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When can you drive an unregistered vehicle legally?

You can only drive an unregistered vehicle if you're going to get it registered.

You can only drive an unregistered car in Australia if you're heading to get it registered. Make sure you take the most direct route and go to the nearest convenient inspection station.

Driving your unregistered vehicle to get it registered

Whether you're driving to obtain a pink slip (registration renewal) or a blue slip (unregistered vehicle inspection), you are legally permitted to drive your unregistered vehicle on the road. However, keep in mind:

  • You must go to the closest possible registration venue (no visiting your favourite mechanic a little further away).
  • You must use the shortest and easiest direct route.
  • You cannot make any stops along the way there or back, for example, stopping off for groceries or taking an unnecessary detour.
  • Deviation will likely land you a hefty fine.

You might be asked to provide evidence that you're heading over to get your vehicle registered, so might need to provide proof of your appointment or a receipt showing payment for that day.

What is an Unregistered Vehicle Permit and can I get one?

In certain situations, you may be forced to drive an unregistered vehicle for a limited amount of time for a very specific purpose. This could be the result of purchasing a vehicle interstate and having to drive it back home to get it registered, or it could be a one-off move of a vehicle from one place to another, or you may need to drive your unregistered racecar on the road.

In Australia, you can apply for an Unregistered Vehicle Permit (UVP) at your road and transport authority. This will allow you to undertake a specific journey or set of journeys over a period of up to 28 days. Keep in mind that this is not intended to replace full vehicle registration and any departure from the approved use will result in the usual fees and consequences. As with any car, you must have the proper official proof that your vehicle is in a safe condition following an inspection. You'll be given a permit and a label that you should keep on display at all times.

NSW Unregistered Vehicle Permit

The method of obtaining a UVP differs from state to state, but you can obtain one in NSW by visiting your nearest Service NSW centre.

What if I get pulled over?

While the above uses are permitted in Australia, it's highly possible that any police who pull you over because you lack the proper registration may not be aware of the laws surrounding them. To avoid problems:

  • Ensure you have ready proof that you're going where you say you're going. This could be a copy of your safety check or inspection receipt.
  • Know your rights in court if you are issued a fine by the police.
  • Renew your registration before it expires to dodge the hassle in the first place.

Need to insure your car? Make sure you're comparing policies

Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or market value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Youi Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
Bingle Comprehensive
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Kogan Comprehensive
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 from its online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.

⭐ Current offer: Get $115 off first year premiums when you purchase Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance online + $10 monthly credit. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those after a good range of policy options.
Qantas Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct). .

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Car Insurance policy you take out by 7 February. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    CarolOctober 6, 2021

    A Short Term Unregistered Vehicle Permit (Tasmania) includes third party insurance. Can I add 3rd party property to this? How much would it cost and what would it cover?

      JamesOctober 14, 2021Finder

      Hi Carol,

      It’s best to contact the provider directly about this, to see if they’ll let you extend the policy so that it meets your needs.


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