Trade plates for vessels

A vessel trade plate (special identification plate) can be issued to a dealer or manufacturer of vessels to display on unregistered vessels while demonstrating the vessel to a prospective buyer, carrying out repairs, testing the vessel or delivering the vessel to a purchaser.


A person who designs, commissions, constructs, manufactures, supplies, maintains, repairs or modifies vessels may apply for the issue of a vessel trade plate.


See Buy, sell or transfer a vessel (External link) for the vessel trade-plate fee.

A person issued with a vessel trade plate must:

  • Ensure that the vessel trade plate for that vessel is displayed at all times.
  • Not use, or allow the vessel to be used, for any purposes other than:
    • operating the vessel from place to place while the vessel is in the process of manufacture or repair
    • operating the vessel from the place of manufacture to the place where it will be offered for sale
    • testing the vessel
    • demonstrating the operation of the vessel to a purchaser or prospective purchaser
    • delivering the vessel for or after sale
    • carrying out repairs to the vessel
    • returning the vessel to its owner after it has been repaired.
  • Not allow the vessel to be operated by a person other than:
    • the person issued with the vessel trade plate
    • an employee of the person issued with the vessel trade plate
    • a person under the direct supervision of either the person issued with the vessel trade plate or an employee of the person issued with the vessel trade plate
  • Ensure that the vessel trade plate is fixed to the vessel in a place where it can be easily seen.
  • Keep at the person's office or place of business, a record that contains the personal particulars of each person who operates the vessel.

To apply for a vessel trade plate you will need to:

You can apply for up to three plates on the vessel trade plate form.

Lodge the application by mailing the completed vessel trade plate form and payment of fees to VicRoads, GPO Box 1644, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

The vessel trade plate(s) will then be sent to you by post.

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