What is the first step to buying a car?
  1. The first step is doing a free registration status check with the Registration Number and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  2. Once you have confirmation that the car is registered to the correct person you will need a pre-inspection
Why do I need a Roadworthy Certificate?

In Queensland a roadworthy certificate is called a safety certificate.

A safety certificate is needed when a registered light vehicle is offered for sale in Queensland, or when re-registering an unregistered vehicle. It confirms that a vehicle has passed a minimum safety standard inspection.

Vehicles requiring a safety certificate are:

  • cars
  • motorcycles
  • trailers (including caravans) with an aggregate trailer mass (ATM) of 750kg-3,500kg
  • any other vehicles up to 4,500kg gross vehicle mass (GVM).

This inspection covers the basics for the safe operation of the vehicle, such as:

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

A safety certificate inspection is not a comprehensive mechanical inspection.

A safety certificate is not needed in some situations.

Display a Safety Certificate?

The safety certificate must be displayed in an obvious area, such as:

  • motorcycle—on the front forks or guard
  • car—on the windscreen or window
  • trailer—on the drawbar.

When displayed, all information written on the certificate must be able to be seen clearly from outside the vehicle.

You can be fined over $560 if you don’t clearly display a safety certificate on a vehicle—from the moment you offer it for sale.

When is a safety certificate not needed?

Selling a vehicle without a safety certificate
Vehicles that are unregistered or are traded to, or between, licensed motor dealers do not need a safety certificate. Vehicles can still be sold for parts but they must be de-registered before being offered for sale.

Transferring a vehicle without a safety certificate 
You do not need a safety certificate if the vehicle meets 1 of the exemption criteria. Some exemption situations may include:

  • – the disposer being in an exempt area
  • – a beneficiary of a deceased estate
  • – between spouses (including separated married couples and registered partners – until such time that the divorce or application to end the registered relationship is finalised)
  • – remote locations.

For more information on safety certificate exemptions, call the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 23 80.

How long are safety certificates valid?

The time a safety certificate is valid depends on who is selling the vehicle:

  • licensed motor dealers—certificates are valid for 3 months or 1,000km (whichever comes first) from the date of issue
  • all other sellers—certificates are valid for 2 months or 2,000km (whichever comes first) from the date of issue.

You can use the same safety certificate to register an unregistered vehicle and then transfer the registration, as long as you do this within the limits set out above.

You will need to get a new safety certificate every time you sell a vehicle, even if you sell it within the limits set out above. A single safety certificate can be used for 1 transfer only.

Not found your question? Just ask us!