Meeting the standards
To be registered, your vehicle must be suitable for safe use (roadworthy) and meet the standards required by law.
Checking your vehicle
Regularly check that your windscreen wipers and washers, horn and seatbelts are working.
Check your lights are working, including headlights, brake lights and indicators. You must not drive at night if your lights are not working.
Your tyres (including the spare) must be in good condition. They must not be smooth and must have a tread at least 1.5mm deep. They must be inflated to the recommended pressure, and must not have any cracks or bumps or be worn unevenly.
Police can stop your vehicle and inspect it at any time. If your vehicle is not safe to drive, they can give you a Defect Notice. For example, you can get a Defect Notice if your vehicle:
- is too noisy, drips oil or blows too much smoke
- has a bull bar that’s not safe or does not meet standards – for example, if it has pointed corners or sharp edges
- has an accessory that is not fitted correctly – for example, a fishing rod holder, spotlight mount, or winch.
See protrusions on vehicles in vehicle standards.
If you get a Defect Notice, you must repair your vehicle by the due date on the notice. Some repairs must be cleared by an authorised person, such as a vehicle inspector. Find an Authorised Inspection Station (AIS).
Your registration can be suspended if you do not repair the defect by the due date.
A vehicle with a significant modification must be assessed and certified before it can be registered. This must be done by a licensed certifier under the Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme (VSCCS). They’ll make sure the modification and vehicle meet the standards and do not cause a safety risk.
Modifications may also affect your vehicle insurance and warranty cover. Some modifications can make your vehicle less stable and affect its performance. See Modified and non-standard vehicles.
Provisional P1 and P2 drivers must not drive vehicles with modifications that increase engine performance. See Licence restrictions.