Roadworthy Certificates

About Roadworthy Certificates

Who issues Roadworthy Certificates?

In Victoria a Certificate of Roadworthiness is required for the sale of a vehicle or if you are re-registering a used vehicle. This is an important step to reduce the number of poorly maintained vehicles on the road. A Roadworthy Certificate is also required to clear a Vehicle Defect Notice.

A Certificate of Roadworthiness can only be issued by a vehicle tester licensed to do so, operating from a nominated workshop or service station.

When can a Roadworthy Certificate be issued?

The vehicle needs to pass an inspection for roadworthiness, and once any defects are rectified a certificate is issued.

What if the vehicle fails the test?

If any item fails to meet the standard, the licensed vehicle tester will issue a rejection report. You are given seven days to repair the item/s rejected and return the vehicle to the tester for a second inspection of the failed items. If more than seven days elapse a complete inspection must again be carried out on the vehicle.

What is inspected?

The inspection is a check of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle is safe for normal road use and specific components have not worn or deteriorated.

A roadworthy inspection only covers the major safety related items, including:

  • the overall structure of the vehicle itself
  • seats and belts
  • reflectors and lamps
  • tyres and wheels
  • suspension, steering and braking systems
  • windows and windscreen, including front windscreen wipers blades and washer sysytem
  • other safety related items on the chassis, body or engine.

The roadworthiness test is not a check of the mechanical reliability or general condition of the vehicle. If you require a comprehensive check on the overall condition and reliability of the vehicle then you should arrange for a separate independent report such as those offered by the RACV or VACC.

The certificate does not mean:

That the vehicle is in top condition without any wear or deterioration

  • non-safety related accessories such as windows and rear-window wipers, rear electric window demister and the air conditioner are functioning.
  • that all the items looked at during the roadworthy inspection are guaranteed to function after the inspection eg. brake lights can burn out at any time after the inspection.

What about the Australian Design Rules?

The roadworthiness test is not a complete assessment of a vehicle’s compliance with the Standards for Registration, which, in most cases, are the Australian Design Rules (ADRs). The ADRs are a set of minimum standards for the construction of motor vehicles and trailers. In most cases compliance with these standards cannot be assessed by inspection alone.

Do you have a problem with the inspection or certificate for your vehicle?

If you believe that your vehicle was not roadworthy when you were given a certificate, then take the following steps:
1. - First check that the item in question is a required roadworthiness inspection item. See: Road Worthiness Requirements [PDF 1,638KB].
2. - Contact the tester who issued the certificate and explain your concerns. In many cases the problem will be resolved.
3. - If you have not resolved the issue, obtain an independent inspection from another licensed tester to support your claim and present a copy of this to the first tester. 
4. - In the case where an inspection by an independent tester confirms your doubt and the inspector you are at issue with is not cooperating, then you are advised to send a written complaint with supporting documentation to VicRoads, Roadworthiness Section, 60 Denmark Street KEW 3101 or call the VicRoads Roadworthiness Supervisors on 1800 816 727.

 

How much does the test cost?

The cost of obtaining a Certificate of Roadworthiness is not fixed. It may depend on the age, type and condition of the vehicle being examined. You can ask for a quote from the licensed vehicle tester.

How long does a certificate last?

A Certificate of Roadworthiness is current, for the purposes of a transaction, for 30 days from the date of issue.

What are your legal rights?

VicRoads does not have authority to require the tester to make good your vehicle or otherwise compensate you. These are matters for civil action.

You can seek professional legal advice from a solicitor, take your dispute to the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or through the Magistrates court.
In the event that a vehicle is purchased through a Licensed Motor Car Trader (LMCT) Consumer Affairs Victoria are often able to resolve the matter through negotiation with the LMCT.

More information
Contact VicRoads Roadworthiness Section on 1800 816 727.