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How does vehicle registration work in NSW?

registration

In Australia you must register your vehicle before you can drive it on the roads. In NSW, you must buy CTP insurance (green slip) before you can register your vehicle. Some vehicles need a safety check (pink slip) or safety and identity check (blue slip). Find out how much your registration will cost.

This is the first article in our 6-part series, How registration works in NSW.

What is a safety check (pink slip)? ›

Do I need a safety and identity check (blue slip)? ›

What is CTP insurance (green slip)? ›

How does Service NSW know I bought a greenslip?›

What is my vehicle shape code? ›

Calculate your vehicle registration fee ›

What is a safety check (pink slip)?

A safety check (pink slip) is an annual check of your vehicle’s roadworthiness. Only vehicles over 5 years old need a pink slip.

Your Registration Renewal Notice will tell you if your vehicle needs a pink slip.

If your vehicle is over 5 years old:

  • It needs a safety check every 12 months (or every second 6-month registration)
  • Authorised mechanics in these inspection stations carry out safety checks
  • A safety check takes about 30 minutes and is valid for 6 months.

If your car fails the safety check:

  • The mechanic will issue a Repairs Needed report
  • Repairs must be done within 14 days or you must pay for a new safety check
  • Your final safety check is free if you return to the same mechanic within 14 days.

Inspection stations will send safety checks straight to Service NSW. This means you can quickly register your vehicle.

Renew registration online at Service NSW, by calling 13 77 88, by post or in person at Service NSW or a motor registry.

Do I need a safety and identity check (blue slip)?

A more in-depth safety check is called a safety and identity check (blue slip). You need a blue slip if:

  • Your NSW registration has expired for more than 3 months
  • Registration been cancelled or
  • When you transfer a vehicle from another state or territory to NSW.

Authorised mechanics carry out safety and identity checks (blue slips). A blue slip takes longer to carry out than a pink slip and is valid for only 42 days. This means you have 42 days to register your vehicle.

Inspection stations also send blue slips straight to Service NSW.

For the first registration, you need to register your vehicle in person at Service NSW or a motor registry. After that, you can register online or by phone.

What is CTP insurance (green slip)?

CTP insurance (green slip) is an insurance policy that pays compensation to people who are killed or injured in a road accident involving your vehicle. Each licensed CTP insurer provides the same insurance cover.

If you are injured in an accident:

  • You are entitled to benefits and, if you have serious injuries, to claim for damages
  • Benefits include payments for loss of income, medical costs and rehabilitation costs
  • These benefits are payable whether or not it was your fault, but the period may vary.

You have to buy a green slip before you can register your vehicle.

Compare every insurer here.

How does Service NSW know I bought a greenslip?

When you buy a greenslip the insurer notifies Service NSW immediately. If you bought your greenslip from an agent or broker, it may take longer. You don’t usually need a paper copy of your green slip for registration.

However, you need to visit Service NSW or a motor registry in person in these cases:

  • The vehicle has been transferred from interstate or imported
  • Registration has expired by more than 3 months, or
  • The previous registration was cancelled.

See Do I need a safety and identity check (blue slip)? ›

What is my vehicle shape code?

The vehicle shape code identifies your vehicle and appears on your Registration Notice. Registration fees and green slip premiums are based on your vehicle shape code.

There are three main vehicle shapes: motor car, ute/light goods vehicle and motorcycle.

  Motor car Ute/light goods vehicle Motorcycle
Includes Passenger vehicles, sedans, station wagons and some 4WDs less than 4.5 tonnes GVM. Utes, table tops, panel vans, some SUVs and light goods vehicles less than 4.5 tonnes GVM. All motorcycles, including those with sidecars.
Excludes Light goods vehicles, utes or table tops. Passenger vehicles, sedans, station wagons and some 4WDs.  
Shape codes

CON – convertible (any vehicle without a roof) 


COU – coupe (2 doors, 2 seats and a roof) 


FCV – forward control vehicle (like a wagon)


HRS – hearse


PVF – panel van 4WD (must have 4WD)


SBS – small bus (9 seats exactly including the driver)


SED – sedan (includes hatchbacks)


SNO – snow vehicle


TWC – 3 wheel cars and cycles


WAG – station wagon (must have sedan equivalent).

PVN – panel van


PVS – panel van seats and windows (no 4WD)


PVW – panel van and windows (has side window)
TT – table top (separate body and no fittings)


TTF – table top and fittings (cab chassis with tray fitted)


UTE – utility (one piece utility body or detachable well back body)


VAN – van (separate box body not connected to cabin).

 

CYC – all motorcycles

When using the greenslips.com.au calculator, you need to know whether your vehicle is classified as a motor car or light goods vehicle. Refer to the vehicle shape code in the lower half of your Registration Notice.

Calculate your vehicle registration fee

You can quickly calculate the registration fee for your vehicle:

  • You need your plate number or VIN number
  • Choose one type of registration: private, business, pensioner or war widow, primary producer, TPI ex-service person.

Remember the cost of registration does not include a green slip, pink slip or blue slip.

The first registration is for 12 months initially. After that, you can choose the registration period.

  • You cannot renew for 6 months if the renewal is more than 21 days overdue
  • Registration is cancelled if it is more than 3 months overdue.

Renew registration online at Service NSW, by calling 13 77 88, by post or in person at Service NSW or a motor registry.

Compare all CTP insurers to find the cost of your green slip.

Have you ever wondered how registration and licensing works in NSW? Do you know how to choose a registration period? Do you know how to transfer registration? These are all good questions you ask that greenslips.com.au will answer.

This is the first article in our 6-part series, How registration works in NSW.

Corrina Baird

Writer and expert greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered first hand what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years of writing and research in financial services, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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