From 1 January 2013, registration stickers will no longer be required for light vehicles (including motorcycles and trailers) up to 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM). NSW Police use number plate recognition cameras to automatically detect if a vehicle is unregistered.
This means from 1 January 2013, registration stickers can be removed from all light vehicles registered in NSW. While it is not an offence to keep displaying your registration sticker, it is no longer required.
New stickers are no longer being generated and will not be sent with registration renewal notices. Removing labels for light vehicles simplifies the registration process, reduces red tape and will save time and money for the community and businesses.
What’s different for light vehicles?
- If your registration is due for renewal from 1 January 2013 you will not receive a registration sticker.
- From 1 January 2013 you will not need to display a registration sticker.
What you need to know
- All vehicles in NSW must have current registration.
- Registration renewal certificates will still be sent as a reminder to renew registration.
- NSW Police can check vehicle registration anytime by using on-the-spot camera technology.
- You can check the registration status of a vehicle anytime by completing a Free registration check online.
Frequently asked questions
Do I still need to register my vehicle?
Yes. All vehicles operating on NSW roads must be registered.
Why didn't I receive a registration sticker?
From 1 January 2013, all light vehicles in NSW no longer need a registration sticker. If your vehicle registration is due from 1 January 2013, a sticker will not be issued as it is not required.
What is a light vehicle?
Light vehicles have a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) up to 4.5 tonnes. This generally includes: Cars, Motorcycles, Light trailers, Caravans, Light buses and Taxis.
How do I know if my vehicle is a light vehicle?
Your registration certificate shows the GVM of your vehicle in kilograms. If the GVM is 4500 or less, your vehicle is considered a light vehicle.
If my vehicle is exactly 4.5 tonnes GVM do I need to display a registration sticker?
No. Vehicles that are exactly 4.5 tonnes GVM are light vehicles and will not be required to display a registration sticker.
What are the benefits of retiring registration labels?
Removing stickers for light vehicles simplifies the registration process, reduces red tape and will save time and money for the community and businesses. The change will also make it easier for large fleet operators who face logistical problems with ensuring new stickers are distributed to their vehicles after registration renewals are processed.
When can I remove my current registration sticker?
You can remove the registration sticker from your light vehicle from 1 January 2013. After 1 January 2013 it will no longer be an offence for light vehicles to not display a registration sticker, or to display an expired or damaged sticker.
Do I have to remove my registration sticker on 1 January 2013?
From 1 January 2013, it will be your choice if you wish to remove the registration sticker from your light vehicle. It won’t be an offence to display a current or expired registration sticker.
How will the NSW Police know my vehicle is registered?
Registration stickers are no longer needed to support enforcement of vehicle registration. NSW Police use number plate recognition cameras to automatically detect if a vehicle is unregistered. Fixed enforcement cameras can also detect unregistered vehicles.
Which vehicles still need a registration sticker?
- Heavy vehicles more than 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM), which includes most public buses.
- Vehicles registered under the Conditional Registration Scheme.
- Vehicles issued an Unregistered Vehicle Permit.
Why do these vehicles still need a sticker?
Heavy vehicles are covered by current and proposed national model law. Due to operational necessity, existing registration sticker requirements for conditionally registered vehicles will continue. Vehicles issued an Unregistered Vehicle Permit, to enable access to the road network for a specific journey or purpose, will continue to be issued a sticker. In this case number plates are not.
How can I check if a vehicle is registered?
You can check the registration status of a vehicle by completing a Free registration check online, or by calling 13 22 13 or attending a registry.
Will people forget to renew their registration?
Customers will still receive registration renewal notices in the mail. A registration reminder letter is also sent to customers two weeks after their registration has lapsed.
What happens if I am driving someone else’s vehicle and I’m unaware it is unregistered?
Whenever you drive a vehicle it is your responsibility to ensure it is registered. This will remain the case when registration stickers are abolished for light vehicles from 1 January 2013. Driving an unregistered vehicle is an offence attracting an infringement notice fine of over $500. If the matter goes to court, the maximum fine is over $2200. The penalties for heavy vehicle offences are higher and may also attract demerit points.
I am looking to buy a vehicle. How will I know when the registration is due?
You should ask the vehicle operator for the vehicle registration papers, which will indicate the registration expiry date. You can also use the online Free registration check to confirm the registration status.
What to do with an abandoned vehicle?
The abandonment of a vehicle is an offence under the Impounding Act 1993. When a vehicle is left unattended on any public road, the public can report the details to the Local Council. The Impounding Officer must make all reasonable inquiries in an effort to find out the name and address of the owner of a motor vehicle and issue a notice to the owner. If the last registered operator is not known or does not comply with the instructions of the Local Council, Impounding Officer have power under the Impounding Act 1993 to impound or destroy the vehicle.
Have other states abolished registration stickers?
Registration stickers for light vehicles have now been abolished in Western Australia (from 1 January 2010), South Australia (from 1 July 2011) and Tasmania (from 1 September 2012).
What will happen if I am travelling interstate?
Interstate jurisdictions still using stickers will be made aware of the changes in NSW. Both the Western Australian and South Australian Governments advise that people registered in those States are able to lawfully drive without a registration sticker in other States and Territories. The same arrangements will be put in place for NSW vehicles travelling interstate.