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Registering motor vehicles and motorcycles

Motor vehicles and motorcycles travelling on Queensland roads must be registered. This way, the department can identify and manage registered operators and support the safety and security of Queensland's road transport. Registration fees also provide essential funding for the development and maintenance of our road network.

Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance

Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance is collected with vehicle registration. It indemnifies vehicle owners and drivers who are legally liable for personal injury to any other party in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Registration also allows common safety standards to be enforced and provides an efficient system to prevent the re-registration of stolen vehicles.

Note: When registering a vehicle that will be used for more than 1 purpose, the CTP insurance class attracting the highest premium is applicable. If you use a vehicle for private use and you are also considering renting your vehicle, the department advises that you should contact your CTP insurer to discuss your CTP obligations.

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Selecting the correct purpose of use (POU)

The purpose of use (POU) of a vehicle identifies what the vehicle is to be used for. It is recorded by the department to:

  • identify vehicles subject to 6 or 12 month inspections
  • determine the appropriate fees, in particular CTP
  • assist in the identification of vehicles that may be eligible for family vehicle registration freeze
  • assist with on-road enforcement.

When there is more than 1 purpose of use

If there is more than 1 POU, you must select the purpose attracting the highest registration charge.

Note: The POU selected may alter the registration charged. Businesses, trusts and organisations are not eligible for 'private' POU.

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How do I register my new motor vehicle or motorcycle?

The majority of new vehicles (never been registered before) will be registered on your behalf through the dealership you have purchased the vehicle from. If not, to register your motor vehicle or motorcycle, you need to go to a customer service centre or if you live in a rural area, a Queensland Government Agency Program office, a Magistrates Court or a local police station. Please note that you are required to take your vehicle with you as it may need to be inspected.

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How do I register my unregistered motor vehicle or motorcycle (secondhand)

To register a secondhand vehicle in Queensland you must legally move the vehicle to get a safety certificate. This ensures all vehicles registered in Queensland meet the safety requirements for operation on Queensland roads.

Before you can move your vehicle from its place of purchase or from where it is currently garaged, you must:

  1. complete a Vehicle Registration Application form (F3518) (this form is also available at customer service centres)
  2. organise a CTP insurance certificate for the 6 or 12 month registration period of the vehicle through a licensed insurer
  3. ensure the plate(s) and label have been removed from the vehicle—standard Queensland plate(s) must be surrendered to the department or their agent.

Note: if your vehicle is currently under a Number Plate Confiscation Notice issued by the Queensland Police Service (QPS), you cannot register your vehicle during the confiscation period. For more information on the notice, you will need to contact QPS directly by visiting the Motor Vehicle Impoundment page on the QPS website.

Carry a completed form F3518 and your CTP insurance certificate with you to allow you to legally travel in your vehicle on the shortest and most direct route to:

  • an Approved Inspection Station (AIS) to obtain a safety certificate
  • an authorised gas installer to obtain a gas certificate (if applicable).

Note: If your vehicle does not pass a safety certificate, and the work cannot be done at the AIS, you will need to obtain an unregistered vehicle permit if the vehicle is considered to be in a safe condition. Otherwise the vehicle must be transported.

Once you have obtained a safety certificate and a gas certificate (if applicable) you are permitted to travel directly to a customer service centre to apply for vehicle registration.

Please refer to the pre-registration checklist before applying for vehicle registration.

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Registering a motor vehicle or motorcycle that is currently registered interstate

If you and your vehicle move to Queensland, the vehicle must be registered in Queensland within 14 days of your move and establishment of your new garage address. If you fail to re-register your vehicle in Queensland, you may be fined.

Note: The registered operator of an interstate vehicle is responsible for contacting the relevant interstate authority for any refund and cancellation requirements as the requirements may vary from state to state. You may surrender your interstate number plate(s) to a customer service centre, or to a department agent (you will be issued a receipt). If the interstate plate(s) are not surrendered to the department, you will be required to surrender the plate(s) to the issuing interstate authority.

Please refer to the pre-registration checklist before applying for vehicle registration.

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Pre-registration checklist—what will I need to take with me when I register my motor vehicle or motorcycle?

When you arrive at a customer service centre, you can make the process of registration quicker and easier if you have the following required documentation with you:

  • a completed Vehicle Registration Application form (F3518)
    • Available from any customer service centre or, if you live in a rural area, a Queensland Government Agency Program office, Magistrates Court or your local police station.
  • a compulsory third party insurance certificate, for the 6 or 12 month registration period, from a licensed insurer
    • The original copy of the certificate must be presented to the department when lodging your application.
    • If your vehicle is currently registered interstate you can nominate a compulsory third party insurer on your application form.
  • an original copy of your current Queensland safety certificate
  • a gas certificate that is less than 3 months old
    • If your vehicle runs on gas or is fitted with gas fittings or systems, you must provide a gas certificate from an authorised gas installer.
    • If you are unable to obtain a gas certificate because there is no person who is authorised to issue gas inspection certificates within a reasonable distance of your residence, you must provide a gas exemption certificate issued by the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.
      Note: new vehicles fitted with gas fittings or systems by the manufacturer do not require a gas certificate.
  • a weighbridge certificate or other acceptable evidence of the vehicle's tare (unladen) weight (required only for vehicles with a gross vehicle mass over 4.5 tonnes)
  • evidence of the vehicle's origin
    • Old registration papers or an official purchase receipt are acceptable.
  • evidence of the vehicle's garage address
    • Current Queensland driver licence, property rates notice, gas, phone or electricity bill are acceptable.
    • Bank statement issued from the same financial institution as debit/credit card supplied (issued within the last 6 months).
  • evidence of identification
    • For individuals
    • For organisations
      • Organisation identification is required if you are registering a vehicle in an organisation's name for example, certificate of incorporation (issued by the Office of Fair Trading), business registration (issued by the Office of Fair Trading), certificate of registration of a company (issued by ASIC—Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and so on.
      • To register a vehicle in a business name, the proprietor of the business must also bring their Queensland driver licence as identification.
      • If the proprietor is an organisation, evidence of identity of the organisation is required.
    • For organisation representatives
      • Must also bring proof that they are acting on behalf of the organisation.
      • Evidence of representation includes one of the following: a person is in their organisation's uniform, a business card or business identification, the person is a regular representative for the organisation at the customer service centre, documentation from the organisation on official letterhead, as well as the representative's personal identification, such as their Queensland driver licence.
  • a means of paying the registration fees.

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Common due dates where 5 or more vehicles are registered to 1 operator

A common due date (CDD) can be applied to the registration expiry date of 5 or more vehicles, registered in the same operator's name, to ensure that they all expire on the same date regardless of when each vehicle was initially registered.

For organisations with a large fleet of vehicles, a CDD may assist in the better management and control of vehicle registration renewals.


To maintain a CDD renewal each year an organisation or private individual must have either:

  • 5 or more vehicles registered to the same customer reference number (CRN)
  • 5 or more dealer or trailer trade plates registered to the same CRN

An organisation or private individual may apply to have more than 1 CDD, provided there are 5 or more vehicles for each CDD.

Information required

  • Name of the organisation, company/business name, or individual name/s.
  • Customer Reference Number (CRN), Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABN) if known.
  • The date preferred for a CDD or should you require more than one CDD, provide additional dates.
  • A list of the registration numbers to be attached to the CDD and if more than one CDD is requested, a list of registration numbers for each date.
  • If an individual or joint registered operators request a CDD, the request must be signed by all parties to ensure they all agree to having their registration on a CDD.
  • If a company/business requires a CDD, the organisation’s proprietor, fleet manager or someone in authority should sign the request.

How to apply or for further information

  • In person at a customer service centre
  • Post: Department of Transport and Main Roads
    Common Due Date Officer, GPO Box 1412
    Brisbane Qld 4001

Note: A CDD cannot be removed or added to registration via the internet

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Refer to registration fees to obtain a quote on the registration charges for new registration or registration renewal. Vehicle registration duty may also apply.

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What happens if my motor vehicle or motorcycle registration has expired?

If you have not paid your registration fees, do not drive your vehicle or motorcycle after its registration has expired. Your vehicle will be unregistered and you may be fined.

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Last updated
17 January 2014