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Approved inspection station scheme

The Department of Transport and Main Roads manages inspection and certification schemes to ensure all vehicles meet minimum safety requirements before being registered and used on a road. To ensure that this minimum safety standard is met, the department requires all vehicles to have a safety certificate or certificate of inspection (also known as inspection certificate or roadworthy certificate) before a registered vehicle is offered for sale in Queensland, or when re-registering an unregistered vehicle.

Vehicle safety inspections are conducted by accredited approved examiners at an approved inspection station (AIS). If the vehicle has no defects and is safe to use on a public road, an inspection certificate may be issued to the owner or driver of the vehicle.

Recording engine numbers on inspection certificates

Before inspecting a vehicle for an inspection certificate, an approved examiner must be satisfied about the identity of the vehicle. For vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1989, the chassis number and engine number are required to confirm the identity of the vehicle. For vehicles manufactured after this date, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and engine number are used for identification purposes.

With the introduction of the Inspection Certificates Online (ICO) system, the VIN can be used to verify a vehicle (manufactured after 1 January 1989), and the registration plate and chassis number can be used for vehicles manufactured before 1989. The engine number is not required to verify a vehicle in ICO. However, it is still a legal requirement to record the engine number for a vehicle in ICO and on the inspection certificate.

The advice to approved examiners provides guidance when an engine number cannot be located on the vehicle. For more information, read the advice Recording engine numbers on inspection certificates (March 2017).

2016 industry information sessions

In late 2016, Transport and Main Roads conducted a number of industry information sessions across Queensland about the Approved Inspection Station (AIS) Scheme. The information sessions covered the following topics:

  • The Codes of Practice – Vehicle Inspection Guidelines
  • Inspection Certificates Online (ICO)
  • AIS approval process (including approval changes made in 2014)
  • Mobile AIS
  • AIS audit process.

Read more about the 2016 industry information sessions.

Inspection certificates online—available now

Inspection certificates online (ICO) is a web portal which enables AIS approval holders (including nominees) and approved examiners to complete and submit safety certificates and certificates of inspection directly and online to Transport and Main Roads.

ICO can be used for all vehicle inspection types, including light vehicles, light trailers, motorbikes, heavy vehicles and heavy trailers.

While Transport and Main Roads encourages all AISs and approved examiners to use ICO for all vehicle inspections, at this stage it is not compulsory for existing AISs to use ICO.

Transport and Main Roads is currently developing an ICO mobile app for Android and iOS and will be available in the first half of 2017.

For more information about ICO:

Find an AIS

Find an AIS allows customers to conduct an online search for an AIS. Customers will be provided with the address and phone number of any AIS that matches their search criteria, including whether the AIS issues online inspection certificates or has a mobile AIS.

AIS scheme changes and updates

When changes are made to the AIS scheme, it is important that industry and the general public are made aware of these changes. Information about any changes and updates is available in Information sheet 16: Important changes and updates to the AIS scheme. It is recommended that all AIS approval holders, nominees and approved examiners check this information sheet regularly.

It is also recommended that you regularly check the vehicle standards web page to ensure that you keep up to date with changes to vehicle standards.

AIS scheme information sheets

The following information sheets provide information about the AIS scheme and how you can make an application to become an AIS, a nominee or approved examiner and other applications you may need to make during your accreditation.

Information sheet 1
Introduction to the AIS scheme

Information sheet 2
Inspection area and equipment requirements

Information sheet 3
When an AIS approval holder is required to have a nominee

Information sheet 4
Making a new AIS application

Information sheet 5
Making changes to your AIS approval

Information sheet 6
Making changes to AIS business structure

Information sheet 7
Making a mobile AIS application

Information sheet 8
Multi-listing AIS

Information sheet 9
Purchasing inspection certificate books

Information sheet 10
Renewing your AIS approval

Information sheet 11
Surrendering your AIS approval

Information sheet 12
Making an approved examiner application

Information sheet 13
Approved examiner qualifications and experience requirements

Information sheet 14
Making changes to your approved examiner accreditation

Information sheet 15
Renewing your approved examiner accreditation

Information sheet 16
Important changes and updates to the AIS scheme

Information Sheet 17
AIS approval holder and nominee responsibilities

Information Sheet 18
Approved examiner responsibilities

Information Sheet 19
Inspection certificates online

Information Sheet 20
Compliance checks and enforcement action

AIS confirmation and compliance audits

If your application is granted and you are given an AIS approval notice, a confirmation audit may be conducted to verify that the information you provided, and equipment listed in your application, is correct. The department may also conduct compliance audits during the period of your AIS approval.

The audits are conducted by the department to assess your compliance with the conditions of your AIS approval notice and the performance of your approved examiners and nominees. If you have a mobile AIS listed on your AIS approval notice, the mobile AIS is required to be present at the AIS premises during the audit.

During the audit, you, your nominee or an approved examiner may be asked to demonstrate:

  • how to access current legislation, business rules, Light Vehicle Inspection Guidelines and National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (where applicable)
  • the operation of equipment that is being used as part of a thorough vehicle inspection.

The current audit checklist describes what an auditor will be looking at during the audit. The checklist can also be used as a tool to ensure that your AIS complies with the conditions of your AIS approval.

Contact details

The preferred method of contacting the AIS Administrator is by email at

Alternatively you may contact the AIS Administrator by:

Phone: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
Post: AIS Administrator
Department of Transport and Main Roads
PO Box 673
Fortitude Valley Qld 4006
Last updated
11 April 2019