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Unregistered Vehicles

What happens if my vehicle is unregistered?

There are heavy penalties for driving an unregistered vehicle in NSW. In specific cases only, you can apply for a temporary permit to drive an unregistered vehicle. You can also cancel registration if you no longer want to register a vehicle in NSW.

Penalties for driving an unregistered vehicle ›

How to apply for an unregistered vehicle permit (UVP) ›

When to cancel NSW vehicle registration ›

How to cancel NSW vehicle registration ›

Penalties for driving an unregistered vehicle

It is illegal to drive an unregistered vehicle.

A vehicle is considered to be unregistered if the registration has expired or been cancelled or suspended.

Police use cameras to check number plates for registration and CTP green slip insurance. They are permitted to seize the vehicle and take its number plates. Note, there are two fines because the vehicle will be both unregistered and uninsured:

Offence Fine
Drive or park an unregistered vehicle $704
Drive or park an uninsured vehicle $704
Total         $1,408*

*As at November 2022

When a vehicle is unregistered, it is not covered by a CTP green slip. Fortunately, if someone is injured by an unregistered vehicle, they can still make a claim through the Nominal Defendant. All CTP insurers are required to be part of the Nominal Defendant fund.

However, there are cases when it is legal to temporarily drive an unregistered vehicle:

Finally, it is legal to drive an unregistered vehicle if you hold a valid unregistered vehicle permit (UVP).

How to apply for an unregistered vehicle permit (UVP)

A UVP does not cover regular use of a vehicle. Driving without proper registration or a permit is illegal in NSW.

An unregistered vehicle permit (UVP) is for drivers who need to make one or more trips in an unregistered vehicle. You cannot use this permit for repairs, insurance or registration. In fact, a UVP automatically cancels registration and you have to hand in the vehicle’s number plates.

You can apply for a UVP for specific trips only and for travel only by the most direct route. For example:

  • One single journey
  • One return journey
  • Trips over a number of days up to 28 days
  • Travel from interstate to NSW or from NSW to interstate
  • A specific vehicle and purpose, eg, harvesting, for up to 28 days.

NSW authorities recognise permits from interstate and any conditions attached to them.

When to cancel NSW vehicle registration

The most likely reasons for cancelling vehicle registration in NSW are:

  • The vehicle has been written off or stolen.
  • Its owner has moved interstate.

However, you are allowed to cancel registration of a vehicle at other times.

One exception is if you have sold your vehicle. This is because the registration and green slip will pass to the new owner. In this case, you must submit a Notice of Disposal.

How to cancel NSW vehicle registration

It is not possible to cancel NSW vehicle registration online.

To cancel vehicle registration, you must go to Service NSW or motor registry in person (or send a representative) with:

  • Number plates and/or Cancellation of registration form
  • Proof of identity
  • Certificate of registration
  • Police event number, if vehicle was stolen
  • The insurer letter, if the vehicle was written off.

If you cancel registration before the expiry date, you can get a refund of motor vehicle tax. However, there is no refund of registration fees.

When you show proof of cancelled registration to your CTP insurer, it will refund any remaining CTP less an administration fee.

Registration - more info

Conditional registration >

For vehicle types registered under strict conditions only read more

Vehicle shape codes >

Shape codes for registration and green slip purposes read more

Classic and historic registration >

Special registration for classic and historic vehicles read more

eGreenslips >

Insurers notify Service NSW online about your green slip. read more

Transport for NSW >

The government authority for Service NSW functions read more

Registration reminder sticker >

A simple reminder when your NSW registration is due. read more

Rego and safety checks >

How rego works with your green slip and safety checks. read more

Transferring registration to NSW >

Three steps to transfer interstate registration to NSW. read more

Green slip and rego look-up >

Free service to find your CTP insurer or when rego is due. read more

Renew a full drivers or riders NSW licence >

Steps to help you renew your drivers or riders licence. read more