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Registering Your Car Interstate: A Comprehensive Guide

Essentials of interstate car registration in Australia. Learn the process, requirements, and get tips for a smooth transition in our comprehensive guide.
By · November 25, 2023
Registering Your Car Interstate: A Comprehensive Guide

Do you need to transport your car interstate?

We are experts at interstate car transport anywhere across Australia. Trusted by thousands of vehicle owners, buyers and sellers. Door-to-Door Transport. Any Car Type. Fixed Prices.
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According to Australian law, it is mandatory for every vehicle on the road to be registered. In addition, if you are moving your car interstate, you must re-register it. These regulations aim to ensure the safety of drivers and provide insurance protection. However, it is important to note that rules and registration requirements may vary from state to state. Therefore, if you are planning to relocate, it is crucial to consider the associated costs and requirements before shipping your car interstate.

This article provides a detailed guide on the essential prerequisites for registering your car interstate in Australia. We will also include useful links to help you understand the specific requirements of each state or territory. Additionally, we will explore how Upmove can assist you in simplifying the transportation and registration process.

Register an Interstate Car in NSW

Easy checklist:

  • Attend the NSW Roads and Maritime Service Centre with identification and vehicle ownership documentation.
  • Take a valid green or blue slip.
  • Declare modifications.
  • Complete the relevant forms.
  • Receive new plates and compliance certification.

If you are moving or have moved to NSW:

If you're planning to stay in NSW for more than 90 days, you must transfer your car registration. It is recommended to start this process early as there are several steps involved before your vehicle can be registered in NSW.

  • Purchase a CTP insurance (a green slip) from a NSW CTP insurance provider:

CTP insurance, also known as a "green slip," is a mandatory insurance in NSW that covers your legal liability for injuries caused while driving. It must be purchased before you can register your car. When purchasing CTP insurance, it must meet certain requirements, such as being from a registered NSW CTP insurance provider and being issued for 12 months. If you have existing comprehensive or third-party property damage car insurance, you will also need to inform your insurer of any address changes.

  • Organise a car safety check and register your car:

To register a car in NSW, it is necessary to have the vehicle inspected at an authorised inspection station and obtain a "blue slip" report. This inspection must be done within 42 days before registration. In addition to the blue slip report, other documents such as photo identification, proof of registration entitlement, completed application form, CTP green slip insurance policy receipt, and previous number plates are required for registration. The registration process can also be used to change the address on your licence or transfer your licence.

If you are buying an interstate-registered vehicle:

Vehicles kept or garaged in NSW must be registered in NSW and cannot be driven on NSW roads if they are not registered. There are heavy penalties for driving an unregistered or uninsured vehicle.

If an interstate vehicle is garaged and kept in NSW, the driver may be issued an unregistered vehicle penalty notice by NSW Police if they hold a NSW driver's licence or are a resident of NSW. Corporations must not allow interstate vehicles to be used in NSW unless specific conditions are met.

Register an Interstate Car in VIC

Easy checklist:

  • Visit VIC Roads Customer Service in order to obtain a roadworthy certificate.
  • Make an appointment and bring I.D. proffer and ownership with you.
  • After that, the vehicle is deemed compliant with Vic Roads' safety condition regulations.
  • Always bring the necessary tools with you when adding new plates.

If you are moving or have moved to VIC:

If you currently reside in Victoria but previously had your vehicle registered in another state, you are required to transfer the registration to Victoria.

If your vehicle is garaged in another state, you have 30 days to transfer it to your Victorian garage. If the car is not garaged in Victoria and continues to be driven without registration, VicRoads may suspend the registration and impose substantial penalties.

If you are buying an interstate-registered vehicle:

Suppose you are a resident of Victoria, and you have acquired a vehicle that is currently registered in another state. In that case, you are required to transfer the registration to one that is valid in Victoria.

Register an Interstate Car in QLD

Easy checklist:

  • There are 14 days to register your vehicle in Queensland.
  • Update your driver's licence to QLD.
  • Visit Transport and Motoring Customer Service Centre.
  • Fill out the applicable documents.
  • Transfer to QLD plates in exchange for your former plates.

If you are moving or have moved to QLD:

When moving to Queensland and planning to stay for more than 14 days, it is important to transfer the registration of your vehicle to Queensland. Failure to do so can result in fines. When registering your vehicle in Queensland, you will need a roadworthy certificate. Light vehicle owners have the option of 1, 6, or 12-month registration, while heavy vehicle owners can choose a 3-month registration. Initial registration must be done in person, but subsequent renewals can be done online or by phone.

The process for transferring vehicle registration in Queensland involves three steps. First, ensure you have current compulsory third-party insurance to drive the vehicle. Next, book a safety check with an approved provider. Finally, go in person to a Transport and Main Roads customer service centre with the necessary documents. To receive a refund for your previous state or territory registration, hand in your plates and provide a Queensland safety certificate. After transferring registration, you must cancel the registration in your previous state or territory.

If you are buying an interstate-registered vehicle:

If you buy or receive a car for free, you are responsible for transferring the car's registration into your name within 14 days, according to the Queensland Government. Transfer fees and charges may apply. The registration transfer request can be submitted online or in person at a customer service centre, QGAP office, Magistrates Court, or local police station. Read this helpful post for details on shipping a car from Melbourne to Brisbane.

Register an Interstate Car in SA

Easy checklist:

  • You have three months to register a vehicle in South Australia.
  • Update your driver's licence to SA.
  • Schedule the SA vehicle inspection.
  • Stamp duty and registration fees must be paid.
  • Get your new plates.

The SA Government stipulates that you must transfer the registration into your name within fourteen days of purchasing a registered vehicle that will be garaged in SA; otherwise, a late transfer charge may be assessed. Transferring vehicle registration is possible via mail, in-person at a Service SA customer service centre, mySA GOV account (if eligible), or online.

If you are moving or have moved to SA:

If you have recently moved to South Australia, it is important to note that you are required by law to obtain SA registration within 3 months. To do this, you will need to visit your local SA customer service centre and provide proof of identity if you have not yet obtained an SA Driver's Licence. You must also fill out an application for registration and compulsory third party insurance, as well as an application for exemption from stamp duty.

Additionally, you will need to bring a paper certificate of your current interstate registration in your name and, if necessary, an identity inspection certificate. Some fees need to be paid, including the vehicle registration fees and a vehicle inspection fee, if applicable. You will also need to pay for new number plates and surrender your old ones. Once you have surrendered your old plates, you can apply to your old state registration body for a refund on any unexpired portion of the registration.

If you are buying an interstate-registered vehicle:

If you have purchased a vehicle registered in another state in South Australia, it is important to apply for SA registration as soon as possible. While interstate registration is recognised for up to 3 months in SA, the seller may choose to cancel the registration at any time. It would be best if you spoke with the seller to determine how long you have to meet the requirements and register the vehicle in your name in SA.

Before driving the vehicle, you should also regularly check with the interstate authority to ensure that the registration is still current. To register the car in SA, you will need your South Australian driver's licence or full evidence of identity, a completed application for registration and compulsory third-party insurance, and an identity inspection certificate.

Additionally, you will need to pay vehicle registration fees, stamp duty, a vehicle inspection fee, and a new number plate fee.

Register an Interstate Car in WA

Easy checklist:

  • All vehicles must be inspected for safety reasons.
  • Fill out the vehicle licence application forms.
  • Present identification and evidence of proprietorship.
  • Apply in person to the Driver and Vehicle Service Centre.

Vehicles that are not registered or licensed within three months of arrival in Western Australia will be deemed unregistered. Here are the steps necessary to update your vehicle registration in WA:

  • Obtain a roadworthiness inspection for your vehicle at a nearby Authorised Inspection Station.
  • Locate a regional agent or the Driver and Vehicle Services Centre of the Department of Transport (DoT) in your area.
  • Furnish evidence of identity and fulfil the Proof of identity: the vehicle licence holder is the designated proprietor.
  • Substantiate vehicle proprietorship by presenting evidence that the vehicle is presently registered under your name. For interstate transfers, a current registration certificate that plainly identifies the owner in the state where the property is held is adequate.

If you are moving or have moved to WA:

If you have recently relocated to Western Australia, it is important to note that you must transfer your interstate vehicle registration to WA within three months of establishing residency. Failing to do so will result in your vehicle becoming legally unregistered, regardless of whether it was previously registered in another state or territory in Australia. In this article, the steps involved in transporting a vehicle from Melbourne to Perth are detailed.

If you are buying an interstate-registered vehicle:

In order to transfer your registration from another state or territory to WA, it is necessary first to cancel your registration in the original location. It's important to note that this cancellation will result in the termination of CTP insurance in all states except NSW. For those in NSW, registration must be cancelled first, and proof of cancellation must also be provided to the CTP insurer for CTP cancellation.

Register an Interstate Car in TAS

Easy checklist:

  • You have three months to register your vehicle in Tasmania.
  • Completely reinstate Rego forms.
  • Comply with Service Tasmania Shop with ID and proof of ownership.
  • Get your new TAS plates from Transport Tasmania.

If you are moving or have moved to Tasmania:

In Tasmania, vehicles must be registered for use on public streets unless exempted by legislation. This applies to both Tasmanian residents and non-residents, except for non-Tasmanian residents who are not using their vehicles for commercial purposes.

Interstate-registered vehicles must have a valid third-party insurance policy, such as MAIB or an equivalent policy from another Australian state. If a vehicle's registration is prohibited or suspended by another registration authority, this also applies in Tasmania.

To register a vehicle in Tasmania, it must be inspected at an Approved Inspection Station, and the inspection report, proof of entitlement, Tasmanian licence or other identification, and documentation for eligibility for concessions (if applicable) must be submitted to Service Tasmania. If surrendering interstate plates, there may be an option to apply for a refund of the remaining registration.

If you are buying an interstate-registered vehicle:

If you want to transfer a car to Tasmania, you must have a garage address from the state where the vehicle is registered and was garaged. Otherwise, the transfer cannot be done. However, you can still drive the car in Tasmania on current interstate registration for up to three months.

To transfer the vehicle, you need to have it inspected at an Approved Inspection Station and then bring the passed inspection report, proof of entitlement, Tasmanian licence or other evidence of identity, and any documentation required for concession eligibility to Service Tasmania.

If the seller surrenders the plates or the vehicle is unregistered, you will need to either obtain an unregistered vehicle permit in the state or territory where the car was purchased or arrange for the vehicle to be shipped to Tasmania.

Register an Interstate Car in NT

In the Northern Territory (NT), you are allowed to drive your interstate vehicle for less than 3 months as long as it has current number plates, interstate registration, and compulsory third-party insurance (CTPI) within Australia.

If you plan to drive in the NT for more than 3 months, you must transfer your vehicle's registration. NT residents with interstate-registered vehicles must transfer their vehicles within 28 days of arriving in the NT. If you have an interstate trailer, you can apply for CTPI if you do not already have one.

Register an Interstate Car in ACT

To legally operate a vehicle in the ACT, it must be registered unless exempt. If you have an ACT driver's licence and are buying a vehicle with interstate registration, you should register it in the ACT within one month of purchase.

If you are moving to the ACT, you have 3 months from taking up permanent residence to register your interstate registered vehicle. You will need to pay establishment fees and may also need to pay motor vehicle duty. Access Canberra must confirm your identity before processing the registration. If you can't provide an ACT driver's licence, you will need to provide full proof of identity. Additionally, you will need to get various vehicle inspections, including a roadworthy inspection, vehicle identity inspection, and LPG/CNG inspection, before registering the vehicle in the ACT.

Buying a Car Interstate

Australia is an exceptional place in nearly all aspects; however, it can occasionally feel excessively vast. Which is to say that buying an interstate car in this country can be challenging. It can mean it can be up to 4000km between you and the vehicle you want to test drive.

Would you, could you, or ought you to do it? In actuality, this is something that Australians throughout this enormous nation do on a daily basis. Despite some pitfalls, there are many advantages associated with purchasing a vehicle interstate.

One of the benefits is considering a wider range of automobiles and the potential for securing a better deal. However, it's important to note that there may be additional expenses involved in transporting your vehicle to your home state. The cost of car transportation can vary significantly depending on the location of purchase, so it's crucial to factor this into your decision-making process. Before finalising your purchase, it is recommended that you obtain multiple quotes from different companies, as prices can fluctuate. It's worth noting that transport fees can range from $250 to $1500, depending on factors such as distance travelled and vehicle size.

Additional costs when purchasing a car from another state

When buying a vehicle interstate, there are other costs to consider, including transferring the registration into your name, purchasing compulsory third-party insurance, and obtaining roadworthy and safety certificates. These costs vary depending on the state, so it's important to check with the local transport department for specific prices.


Each person's decisions and circumstances primarily drive the decision to buy or bring a car from another state. It could be due to a moving or decision to buy a specific feature or modification that the vehicle has or simply because the asking price is more favourable compared to local options. Regardless of the reasons, it's becoming increasingly common for people to trade vehicles across state lines.

At Upmove, we take pride in providing high-quality car transport services to assist you in making informed decisions. Our comprehensive car insurance ensures that you are protected in the unlikely event of damage or write-off during transit. With a seamless experience available seven days a week throughout Australia, we guarantee transparency with no hidden fees. For reliable, stress-free, and efficient car transport service across Australia, reach out to our expert team today.


Can I register a car in another state in Australia?

A vehicle is required to be registered in the Australian state or territory where its proprietor resides and where the vehicle is garaged unless the garage is temporary and for a duration of less than three months.

What are the costs of registering my vehicle interstate?

The cost of shipping your car interstate can vary significantly, ranging from a few hundred dollars to potentially more depending on the make and model of your vehicle and any necessary repairs to meet requirements. To avoid any unexpected expenses, we strongly advise you to contact our service centre before initiating the shipping process. This way, you can ensure that you are well-informed and prepared for any potential costs that may arise.

What does it cost to transport my car interstate?

Vehicle relocation pricing is determined by factors such as the weight, size, and make of the vehicle, as well as the destination and method of transportation. On average, it costs around 40-60 cents per kilometre to relocate a car interstate. However, the cost will vary depending on individual needs, with the choice of open air or enclosed car transport. Larger and heavier vehicles, including those with caravans or trailers attached, will cost more to relocate. The size of the tires and any suspension changes can also impact the price. Additional costs to consider include insurance, fuel expenses for travelling to and from pick-up and drop-off points, and registration fees specific to the state or territory.

Do you need to transport your car interstate?

We are experts at interstate car transport anywhere across Australia. Trusted by thousands of vehicle owners, buyers and sellers. Door-to-Door Transport. Any Car Type. Fixed Prices.
9.7 · 1,052 reviews

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