Safety certificates

What is covered by a safety certificate?

It's a common misconception that a Queensland Safety Certificate, what used to be known as a “roadworthy”, is a comprehensive mechanical inspection that ensures a vehicle is in a good, reliable condition.

In fact, it only covers certain specified items to confirm the vehicle meets the minimum basic safety standards. 

It isn’t required to identify all defects, and even with a valid certificate, other faults or major mechanical issues could be present.

So, when buying a used vehicle, a professional pre-purchase inspection remains a “must have”.

The seller of a registered vehicle (cars and other light vehicles up to 4500kg GVM, trailers/caravans with ATM 750–3500kg and motorcycles) must obtain a Safety Certificate from an “approved inspection station” before advertising it for sale or disposing of the vehicle.

Once offered for sale, the certificate, if hand-written, must be displayed, or an electronic version must be available for inspection by a prospective purchaser or authorities.

The certificate will be required to transfer the registration when the vehicle is sold.

Certificates are also required when transferring to Queensland registration from another state or territory, or when re-registering an unregistered vehicle.

A certificate is not required if the vehicle is sold/traded to a dealer or is sold unregistered. 

There are certain other exemptions, such as remote areas and transfer between spouses. 

A Safety Certificate is only valid for a limited period and can only be used for one transaction.

Vehicles fitted with LPG (including caravans and campers) will also require a current gas certificate.

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