Pink Slips: What to know

What is a pink slip and do I need one? Here's what you need to know about pink slips.

Whether you're registering a vehicle for the first time, or you've been behind the wheel for a few years, you may be required to get a pink slip. Inspection is a legal requirement and you cannot register your car without it. Depending on the age and condition of your car, it can be a breeze to pass. Here's what you need to know about pink slips.

What is a pink slip?

Despite the name, a pink slip isn't always pink. Also known as an eSafety check, a pink slip is a letter from your mechanic stating that your car is in good working order and fit for the roads. If your car is over a certain age, a pink slip will be required in order to register your car.

Your mechanic will inspect your car and either issue a pink slip or a list or repairs needed for it to pass inspection. Although you are under no legal obligation to carry out the repairs after the inspection, it is illegal to drive an unregistered and unroadworthy vehicle. The mechanic will also submit a report to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) on the outcome of the inspection.

How long does a pink slip last?

Once your vehicle has passed inspection and you've been issued your pink slip, you have up to 42 days to use it to register your vehicle. If you do not register within that time, you will be required to obtain another pink slip and pass inspection again. Depending on your length of registration, you will typically be required to get a pink slip annually. Your registration papers will state if an inspection is required.

How much do pink slips cost?

Pink slips have a standard cost, which depends on your vehicle, and are separate to the cost of registration.

Type of vehicleCost
Light vehicles$37.40
Motorcycles$22.20
Trailer without brakes$22.20
Trailer with brakes$29.50

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What does a mechanic check during a pink slip inspection?

When you go to get your pink slip, your mechanic will assess your vehicle on a number of factors, and run a variety of tests and checks that must be passed. Assessments generally take about 30 minutes. Your vehicle will be assessed on the following:

  • Tyre quality and tread depth
  • Vehicle body condition
  • Working electrics such as headlights, blinkers, interior lights and dash lights
  • Engine/suspension/exhaust and driveline condition
  • Seatbelt condition
  • Engine and driveline fluid leaks
  • Brake efficiency test

What requirements are there for a pink slip?

You will be required to get a pink slip if your car is more than five years old. If you fail inspection for a pink slip, you will need to make all required repairs and then have your vehicle inspected again. Generally, a mechanic won't charge you if your vehicle needs to be inspected again, though they are under no legal obligation to do so.

What happens if my car fails to pass an inspection?

Should your vehicle not pass an inspection, your mechanic will issue you a Repairs Needed report. This report states where your car failed the inspection and what repairs are required before a pink slip can be issued.

If you disagree with a mechanic's assessment of your car and the subsequent Repair Needed report, you are not obliged to have the repairs completed and you can go to a different mechanic for a second opinion and inspection. However, your car is required to pass inspection before a pink slip can be issued for registration.

Do I need a pink slip for a motorcycle?

You will be required to get a pink slip if you have a motorcycle that is more than five years old. A pink slip is needed for registration just like a car, with similar requirements to meet, such as an oil check, lights, blinkers and tyres tests. The inspection process is typically shorter for a motorcycle than a car and the cost is lower too.

What is a car safety check?

A car safety check is when a qualified mechanic inspects your car to identify issues that could affect your safety or the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.

Your pink slip inspection is just one example, but there are other situations where it's a good idea to go in for a safety check:

  • You're about to sell your car. Some states require you to provide the buyer with a roadworthy certificate showing that the car is safe to drive. Even if your state doesn't require it, it can be a good way to gain the trust of potential buyers.
  • You've just had a child. There's no better time to make sure your car is safe than when you've had a child who will be riding along with you.
  • You're getting other damage repaired. If you're taking your car in for repairs, it's a good idea to have your mechanic do a quick safety inspection to make sure nothing else got jiggled loose.
  • You have free servicing on a new car. Taking your car in for free servicing is a no-brainer. They'll usually do a safety check as part of the overall service.
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