How to transfer car registration in Queensland

Sub Editor · 9 August 2021
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, we explain how to buy and transfer car registration in Queensland and what fees may be involved, plus how to change your car’s rego when moving to or from the Sunshine State.

Who needs car registration in Queensland?

From the far north to the rural highways near Longreach and southern cities like Brisbane and the Gold Coast, all cars on QLD roads are legally required to be registered. This means when you purchase or sell a vehicle, you will need to transfer the registration to the new owner’s name. Likewise, if you’ve recently moved to or left Queensland, you will need to ensure your car is registered with the correct authority.

How do I transfer car registration in Queensland as a buyer?

According to the Queensland Government, if you buy a car or receive one for free, you are the person responsible for transferring that car’s registration into your name. The registration must be transferred within 14 days of when you get the car, and transfer fees and charges may apply.

You can submit a registration transfer request to the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) either online – if you’re eligible – or in person by visiting a transport and motoring customer service centre (or, if you live in a rural area, a QGAP office, Magistrates Court or local police station).


TMR states that you may be able to use its online service to submit your request to transfer registration if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The seller has lodged an application to transfer the registration online or in person (you will receive an email if they lodged it online).
  • You are transferring the rego into one name only.
  • You have a QLD driver licence or customer reference number.
  • You have a QLD residential address.
  • You are providing a safety certificate, paying the registration duty and paying the transfer fee (if you are claiming an exemption for these, which are discussed later in this article, you likely will not be able to use the online service).
  • You are not applying a concession (such as a senior or pensioner concession) to the registration.

You need to provide the dutiable value, odometer reader and purpose of use to TMR, plus pay the registration renewal if the registration is expired.

In person

When you submit your registration transfer request at a customer service centre, QGAP centre or other applicable location, TMR advises that you will need to bring the following documents with you:

  • Part A of the vehicle transfer application form (F3520), which can be found online through the TMR website.
  • A completed new customer application form (F3503), if you have not previously done any business with TMR (such as if you’re an interstate or overseas licence holder who’s recently moved to Queensland).
  • A current Queensland safety certificate or certificate of inspection. The seller should give you an original or a copy of the certificate you need. If it is a handwritten certificate, then you’ll need to bring in the original blue copy to TMR. If it’s electronic, bring in a printed copy or include the certificate number in the transfer application form.
  • Your original driver licence or other evidence of your identity (e.g. an adult proof of age card).
  • Evidence of the Queensland address where the vehicle will be garaged, such as your driver licence, a property rates notice or an electricity bill.

Any CTP insurance included within the car’s existing registration will transfer over to you, according to TMR.

How do I transfer car registration in Queensland as a seller?

If you are selling or handing over ownership of your car to another person, you will need to provide them with a current Queensland safety certificate or certificate of inspection for the car, so they can transfer the registration into their name. If the vehicle is fitted with any gas system (such as LPG), you will also need to give the buyer a gas inspection certificate. Additionally, on the day you sell the vehicle, you will have to complete Part B of the vehicle transfer application form and have the buyer sign this part of the form.

There are two ways registration can be transferred: online or in person. The criteria for submitting a registration transfer online are as stated earlier in the article, with most of the responsibility resting with the buyer. If you are eligible to transfer the car’s registration online, you could consider completing this application with the buyer present to help ensure it goes through correctly.

If you believe the buyer hasn’t lodged their registration transfer application within 14 days, you can submit Part B of the form in person, along with a copy of any applicable safety certificates, at a transport and motoring customer service centre. TMR states that once you’ve sold the car, you can also submit an application to transfer the registration out of your name.

The Queensland Government recommends you keep the completed transfer application form and any other receipts or documentation from the transfer process to use as proof that you no longer own the vehicle, at least until you receive official confirmation that the car registration is no longer in your name.

The government also recommends that sellers who currently pay their registration through direct debit should remove this service as soon as the sale of the car is complete, to avoid payment for their registration renewal being taken from their account.

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

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

1. Registration transfer fee: $29.70

TMR indicates that this fee will apply in most circumstances, but you may be exempt from paying it in some scenarios, such as if you are transferring registration from a deceased person to their estate).

2. Personalised number plate transfer fee: $107.75

This fee applies to people buying a vehicle that has personalised number plates. You may not need to pay this fee if you’re given the personalised plates from a spouse, parent or child, or you are the legal personal representative of a person’s property or assets when they die.

If you are the seller of the car and wish to keep your personalised plates, you will need to fill out an application form and go to a TMR office. Once you have removed your personalised plates you will then need to pay for new standard number plates so you can fix them to the car before selling. The standard plate fee is $32.00.

3. Vehicle registration duty: variable

You may have to pay duty (a type of tax) when transferring registration for a used vehicle into your name. This duty is calculated based on your vehicle’s dutiable value.

According to TMR, some common exemptions to paying vehicle registration duty can include where:

  • The vehicle is a gift to a family member
  • You receive the vehicle from a person who has died
  • You receive the vehicle as part of a matrimonial matter
  • You are an ex-service person with a disability (and fulfil the criteria laid out by the Queensland Government)
  • You are a vehicle dealer intending to sell the car at your dealership
  • You use your vehicle for primary production (such as on a farm)

You can apply for an exemption in person when you transfer the registration of the vehicle at a transport and motoring customer service centre. You can’t claim an exemption if you’re applying online.

Keep in mind other costs may also be involved in the transfer process, such as any fees the seller may pay when obtaining a safety certificate for the vehicle.

How do you change your registration when moving to Queensland?

If you are planning to move to Queensland from another state or territory, you must get Queensland registration for that car. The following video shows steps on how to register a used car in Queensland.

Steps to follow

  1. Take your car to an approved inspection station (AIS) for a safety check. The AIS will give you either a handwritten safety certificate or an electronically issued certificate.
  2. Visit a transport and motoring customer service centre in person to apply for your registration. If you’ve moved to a rural area of Queensland, you can instead go to a QGAP office, Magistrates Court or local police station. The documentation you may need when applying includes:
  3. Organise CTP insurance. If you are driving your vehicle to get it registered you will also need the original compulsory third party (CTP) insurance certificate from a licensed insurer. You must have CTP insurance cover in place before you can legally drive your car on the road in Queensland, and you can select your CTP policy when in the process of registering your vehicle, if it hasn’t been organised by a car dealer at the time of purchase.
  4. Pay the fees required. You will need to pay the vehicle registration fees and vehicle registration duty, if applicable. The fees and duty owed will differ depending on the vehicle you’re registering, including its dutiable value, number of cylinders, fuel type and registration period.

Once you have registered your car in Queensland, you must hand in your old number plates at a Queensland transport and motoring customer service centre. You will then get a receipt for the surrender of the number plates, which you can use to apply for a refund on the remaining timeframe you had already paid for on your interstate registration and contact the registration authority in your previous state or territory to cancel your old registration.

The Queensland Government warns if you don’t change your registration over within 14 days, you may face a fine.

How do you change your registration when leaving Queensland?

If you decide to leave Queensland and move to another state or territory with your Queensland-registered vehicle, you will need to register your vehicle in that state or territory.

Once you have registered your vehicle in your new state, TMR says you should surrender the Queensland number plates to the transport authority there to get a plate surrender receipt. You can then use this receipt to apply to TMR for a refund for the unexpired portion of your Queensland registration, as well as the CTP insurance component, either in person at a transport and motoring service centre or by mail.

The Queensland Government says a refund will then be issued to the person who the vehicle was registered to in Queensland.

For further guidance on transferring your car’s registration or changing the registration when moving to Queensland or interstate, contact the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads.

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

Compare Car Insurance

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Has car registration in Queensland changed with COVID-19?

Temporary changes have been introduced in Queensland that apply at the time of writing if you need to re-register a vehicle that was cancelled on or after 29 January, 2020, due to COVID-19. More information is available from the Queensland Government. Temporary changes also apply at the time of writing for cancelling your vehicle registration.

Original author Elise Donaldson.

Main image source: Adam J/

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