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Avoiding car accidents: Car safety checks – Safety certificates

Safety matters

What is a safety certificate?

In November 1999, the safety certificate replaced the roadworthy certificate. A safety certificate covers basic things that could affect the safe operation of the vehicle, such as:

  • tyres
  • brakes
  • steering
  • suspension
  • body rust or damage
  • windscreen
  • lights.

The safety certificate is designed to offer buyers better protection and to ensure newly registered vehicles are safe. This means there will be fewer unsafe vehicles on Queensland roads, reducing the likelihood of crashes caused by defective vehicles.

What vehicles must have a safety certificate?

In Queensland you must obtain and display a safety certificate on any registered light vehicle from the moment you offer the vehicle for sale. It is also a requirement for unregistered second hand and registered interstate vehicles to obtain a safety certificate as part of the Queensland pre-registration process (unless exempt). Vehicles include cars, motorbikes, trailers (including caravans) with an aggregate trailer mass (ATM) of 0.751–3.50 tonnes (t) and any other vehicles up to 4.50 t gross vehicle mass (GVM).

When can vehicles be sold without a safety certificate?

The only time vehicles offered for sale do not require a certificate is when they are unregistered or when they are traded to, or between, licensed motor dealers. Vehicles can still be sold for parts or restoration, but they must be de-registered before being offered for sale.

When can vehicles be transferred without a safety certificate?

The acquirer of a Queensland registered vehicle does not need to produce a safety certificate if the disposer does not need to supply one at disposal based on an exemption, therefore the acquired does not need to produce one when submitting the transfer.

Some exemption situations may include:

  • Disposer is in an exempt area
  • To a beneficiary of a deceased estate
  • Between spouses, including separated spouses
  • Remote locations

The above is not an exhaustive list of exemptions, for more information phone the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 23 80b for more information.

Who issues safety certificates?

Safety certificates can only be issued by approved inspection stations. These are service stations, garages or workshops which have been approved by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to conduct inspections. Please refer to the yellow pages for your local approved inspection station or phone the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 23 80b.

Does this apply all over Queensland?

You need a safety certificate to sell used vehicles in most parts of Queensland. Some rural and remote areas are exempt. To find out if you are in an exempt area please phone the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 23 80b for more information.

How long are safety certificates current for?

Make sure certificates are current.

For dealers, certificates are valid for three months or 1000 kilometres (whichever comes first) from the date of issue.

For private sellers, safety certificates may be used for one transfer of registration provided they are within the two months or 2000 kilometres limit, whichever comes first. A new safety certificate is required each time you sell the vehicle even if it is within the two months or 2000 kilometres. A single safety certificate cannot be used for two transfers.

For new registration, safety certificates are valid from the date of issue for two months or 2000 kilometres limit, whichever comes first. It may be used for one transfer only if still current after new registration.

Displaying safety certificates

Safety certificates must be displayed in a very obvious place, for example:

  • motorbike – front forks or guard
  • car – windscreen or window
  • trailer – draw-bar.

If you fail to display a safety certificate on the vehicle from the moment you offer it for sale you may receive an on-the-spot fine of A$500.

Vehicle registration transfer

Download a Vehicle Registration Transfer Application form (F3520).

If you need help following a motor vehicle accident, contact Sinnamon Lawyers on 1800 007 277 to arrange an obligation free appointment or seek our expert advice about your legal position following an accident.

Thanks to Queensland Transport for this information

Please contact me regarding an accident

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