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Blue Slips: What you should know

Make sure your unregistered vehicle is ready for inspection with our handy guide to blue slips

Updated

Fact checked

Whether you've been off the road for a while and your registration has lapsed, or you've found a great deal for an unregistered car, you're probably going to need a blue slip before you can get your vehicle registered. But what is a blue slip? What's involved in an inspection and how much is it going to cost? Read on to find out what's involved in getting a blue slip and how you get your unregistered vehicle roadworthy and rolling again.

What is a blue slip?

A blue slip is a letter from your mechanic stating that an unregistered vehicle is safe, and that it meets design and identity standards. Your vehicle will need to pass various tests before you can receive a blue slip, and you won't be able to register an unregistered vehicle without one.

How much do blue slips cost?

The cost of a blue slip will depend on the type of vehicle and is separate to pink slip and registration fees. We got these costs from the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) website. Costs are for NSW only.

Type of vehicleCost
Light vehicle$66
Motorcycle$41
Trailer without brakes$34
Trailer with brakes$48

Blue slip requirements

A blue slip involves an inspection of your car's tyres, lights, fluids, suspension, seatbelts, brakes and checks for any leaks. A similar inspection is done for pink slips, but a blue slip inspection is more thorough. It also involves an identity check which ensures that the vehicle or its parts are not stolen. Your vehicle must also be up to its manufacturer's standards. You can find this in your vehicle's guide, or if none was provided, by a simple search of your vehicle's make and model on the Internet.

Blue slip checklist

If you're taking your unregistered vehicle in for a blue slip inspection, you'll need to take along a few things. Firstly, you will need proof of your identity, such as a driver's licence.

You will also need to provide proof that you have bought the car. This can be a document such as a Certificate of Registration completed and signed on the back by the previous owner, a bill of sale from an auction house or motor dealer, or a completed Notice of Disposal signed by the last owner of the car.

You will need to make sure your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition and make any necessary repairs before it can pass inspection.

When do you need a blue slip?

You will need to get a blue slip if your vehicle's registration has been expired for more than three months, or if it was brought into New South Wales from interstate or overseas. While these are the most common reasons, you will also need a blue slip if your vehicle:

  • Has no number plates.
  • Was previously written off.
  • Requires adjustments in its registration records because something about the vehicle has changed significantly, such as a new engine.
  • Needs defect notices cleared.

How long does a blue slip last?

Once your vehicle has passed inspection and you have been issued a blue slip, you have 42 days to use it to register your vehicle. If you don't get your vehicle registered during this time you will need to take your car in for another blue slip inspection.

How hard is it to get a blue slip?

Compared to a pink slip, blue slip inspections are far more rigorous and come at a higher cost (pink slips are generally around $30). Blue slips require more thorough safety and operation checks, and check identification numbers on the vehicle and its parts, such as the engine number, to make sure that nothing has been reported stolen. If a check comes back with evidence of stolen parts, the police may investigate and you will need to supply proof that you bought the vehicle or its stolen part/s legally.

How to get a blue slip for a motorcycle

Getting a blue slip for a motorcycle is similar to getting one for a car. A thorough check is conducted by your mechanic, though it is a simpler inspection as a bike has fewer features to check than a car. Make sure you have completed all necessary repairs to make your motorcycle roadworthy and have your paperwork ready for inspection and registration.

How to get a blue slip for a trailer

Like a motorcycle, trailers are slightly easier to get passed for blue slip inspections. During an inspection your mechanic will check your wheel bearings, winch and tyres, so be sure they are all in good working order before going in.

Blue slips won't protect your car - but comprehensive car insurance can

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Bingle consistently come up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. They only cover the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps their premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low cost option that covers them for the basics.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to pick and choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be thanks to optional extras like roadside assistance, choice of your own repairer, and the option of agreed or market value. Plus, you'll earn Qantas Points when you join and get access to the Qantas Wellness App.

Who it might be good for: People who love collecting frequent flyer points.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription - you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at anytime. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who only need cover for a short period of time.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in their policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also have a live chat feature on their site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. They'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. They offer higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. You get a free Bauer magazine subscription when you sign up and a portion of your premiums go to supporting female-led businesses.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (they'll cover men too!).
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. You'll get 15% off when you buy online and get access to their hail hero service.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy that's affordable.
Real Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Real Comprehensive Car Insurance provides similar coverage to other insurers for the important stuff like looking after your car if it's stolen or you crash. They're also one of the few insurers who offer a Pay As You Drive policy, so you might be able to save big if you don't drive much.

Who it might be good for: Those that don't drive much can take advantage of their Pay As You Drive policy.
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include but you'll also be entitled to some benefits on their online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online. Plus, Kogan offer a pay as you drive option, which could be good if you're not on the road that much.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those that don't drive much.
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