehicle operator’s obligation to comply with other legislative requirements or rules when using a vehicle on a Road or Road Related Area. They form the basis for the standardised conditions of use (Level 1 to 7) and will be used in the application of special use conditions. You’ll be told each condition that you need to follow when you register your vehicle.   

Equipment Requirements

E1. The vehicles must be fitted with indicators, head, tail, number plate and brake lights, horn, mirror and windscreen wipers (if fitted with a windscreen) that meet the standards for registration applicable to the year of manufacture of the vehicle.

E2. Flashing or rotating yellow lights must be fitted.

E3. Elevated flashing or rotating amber lights must be fitted.

E4. A side-facing yellow lamp must be fitted to the rearmost extremity of the vehicle.

E5. A rear-facing red lamp must be fitted to the rearmost extremity of the vehicle.

E6. The vehicle must be fitted on both sides with external rear vision mirrors of adequate size and, where possible, with an internal rear vision mirror to provide the driver with a clear rear view of the road and any following or overtaking vehicle.

E7. The vehicle wheels or tracks must be fitted with rubber tyres or track shoes that are at least 25 mm thick.

E8 . The vehicle must meet the lighting and mechanical requirements that are specified in the Standards for Registration for a trailer when towed on a highway.

E9. The vehicle must have an effective braking system including provision for parked braking.

Conditions of use

General restrictions

G1. The vehicle may only be used on a road for the purpose of carrying out the activity for which it is conditionally registered, or for the purpose of travelling to and from sites for the purpose of carrying out the activity for which the vehicle is conditionally registered.

G2. A copy of the Certificate of Approved Operations must be carried in the vehicle or, in the case of motorcycles or trailers by the vehicle operator at all times the conditionally registered vehicle is in use. Any signs, labels etc. required by VicRoads to indicate that the vehicle is conditionally registered must be displayed.

G3. The operator of the vehicle must:

  • properly and fully assess the risks of using the vehicle in the area in which the vehicle is intended to be used (including any public roads on which the vehicle is permitted to be used), and
  • ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable that the vehicle is used in a safe manner having regard to the conditions (including the road, weather and traffic conditions) prevailing in the area of use, and
  • ensure that all persons who are permitted to use the vehicle are given proper instruction and training in the use of the vehicle in the area of use, and
  • ensure that that vehicle is driven by a person who holds the appropriate licence.

G4. The vehicle must have a flashing or rotating yellow light operating at all times the vehicle is used on a Road or Road Related Area.

G5. The vehicle must have a flashing or rotating yellow light operating when the vehicle is performing its design function including whilst the vehicle is stationary.

G6. The additional lamp(s) must not be operated on highways other than those that are under the control of the vehicle owner or an organisation to which the owner is contracted, or highways that are immediately adjacent to property that is under the control of the vehicle owner or an organisation to which the owner is contracted.

G7. The registration of the vehicle must not be transferred. If a change of operator occurs, the registration must be cancelled. If the new operator intends the vehicle is to be used on the Road or Road Related Area, the new operator must apply to VicRoads for conditional registration.

G8. The vehicle must not carry a person other than the driver.

G9. If the vehicle is steered by handlebar, a protective helmet, of a type approved for motor cycles under the Road Safety Rules 2009, must be worn securely on the head of all vehicle occupants.

G10. When the vehicle is being used or left standing on a Road or Road Related Area, any dangerous protrusions on the vehicle must be covered to minimise the risk of injury.

G11. A side facing yellow light fitted to the rearmost extremity of the vehicle must be lit between sunset and sunrise when the vehicle is parked on a Road or Road Related Area.

G12. A rear facing red lamp fitted to the rear most extremity of the vehicle must be lit between sunset and sunrise when the vehicle is parked on a Road or Road Related Area.

G13. If the vehicle is a dual control vehicle or left hand drive, the words "LEFT-HAND DRIVE VEHICLE" or "DUAL CONTROL VEHICLE" (as appropriate) must be displayed clearly on the rear of the vehicle, in letters at least 75 mm high and in clear contrast with the background.

G14. When not actually performing its design function, a dual control vehicle must be driven from the right-hand position.

G15. If the vehicle is a left hand drive vehicle, an adult observer must travel in the right-hand front seating position to assist the driver in observing the road ahead and to the right of the vehicle.

G16. These conditions of use supersede any conditions of use that may have been previously issued to the vehicle and expire upon the issue of new conditions of use.

Access restrictions

A1. The vehicle must not travel on a road, whether sealed or unsealed, except:

  • where it is impracticable not to do so, or
  • to cross a railway line, bridge, ford or causeway, or
  • to cross a road by the shortest convenient route, or
  • to perform the special function for which it was designed.

A2. The vehicle may be used on the carriageway or shoulder of an A, B or C road only in the following circumstances:

  • Where there is an obstruction preventing travel on the roadside, the vehicle may be driven on the shoulder, but only to the extent necessary to avoid the obstruction
  • Where there is an obstruction preventing travel on the roadside or shoulder, the vehicle may be driven on the carriageway, but only to the extent necessary avoid the obstruction
  • Where it is necessary to do so to cross a railway line, bridge, ford or causeway
  • Where it is necessary to do so to cross a highway by the shortest possible route (provided that crossing the highway is not across double or continuous single barrier lines or within 25 metres of an intersection)
  • Where the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded from a transport vehicle
  • Where the vehicle is travelling between worksites or between a worksite and the vehicle's garaged address, and the travel is for a distance that does not exceed 1 kilometre on roads that are subject to a speed limit of 60km/h or less.

A3. The vehicle must not be used on the carriageway of an A, B or C road where there are double or continuous single barrier lines at the location of the vehicle’s operation, except to the extent necessary to cross a railway line, bridge, ford or causeway.

A4. The vehicle may be used to carry out works on a road only if:

  • the vehicle is floated to and from the worksite, except as provided by clause A2(f), and
  • the vehicle is only driven on the road to carry out the works or to travel between the worksite and the transport vehicle, and
  • either the road on which the works are carried out has a speed limit of 60 km/h or less, or there are traffic control measures in place.

A5. The vehicle:

  • must not be used on the carriageway or shoulder of any M road
  • must not be used on the carriageway or shoulder of any A, B or C road except as set out in clauses A2, A3 and A4
  • may be used on the carriageway or shoulder of any road that is not an M, A, B or C road.

A6. A vehicle may be used on a road that is within the boundaries of land owned, occupied or managed by:

  • the registered operator of the vehicle, or
  • an organisation to which the registered operator is a contracted service provider provided that the road:
    1. has a speed limit of 60km/h or less, and
    2. is not able to be used as a public thoroughfare through the land.

A7. The vehicle must not be used on a highway between sunset and sunrise unless it is required for use in response to an emergency, including a fire, explosion or natural disaster.

A8. The vehicle must not travel on a Road or Road Related Area in a built-up area.

A9. The vehicle must not be left standing on the paved part of a road.

A10. The vehicle must be transported to and from work sites.

A11. The vehicle must not operate on a highway between sunset and sunrise except within a defined and floodlit work area, or if required for use in response to an emergency, including a fire, explosion or natural disaster.

A12. The vehicle may only be driven on a highway within a defined work area.

A13. The vehicle may only be driven on a Road or Road Related Area within a radius of 25km of the owner's residence.

A14. Within a built up area, the vehicle must not travel outside a construction zone on weekdays between the peak travel hours of 7 to 9am, and 4 to 6pm.

A15. If the vehicle is to be used in an Alpine area, the operator must obtain written approval for use of the vehicle by the Alpine managing authority.

A16. Vehicle must only be operated on unsealed road related areas.

A17. If vehicle is not fitted with headlights use of the vehicle is restricted to the hours falling between sunrise and sunset.

A18. The vehicle must not be used on a Road or Road Related Areas between sunset and sunrise.

Speed restrictions

S1. The vehicle must not exceed a speed of 7 km/h when travelling on the paved surface of a highway.

S2. The vehicle must not be driven at a speed in excess of 30 km/h.

S3. On a highway, the speed of the vehicle must not exceed 60 km/h. Where signs indicate a speed restriction of less than 60 km/h, the vehicle must be driven at 10 km/h below the indicated speed.

Towing restrictions

T1. The vehicle must not tow another motor vehicle or trailer.

T2. The towing vehicle must have brakes on all wheels.

Usage restrictions

U1. If the vehicle is an overdimensional vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass below 4.5 tonnes, the vehicle must only be operated under the terms and conditions set out in schedule 7 of the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2009 or a Class O dimension permit issued under Part 5 of the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2009.

If the vehicle is an overdimensional and overmass vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass above 4.5 tonnes, the vehicle must only be operated under the terms and conditions set out in the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice 2016 (no. 1) issued under the Heavy Vehicle National Law or a Class 1 mass and dimension permit issued under Part 4 of the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

U2. The vehicle must comply with any condition or conditions specified by VicRoads Vehicle Safety and Registration Services or VicRoads Road User and Vehicle Access area.

U3. If the vehicle is fitted with handlebars, use of the vehicle is subject to the following requirements:

  • no passengers may be carried on the vehicle
  • the driver must wear an approved motorcycle helmet, and
  • towing is not permitted.

U4. If the vehicle is fitted with a steering wheel, use of the vehicle is subject to the following requirements:

  • no more than a driver and three passengers in seats built to carry adults may be carried in the vehicle, and
  • the towing of trailers exceeding the manufacturer's limit is not permitted, and
  • if seat belts are fitted, they must be used by all persons in the vehicle at all times the vehicle is in use, and
  • whilst the use of an approved motorcycle helmet is not mandatory, VicRoads recommends that the operator considers the use of helmets in making an assessment of the risks of using the vehicle in the area in which the vehicle is intended to be used.

U5. These conditions will apply to the use of the vehicle regardless of the vehicle operator. The conditions will only cease to apply when the existing conditions have been varied or new conditions of use are imposed by VicRoads or when the registration is cancelled.

Special restrictions

Z1, Z2, Z3 VicRoads may impose unique conditions specific to a particular vehicle use.

If your vehicle still needs limited access to the roads but doesn’t meet the ADRs (External link) or vehicle standards it can be conditionally registered.

When conditional registration is approved the operator will be issued with standardised conditions of use on the road or road related area.

Conditions may include:

  • requiring additional or alternative equipment
  • reducing exposure (e.g. restricting speeds, hours of use, and operating range)
  • requiring additional operative personnel or escort vehicles
  • specifying additional protective gear for occupants
  • fitting warning signs restrictions on towing vehicle masses.

VicRoads has the discretion to impose any reasonable condition, consistent with ensuring safety of all road users.

Eligibility

To be eligible to register a vehicle which doesn't comply with registration standards:

  • you need to be an eligible operator of an approved operator group
  • the vehicle needs to meet the minimum construction requirements for its body type
  • if the vehicle is a heavy vehicle that is not an Agricultural or a Special Purpose Vehicle (non load carrying) a Heavy Vehicles Standards Exemption Permit (HVSEP) issued from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) must be obtained prior to applying for conditional registration with VicRoads. Visit the NHVR (External link) website or call on 1300 696 for information on how to obtain a HVSEP.

Approved operator groups

We have approved operator groups which are used for conditional registration. This is to restrict registration to only those groups who have an occupational use for that type of vehicle.

Where a vehicle is used by a contractor on behalf of an operating group, conditional registration is also permitted, subject to verification of contractor status.

These are the ten approved operator groups:

1. Government / local council / emergency services
2. Primary producer
3. Construction / maintenance / service
4. Manufacturing / production
5. Tourism / accommodation 
6. Utilities
7. Health care
8. Education or training faculties
9. Entertainment / recreational
10. Other

Standardised Conditions

We have seven levels of conditions from least restrictive to most restrictive for vehicles that don’t meet the standards of registration and are subject to conditional registration.

We have a standard condition level for each category of vehicle registered.

The level applied to each category is based on the level of road access or use that is determined appropriate for that category.

Certificate of Approved Operations

We’ll issue a Certificate of Approved Operations to the registered operator. This outlines the conditions imposed on the vehicle when driven on a road or road related area.

If the vehicle is a heavy vehicle that has obtained a HVSEP from the NHVR, the conditions set out by the NHVR will be applied to the registration.

The Certificate of Approved Operations and HVSEP (if required) must be carried in the vehicle at all times for enforcement purposes.

For more information about operator groups, standardised conditions and the Certificate of Approved Operations please call us on 13 11 71 or visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.

What you can do if you're not eligible

If you don’t fall within one of the approved operator groups or you do fall within one but you want approval to be given to use the vehicle outside the standard conditions, you’ll need to provide a special application.

You can write to us at: 

VicRoads
MANAGER R&L BUSINESS PRACTICE (OPERATIONS)
Level 1, 60 Denmark street
KEW VIC 3101

If the vehicle is a heavy vehicle that is not an Agricultural or a Special Purpose Vehicle (non load carrying) a HVSEP from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) (External link) must be obtained prior to requesting a special application.

When conditional registration will not be approved

If a vehicle complies with the construction and equipment requirements of the ADR's and meets the standards for registration, conditional registration isn't offered. You'll need to register your vehicle through the normal process. 

If suitable operating conditions can't be imposed on a vehicle to overcome or moderate performance deficiencies when travelling on the road network, then the vehicle will not be registered.

You can check construction and equipment requirements in the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) (External link) and vehicle standards.

Interstate engineering certificates for heavy vehicles

When registering a non-ADR compliant heavy vehicle, we will accept a current engineering certificate from jurisdictions that are operating under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). Currently all jurisdictions except Western Australia (WA) and the Northern Territory (NT) are operating under the HVNL.

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