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Classic and Historic Registration

Conditional registration for classic and historic vehicles

Classic and historic vehicles must be registered under the conditional registration scheme. This means owners must follow strict conditions for driving them on roads or road-related areas. A vehicle must be at least 30 years or older before it can even be considered classic or historic.

Difference between classic and historic

Roads and Maritime (RMS) classifies a vehicle as historic or classic depending on these features:

Historic vehicle:

  • must be as close to original condition as possible, with no modifications except seat belts, turn indicators or period accessories
  • owner must be a member of an RMS authorised historic vehicle club
  • needs a historic vehicle declaration no more than 42 days old, signed by an official of that club.

Classic vehicle:

  • is up to 3.5 tonnes GVM
  • is not a plant vehicle or trailer
  • complies with NSW vehicle standards
  • needs a classic vehicle declaration no more than 42 days old, signed by an official of that club.

Note, a replica vehicle or an Individually Constructed Vehicle (ICV) that is 30 years or older can also be a classic vehicle.

Historic vehicles

Under the conditional registration scheme, there are special conditions for each type of vehicle. There are two main conditions for driving a historic vehicle.

First, owners of a historic vehicle must join a historic vehicle club accepted by the RMS. If you change clubs during the period of registration, you need another historic vehicle declaration proving eligibility for the new club.

Second, you can use the vehicle for an authorised club event only, with your official invitation recorded in the club Day Book. You may also drive it for inspection or servicing within a short distance from its usual garaging place. For longer journeys, you must tell the club and it will record details in the Day Book.

Historic vehicles are allowed LPG conversions, if approved by the club, and conversion from left hand to right hand drive, as long as they meet all requirements. Left hand drive historic vehicles with a GVM up to 4.5 tonnes do not have to display a left hand drive sign.

To register a historic vehicle

You must attend a registry or Service NSW in person with these documents:

  • A completed application for conditional registration
  • Proof of identity, such as a NSW driver licence
  • Proof of registration entitlement, eg an original receipt for the vehicle showing buyer’s name, seller’s name, address and signature, VIN or chassis/frame or serial number and date of purchase
  • A historic vehicle declaration no more than 42 days old, signed by an official of a recognised historic vehicle club
  • A vehicle safety inspection report if the club is less than two years old.

Owners of historic vehicles must display conditional registration number plates and a current registration label. They must also carry the certificate of approved operations in the vehicle on a road or road related area.

You may use NSW historic vehicles temporarily in other states and territories, under the same conditions as apply in your home state. The same conditions are true for historic vehicles visiting NSW.

Log book scheme

The log book scheme is free and allows owners to use classic vehicles for 60 days outside club events. Participants must record each day’s use in a log book issued at a registry or service centre. Following the trial from October 2015 to September 2019, the scheme is now permanent.

Classic vehicles

Under the conditional registration scheme, there are two main conditions for driving a classic vehicle.

First, owners of a classic vehicle must be current financial members of a club affiliated with either ACMC NSW Ltd or Council of Heritage Motor Clubs NSW Inc. If the owner changes clubs during the conditional registration period, they must prove vehicle and operator eligibility for the new club with a classic vehicle declaration.

Second, you can use the vehicle for an authorised club event only, with your official invitation recorded by the club in the Day Book. You may also drive it for inspection or servicing within a short distance from its usual garaging place. For longer journeys, you must tell the club and it will record details in the Day Book.

Classic vehicles are allowed LPG conversions, if approved by the club, and conversion from left hand to right hand drive, as long as they meet all requirements. Left hand drive classic vehicles with a GVM up to 3.5 tonnes do not have to display a left hand drive sign.

To register a classic vehicle

Owners must go to a registry or Service NSW the first time with these documents:

  • Classic vehicle declaration no more than 42 days old, signed by an official of an authorised classic club
  • Authorised unregistered vehicle inspection report no more than 42 days old (safety, identity and design checks)
  • Compliance certificate and/or vehicle import approval (if required)
  • Application for conditional registration completed
  • Proof of registration entitlement, eg, receipt of purchase
  • Proof of identity, eg NSW driver licence.

To renew registration, owners need a classic vehicle declaration and safety check report, both no more than 42 days old.

Owners of classic vehicles must display conditional registration number plates and a current registration label. They must keep certificate of approved operations in the vehicle on a road or road related area.

You may use NSW classic vehicles in other states and territories, under the same conditions as apply in your home state. The same conditions are true for classic vehicles visiting NSW.

Log book trial

The log book trial is free and allows owners to use classic vehicles for 60 days outside club events. Participants must record each day’s use in a log book issued at a registry or service centre. The trial began on 1 October 2015 and extends until 30 September 2019.

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