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What you may not know about NSW registration

Most people have an idea how to register their vehicle in NSW. But some of the details are a bit more tricky. Here is our top 10 of things you may not know about NSW registration.

1. You need to renew registration on time

It may sound obvious that you need to renew on time. But do you know what happens if you don’t?

  • If you don’t renew within 21 days of the due date, you have to renew for 12 months.
  • If you don’t renew within 3 months, your registration is cancelled. Having to start a new registration means you pay the extra costs of a blue slip, new registration fees and number plates.

2. When you must register for 12 months

It’s true you can usually choose between a 6 or 12-month registration period in NSW. However, you must register for 12 months if:

  • You don’t renew within 21 days of the registration due date.
  • This is the first NSW registration, which applies when a vehicle is transferred from interstate, has a cancelled registration, or is brand new.

3. When you can buy rego for 6 months

You can buy rego for 6 months if this is not its first registration in NSW and you renew within 21 days of the registration due date.

  • If you buy rego for 6 months you must buy a greenslip for 6 months.
  • If you need a pink slip, this applies to alternate 6-month registration periods only.

4. Pink and blue slips are different

Vehicles over 5 years old need an annual safety check, or pink slip, before they can be registered in NSW. Your registration renewal papers will tell you whether you need to organise a pink slip from a mechanic.

A blue slip is a detailed safety and identity check of your vehicle. You need a blue slip only if you want to:

  • register a vehicle in NSW for the first time, or
  • register a vehicle with cancelled registration, or
  • transfer a vehicle from interstate.

Once your vehicle has a blue slip, you don’t have to get another one unless its registration is cancelled.

5. You don’t usually need paper copies for rego

Service NSW does not usually need paper copies of your green slip or pink slip for registration. Today, insurers and most mechanics send electronic copies to Service NSW online. However, you still need a hard copy of your blue slip for registration.

You need to go in person to Service NSW if:

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

6. NSW registration needs the vehicle shape code

Each type of vehicle, whether motor car or light goods vehicle, comes in a variety of shapes. The vehicle shape code is used to charge the correct registration fees and green slip premiums.

For example, your may be:

  • CON – convertible (any vehicle without a roof) 

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

  • PVF – panel van 4 wheel drive (must have 4WD)

  • SED – sedan (includes hatchbacks)

  • WAG – station wagon (must have sedan equivalent).

For example, your light goods vehicle may be:

  • PVN – panel van
PVS – panel van seats and windows (no 4WD)
UTE – utility (one piece utility body or detachable well back body)

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

Note, motorcycles have one vehicle shape code only – CYC.

7. When you don’t need a greenslip for registration

In nearly all cases, you need a green slip before you can register your vehicle in NSW. However, there are 2 types of registration that already include a greenslip:

  1. Conditional registration – for vehicles needing limited road access only, including agricultural, classic, construction, historic or snow vehicles.
  2. Classic and historic vehicles – a common type of conditional registration with strict rules for use.

In these cases, you don’t have to buy a green slip separately before registration.

8. When you can drive an unregistered vehicle

In most cases, it’s illegal to drive an unregistered vehicle. However, you may temporarily drive an unregistered vehicle:

  • to get it repaired after a failed safety check
  • to have the vehicle insured
  • for the purpose of registration
  • if you hold a valid unregistered vehicle permit (UVP).

9. You can check when your rego is due and who is your greenslip insurer

Service NSW provides a handy registration check if you are uncertain when it is due or who is your greenslip insurer. You can quickly find out:

  • greenslip insurer
  • registration expiry date
  • registration status (current, suspended or cancelled)
  • any registration restrictions
  • any registration concessions
  • odometer reading (useful when buying a used car).

The service works only for currently registered vehicles and does not give out the name and address of the owner.

10. greenslips.com.au can remind you when your rego is due

If you tend to forget when your rego is due, greenslips.com.au can remind you.

Send us your mailing address and we will send you a sticker or two for the windscreen of your car. You can also apply it to noticeboards, filing cabinets or the side of your fridge.
Apply for a registration reminder sticker here.

author image

Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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