How to transfer your car registration in Australia

Woman sits at table, reading documents.

Buying (or acquiring) a car can be a real headspin. Besides the actual purchase there’s so much to remember - think insurance, financing (if you’re taking out a car loan), stamp duty and of course rego. 

It’s a lot, which is why in this guide we’ve decided to focus just on registration. Keep reading to find out how to transfer car registration in each state and territory in Australia as both a buyer and a seller.

Transferring car registration in Australia

Transferring car registration in ACT

As a buyer: ACT residents can transfer car registration online 24/7 via the accesscanberra.act.gov.au website. To make the transfer you will need to have handy proof of identity (e.g. an ACT driver’s licence), payment details and proof of purchase. You may also need other details such as concession card details, a statutory declaration, copy of the will, death certificate or letter from the Public Trustee (that is if the car is an inheritance), as well as a roadworthy certificate of inspection and vehicle identity check.

When transferring car registration in the ACT, there are four different fees that can apply. The standard fee is $43.40. This applies if an ACT registered vehicle is changing hands within the territory and the application to transfer is made within 14 days. If it is made after 14 days an additional $116.60 late fee will also be charged. For cars that have not previously been registered in the ACT the fee will be $99.30. Or $50.50 for cars that are being re-registered in the territory. 

As a seller: After selling a car in the ACT, you must fill out an ‘Application to transfer vehicle registration’ form, as well as a ‘Notice of disposal’ form. These can be found on the reverse side of your current registration certification and need to be filled out by yourself and the person buying the vehicle from you. If you have lost or misplaced the registration papers, these forms can also be found online via the Access Canberra website.

For private car sales, a handwritten receipt is acceptable, so long as it contains the vehicle details, sale date, your details and signature as the seller, the buyer’s details and the purchase price. The receipt must also specifically state the sale of the vehicle from the seller to the buyer. You should not give the Notice of disposal to the buyer, as it must be either returned to an Access Canberra centre, posted to the Road Transport Authority or submitted via the Road Transport Authority contact form. You should also keep a copy of the form for your personal records.

Transferring car registration in NSW

As a buyer: When you buy a car in NSW, the car registration must be transferred within 14 days of making the purchase, otherwise the transfer fee you pay will be a lot higher. At the time of writing it costs $34 to transfer vehicle registration in NSW, if done within 14 days. If done after 14 days the fee increases to $157.

To make the transfer online, the previous owner will have to first submit a notice of disposal. Then to actually transfer you will need to have a MyServiceNSW account set-up and be logged in. From there you will:

  • select ‘transfer online’
  • enter the NSW registration plate number
  • enter the sale details (price and date of purchase) 
  • enter pensioner details (if necessary)
  • read and accept the terms and conditions and pay for the transfer. 
  • Finally, either print a copy of the receipt or have it sent to your email address.

You will need to have a NSW driver’s licence and be transferring a vehicle registered in NSW. In some cases you may not be able to make the transfer online and instead may need to visit an NSW Service Centre. Situations where this may be the case include if you are registering a heavy vehicle, or if you are buying a vehicle for a business.

As a seller: To transfer registration for a vehicle you will need to provide the buyer with a document that proves their right to register the vehicle and lodge a notice of disposal. 

Documents you can provide to prove the new owner’s right to register the vehicle include: a Certificate of Registration, a renewal notice or an original letter, bill of sale, receipt or tax invoice with the relevant details. 

To submit a notice of disposal you will need to complete a notice of disposal form. For this you will need to have handy your details, the buyer’s details and the vehicle details. It is good to lodge this ASAP after the vehicle is sold, as the buyer will need to transfer the registration within 14 days of purchasing.

Transferring car registration in NT

As a buyer: NT residents can transfer car registration with the Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR) office. There are three steps to transferring car registration in the Northern Territory, these are:

  • Check whether or not you need to organise a vehicle inspection and vehicle compliance check
  • Complete the R11 application form and attach supporting documents. Supporting documents will be: proof of your identity and residency, proof of vehicle ownership and a roadworthy inspection report.
  • Submit the application form and relevant documents to an NT MVR office. At this point you may also need to pay fees for registration, number plates and stamp duty by EFTPOS, Mastercard, Visa, BasicsCard or cash.

There is an $18 fee to transfer vehicle ownership in the NT, plus the stamp duty charge which is 3% of the vehicle purchase price. Other fees and charges may also apply when transferring registration. 

As a seller: When transferring car registration to another person in the NT, as a seller you must submit a notice of disposal to the MVR within 14 days of selling and supply the new vehicle owner with proof of ownership.

Whichever notice of disposal you use, it will need to be signed by both you and the buyer. Types of notice of disposal that are generally accepted include: an R06 notice of disposal form, the most recent certificate of registration, a clearly written document with both signatures, a fax signed by both parties or an email. 

The notice of disposal itself should include: the full names and addresses of both yourself and the buyer, as well as the buyer’s DOB, the date the vehicle was sold, the sale price or vehicle market value, both your signature and the buyer’s signature, plus the vehicle registration number and either the make or model of the vehicle, the vehicle identification number (VIN), or engine number. The form can be emailed, posted or taken in person to an MVR office.

Transferring car registration in Queensland

As a buyer: In Queensland you can transfer car registration online, so long as the seller has lodged an application to transfer the registration already and you are only transferring the vehicle into one name. To make the transfer online you will also need to have a Queensland driver’s licence or customer reference number.

You will not be able to transfer online if you are transferring registration into more than one name or to a company/organisation. You will also not be able to transfer online if you are claiming an exemption from providing a safety certificate, or an exemption from paying vehicle registration duty or from paying the transfer fee. Or if you are applying a concession to the registration.

Details you will need to have handy include your Queensland driver’s licence number, or customer reference number, the dutiable value, the odometer reading and purpose of use (for the vehicle). The vehicle registration transfer fee is $29.70 and other fees may apply if the registration renewal has expired. Registration must be transferred within 14 days of buying the vehicle.

As a seller: If you are selling a car, again you will need to transfer registration within 14 days of making the sale. To make the transfer online you will need to be transferring to only one person and that person will only need to have a Queensland driver’s licence or customer service number. 

There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to transfer the registration online, these include if the buyer is claiming an exemption from providing a safety certificate, if they are currently under a Number Plate Confiscation Notice issued by the Queensland Police Service, if the car is fitted with a gas fuel system, has personalised number plates, is for any use other than private use, is a bus/minibus or special interest vehicle.

To make the transfer online you will need to have your own details handy, as well as the buyer’s details. This includes the buyer’s driver’s licence number, name and email address. You will also need the sale date, dutiable value and odometer reading.

Transferring car registration in SA

As a buyer: Just bought a car in South Australia? You’ll need to transfer the vehicle registration within 14 days to avoid being charged a $92 late fee.You can transfer vehicle registration in SA via your mySA GOV account.

To transfer registration online you will need to have handy the car registration number, the seller’s SA driver’s licence number or client number and the seller’s name. You will also need to provide some proof of ownership. 

For this it may be easiest to obtain a receipt from the seller. The receipt should include both your name, address and signature and the name, address and signature of the seller. Details about the vehicle should include the registration number, vehicle identification number (VIN), engine number, make and model, as well as details of when it was sold and how much it was sold for. When you make the transfer you will need to pay a $31 transfer fee, plus stamp duty.

As a seller: When you sell or pass on a car in SA, you will need to notify Service SA. To do this you will need to lodge a notice of disposal, this should include the buyer’s DOB, first and last name, as well as their SA driver’s licence number or client number. You will also need to note down the date and time when you sold the car, plus how much it was sold for.

The notice of disposal can be on the vehicle’s registration certificate. If you do not have this you can either apply for a replacement or download a notice of disposal via the SA government website. The form itself can be submitted via email, sent by post or lodged in person at a Service SA customer service centre.

Transferring car registration in Tasmania

As a buyer: If both you and the person you are buying from both have a Tasmanian driver’s licence, you may be able to transfer the vehicle registration online. Otherwise you can also transfer registration at a Service Tasmania shop.

To transfer online you will need to have a few things handy including the vehicle’s registration number, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the seller’s last name, the date when you bought the vehicle and the purchase price or market price (whichever is higher). If you are buying from a motor dealer you will need the Motor Registry Customer Identification Number (CIN), or if from an individual their Tasmanian driver’s licence number, as well as your own Tasmanian driver’s license number. 

If you visit a Service Tasmania shop to make the transfer in person, you will need to bring proof of entitlement with you (so your Tasmanian driver’s licence or other ID), plus the transfer and disposal form. When you transfer you will also need to pay a $29.70 transfer fee, plus a duty fee which is dependent on the market value or sale price of the vehicle.

As a seller: In Tasmania, sellers have just seven days to submit a notice of disposal, after selling a vehicle. This can be done online, again you just need to make sure you have a few details handy. These include the vehicle registration number, vehicle identification number (VIN), the buyer’s last name, the date when the vehicle was sold, the selling price or market price (whichever was higher). 

To be able to complete the form online the buyer will need to have a Tasmanian driver’s licence. If you are selling to a motor dealer, they will need to have a Motor Registry Identification Number (CIN).

Alternatively you can also submit a notice of disposal/application for transfer of vehicle registration form at a Service Tasmania shop, by post or email.

Transferring car registration in Victoria

As a buyer: You must notify VicRoads within 14 days of buying or coming into possession of a second hand car. You can complete the registration transfer online via your myVicRoads account. Although to be able to do this, the seller must have first submitted a notice of disposal online via their myVicRoads account.

Once the seller has submitted the notice of disposal form, the vehicle will be transferred into your name and it will appear in your myVicRoads account. After a seller has done this you will need to provide details, as well as a scanned copy or photograph of your original roadworthy certificate, issued no more than 30 days before the sale date. If the car you have bought is a zero or low emission vehicle, you will also need to provide the opening odometer reading, along with a photograph of the dashboard.

If buying a car from a private seller, a $41.30 transfer fee will apply, plus a motor vehicle duty fee.

As a seller: When selling a car in Victoria, either you or the buyer must complete a vehicle transfer form. This can either be downloaded from the VicRoads website or you can pick up a copy from a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.

Then to complete the form you will need to fill out the seller details section and note down your VicRoads licence number or customer number. You will also need to make sure that the buyer has completed their details correctly and double check that both you and the buyer have signed the form. Lastly, once completed be sure to take a photo or photocopy of the form to keep as proof of transfer.

After completing the transfer form you will then want to notify VicRoads of the transfer. You can do this by logging into your myVicRoads account, selecting the vehicle you’re transferring and clicking ‘Transfer vehicle.’ If the vehicle is eligible to be transferred you’ll proceed to step one, which is the notice of disposal’ form. In steps two and three you will need to enter the buyer and transfer details. After this you can review and submit - the vehicle will be transferred out of your name within two business days.

You won’t be able to complete the transfer online if the buyer does not have a Victorian licence/customer number, or if you do not know the buyer’s details.

Transferring car registration in WA

As a buyer: When purchasing a second hand car in WA you can either transfer the vehicle registration into your name online via DoTDirect or by submitting an MR9 form in person. 

If you do have a DoTDirect account, you may be able to complete the transfer online. To do so you will just need to make sure you have the seller’s last name and the vehicle plate number handy. It should also be noted that some vehicles cannot be transferred online, such as vehicles that are jointly owned, heavy vehicles and vehicles that are being transferred to or from a company/organisation.

If you cannot complete the transfer online, you will have to fill out a vehicle transfer form with the seller. You will then need to obtain licence papers and check whether or not a government approved immobiliser is fitted to the vehicle (if required). 

After this you will need to submit forms and proof of ID. The government of WA, Department of Transport recommends doing this by post to avoid long queues. Documents you will need to submit include: your copy of the vehicle transfer form (MR9), fitment of immobiliser declaration form, proof of ID and age.

Once the vehicle registration transfer application has been received, you should be sent an invoice to pay the transfer fee. You will have 28 days from the invoice issue date to pay the fee. 

As a seller: Similar to buying a car in WA, when selling a car in WA you can transfer the vehicle registration either online via your DoTDirect account, or if you don’t have one manually by submitting a form and other documents.

If you do not have a DoTDirect account or your vehicle cannot be transferred online, you can submit a Notification of Change of Ownership Vehicle Licence Transfer (MR9) form. You can download this form via the Department of Transport website or pick one up from the Driver and Vehicle Services Centre.

Once you have a copy of the form, both you and the buyer will need to complete it together. At this point it is worth noting that the downloaded version of the form is not carbonated. As such, both your copy and the buyer’s copy must be completed and signed by both of you.

You will then need to forward your copy (blue if carbonated) to the Department of Transport and give the purchaser’s copy (red, again if carbonated) to the buyer. The vehicle licence document and any other relevant paperwork should also be passed on to the buyer. As a courtesy you should also supply the buyer with information about the immobiliser. 

Your seller’s copy of the form will need to be posted to the Department of Transport within seven days of selling the vehicle. The postal address can be found on the form. DoT recommends that you keep a copy of the form for your own records.

Want to read more guides like this? Check out our car insurance guides for more information on insuring your wheels.