Moving unregistered vehicles
You can apply for an unregistered vehicle permit to move an unregistered vehicle on the road. This is only for special circumstances when you need to move the vehicle from one place to another. The vehicle must be in a safe condition and must comply with the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 and its subordinate legislation or have a permit exempting the vehicle from any vehicle requirements. If the vehicle is not in a safe condition or does not comply with the standards, it must be transported or towed by a tow truck.
On this page:
When a permit is required
You will need a permit to move an unregistered vehicle if:
- the vehicle has been refused registration at a Department of Transport and Main Roads customer service centre and needs to be taken home
- it is to be repaired
- travelling to another state for registration
- it is prior to or after sale
- it is not practicable or reasonable to have the vehicle registered (eg. relocating an unregistered vehicle from one property to another when moving house)
- it is being used exclusively on private property and is going to another location
- it is a permanent living accommodation and is being taken to a new site e.g. caravan/motorised van
- you are getting a Certificate of Inspection (COI) for a vehicle that has an expired COI
- you are getting a modification plate
- you need to tow an unregistered vehicle, trailer or caravan
- you are using a Special Interest Vehicle (a vehicle more than 30 years old, historic ambulance, historic fire fighting equipment or hot rod) in a rally provided that all other permit requirements are met (e.g. a permit issued for an exemption from a vehicle standard)
- the vehicle is being used for display purposes, in conjunction with raffle ticket sales for a charitable organisation
- it is being used in a procession.
How to apply
Visit your nearest customer service centre with a completed Unregistered Vehicle Permit Application form (QF3523) and ensure you provide the following:
- payment of the fee for the unregistered vehicle permit
- Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance certificate (Class 22). For all CTP insurance information, see links to the individual insurers or the Motor Accident Insurance Commission website
- personal identification e.g. driver licence, Medicare card or debit/credit card (name embossed)
- any permit issued under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (if applicable) for example:
- police permit
- excess mass permit
- a permit issued for an exemption from a vehicle standard.
- CTP insurance is not required for caravans or trailers that are towed by either a Queensland registered vehicle or a vehicle with a Queensland unregistered vehicle permit.
- When an unregistered trailer or caravan is being towed from Queensland by a vehicle registered interstate, you must ensure that the CTP insurance of the towing vehicle covers the unregistered trailer or caravan within that state.
- The driver of the unregistered vehicle must carry the permit unless the vehicle is a trailer in which case the driver of the vehicle towing the trailer must carry the permit. An unregistered vehicle permit must be presented on demand to an authorised person.
- Standard number plates, customised or personalised plates must be removed while using your permit. Standard number plates must be surrendered before an unregistered vehicle permit will be issued. However, when an unregistered vehicle permit is issued to move an expired COI vehicle for inspection the standard number plates only need to be removed while using the permit. Customised or personalised plates must also be removed while using the permit to move an unregistered vehicle.
- If the permit is issued on conditions, it is void if the conditions are breached.
You could be fined for not complying with these conditions. No refund is applicable on expired permits.
When a permit cannot be issued
There are some circumstances when a permit cannot be issued to move your unregistered vehicle. These include:
- moving an unregistered vehicle with number plates attached
- moving a vehicle to Queensland from interstate. An unregistered vehicle permit must be issued by the state or territory where the journey starts
- moving vehicles that do not have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or Chassis number. An engine number may be used for cars manufactured prior to 1930
- if the vehicle is left-hand drive and less than 30 years old, or is left-hand drive and 4.5 tonnes or over
- if the vehicle is operating and/or carrying a load for hire or reward
- if the vehicle is a modified vehicle (e.g. specially constructed vehicle, stock cars)
- if the vehicle is being used for a wedding procession
- moving a written-off vehicle for any reason, including obtaining a Written Off Vehicle Inspection
- moving an imported vehicle or trailer, prior to it being certified as a compliant vehicle
- taking rubbish to the dump in an unregistered trailer
- moving vehicles that do not comply with the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Standards and Safety) Regulation 2010, unless the relevant permit is issued, or the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Mass Dimension and Loading) Regulation 2005, unless the relevant permit is issued or the vehicle is operating under a performance guideline (other than the Guideline for Conditionally Registered Vehicles in Queensland - form 17).
If a permit cannot be issued, the vehicle will need to be transported or towed by a tow truck.
Note: A permit cannot be issued to move a registered vehicle.
How long is my permit valid for?
Your permit will be valid from 12:01am of the first day of the journey until midnight on the last day of the journey, not 24 hours from the time of purchase. Permits may be issued from 1 day to a maximum 7 days. Your journey must be for the most direct route in the shortest possible time and will be issued only for the length of time required to make the journey. Please ensure that the dates on your permit and the dates for your CTP insurance cover (class 22) are the same.
When moving an unregistered vehicle from interstate to Queensland, you need an unregistered vehicle permit from the state or territory where the journey started.
You can travel through all states and territories (other than Western Australia), as they recognise Queensland-issued unregistered vehicle permits. If you are travelling through Western Australia, contact the Western Australia Department of Transport for more information.
If an unregistered trailer or caravan is being towed from Queensland by a vehicle registered interstate, you must ensure that the CTP insurance of the towing vehicle covers the unregistered trailer or caravan within that state.
Moving an unregistered vehicle without a permit
You may need to move your unregistered vehicle to obtain one of the following in order to register your vehicle:
- gas certificate
- weighbridge certificate
- safety certificate/COI certificate (including road testing as part of a safety certificate/COI inspection)
- written-off vehicle inspection (allowed for repairable write-offs only)
- Queensland Police Service inspection (surrogate)
- surrogate identification number/s stamped on the vehicle.
You can only move your unregistered vehicle to apply for registration by carrying a completed Vehicle Registration Application form (QF3518) and a valid CTP insurance certificate in the vehicle.
The vehicle is to be driven from where it is stored to the above location/s and then directly to a customer service centre or agent by the shortest route for registration. You must not stop anywhere else on the way.