Registering an interstate or overseas vehicle

If your vehicle is from interstate or overseas, here's how to get the right registration so you can use it on NSW roads.

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Which vehicles need NSW registration

All vehicles must be registered before you can drive them on NSW roads. This includes caravans and trailers.

If the vehicle is kept or garaged in NSW, you need to get a NSW registration. If the vehicle is temporarily in NSW, an interstate or overseas registration is acceptable under the following conditions.

Visitors to NSW

If you are visiting from interstate you are allowed to drive in NSW using your interstate registration provided:

  • your vehicle is in NSW temporarily
  • your home state registration is current
  • you display the number plates and registration labels required by your home state.

Overseas vehicles visiting NSW

Vehicles that are registered overseas and only in NSW temporarily do not need NSW registration, as long as all plates and labels required by the overseas registration authority are displayed.

We recommend you carry the overseas Certificate of Registration when you use the vehicle.

Overseas visiting vehicles do not need compulsory third party insurance. If there is an accident and a NSW third party personal injury claim is made involving a visiting overseas vehicle, the claim is administered by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority.

For more information;

Interstate vehicles kept or garaged in NSW

Vehicles kept or garaged in NSW are required to be registered in NSW. If they are not registered in NSW, they are considered to be unregistered and cannot be driven (or towed in the case of a caravan or trailer) on NSW roads.

There are heavy penalties for driving an unregistered or uninsured vehicle.

An interstate vehicle that is kept or garaged in NSW may be in breach of its home state registration. If the interstate authority requires the vehicle to be garaged in its home state, they may cancel or suspend the registration if it is garaged in NSW.

NSW Police may issue the vehicle operator with an unregistered vehicle penalty notice if:

  • the interstate vehicle is garaged and kept in NSW
  • the operator holds a NSW driver’s licence or is a resident of NSW
  • the operator drives or uses the vehicle on NSW roads.

Rules on interstate vehicles for corporations

Corporations must not cause, permit or allow interstate vehicles to be used in NSW unless:

  • The vehicle has been owned, controlled or managed by the corporation for less than 90 days.
  • The vehicle was outside NSW for at least 48 hours in the last 90 days.
  • The corporation is in the vehicle leasing or hiring business, and the vehicle was leased or hired to the same person for the last 90 days.

How to apply for NSW registration

To apply for NSW registration for a vehicle with interstate registration, follow the same steps as you would to register any other used or secondhand vehicle.

What happens to your interstate number plates

When you register an interstate vehicle in NSW, Transport for NSW assigns NSW plates, records the interstate plates and sends this information to the interstate authority.

You’ll be issued with a receipt, which you can take to the interstate authority if you are eligible for a registration refund.

States that allow you to keep old number plates

Some states and territories allow you to keep number plates when they are no longer associated with a vehicle. This includes:


  • ACT - all number plates may be kept.
  • Queensland - you may keep all personalised and custom plates.
  • South Australia - you may keep all personalised and custom plates.
  • Victoria - you may keep all personalised and custom plates.
  • Tasmania - you may keep all personalised and custom plates.
  • NT - all number plates may be kept.

All Western Australian plates must be surrendered

If you are applying for a refund of registration from an interstate jurisdiction, you will need to return the number plates and obtain a receipt for the surrender of plates.

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