Removing, adding & replacing seats

Any change to the seating capacity of a vehicle must be carried out in accordance with VicRoads guidelines.

The relevant guidelines for adding or replacing seats is Vehicle standards information VSI19 - Additional or replacement seats [PDF 168 Kb].

There must be enough room in the vehicle for the additional seats and occupants and the load carrying capacity must be able to accommodate the weight of the new seats and occupants.

Additional seats must be securely anchored to the structure of the vehicle and seatbelts must be firmly fixed according to the strength and location requirements of applicable Australian Design Rules.

Seats are divided into three categories

Category 1 - Seats for use by adults

These seats will generally change the category of vehicle from a goods carrying to a passenger vehicle, which is subject to higher safety standards.

A VASS Approval Certificate must be provided to show that the modified vehicle meets the standards for registration.

You will need to advise VicRoads of this change.

Category 2 and 3 - Seats for use by children

Category 2 seats can only be used by children up to 12 years of age and weighing less than 39kg.

Category 3 seats can only be used by children up to 8 years of age and weighing less than 27kg.

Seats in Categories 2 and 3 do not require a VASS Approval Certificate but must be fitted in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. You should consult a VASS signatory if instructions are not available.  Category 2 and 3 seats do not change the seating description of the vehicle and therefore you do not need to advise VicRoads of the change.

For more information about adding seats, see the – Vehicle standards information VSI19 - Additional or replacement seats [PDF 168 Kb].

The requirements for removing seats will vary depending on:

  • the gross vehicle mass of the vehicle
  • the original number of seating positions
  • the new number of seating positions
  • which seats are removed
  • when the vehicle was manufactured.

Check the table below to determine if you require an Approval Certificate. 

This table is applicable to Light Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) up to 4.5t. All vehicles with a GVM over 4.5t will require a VASS Approval Certificate for any Seating Changes.

Original number of seating positions: Number of seating positions reduced to:
2 to 3 4 to 9 10 to 12 13 or more
1 to 9 Approval Certificate not required Approval Certificate not required Not Applicable Not Applicable
10 to 12 Approval Certificate not required provided the seats are in the front row only An Approval certificate is required if the vehicle was built after 1970 Not Applicable Not Applicable
More than 12 Approval Certificate not required provided the seats and seatbelts are in the front row only and original type seat belts are fitted. An Approval Certificate is required if the vehicle was built after 1970 An Approval Certificate is required if the vehicle was built after 1986 and the vehicle’s GVM is 5.0 tonne or less. Approval Certificate not required

Note

  1. Please contact VicRoads if the vehicle is not described above or if you require further information.
  2. An Approval Certificate is not required for reducing the number of seats on a vehicle built before 1971.
  3. A VASS Approval Certificate is required for a vehicle converted to a Motor Home. See Vehicle standards information VSI5 - Conversion of vehicles to motor homes [PDF 177 Kb].

If the modification is not listed above a VASS approval Certificate is required and you will need to advise VicRoads of this change.

A VASS Approval Certificate is not required for a replacement seat provided:

  • the seat is offered by the manufacturer as an option and is replacing an existing seat
  • the original seat mountings are used
  • appropriate seatbelts are fitted.

A VASS Approval Certificate is required if:

  • the replacement seat was not offered by the manufacturer as an option
  • the vehicle was manufactured on or after 1 January 1969. 

If an approval certificate is required, you will need to advise VicRoads of this change.

If the modification has changed the seating description of the vehicle, or a VASS Approval Certificate is required, then you must visit VicRoads Customer Service Centre with:

An appointment is not required.

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