Is there a grace period if you forget to renew your registration? - SUV VEHICLE

Is there a grace period if you forget to renew your registration?

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Forgetting to renew your vehicle registration can result in hefty fines, but is there a grace period during which you can be let off the hook?

The recent Transport Affordability Index from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) found that Australian households spent an average of $1600 per year on registration, CTP, and licensing costs in 2023. 

Surprisingly, the Australian Capital Territory was the most expensive state/territory to register your car, costing a whopping $2174 per household for registration, CTP, and licensing annually.

RELATED: How long does a roadworthy certificate last?

Forgetting to renew your registration can happen to the best of us; sometimes, the warnings in the mail and email can sit on the “to-do” list for too long.

Every Australian state or territory’s Highway Patrol uses automated number plate recognition (ANPR). Fitted to the front of Highway Patrol police cars, the ANPR scans each plate it drives past and flags any stolen or expired registration plates. So, there’s no escape from being caught now.

Each state has different regulations when it comes to registration, but how long do you have to renew your registration?

Is there a grace period for car registration in New South Wales?

In New South Wales you do not have any grace period for renewing your registration late. If your registration expires on 9/04/2024, you have until 11:59pm that night to renew until you are driving without registration.

According to Service NSW, if you forget to renew your registration, you will be fined $704 if caught driving and another $704 if you forget to renew your mandatory CTP green slip insurance. The car’s driver is fined, not the owner.

Service NSW also states that you can drive an unregistered vehicle the most direct route to the nearest Service NSW centre, authorised inspection station, office of a licenced insurer for CTP insurance, or “convenient location for any other purpose directly associated with the registration process”. These must all be the nearest location.

Service NSW also states, “If you need to make trips in an unregistered vehicle and are not getting repairs, insurance or registration, you must apply for an unregistered vehicle permit (UVP) to access the road network. Number plates must be removed from the vehicle before driving with a UVP.”

A UVP is $25, but you must cancel the registration and hand in the license plates to receive one. This means you will need a blue slip inspection instead of a pink slip after purchasing a UVP.

Is there a grace period for car registration in Victoria?

In Victoria, you do not have any grace period for renewing your car’s rego. You have until 11:59pm on the day of expiry before you are considered to be driving around with expired registration.  

Luckily for Victorians, you do not need to take your car in for a roadworthy certificate (RWC) when it comes time for renewal, you can just do it online.

However, you have three months or 90 days to renew your registration until it is cancelled, at which point you must get an RWC to register it again.

Unlike NSW, where you can drive your unregistered car to a roadworthy check, in Victoria VicRoads states: “Unregistered vehicles cannot be driven on the road unless an unregistered vehicle permit has been obtained or the vehicle is exempt from registration.”

“We recommend that you purchase an unregistered vehicle permit when taking an unregistered vehicle to VicRoads for registration. This ensures that you have full TAC compulsory insurance cover for that trip.”

Driving an unregistered car in Victoria will result in a fine of $962 for the driver, not the owner.

Is there a grace period for car registration in Queensland?

There is no grace period for registration in Queensland. The Queensland Police Force says: “There is no grace period for registration once it expires at midnight on the expiry date. As the driver of a vehicle, it is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle you are driving is registered, even if it’s someone else’s vehicle. If you have any doubts, don’t drive it.”

That’s right, it’s entirely up to the driver to know if the vehicle they are driving is registered. The fines range from $313 to $417 depending on the size of your car and it’s another $522 if you haven’t renewed your CTP insurance.

Luckily for Queensland residents, you do not need a safety certificate when you renew your registration within three months; after three months, you will need to obtain a safety certificate after a roadworthy check by an authorised inspector.

You can drive your unregistered vehicle to get a safety certificate or a certificate of inspection; however, you must not stop anywhere else on your journey. The Queensland Government states “you must carry a valid CTP insurance certificate when making the journey (excluding trailers)”.

Is there a grace period for car registration in the Australian Capital Territory?

There is no grace period for vehicle registration in the Australian Capital Territory. As of midnight on the day your registration expires, you face an unregistered vehicle fine.

It’s a $700 fine for ‘use unregistered/suspended vehicle’ and another $973 for ‘use an uninsured motor vehicle on a road or road-related area’, AKA not having your Motor Accident Injuries (MAI) Insurance current. The fine is issued to the driver and not the owner.

Luckily for Australian Capital Territory motorists, you can renew online without needing a yearly inspection if you renew within 12 months of expiry.

If your car has been unregistered for more than 12 months in the Australian Capital Territory, it must pass a roadworthy check.

Is there a grace period for car registration in South Australia?

There is no grace period for vehicle registration in South Australia. The South Australian Government states: “Registration is valid until midnight of the expiry date – e.g. if a registration is due to expire on the 26 June, the vehicle can be driven up until midnight on the 26 June.”

“Expired registrations can still be renewed online. You’ll be given two options: Renew the registration from the date of payment but keep the original expiry date or elect to re-register from the date of payment and update the expiry date (an additional $21 will apply).

“In both circumstances, the vehicle is deemed unregistered for the period between the expiry date and the time of payment.”

It is a $556 fine for driving an unregistered vehicle on South Australian roads and a $944 fine if you don’t have your mandatory CTP insurance. The fine is issued to the driver and not the owner.

A vehicle previously registered in South Australia can sit unregistered for as long as you like without needing to have any inspection for re-registration in SA.

Is there a grace period for car registration in Western Australia?

In Western Australia, you do not have any grace period. You have until 11:59pm on the day of expiry before you are driving around with expired registration.  

According to the Western Australian Department of Transportation: “[Within three months of expiry] you cannot drive your vehicle on the road. You have three months from the expiry date to renew your vehicle licence without the need to return the plates and have the vehicle inspected. The renewal period will be calculated from the previous expiration date when the fees are paid within this three-month period.”

However, if your registration is more than three months late, the Department of Transportation states: “You cannot drive your vehicle on the road, and you are required to return the number plates to us to avoid a penalty being issued. To re-licence your vehicle, you will need to have it inspected.”

You must obtain a temporary movement permit to get the car to an Authorised Inspection Station if the registration is over three months overdue.

Is there a grace period for car registration in Northern Territory?

There is no grace period for vehicle registration in the Northern Territory. As of midnight on the night of the expiry date, you can receive a fine for driving an unregistered vehicle.

According to the Northern Territory Government: “In the Northern Territory, roadworthy inspections are required for new cars after five years, 10 years and then annually. Check if your car needs a roadworthy inspection”. So, if your car is over 10 years old, it will need a yearly inspection.

However, in the Northern Territory, the unregistered/uninsured fine amount is dependent on the amount of time it has been out of registration: one month or less is $300, more than one month but less than 12 months is $800 and 12 months or more is $1500.

Is there a grace period for car registration in Tasmania?

In Tasmania, you do not have any grace period. If your registration expires on 9/04/2024, you have until 11:59pm on the 9th to renew until you are driving without registration.

Thankfully, Tasmanian residents have three months to renew their registration before they need to have a vehicle inspection.

Service Tasmania states: “You are allowed to drive your unregistered vehicle to a nearby approved inspection station for the purpose of getting it registered. You must be able to prove you have a booking.”

Tasmania uses fixed traffic infringement cameras that will automatically send you a fine for an unregistered car. Registration can be renewed online, and it’s certainly not worth the risk of a $287 fine. 

The post Is there a grace period if you forget to renew your registration? appeared first on Drive.

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