Motor vehicle registration transfer

Overview

If you acquire, or become the operator of, an ACT registered vehicle, or trailer, you must apply to transfer the vehicle’s registration within 14 days. In addition to the prescribed registration fees, a transfer fee is payable. A late transfer penalty fee will be charged for applications made after the 14 days.

If you aren’t sure what you need to do to transfer the vehicle, use the Registration information and transfer guide to assess what paperwork, inspections, fees and/or any additional requirements you will require.

Access Canberra must confirm your identity prior to completing this transaction. If you do not hold, or cannot produce, your ACT Driver Licence, you may be required to provide full proof of identity and/or residency. Further information about identity requirements can be found on the proof of identity and residency page.

If you wish to add a secondary operator to a registration you will be required to provide proof of Identity/Residency for both operators. If both persons are not present for the transaction, an authority to act as an agent form (PDF 156KB) will need to be completed authorising the vehicle to be registered into the person’s name that is not present.

If you wish to register the vehicle into an organisational name (e.g. company or charity) you will be required to provide a company certificate and authorisation from a director to allowing the transaction to be performed.

Buying an ACT registered motor vehicle

All vehicles up to 4.5 tonnes and more than six years old, and all imported vehicles currently registered in the ACT with green or yellow compliance plates need to be inspected to ensure they are roadworthy before the registration transfer can be completed. This can be done at the Access Canberra Motor Vehicle Inspection Station at Hume or by an authorised examiner in the ACT.

All imported vehicles with a magenta (purple) compliance plate whether from the ACT or another jurisdiction must be inspected at the Access Canberra Motor Vehicle Inspection Station at Hume.

All imported vehicles from another jurisdiction to be established in the ACT with green or yellow compliance plates must be inspected at the Access Canberra Motor Vehicle Inspection Station at Hume.

All imported and currently un-registered ACT vehicles with green or yellow compliance plates must be inspected at the Access Canberra Motor Vehicle Inspection Station at Hume.

For further information about booking an inspection refer to the Motor vehicle inspections page.

If the vehicle purchased has had a concession applied to the current registration period by the previous operator, you may be required to pay pro-rata registration fees. Payment of the pro-rata registration fees will be required for this period beginning on the date you acquired the vehicle until the end date of the current registration period.

Duty may also be payable when transferring a motor vehicle. For information about stamp duty refer to the Duty payable upon registration or transfer of a motor vehicle page.

A new Motor Accident Injuries (MAI) insurance provider cannot be selected upon transfer of registration. A new MAI provider can be selected upon the next renewal of registration.

Transfer of registration can be arranged at an Access Canberra Service Centre.

Access Canberra must confirm your identity prior to completing this transaction. If you do not hold, or cannot produce, your ACT Driver Licence, you may be required to provide full proof of identity and/or residency. Further information about identity requirements can be found on the proof of identity and residency page.

You will need to provide:

  • the passed vehicle inspection report;
  • if purchased privately, the registration certificate signed by the former registered operator/s, or your purchase receipt for the vehicle (see below);
  • if purchased from a motor vehicle dealer, the dealers notice from the motor vehicle dealer or the equivalent notice from an interstate motor vehicle dealer or the registration certificate signed by the licensed motor vehicle dealer;
  • proof of identity or a current ACT driver licence; and,
  • notification of the vehicle garaging address.

For private sales, a hand written receipt is acceptable, providing the receipt contains ALL of the following details:

  • Vehicle details (minimum of plate number or VIN)
  • Sale date
  • Sellers details (minimum of full name or licence number)
  • Sellers signature (both signatures if in joint names)
  • Buyers details (minimum of name or licence number)
  • Price at which the vehicle was sold at
  • The receipt must implicitly state the sale of the vehicle from the seller to the buyer.

Note: A Notice of Disposal or Unregistered Vehicle Permit may be used as Proof of Acquisition.

For further information about proof of identity and residency refer to the ACT driver licence and vehicle registration proof of identity and residency requirementsACT driver licence and vehicle registration proof of identity and residency page.

In addition to the above you must also complete an Application to transfer vehicle registration (PDF 167KB) form, or complete the reverse side of the registration certificate (signed by the previous operator where applicable), or the reverse side of the certificate of inspection.

You can nominate an agent to do this on your behalf where your details are already known to the Road Transport Authority by completing an Authority to act as an agent (PDF 156KB) form.

Selling an ACT registered motor vehicle

To an ACT buyer

When the operatorship of a vehicle changes hands, the registration for the vehicle must pass to the new operator. Registration must be transferred within 14 days from the date of sale. If the registration is not transferred within 14 days a late fee will apply.

At the time of sale, complete the ‘Application to transfer vehicle registration’ and the ‘Notice of disposal’ which you will find on the reverse side of your current registration certificate. Both sections need to be filled in by the current registered operator(s) and the person buying the vehicle.

If you have misplaced the registration papers please print and complete the Application to transfer vehicle registration (PDF 167KB) form and the Notice of disposal (PDF 127KB) form. The buyer will need to present the reverse side of the registration certificate (top section), or other proof of acquisition of the vehicle at the time of transfer.

For private sales, a hand written receipt is acceptable, providing the receipt contains ALL of the following details:

  • Vehicle details (minimum of plate number or VIN)
  • Sale date
  • Sellers details (minimum of full name or licence number)
  • Sellers signature (both signatures if in joint names)
  • Buyers details (minimum of name or licence number)
  • Price at which the vehicle was sold at
  • The receipt must implicitly state the sale of the vehicle from the seller to the buyer.

Note: A Notice of Disposal or Unregistered Vehicle Permit may be used as Proof of Acquisition.

Do not give the ‘Notice of disposal’ to the buyer as it must be returned to an Access Canberra location, posted to the Road Transport Authority or submitted via the Road Transport Authority contact form. Please retain a copy for your records.

To an interstate buyer

If you sell your vehicle to an interstate buyer, you will need to follow the same process as you would if you were selling your vehicle in the ACT (see above). The buyer will need to contact their local Road Transport Authority about the requirements to establish registration in their state.

If the vehicle is sold with current registration, the numberplates should remain on the vehicle and the buyer will then be entitled to obtain a refund for any unused portion of ACT registration and Motor Accident Injuries (MAI) insurance if applicable. A cancellation fee will apply.

If you have arranged to sell the vehicle without registration you will need to surrender the numberplates to an Access Canberra Service Centre. Upon surrender of the numberplates you will be entitled to a refund for any unused portion of ACT registration and CTPI if applicable. A cancellation fee  will apply.

Written off vehicles

An authorised designated person must notify the Road Transport Authority of a vehicle which they have assessed as being a total loss. See Written off motor vehicles for further information.

Buying an interstate registered motor vehicle

If you acquire, or become the operator of, a vehicle registered interstate, you must establish the vehicle registration in the ACT within one month of the purchase date. An establishment fee and duty is payable. For further information about duty refer to the Duty payable upon registration or transfer of a motor vehicle page.

Access Canberra must confirm your identity prior to completing this transaction. If you do not hold, or cannot produce, your ACT Driver Licence, you may be required to provide full proof of identity and/or residency. Further information about identity requirements can be found on the proof of identity and residency page.

Roadworthy, identity and LPG inspections may be required before a vehicle can be registered in the ACT. Bookings are essential and fees apply. To determine which inspections you require and for information about booking an inspection refer to the Motor vehicle inspections page.

NOTE: Some vehicles will require a Vehicle Identity Check along with a Roadworthy Inspection. See “Vehicle Identity Checks” below.

When your inspection/s have been completed you will need to attend an Access Canberra Service Centre and provide:

If the vehicle is fitted with interstate number plates, you will need to surrender the interstate number plates when you transfer the registration to the ACT. Please be aware you will need to bring a screwdriver and remove the plates prior to surrender.

If you cannot register the vehicle personally, you can nominate an agent to act on your behalf, however, your details must already be recorded in the Transport Licensing computer system, rego.act. You and your agent will need to complete an authority to act as an agent form (PDF 156KB).

Refunds for unused interstate vehicle registration

If the vehicle has unused registration from the previous State/Territory, you may contact the relevant Authority to seek a refund. If you surrender the interstate number plates at an Access Canberra Service Centre you will be given a receipt of surrender to provide to the interstate Authority.

For more information, please refer to the transport authority in the State where the vehicle was registered:

Deceased estate registration transactions

When the registered operator of a vehicle is deceased, the registration needs to be transferred into the name of another operator, or cancelled. Only a beneficiary, executor or administrator of a deceased estate may process registration transactions on behalf of the deceased persons estate.

Access Canberra must confirm your identity prior to completing this transaction. If you do not hold, or cannot produce, your ACT Driver Licence, you may be required to provide full proof of identity and/or residency. Further information about identity requirements can be found on the proof of identity and residency page.

A beneficiary is the person(s) or legal entity nominated by the deceased as being the receiver of assets that make up the estate.

An executor is a person chosen by the will maker, to carry out their wishes in managing their estate, and is responsible for the administration and distribution of assets to beneficiaries according to those wishes.

An administrator is similar to an executor, the only difference is they have been appointed to the position by the Supreme Court rather than nominated by the deceased person.

There are many scenarios where a registration must be transferred out of a deceased person’s name and each scenario has differing requirements.

These transactions are processed at no cost to the applicant. However, if the deceased person held a concession on their registration and the new operator does not hold an equivalent concession then a pro rata catch up fee will be charged for the registration fees that were not paid by the deceased concession holder.

These transactions also waive the requirement for an inspection regardless of the age of the vehicle. However, if the vehicle is registered interstate you will need to have the vehicle inspected before it can be registered in the ACT.

Duty is also waived, however, the applicant must complete an Application for duty exemption for a motor vehicle (PDF 119KB) form to receive this concession.

Vehicle registered in two names where one operator is deceased

The remaining operator must provide:

Vehicle registered in the name of the deceased only and a will exists nominating a single beneficiary

The beneficiary, executor or administrator must provide:

Vehicle registered in the name of the deceased only and a will exists nominating multiple beneficiaries

The beneficiary, executor or administrator must provide:

Vehicle registered in the name of the deceased only and a will exists nominating multiple executors

The beneficiary, executor or administrator must provide:

Vehicle registered in the name of the deceased only and no will exists

The next of kin or administrator of the estate must provide:

The order of distribution is set under the Administration and Probate Act 1929. The order is:

  1. the spouse or civil partner or eligible partner (relationship must have been 5 or more years) otherwise the estate is distributed equally between the spouse or civil partner and the eligible partner;
  2. children (shared equally);
  3. brothers and sisters (shared equally);
  4. grandparents (shared equally); then,
  5. brother and sisters of a parent of the deceased (uncles and aunts shared equally).

The statutory declaration from the next of kin must include the following:

(Name of deceased) late of (address of deceased) died on (date). A certified copy of the death certificate has been presented today. To the best of my knowledge I am not aware of the existence of a will left by the deceased. I am the (relationship to deceased) of the deceased and believe I am entitled to transfer the vehicle bearing ACT registration number (numberplate) to me as the deceased’s next of kin.

Vehicle registered in the name of the deceased only and the Public Trustee is nominated as the administrator of the estate

Beneficiary must provide:

Registration cancellation

If the applicant does not wish to use the vehicle they can choose to cancel the registration at the time of transfer. However, all the above requirements must still be met. In addition to the above requirements, the person must:

Cancelling the vehicles registration may generate a pro-rata refund of the registration and compulsory third party insurance fees paid. This refund will be issued in the name of the new registered operator.

On-selling of registration

If the beneficiary wishes to on-sell the registration they are advised to transfer the registration into their name before selling the vehicle. The person who the vehicle is sold to does not receive any of the exemptions or concessions mentioned above.

If the vehicle is sold in the name of the deceased person the person who purchases the vehicle will need to meet all of the above mentioned requirements and also provide a proof of purchase from the beneficiary. This transaction does not entitle the applicant to any of the exemptions or concessions mentioned above.

Moving to the ACT

You must transfer your vehicle registration within three (3) months of taking up permanent residence in the ACT. For further information about duty refer to the duty payable upon registration or transfer of a motor vehicle page.

Access Canberra must confirm your identity prior to completing this transaction. If you do not hold, or cannot produce, your ACT Driver Licence, you may be required to provide full proof of identity and/or residency. Further information about identity requirements can be found on the proof of identity and residency page.

Roadworthy, identity and LPG inspections may be required before a vehicle can be registered in the ACT. Bookings are essential and fees apply. To determine which inspections you require and for information about booking an inspection refer to the Motor vehicle inspections page.

When your inspection/s have been completed you will need to attend an Access Canberra Service Centre and provide:

You are required to provide one of the following documents to demonstrate that you are the registered operator of the vehicle and that stamp duty has been paid:

  • A Certificate of Registration showing you as the registered operator or operators (if the vehicle is registered in joint names)
  • A receipt issued by an Authority outside of the ACT for registration showing that you have paid stamp duty to transfer the vehicle into your name(s)

If the vehicle is fitted with interstate number plates, you will need to surrender the interstate number plates when you transfer the registration to the ACT. Please be aware you will need to bring a screwdriver and remove the plates prior to surrender.

You cannot transfer Motor Accident Injuries (MAI) insurance from an interstate jurisdiction to the ACT. You will be able to select and pay for a CTPI provider and premium at the same time as you establish registration on your vehicle.

To obtain a refund on any unused portion of your MAI insurance you must apply to the Road Transport Authority in the state or territory where your vehicle was previously registered.

If you cannot register the vehicle personally, you can nominate an agent to act on your behalf, however, your details must already be recorded in the Transport Licensing computer system, rego.act. You and your agent will need to complete an Authority to act as an agent form (PDF 156KB).

Refunds for unused interstate vehicle registration

When transferring your vehicle to the ACT, you may be entitled to a refund of the unused portion of your interstate vehicle registration. Please refer to the transport authority in the State where the vehicle was registered:

Vehicle identity checks

Road transport authorities and enforcement agencies throughout Australia are working together on a range of initiatives to reduce vehicle theft, and combat illegal rebirthing of vehicles. As a part of these processes, the ACT Road Transport Authority (RTA) has introduced vehicle identity inspections to check the identity of vehicles that are in a high risk category. This inspection is in addition to the roadworthy inspection that is required when registering an interstate registered or unregistered vehicle in the ACT.

Vehicle identity checks are required for all written-off vehicles regardless of age, and used cars, light commercial vehicles and motorbikes where the year of manufacture is equal to or less than 10 years ago when establishing registration in the ACT.

NOTE: Please note Jervis Bay is exempt from all Vehicle Identity check requirements.

Which vehicles require an identity inspection?

An identity inspection will be required if your vehicle is used, the year of manufacture is equal to or less than 10 years ago, and/or fits one of the following categories:

• is an interstate registered vehicle being registered in a different name in the ACT;
• you do not have any documentation for the vehicle to establish its history;
• your vehicle doesn’t have identifiers such as the vehicle identification number (VIN) or engine number; or
• your vehicle has been declared “repairable written off” and it was registered in the ACT at the time it was declared a repairable write off. (Vehicles which were registered in another jurisdiction at the time they were declared a repairable write off must not be inspected or registered in the ACT unless they have been registered since the WOVR was cleared).

Are there any exemptions to the above?

You do not require a vehicle identity check:

• if the vehicle was bought or sold by a Licensed Motor Vehicle Dealer;
• if your vehicle was bought from an auction house (e.g. Pickles or Fowles) who holds a licence to operate as a motor vehicle dealer;
• if your vehicle is duty exempt (vehicle operators who have a duty exemption letter from ACT Revenue Office); or
• if your vehicle is being registered in the same name as the previous state/territory.

Note: None of the above exemptions apply to a vehicle that has been declared a ‘repairable write off’.

How will I know if my vehicle needs to be inspected and what is the cost?

You will be told if an identity inspection is required when you apply to establish registration for the vehicle, or when the vehicle is undergoing its roadworthy inspection. Please see www.act.gov.au/accessCBR for current fees.

Where can the inspection be done?

Identity inspections are conducted by specially trained RTA inspectors and can only be done at the Access Canberra Motor Vehicle Inspection Station. To make a booking for a vehicle identity inspection call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Government vehicle inspection station

All vehicle identity check must be performed at this location

Location

29 Couranga Crescent, Hume ACT – View map.

Opening hours

Monday 8:00am to 4:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am to 4:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am to 4:00pm
Thursday 8:00am to 7:30pm
Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm
(excluding public holidays)

Payment options

The Access Canberra Motor Vehicle Inspection Station accepts electronic payments only (debit and credit cards).

What do I need to bring to the identity inspection?

For all vehicle identity inspections, the vehicle operator is required to bring:

  • a copy of their driver licence,
  • a passed roadworthy certificate of inspection and
  • a proof of purchase receipt .

For individually constructed vehicles and trailers, receipts for the build are required.

Where can I get more information?

Further information can be provided by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81, or from any Access Canberra Service Centre.
Road Transport Authority, PO Box 582 Dickson ACT 2602, Phone: 13 22 81

Forms and fees

Description Fee
Fee payable when the operatorship of an ACT registered vehicle changes hands, usually through the sale of a vehicle. $41.90
Late transfer fee (transfer applied for later than 14 days after the date the vehicle was purchased or acquired). $112.40
Fee payable when establishing registration for vehicles that have not previously been registered in the ACT. $95.70
Re-registration of a vehicle (all vehicle types) that has previously been registered on the ACT vehicle register. $48.80

Please note the late fee is required in addition to the fee payable when the operatorship of an ACT registered vehicle changes hands.

For current vehicle registration and CTPI charges please refer to the Motor vehicle registration and renewal page.

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