How to transfer car registration in Victoria

Finance Journalist · 2 October 2019
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 – along with all cars in Victoria – is legally required to be registered.

If you purchase a vehicle from another person or a dealership, you will need to make sure you transfer the registration on that car into your name. Similarly, if you’ve recently moved to or left Victoria, you will need to check if your car is registered with the correct authority.

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

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Transferring car registration in Victoria as 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 transfer car registration in person at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre or send your application via mail (including a completed credit or debit card authorisation form).

Buying privately

VicRoads said you will need to provide the following documentation to transfer registration:

  • A completed vehicle transfer form – you will need to complete this with the seller and fill in the ‘buyer’s details’ section and sign.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

vic rego transfer dealer
Source: Nejron Photo (Shutterstock)

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.

Transferring car registration in Victoria as a seller

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.

However, the seller of the vehicle will need to provide the buyer with the following to complete this transfer:

  • 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.

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. If this occurs, VicRoads suggests you 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.

Custom 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 would like to sell the vehicle registered, you’ll need to visit VicRoads, pay the fee to be issued new number plates ($38 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 fee

When purchased privately: $40.70
When purchased through a dealer: $20.70

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

Motor vehicle duty is collected by VicRoads 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. The rate of motor vehicle duty at the time of writing for a passenger car up to the market value of $67,525, is $8.40 per $200 of the market value or part thereof. For passenger vehicles over $67,525 and up to $100,00, it is $10.40 per $200 of the market value or part thereof, and for those over $100,000 it is $14.00 per $200 of the market value or part thereof.

VicRoads indicates that when you transfer a vehicle into your name, some people or circumstances may be exempt from paying motor vehicle tax. For example, you may be eligible for an exemption if you are transferring the rego from your spouse or domestic partner (either deceased or alive) 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 documentation needed to demonstrate your eligibility, and hand in this form and documentation at a VicRoads Service Centre. There are forms available in regards to deceased estates and primary producer concessions, which you may need to fill out if you are applying for one of these related exemptions.

Additional costs may also apply for the seller of a vehicle, such as the fees involved in getting a roadworthy certificate (unless exempt).

Changing your registration when moving to Victoria

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)

You will need a roadworthy certificate (RWC) issued within 30 days of your registration appointment with VicRoads. You won’t need an RWC if:

  • The vehicle is currently registered interstate in your name, and going into that same name in Victoria, and
  • The vehicle interstate registration is current, or if expired by no more than three months

There are also other RWC exemptions regarding the type of vehicle and transfer. These are outlined on the transfer exemption page of the VicRoads website.

roadworthy certificate vic rego transfer
Source: Andrey_Popov (Shutterstock)

2. Attend an appointment with VicRoads

To register your vehicle in Victoria, you will need to book in an appointment at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre and pay the appointment fee. At the time of writing this fee is $19. This appointment can be booked over the phone by calling 13 11 71 or by visiting a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.

Before making the appointment, you will need to know the following:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and engine number – this can be found on the vehicle or in the vehicle handbook
  • The make, model and registration number of your vehicle
  • Your current Victorian licence, learner permit or customer number. If you don’t have any of these you will need to satisfy the evidence of identity requirements at your appointment.

Once you have made your appointment, you will need to take the following with you:

  • The vehicle (if an inspection is needed)
  • Completed vehicle registration form
  • Evidence of identity
  • Proof of your vehicle being registered interstate for 12 months (if advised to by VicRoads)
  • A current and original RWC (if required)
  • Tools and screws to put your number plates on before you leave VicRoads
  • Evidence of your Victorian garage address
  • Payment for registration fees. You can use the fee calculator on the VicRoads website to find out how much it costs to register your vehicle.

Once you have registered your vehicle in Victoria, VicRoads said you should hand in your interstate number plates at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre so they can provide a receipt for the plates. You can keep interstate custom plates as long as you present them at VicRoads.

You will need to check the refund policy with the state or territory authority where your vehicle was registered in to see if you can get a refund for any unused part of your interstate registration. The plate receipt from VicRoads may assist with this process.

Changing your registration when leaving Victoria

If you are leaving Victoria to live interstate, and taking your car with you, you will have to apply for registration in that state. When you apply for registration interstate, you will need to hand in your Victorian number plates and the interstate authority will provide you with a receipt for those plates.

According to VicRoads, you can then send this receipt along with a completed refund form to the VicRoads mailing address or by visiting a customer service centre to apply for a refund of the unused portion of your Victorian registration. You will need to bring some evidence of your identity if you are visiting a customer service centre.

VicRoads said they will send a refund cheque to the address that is on their records usually within four weeks of receiving a refund form, if the refund is approved. Refunds are calculated on a pro-rata basis and an administration fee may apply. If your refund is less than the refund administration fee, you won’t need to pay anything to VicRoads.

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

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: Olga Kashubin (Shutterstock)


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