Majority of NSW cars no longer need rego stickers
As of January 2013, the NSW Government abolished registration stickers for light vehiclesi. Including cars, motorcycles and scooters, a light vehicle can weigh up to 4.5 tonnes; light vehicles account for 97% of vehicles registered in NSWii.
The change was made after a government review found that the registration stickers, which have been around since 1932, are no longer necessary to support the compliance and enforcement of vehicle registration and other laws. The review suggested that a visible label was not a reliable indicator of valid vehicle registrationiii.
According to the review, abolishing registration stickers would save the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) $575,000 a year as they will no longer need to produce them, but that saving will not be passed on to vehicle owners.
Vehicles that still require registration stickers include heavy vehicles that weigh more than 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (this includes trucks and buses), vehicles registered under the Conditional Registration Scheme and vehicles that have been issued an Unregistered Vehicle Permit.
Is your car registered?
You can check your car's registration by using the myRTA registration tool online.
All light vehicle owners can now remove the registration sticker from their car, as it's no longer an offence to not display a current registration or even to display an expired or damaged sticker.
From now on, the NSW Police will be using number plate recognition cameras to detect if your vehicle is registered. Fixed enforcement cameras will also be able to detect unregistered vehicles on the road.
The RMS will still be sending out registration renewal notices in the mail, as well as a reminder letter when your registration has lapsed by two weeks.
According to the Minister for Roads Duncan Gay, "Vehicle owners will continue to receive notifications from the Roads and Maritime Services and from CTP insurers reminding them to renew their registration and insurance."
If you happen to be driving a vehicle that you don't own, you will still be held responsible for it being registered and insured. Driving an unregistered vehicle is a fineable offence, which can attract an infringement notice fine of over $500.
"There is no excuse for driving a car unregistered and uninsured – you will be caught. Vehicle owners will continue to receive notifications from the Roads and Maritime Services and from CTP insurers reminding them to renew their registration and insurance," Mr Gay said.
Buying a used car
If you're looking to buy a used car, you should ask the seller for the vehicle registration papers or alternatively you can use the online free registration check service to find out the status of registration.
Other states that have already abolished registration stickers are Tasmania (from 1 September 2012), South Australia (from 1 July 2011) and Western Australia (from 1 January 2010)i. The ACT will be abolishing the label on 1 July 2013iv.
The remaining states and territories in Australia that still require a registration sticker have been notified by the NSW Government, so you won't face any problems when travelling interstate.
i Roads & Maritime Services (RMS), NSW Government, 2013, No more rego stickers for light vehicles < Registration, http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/registration/index.html
ii Transport for NSW, 2012, Making life easier: NSW to abolish registration stickers for cars, http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/making-life-easier-nsw-abolish-registration-stickers-cars
iii Better Regulation Office, 2012, Review of Registration Labels for Light Vehicles, http://www.betterregulation.nsw.gov.au/targeted_reviews/review_of_registration_labels_for_light_vehicles
iv Road Transport Authority, ACT Government, No Registration Labels for Light Vehicles from 1 July 2013, http://www.rego.act.gov.au/Whatsnew/regolabelabolish.htm