Get a Certificate of Roadworthiness

A Certificate of Roadworthiness (also known as a ‘roadworthy’ or ‘RWC’) shows that your vehicle’s safe enough to be used on public roads. A roadworthy is required whenever a vehicle’s sold, if it’s being re-registered, and to clear some defect notices.

A Certificate of Roadworthiness isn’t a guarantee that a vehicle’s mechanically reliable, it just shows that it’s safe enough to be driven. Keep in mind that some vehicles are exempt from requiring a Certificate of Roadworthiness.

What’s checked

The roadworthy inspection is a check of the vehicle to make sure that key components are in a good enough condition for safe road use. It includes:

  • wheels and tyres
  • steering, suspensions and braking systems
  • seats and seatbelts
  • lights and reflectors
  • windscreen, and windows including front wipers and washers
  • vehicle structure
  • other safety related items on the body, chassis or engine.

What isn’t checked

The roadworthiness test isn’t a check of the mechanical reliability or general condition of a vehicle. A Certificate of Roadworthiness does not mean that:

  • the vehicle is in top condition without any wear or deterioration
  • non-safety related accessories (such as the air conditioner, rear window demister, electric windows and rear-window wipers) are working
  • the items checked during the roadworthy inspection will continue to function after the inspection, e.g. a brake light can stop functioning at any time after the inspection
  • the vehicle complies with all of the Australian Design Rules (ADRs)

If you require a comprehensive vehicle inspection 

If you require a comprehensive check on the overall condition and reliability of the vehicle then you should arrange for a separate independent vehicle inspection.

Who issues certificates?

A Certificate of Roadworthiness can only be issued when a licensed vehicle tester, operating from a nominated garage or service station, believes the vehicle is roadworthy. A certificate can only be issued when a vehicle passes the inspection.

Find out more about the Roadworthiness scheme.

Find a Licensed vehicle tester

How long does a certificate remain current?

A roadworthy is considered ‘current’ if it was issued less than 30 days before you present it at VicRoads (e.g. when you visit us to transfer or re-register a vehicle).  
Note: This is not a guarantee that a vehicle with a roadworthy certificate will necessarily continue to remain in a roadworthy condition for 30 days from the date the certificate was issued.

The cost of certificate

The cost of getting a roadworthy can depend on the age, type and condition of a vehicle. 

You can ask for a quote from a Licensed Vehicle Tester.

  • If the vehicle fails the test
  • If an item fails to meet the requirements, the vehicle tester will issue a rejection report. You’ll be given 7 days to repair or replace the rejected item/s and have them re-inspected.
  • If more than 7 days goes by, another full inspection will be required. 

Remember, a roadworthy certificate only shows that a vehicle’s safe enough to be driven on public roads. It isn’t a guarantee that a vehicle’s mechanically sound or in perfect condition. 
If you don’t agree with the outcome of your roadworthy inspection, you can follow these steps:

  1. Check that the component in question is part of the roadworthy test within the Vehicle Standards Information (VSI) 26 – Roadworthiness requirements [PDF 415 Kb]. Contact the tester who issued the certificate and explain your concerns.
  2. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, obtain an independent roadworthy inspection from another Licensed Vehicle Tester to support your claim and present this to the first tester. This should be done as soon as possible, ideally within the 30 day currency of the certificate.
  3. If the independent inspection confirms your concerns, and the original tester won’t co-operate, then notify us with a written complaint, including supporting documents (i.e. a copy of the first roadworthy certificate and the independent certificate) via either:

What are your legal rights

We don't have the authority to make the tester fix your vehicle or compensate you. These are matters for civil action. You can get legal advice, take your dispute to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or the Magistrates court. Where a vehicle is purchased from a Licensed Motor Car Trader (LMCT), Consumer Affairs may be able to assist resolving the matter.

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