The Written-Off Vehicles Register (WOVR) & written-off vehicles

Written-off vehicles are recorded on the Written-Off Vehicles Register (WOVR) to make sure they’re repaired well, and are safe enough to be on the road. The WOVR also helps confirm the identity of the damaged vehicle.  

The WOVR includes any light vehicles (up to and including 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass, or GVM) and motorcycles that are less than 15 years old, which have been assessed as a write-off. 

A vehicle is ‘written-off’ if the cost to repair it would probably be more than the value of the vehicle. A vehicle can also be written-off if it’s so badly damaged that it couldn’t be safe to drive. 

If your vehicle is reported as a write-off, VicRoads will send you a letter to let you know, and explain what your next steps are. 

If you are buying a vehicle, and want to check that it’s not written-off, we recommend that you do a Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR) (External link) check. Visit buying a written-off vehicle for more information.

The WOVR includes 3 types of write-offs: 

  • repairable write-offs (RWO)
  • inspected write-offs (IWO)
  • statutory write-offs (SWO).

Repairable write-offs

Repairable write-offs are vehicles that can be repaired, but the cost of repairs would probably be more than the vehicle’s worth. 

A vehicle’s registration will be cancelled when it’s added to the WOVR as a repairable write-off. If that happens to a vehicle in your name, we’ll send you a letter that details what you need to do, and the requirements to get the vehicle back on the road. 

To get a repairable write-off back on the road, you need to repair the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer’s standards, then get a VIV certificate and a roadworthy certificate.  

See repairing a written-off vehicle for more information. 

Inspected repairable write-offs 

An inspected write-off is a vehicle that used to be a repairable-write off, but has since been repaired and re-registered successfully. 

A hail-damaged vehicle might also be recorded on the WOVR as an inspected write-off, even though the damage may not be repaired, see hail damaged vehicles. 

Sometimes, an interstate inspected write-off needs a VIV inspection before it can be registered in Victoria. 

Statutory write-offs

A statutory write-off is a vehicle that’s been damaged so severely that it should not be repaired. 
These vehicles can’t be re-registered anywhere in Australia, but certain parts may be used to repair other vehicles. 

What counts as a ‘statutory write-off’? 

A light motor vehicle is considered a statutory write-off if any of the below apply to it:

Damage type Conditions
Excessive structural damage A vehicle has ‘excessive structural damage’ if 3 indicators are found in the vehicle. 

Indicators are listed in the Damage Assessment Criteria for the Classification of Statutory Write-Offs (External link) (PDF).
Excessive fire damage

A vehicle has ‘excessive fire damage’ if, because of fire:

  • there’s interior and exterior damage 
  • the vehicle is damaged to the extent that it’s written off
  • internal or external paint has blistered on at least 3 of the following: 

            - the roof
            - a pillar
            - the floor pan
            - the firewall
            - longitudinal structural rails or chassis.

Excessive water damage A vehicle has ‘excessive water damage’ if there was water inside the car, up to or above the inner door sill. 

It doesn’t matter whether the water was fresh, salt or brackish water. 
Excessive stripping damage A vehicle has ‘excessive stripping damage’ if it’s been stripped of interior/exterior parts, panels and components like wheels, doors, bonnet to the extent that it’s written-off. 

A motorcycle is considered a statutory write-off if any of the below apply to it:

Damage type Conditions

Impact

The suspension is damaged, and at least two areas of the structural frame are damaged (excluding scratching).

Salt water immersion

The motorcycle has been fully immersed in salt water for any amount of time.

Fresh water immersion

The motorcycle has been fully immersed in fresh water for more than 48 hours.

Fire damage

The motorcycle has been burned so much that it's only fit for wrecking or scrap.

Malicious/theft/stripping

Has been stripped of all, or a combination of most, internal and exterior body parts, panels and components.

What to do with statutory write-offs 

Any vehicle that’s a statutory write-off (is so badly damaged that it can never be re-registered) needs to be attached with a label that warns potential buyers of the vehicle’s state. 

The label needs to clearly state that the vehicle’s a statutory write-off. It needs to be white with black writing, and letters at least 9mm high. We recommend that the label be at least 230x170mm. 

Legally, an insurer, self-insurer, car recycler/wrecker, or licensed car dealer needs to report any written-off vehicle to VicRoads and the WOVR. 

WOVR reporting requirements 

Party Action required
Insurers and self-insurers If a vehicle is written-off, the insurer must tell VicRoads before the vehicle is disposed of, or within 7 days from when it’s assessed.
Auto parts recycler/ Motor wreckers A parts recycler/motor wrecker needs to tell VicRoads about any vehicle that’s demolished or dismantled. 

They also have to tell VicRoads before disposing of a vehicle, within 7 days from when they started demolishing/dismantling the vehicle. 

This is only required if the vehicle isn’t already recorded on the WOVR. 
Licensed Motor Car Traders (LMCTs) An LMCT needs to tell VicRoads about any written-off vehicles within 7 days of acquiring it, and before disposing of it. This applies to any vehicles in the LMCT’s care, custody or control. 

This is only required if the vehicle hasn’t already been reported to the WOVR by an insurer or self-insurer. 

How to notify VicRoads and WOVR of a write-off 

Insurers, Self-Insurers and Auction Houses
Can add vehicles to the WOVR online. 
LMCTs and motor wreckers/parts recyclers 

Motor wreckers can use a bulk notification form [PDF 55 Kb] if preferred.  

Email your forms to [email protected] or mail them to VicRoads, GPO Box 1644N, Melbourne 3001. 

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