Vehicle defect notices

A defect notice is issued to a vehicle that does not meet roadworthiness requirements and registration standards. Defect notices can be issued by the police, VicRoads (and equivalent interstate) inspectors and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

A vehicle issued with a Defect Notice must not be used on a highway (road or road related area) after the time and date specified on the Defect Notice, and its further movement to another location may be restricted in accordance with terms specified on the Defect Notice. 

If the compliance date on a Defect Notice has expired, the registration may be suspended. 

If the vehicle has been repaired and the registration has not been suspended, the vehicle may be used on the highway (road or road related area) to:

  • take it from the place of repair to a licensed tester
  • examine and test it
  • return it after it has been tested
  • take it to VicRoads to be inspected or to have the defect notice cleared.

While the registration is suspended, the vehicle is considered to be unregistered and must not be driven on the road, unless it is being used on a highway (road or road related area) by a Licensed Vehicle Tester for the purpose of examination and testing. 

If repairs are required for a suspended vehicle, the vehicle must be towed or taken by trailer to the place of repair, test or inspection. Where the vehicle needs to be presented to VicRoads for inspection or clearance of Defect Notice, it must be towed or taken by trailer. 

If the action required in a Defect Notice has not been taken within the period specified in the notice, VicRoads may cancel the vehicle’s registration.

After fixing the defects as specified on the notice, you will be required to either get a Certificate of Roadworthiness or present the vehicle for a VicRoads inspection.

If the defect notice is issued to a heavy vehicle, a current and original Certificate of Roadworthiness (or equivalent, depending on the jurisdiction) must be provided. 

fee will apply to clear a defect notice.

Certificate of Roadworthiness required to clear defect notice

The Certificate of Roadworthiness must be current and valid and issued after the date and time of issue of the defect notice. You must receive confirmation from VicRoads that the Certificate of Roadworthiness has been accepted (as evidence the vehicle is no longer defective) before a defect label can be removed from the vehicle.

You can get a Certificate of Roadworthiness from a Roadworthy tester.

VicRoads inspection required to clear defect notice

The vehicle must be presented for inspection at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre (ensure that the Customer Service Centre chosen is able to provide the inspection for your type of vehicle). There is no need to make an appointment.  VicRoads will authorise removal of the defect label if inspection shows the defects on the notice have been addressed. 

 

Excessive noise defect notices

For clearance of a defect notice issued by the EPA, under Section 55AC (1), Environment Protection Act 1970, you need to present the vehicle for inspection at a location specified by the EPA on the defect notice.

A vehicle issued with an excessive noise notice will need to be presented for an inspection at an EPA approved noise tester. Should the vehicle pass the test, a Certificate of Compliance is provided and will need to be lodged with the EPA. The EPA is then authorised to lift the defect notice. Find your nearest EPA approved noise tester (External link).

Emission defect notices

For an emission defect notice, please contact the EPA (External link), Motor Vehicle Emission Unit on (03) 9695 2700.

NOTE: Defect notices issued by the EPA cannot be removed by VicRoads. The defect notice will state where to go to get the defect notice removed.

 

How do I clear an interstate defect notice?

To clear a Defect Notice issued in another state, the vehicle must be presented for inspection as directed on the Defect Notice.

When is a Certificate of Roadworthiness required to clear an interstate defect notice?

If a vehicle has been issued with an Interstate Defect Notice, check the table below to determine if a Certificate of Roadworthiness is required. You can get a Certificate of Roadworthiness from a Roadworthy tester.

If the defect notice is issued to a heavy vehicle or heavy trailer then you must get a Victorian Certificate of Roadworthiness or the equivalent issued in any Australian Jurisdiction, providing it is current, to clear the notice in Victoria. However, if the interstate defect notice is marked as a minor defect or the vehicle is required to be presented at a location listed in the middle column in the table below, the defect can be cleared after examination by a VicRoads Licensed Heavy Vehicle Tester. Following inspection, you’ll need to get a letter (on business letterhead) from the vehicle tester stating: 
  • the vehicle's details; and
  • what repair/s were required to clear the defect.
This letter will need to taken to a VicRoads Customer Service Centre to clear the defect.

When is a Certificate of Roadworthiness not required to clear an interstate defect notice?

If the vehicle has been inspected by an Authorised Inspection Station relevant to the state that issued the notice, or falls into the ‘Certificate of Roadworthiness not required’ category in the table below and the defect notice has been cleared with an official stamp and signed by the inspector verifying the repairs have been completed, then a Certificate of Roadworthiness is not required. The signed and stamped defect notice will need to be presented at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre to record that it has been cleared. A fee will apply to clear a defect notice.

Where to clear a Defect notice - Authorised Inspection Stations

State where defect notice was issued Certificate of Roadworthiness required. Certificate of Roadworthiness not required 
New South Wales Authorised Inspection Centre Police Station or Registry Office
Western Australia Vehicle Examination Centre Police Station
Queensland Vehicle Inspection Centre Nil
South Australia Authorised Inspection Centre Police Station
Tasmania Departmental Inspection Centre Police Station
ACT Registrar of Motor Vehicles Nil
Northern Territory Motor Vehicle Registry Police Station

You are responsible for addressing the parts of the vehicle that require action as directed. You do not need to get a Certificate of Roadworthiness or present the vehicle for inspection.

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