Written-off vehicle reforms in NSW
A written-off vehicle can only have registration established if it satisfies NSW registration requirements.
This means a written-off vehicle can only be registered when all of the below are true:
- The person seeking registration meets NSW eligibility criteria
- The person seeking to repair the vehicle has obtained an "Authorisation to Repair". This is issued by RMS and has strict eligibility requirements. For example, to obtain authorisation you must have been the registered operator of the vehicle 28 days prior to it being written-off
- The vehicle has been issued with a Certificate of Compliance from a NSW Fair Trading Licensed Repairer
- The vehicle passes all RMS inspection requirements
After January 31st 2013, no written-off vehicles will be registered without an Authorisation to Repair.
For further information about the new reforms, see Written-off Vehicle reforms - FAQs.
A written-off vehicle is:
A written-off vehicle is a vehicle that has been damaged to the extent that an insurer, self-insurer or auto-dismantler declares the vehicle to be a total loss under the formula prescribed in the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Act 1997.
Written-off vehicle laws aim to:
Written-off vehicle laws aim to ensure vehicle safety and consumer protection. The laws also seek to reduce the risk of vehicle theft and car re-birthing in NSW.
Vehicle 're-birthing' is:
A vehicle is 're-birthed' when the identifiers of a written-off vehicle are used to re-identify a stolen vehicle, or stolen parts are used to repair a written-off vehicle. Re-birthed vehicles are often poorly repaired and can be a safety risk.
Written-off vehicles must be on the WOVR register:
Once a vehicle has been assessed as a write-off, an insurer, self-insurer or auto-dismantler must notify the Written-Off Vehicle Register (WOVR) of the vehicle. Vehicles notified to the NSW WOVR will have their registration cancelled upon notification. By law, the vehicle's Compulsory Third Party insurance must continue for an additional four business days from the date of the registration cancellation.
From 31 January 2011:
All NSW light vehicles written-off from 31 January 2011 are classified as 'statutory write-offs' on the WOVR and these vehicles can only be used for scrap or for parts.
These laws apply to all light vehicles, including:
Further information on the Legislation is available from:
- NSW Legislation website
- Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Act 1997
- Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2007
Information for owners and repairers:
Ask these questions before you buy a used car:
- Has it been crashed and written-off?
- Has it been a NSW police car or taxi?
- Did it have one owner or ten?
- Were these owners in NSW?
- And get a Vehicle History Check. It will provide a range of information about the used vehicle.