How to transfer car registration in Victoria

Finance Writer · 18 August 2021
Whether you are driving along the scenic Great Ocean Road, cruising through the suburban streets of Ballarat, or navigating the rural highways of Ned Kelly country, your car is legally required to be registered to drive on Victoria’s public roads.

If you’re buying a vehicle in Victoria, or you’ve recently moved into or out of the state, you’ll need to make sure your car is registered in your name with the correct authority to avoid any troubles. But if you’re not sure what’s involved, we’ve put together a handy guide to help.

In this guide to car registration in Victoria, we explain:

How to transfer registration in Victoria if you’re a buyer

According to VicRoads, when you buy a car or receive one as a gift, you will need to transfer the registration of that car into your name within 14 days of it coming into your possession.

You can now complete the transfer online via the myVicRoads portal, meaning you no longer need to attend in person at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. However, you’ll need to request the seller to first submit an online Notice of Disposal via their myVicRoads, then log in and share your roadworthy certificate with VicRoads, and pay the transfer costs.

Buying privately

Once the seller has submitted an online Notice of Disposal, VicRoads said you’ll need to provide the following documentation to complete the registration transfer online:

  • A completed vehicle transfer form – you will need to complete this with the seller and fill in the ‘buyer’s details’ section and sign. The form has been designed to guide you through the vehicle purchase to help you complete all steps correctly.
  • A VicRoads customer number or Victorian licence – you will need one of these to fill in the transfer form. If you don’t have either, you will need to provide full evidence of identity documents to a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.
  • An original roadworthy certificate (RWC) – the seller will need to provide this and it must be issued no more than 30 days before the date of sale. Some vehicles and transfer types don’t need a roadworthy certificate. Some exemptions include a transfer between a spouse or domestic partner to a current or former partner, or a transfer between a deceased person to a surviving spouse/partner or authorised representative.
  • Payment for the transfer fee and motor vehicle duty if it applies – there are some exemptions to these fees, as discussed later in this article.

Sometimes, it’s not possible to transfer registration online; for example, when the seller hasn’t submitted the Notice of Disposal to your myVicRoads account or you’ve bought the vehicle on behalf of a company. In this event, you’ll need to visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.

Buying from a dealer

VicRoads states that when you buy a vehicle from a car dealer, it is the dealer’s responsibility to complete the steps to transfer the vehicle into your name. The only requirement for the buyer in this circumstance is to pay the applicable transfer fee and motor vehicle duty (unless exempt) to the dealer and sign the vehicle transfer form. VicRoads recommends buyers keep a copy of the completed transfer form, RWC and contract of sale.

It’s also important to note that when you transfer registration into your name, the CTP insurance, which comes included under a Victorian car registration, will automatically transfer over to you as the new operator. If you’re looking at getting comprehensive car insurance and protection, you can compare providers on Canstar’s database.

vic rego transfer dealer
Source: Nejron Photo (Shutterstock)

How to transfer registration in Victoria if you’re selling

Selling privately

VicRoads notes that if you sell a Victorian registered vehicle or give one as a gift, it is the buyer’s responsibility to notify VicRoads and to transfer the registration into their name within 14 days of taking possession.

However, you’ll still need to provide the buyer with the following documentation to complete this transfer:

  • Roadworthy certificate (RWC), unless exempt as discussed previously. An RWC must be provided by a licenced vehicle tester.
  • Vehicle transfer form. The seller must complete the ‘seller details’ section and sign.
  • A copy of the registration certificate/renewal notice (to prove the right to transfer) or a myVicRoads account showing the vehicle is in your possession.

Be aware that if the buyer fails to submit the transfer and payment within 14 days, you may be liable for any traffic offences that the buyer may incur. Therefore, VicRoads suggests you protect yourself by logging into your myVicRoads personal account and submitting a Notice of Disposal for the vehicle you’re transferring.

You’ll need to enter the buyer and transfer details, so make sure you record a copy during the sale, otherwise you may need to visit a customer service centre with your copy of the completed vehicle transfer form and valid evidence of identity to initiate the transfer yourself.

Selling to a car dealer

According to VicRoads, when you sell a vehicle to a car dealer, it’s the dealer’s responsibility to complete the steps to transfer the registration out of your name. All you need to do is sign the transfer form and keep a copy as proof to show the transfer was initiated.

Can you hold on to custom or special interest plates?

If you have custom number plates and want to keep them, VicRoads states that you’ll need to notify them, cancel the vehicle registration and remove the custom plates. If you’d like to sell the vehicle registered, you’ll need to visit VicRoads, pay the fee to be issued new number plates ($38.40 at the time of writing), and attach them to the vehicle before you complete the sale.

If you transfer the vehicle with your custom number plates attached, the registration rights to the custom plates will be transferred to the buyer.

How much does it cost to transfer car registration in Victoria?

When you transfer the registration of a car into your name, you may be required to pay some or all of the following fees in Victoria. Please note that the dollar figures shown here are as advised by VicRoads at the time of writing and may change in the future:

1. Registration transfer fees

When purchased privately: $41.30
When purchased through a dealer: $21.00

You can pay this fee at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre either by cash or by VISA or MasterCard (a card payment fee applies), and if sending via post you can pay using VISA or MasterCard.

Exemptions to this fee are outlined on the VicRoads website. Some exemptions include transferring from a deceased person to a surviving spouse or domestic partner, and transferring to an approved Department of Veterans’ Affairs pensioner.

2. Motor vehicle duty fees

VicRoads collects motor vehicle duty on behalf of the State Revenue Office when a vehicle is transferred to your name. According to VicRoads, the amount of duty you need to pay is based on the type of vehicle you are transferring, and its current market value at the time of the transfer.

At the time of writing, the following rates apply:

  • For a passenger vehicle up to the market value of $68,740, the rate is $8.40 per $200 of the market value or part thereof
  • For passenger vehicles valued over $68,741 and up to $100,000, the duty payable is $10.40 per $200 of the market value or part thereof
  • For passenger vehicles over $101,000, the rate is $14.00 per $200 of the market value or part thereof

VicRoads indicates that when you transfer a vehicle into your name, some circumstances mean you may be exempt from paying motor vehicle duty. For example, you may be eligible for an exemption if you are transferring the rego from a deceased spouse or domestic partner into your name.

To apply for a transfer fee or motor vehicle duty exemption, you will need to indicate the exemption on the vehicle transfer form, provide any additional certified documentation needed to demonstrate your eligibility, and hand in this form and documentation at a VicRoads Service Centre. Additional costs may also apply for the seller of a vehicle, such as the fees involved in getting a roadworthy certificate (unless exempt).

Do I still need to pay to transfer car registration to family members?

It’s possible you may need to pay fees when transferring a vehicle to/from a child or family member who is not your spouse or domestic partner. You’ll still need to notify VicRoads within 14 days of the transfer and pay the relevant fees unless the transfer meets a listed exemption.

roadworthy certificate vic rego transfer
Source: Andrey_Popov (Shutterstock)

How to change your registration when you move to Victoria

In Australia, a vehicle must be registered in the state or territory where the operator of that vehicle lives and where the vehicle is garaged (if not temporary and less than 3 months).

So, if you have moved to Victoria from interstate, and plan to stay longer than three months, you are legally required to register your car in Victoria.

Here are the steps to register your interstate vehicle in Victoria, according to VicRoads:

1. Get a roadworthy certificate (if applicable)