Vehicle Registration Process For Imported Vehicles In Australia
When thinking about registering your car in Australia, it’s important to note that the country has a well-developed infrastructure with longstanding laws. So navigating the process will be cumbersome and not always as easy as it is in some other countries.
Regardless of this, the country has made it as pain-free as possible to register your overseas vehicle.
Registering Your Vehicle
It’s important to note Australia is comprised of several states and territories, each with their own requirements for registration. It’s also important to ensure you know what territory you’ll be primarily driving in and meet those requirements.
Australia’s governmental website has guidelines for eight states or territories. While each one has slightly different rules, here are some general things you can check off the list:
- Pass a motor vehicle inspection:
- Original registration: Have the certificate of registration from the original country.
- Insurance: Compulsory Third Party insurance is required and is referred to as a green slip
After that preliminary list is met, you’ll have to head to a registry or service center and provide the following:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of residence
- Title of the vehicle
- Inspection paperwork
- Previous license plate numbers
- The appropriate fees for registration
If you’re considering shipping a car to Australia, you can find more information on our international shipping page for the country, which also has more information tailored to shipping and the processes involved.
It can’t be overstressed how important it is to know which territory you’ll be registering your vehicle in and following the process outlined in each one.
Australian Driver License
Much like the registration process, each state and territory has its own vehicle inspection and licensing process. Some mandate an International License (spelled licence in Australia) along with a current foreign license while others just require your foreign license with an English translation.
Another important item to note is that your license authorizes you to drive your desired vehicle.
Rules of the Road
It’s important to note that vehicles drive on the left side in Australia, with steering wheels positioned on the right side. Much like every other process in registering a car, each territory or state has its own set of laws for driving on the road.
But here are a few tips for incoming international drivers:
- Get acquainted with driving on the correct side of the road, including anticipating traffic
- Fines: Some penalties will be applied on the spot
- Losing a license: Licenses can be suspended/lost because of an accumulation of demerit points or a single dangerous act.
- Strict no cell phone rules
- Speed limits: The country strictly enforces the speed limit and drivers should not go with traffic, unlike in the U.S.
- Cameras: There are hidden and fixed cameras
- Passing: You pass on the right and stay to the left.
- Expect toll roads: Toll roads can be found most commonly in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Resources For Registering A Car In Australia
Registration Procedure - Though this resource is specifically for New South Wales, there is plenty of helpful information that also applies to other states.
Registratoin & Licensing - A more general resource that applies to the entire country, this page covers registration, renewal, getting a license and more.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.