Roadworthy Certificate : Complete Guide

How do you know whether your car is roadworthy or not? In NSW, there are criteria that ensure your vehicle is safe to drive on the road by providing a roadworthy certificate. This certificate proves that your vehicle has passed the safety inspection/test and is now allowed on the road.

In this blog, you’ll learn more about this certificate, the process of how to get it, when it is required, and its validity. Before you start your car, let’s first understand this term in NSW, Australia.

What is a Roadworthy Certificate?

Your vehicle must be safe while driving on the road. To keep it safe and roadworthy in NSW, every vehicle needs a regular safety inspection.

In Australia, vehicles more than five years old in NSW require yearly safety inspection reports. This safety inspection report is also known as a pink slip or roadworthy certificate and is needed to renew registration.

New cars don’t require a pink slip; however, the five-year exemption period is calculated from the month and year on the vehicle’s compliance plate. Five year exemption period for imported vehicles is calculated from the month and year of the vehicle’s manufacture.

Validity and Renewal of a Roadworthy Certificate

In NSW, once you receive the roadworthy certificate or pink slip for your vehicle, it will be valid for SIX months. When the SIX month validity is over you will have to get the roadworthy certificate to ensure its roadworthiness. 

Vehicles of more than 5 years old require this eSafety check to get a pink slip. 

Meeting the Standards

To be a registered vehicle, your vehicle must be suitable for roadworthiness (safe to use) and meet the standards required by the authority. 

What Happens if Your Vehicle Fail? : Defect Notice

If your vehicle doesn’t meet the roadworthy standards, police can stop and inspect your vehicle at any time. If they find out your vehicle isn’t safe to drive, they can issue a DEFECT NOTICE. In these situation, you may get a defect notice, if your vehicle:

  • Vehicles blow smoke, make noise, or drip oil.
  • Vehicle has BULL BAR, it doesn’t meet standard or is not safe ( especially with pointed corners or sharp edges)
  • Vehicle has inappropriate accessories (Such as. Fishing rod holder, spotlight mount or winch)

For more information see :  Fitting vehicle accessories | NSW Government 

In case, you receive a Defect Notice, you must:

  • Immediately, repair your vehicle by the due date on notice.
  • Get these repairs cleared by an authorised person, such as a vehicle inspector
  • Find an Authorised Inspection Station (AIS) for clearance.

If you failed to complete repairs of the defect by the due date, you will receive the suspension of your vehicle registration.  

Check Your Vehicle For Roadworthiness

To ensure your vehicle roadworthiness, regularly check the following:

  • Horn
  • Windscreen wipers and washers
  • Seatbelts
  • Lights:- 
  1. Headlights
  2. Brake lights
  3. Indicators

(DO NOT DRIVE at night if your vehicle’s lights aren’t working.)

  • Tyres (Including Spare) must:
  1. Be in good condition
  2. Have a tread at least 1.5mm deep
  3. Be inflated to the recommended pressure
  4. Not have any cracks, bumps or uneven wear. 

Modified Vehicles 

Modified vehicles must be inspected and certified before registration. If you have a significantly modified/ customised vehicle, you must choose a licensed certifier under the Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme (VSCCS). 

The professional certifier ensures the modification and vehicle meet safety standards and don’t pose a safety risk. 

Considerations for Modification include:

  • Potential impact on vehicle insurance and warranty cover
  • Possible effect on vehicle stability and performance 
  • If you’re a provisional P1 and P2 driver, you must not drive vehicles with modifications that increase engine performance.

For more details, it’s recommended to visit: Provisional P1 licence | NSW Government 


In conclusion, getting a roadworthy certificate is important if your vehicle is more than five years old. This safety inspection is called a pink slip or roadworthy certificate which is valid for six months. To be driveable on the road you must meet the safety standards and regularly check your vehicle. Failure to do so may result in receiving defect notice. I hope this blog provides you with a better understanding of roadworthiness. 
In case you no longer want to drive an old vehicle then consider a service like cash for cars Sydney can provide a profitable solution. Scraply buys old damaged vehicles and pays top dollars in exchange.

Hudson James

Hudson James

Hudson James has been with Scraply since 2015. He loves cars and cares about the environment. As a kid, he liked fixing cars with his dad. Later, he saw a car get wrecked and left on the street, which made him think about how to use old cars better. At Scraply, he helps people easily get rid of their old cars and make sure they're recycled. Hudson believes every old car should have a new life. He's happy to make the world better, one car at a time.

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