How to transfer car registration in NSW

From the scenic, winding roads in the Blue Mountains to the busy hard-to-find-a-park streets around the world-famous Bondi Beach, all cars driving on New South Wales roads are legally required to be registered.

This means when you buy or inherit a vehicle in NSW you will need to make sure you transfer the car’s registration (or rego) into your name. Likewise, if you move to or leave NSW, it is your responsibility to ensure the car is registered with the correct state or territory.

In this article, we explain the car registration transfer process for a buyer and seller in NSW and what fees may be involved. We also dive into the ins and outs of changing your car’s registration when moving to or from Australia’s “first state”.

If you’re considering car insurance policies, the comparison table below displays some of the policies currently available on Canstar’s database for a 30-39 year old male seeking comprehensive cover in NSW without cover for an extra driver under 25. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) followed by provider name (alphabetical) and features links direct to the providers’ website. Use Canstar’s car insurance comparison selector to view a wider range of policies.

Transferring car registration in NSW as a buyer

According to the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), once you have bought a car or received one for free, you’ll need to transfer it into your name within 14 days of it coming into your possession, or face a late-transfer surcharge.

You can transfer car registration online, if eligible, or in person at a NSW registry or Service NSW centre.

Online

To be eligible to apply for a transfer online through the MyServiceNSW portal, you must hold a NSW driver licence and be transferring a vehicle registered in NSW, according to RMS.

RMS states to complete the process online the previous owner to first submit a Notice of Disposal and then you will need to provide the following:

  • The vehicle’s NSW registration plate number
  • A MyServiceNSW account connected to RMS
  • The vehicle purchase date
  • The purchase price or market price of the vehicle (whichever is higher)
  • Payment for the transfer fee and any additional fees.

In person

To apply for a car rego transfer in person, RMS said you will need to provide the following documentation:

  • A completed Application for Transfer form
  • Proof of identity (a NSW driver licence, or two other forms of identity such as your passport plus a Medicare card)
  • Proof of your entitlement to register the vehicle (e.g. proof of purchase, certificate of registration)
  • Payment for the transfer fee, stamp duty (unless exempt, as discussed later in this article) and a personalised plate transfer fee if it applies.

RMS reports that Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance (also called greenslip insurance) will remain in place and automatically transfer to the new operator of the car when the registration is transferred.

Transferring car registration in NSW as a seller

According to RMS, when you sell or dispose of a vehicle to another person, you need to complete two tasks to ensure the car rego transfer can be completed.

  1. Provide the new registered operator with a document that proves entitlement to register the vehicle (e.g. receipt of payment or previous rego renewal notice)
  2. Lodge a Notice of Disposal for the vehicle online or at a registry or service centre

Notice of Disposal

A Notice of Disposal is a way for you to notify RMS that your vehicle is no longer in your possession.

To lodge this notice, RMS said you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your details (including your address and driver licence number) and signature
  • The vehicle’s registration plate number
  • The sale date (or date of disposal)
  • If possible, you should also include the vehicle details (such as make, model, year, engine number and VIN number)
  • The new operator’s details (name, address, date of birth, selling price or market price, driver’s licence number or Roads and Maritime customer number).

You can lodge this notice online, provided the new operator of the car is a NSW resident with a NSW driver licence, or you can lodge in person at a registry or service centre or via the post.

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

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 NSW. Please note that the dollar figures shown here are as advised by RMS at the time of writing and may change in the future:

1. Registration transfer fee

If paid within 14 days of acquiring the vehicle: $34

If paid after 14 days of acquiring the vehicle: $155 (this includes a late-transfer surcharge)

2. Personalised plates transfer fee (if applicable)

For personalised number plates: $94

For custom number plates: $203

For standard plates: No fee

If you are buying a vehicle that has personalised or custom number plates, and these plates are being transferred over to you as the new operator of the vehicle, then you may have to pay one of the fees above. If you are the seller of the vehicle and want to keep your personalised plates, you will need to reserve these plates at a registry or Service NSW centre, and have standard plates issued to the vehicle you are selling. Standard plates fees are $47, at the time of writing.

personalised plates nsw rego transfer
Source: Lenscap Photography (Shutterstock)

3. Stamp duty

Stamp duty is collected by RMS on behalf of the Office of State Revenue when registration is issued to a different person. According to RMS, stamp duty is based on the market value of the car or the price you paid, whichever is greater. At the time of writing it is calculated at $3 per $100 for a car up to $44,999, and for passenger vehicles valued over $45,00 the rate of duty is $1,350, plus $5 per $100.

Below are some scenarios, outlined by the RMS, where you may be eligible for an exemption to pay stamp duty when transferring the rego of a car. These are:

  • The car has been left to you in a will
  • You have a car registered in your name in another state or territory, on which you’ve already paid duty
  • The car was awarded to you as part of a divorce settlement
  • You are a DVA pensioner who fulfils particular criteria

To apply for stamp duty exemption, you will need to fill out the Declaration of Eligibility for a Registration Concession form and visit a registry office or Service NSW centre.

Changing your car registration when moving to NSW

If you have moved to NSW from interstate and plan to stay longer than 90 days, you will need to register your car in NSW. RMS warns it is an offence to own a vehicle registered in another state but garaged in NSW after 90 days.

Before you register your car, you are required to purchase CTP insurance (green slip) from a NSW insurance provider. Most CTP insurers will then send your CTP details to RMS electronically. You must also have your car inspected at an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection Station (AUVIS). The cost for a car inspection (known as a safety and identity check) for a light vehicle in NSW is $66, at the time of writing. If the vehicle passes inspection, you will be provided with a safety check certificate.

Once you have had your car inspected and have purchased CTP insurance, you will need to go to a registry or service centre in person to register your car in NSW. You will need to provide the following:

  • A completed Application for Registration form
  • Proof of identity (a NSW drivers licence or if you do not have this then two other forms of identity such as a passport and Medicare card)
  • Proof of entitlement to register the vehicle (past certificate or registration, proof of purchase)
  • CTP green slip insurance details (valid for 12 months through a NSW insurance provider)
  • Relevant inspection reports and certifications (issued within 42 days prior to the application)
  • The previous number plates, if you have them
  • Payment for the applicable fees, which include a general registration charge, stamp duty, motor vehicle tax and a number plate fee. You can use the Roads and Maritime registration calculator to help estimate the costs.

Once you have your registration in NSW, RMS will assign NSW plates and will record that the previous plates are no longer associated with the vehicle. This information is sent to the interstate authority and you will be issued with a receipt. From there you may be able to take that receipt to your interstate authority in order to receive a registration refund. Contact your interstate authority for more information.

Changing your registration when leaving NSW

If you are leaving NSW to live interstate and taking your car with you, you will have to apply for registration in that state and then cancel your registration in NSW.

To cancel, you can head to a registry or Service NSW centre in person or post your application. You will need to include a completed cancellation of registration form, proof of identity and the vehicle’s NSW registration certificate, as well as the vehicle’s number plates. You will also have to pay a cancellation fee of $30, current at the time of writing.

service nsw rego
Source: ArliftAtoz2205 (Shutterstock)

While the NSW registration fee and number plate fees are non-refundable, you may be entitled to a refund of the unused portion of your motor vehicle tax when cancelling your registration. To apply for a refund you will need to complete and sign a request for refund of NSW registration form and take it into the registry or Service NSW Centre when you cancel your registration, or send it by post.

For further guidance on transferring your car’s registration or changing the registration when moving to NSW or interstate, contact RMS.

If you are moving, also remember to update your details with your car insurance provider, or consider your options for insuring your vehicle within your new state.

Cover image source: Taras Vyshnya (Shutterstock)

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