Safety Certificates

Safety inspections – required for registration transfer in Queensland.

There are plenty of myths about safety certificates, hopefully this page will help dispel a few. We are an Authorised Inspection Station (#10341), and can issue Safety Certificates. If you require a mobile service to visit you, we can recommend All Class Safety Certificates.

  • Safety Certificates, also known as Roadworthy Certificates, RWCs, or “Roadies”, basically ensure the car will try it’s hardest to not kill or injure you, or other road and footpath users, or damage the environment within the limits of current legislation. A certificate is, in most cases, required to transfer registration between owners in Qld.
  • They are not a guarantee that a car is “good”. For instance, a car can have an engine that is about to fail dramatically, but if no problem is obvious during the inspection, there is no legal recourse. But many items which could be a potential problem are identified, such as brake and electrical condition.
  • Certificates from other states, territories or countries are meaningless in Qld, no matter how recent.
  • Some minor problems might not cause a car to fail. For example, yukky paintwork or non-structural rust which does not pose a hazard may be OK. “Dry” oil leaks are usually not a problem, but oil that drips on the ground or other vehicle components is. Some windscreen chips are acceptable, most are not.
  • Sometimes you don’t need to get a certificate, but those situations are in the minority. There is a good description of when a Safety Certificate is required at the Transport & Main Roads website, here.
  • If a vehicle fails an inspection, you have 14 days to rectify the problem, and return the car to be re-inspected. You don’t have to return to the same inspector, but you need to present the original inspection form with the vehicle, and will have to pay the inspection fee again. If a car fails an inspection, and doesn’t return for re-inspection to the same inspector, the TMR may audit the vehicle’s roadworthiness and the final inspection documentation.
  • You don’t need to have any problems rectified by the inspecting station, you can go elsewhere to do them, or even do them yourself if you are capable of doing so. Just as long as the repairs comply with the Code of Practice (see below).
  • Our current fee is $80 (the TMR prescribed fee is currently $82.85). Vehicles that require excessive effort (for example, to examine the rear brake systems) will attract an extra $60 charge. There is no charge for a re-inspection if we did the initial inspection.
  • Late model cars and well-maintained vehicles have little to fear from a safety inspection, but older vehicles that have been modified, crashed, or generally neglected often fail. Older cars also suffer from rubber and plastic components that perish with age, so a car can wear out without even being driven. Tyres also have a use-by date.
  • Inspection stations that fail vehicles don’t fail them because they are strict; all inspectors need to follow the same rules, prescribed by the TMR. If you really want to know what is required, you can view the standards here.
  • There may be inspectors or stations which allow some vehicles to pass a Safety Inspection while not fully meeting the required criteria. We are not one of those stations, every car gets strictly examined as directed by TMR.

Selling your car, or rego transfer required ASAP?  Don’t wait until Friday!
A Safety Certificate lasts two months, so it’s worth getting in early. Here’s a common example of why you should:
You ask $4000 for your car, and someone offers you that amount. You’ve advertised the car as roadworthy, so now you need to get a certificate. On inspection, both front tyres are worn, and a wheel alignment is required. The front shocks are leaking, and there is a star fracture in the centre of your windscreen. In ideal conditions, the car may feel as if it drives fine, and it looks immaculate. But all those items need rectification, probably at a cost of over $1000. So you probably should have advertised your car for $5000, because now you’ll only get three. Also, the buyer will need to wait while the problems are rectified. If you took the car in for an inspection on Friday afternoon, and it failed, the repairs probably wouldn’t be able to be completed until the next week. Even if you could do them yourself, you would need to wait until Monday for a re-inspection, with the hope that those repairs are sufficient.

Moving from interstate?
Queensland has some of the tightest road safety controls in Australia, so if your car hasn’t had a checkup in a while there may be some items that you weren’t aware were a problem. We see many vehicles that have been purchased in NSW, SA or (especially) WA that are essentially unregisterable in QLD, which comes as quite a shock to the owners. But usually the repairs required are straightforward, and cheaper than a new car by a longshot.

Remember, the only person who can legally judge the roadworthiness of a vehicle is someone who is currently licensed. Not your neighbour who was licensed back in the 70′s, or your uncle’s carpenter, or that person you follow on Pinterest. Play it safe, inspect early, before advertising.

Unregistered vehicle?
It is against the law to drive an uninsured vehicle on Queensland roads. If your car is unregistered, it is probably also uninsured. Here is the important part -  we cannot carry out the safety certificate inspection unless you can provide us with your receipt of Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. You can get this from anyone who sells car insurance. It will also allow you to drive an unregistered car to a garage for a safety certificate inspection.