Written-off vehicle laws aim to improve vehicle safety and consumer protection as well as reduce the risk of vehicle theft, car re-birthing and related crime.
What are the laws?
All NSW light vehicles written-off after 31 January 2011, are classified as statutory write-offs on the Written-off Vehicle Register (WOVR).
This means that these vehicles:
- Cannot be registered in NSW (except under special circumstances)
- Can only be used for parts or scrap metal
Vehicles notified to the NSW WOVR will have their registration cancelled upon notification. By law, the vehicle's Compulsary Third Party insurance must continue for an additional four business days from the date of the registration cancellation.
The laws apply to ALL NSW light vehicles including cars, trailers, caravans and motorbikes up to 15 years old. (A light vehicle is a registrable vehicle 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) or less).
Which written-off vehicles may be eligible for re-registration?
A written-off vehicle can only have registration established if it satisfied 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.
Repair and registration process for NSW written-off vehicles
If a vehicle was notified to the WOVR and the registered owner wishes to repair and retain their written off vehicle, an 'Authorisation to Repair a written-off vehicle' from Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority).
The following steps, detail the process vehicle owners must follow:
- Check with their insurer if the vehicle has non-repairable damage.
- Check if the vehicle is in an exempt category (see 'Exemptions').
- Get a Declaration of Vehicle damage from their insurer.
- Apply to Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) for an Authorisation to Repair using the Application to repair a written-off vehicle form. (Note this step is not required if the vehicle is registered before 1 February 2013).
- If Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) issues an Authorisation to repair, consult with a NSW Fair Trading licensed repairer before starting repairs.
- The vehicle must be repaired according to manufacturer’s guidelines or recognised industry standards.
- Get a Certificate of Compliance from the licensed repairer, stating that the vehicle has been repaired to the above standards.
- The vehicle must pass inspection at an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection station.
- I fthe vehicle is located outside Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong areas, copy all required documents and post to RMS Vehicle Identification Inspection Unit PO Box 646 Botany NSW 1455
- The vehicle must pass inspection/assessment by Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) Vehicle Identification Inspection Unit. Visit an Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) Motor Registry to book this inspection.
- Visit a Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) Motor Registry to register the vehicle.
Required documents are:
- Certificate of Compliance
- Third-party certifications (eg airbag repairs structural certification)
- AUVIS inspection report
- Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) Application for Registration.
- CTP insurance (third-party)
What if I have an interstate write-off vehicle in NSW?
If the vehicle was recorded on an interstate WOVR on or after 1 February 2011, the vehicle must be repaired, inspected and registered interstate before applying for registration in NSW.
Repairing a written-off vehicle
If you are planning to repair a written-off vehicle for the purposes of registration in NSW and you are NOT a licensed repairer, you must conduct the repairs according to the manufacturer's guidelines (or to recognised industry standards if there are no guidelines).
Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) recommends that you consult with a certifier before starting repairs. The certifier may need you to do certain things during the repair process so they can make an informed decision regarding certification. They might ask you to:
- Present the vehicle for a series of inspections at key points during the repair process
- keep a repair diary that describes the repair process
- take photographs of the damaged areas before and after repairs
- keep copies of the pages of relevant standards used during the repairs
You will also need to keep invoices for any parts purchased during the repair process, to present to Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) later when applying for registration.
Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) recommends you keep all information to do with the repair process to support your application for registration.
What is a Certificate of Compliance?
A Certificate of Compliance is an Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) form that identifies the vehicle and certifies that is has been properly repaired. The form contains a declaration that repairs have been conducted according to legislated standards using acceptable repair methods.
Only repairers licensed by NSW Fair Trading can issue a Certificate of Compliance. The class of license held by the repairer must be apprpriate to the type of repair being certified.
What if I want to do the repairs myself?
If you want to perform the repairs yourself and you are not a licensed repairer, you are strongly advised to consult with a licensed repairer before starting your repair work. You need to know what the licensed repairer's requirements will be, which could include inspections at various points during the repair process.
The vehicle must be repaired according to manufacturer's guidelines (or to recognised industry standards if there are no manufacturer's guidelines). If you repair the vehicle yourself, a NSW Fair Trading Licensed repairer must certify that the repairs have been carried out to these standards.