Everything you need to know about your Vehicle Registration (Rego) Check
A vehicle registration check (also called rego) is a free check you can do online to verify your car’s registration, expiration date, find out any suspensions, cancellations, or restrictions that have been on your car, and verify your 3rd Party Compulsory Insurance.
1. Why should I check my registration?
Checking your rego gives you peace of mind by ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy and in good legal standing.
As a car buyer, it’s a good idea to check your rego online to make sure the history of the vehicle you’re buying is good and there are no serious mechanical issues.
Each territory in Australia has a vehicle registration to keep track of unsafe or stolen vehicles. Should you be involved in an accident or photographed for speeding, your rego is checked automatically.
Any vehicles that have been stolen, have stolen engines, or serious mechanical issues that make them no longer road-worthy are “written off”, which you can find by doing the registration check.
If you’re caught driving without proper registration, you risk getting a $500 fine or having your car seized (even if you’re not the owner of the car you’re driving).
There is a difference between a simple rego check, and a complete car history check:
- Rego check: is completely free, and available online. A rego check essentially tells you the bare minimum - whether your car has been registered or not.
- Car history check: is much more detailed, and gives you the detail that a simple rego check doesn’t. A car history check isn’t necessary but may be useful if you’re buying a used car or want more information on your car.
2. How to do a free rego check online
Overall, the process and price of renewing rego are pretty consistent across all of Australia. Almost every territory has a way to renew online, with the exception of Tasmania.
At the end of this article, you can find a list of links to your specific state’s website for rego checks and renewal.
Simply enter the number of the vehicle’s plates you want to run a check on. The free check returns your registration expiry date, any suspensions or cancellations, restrictions, concessions (extra charges transferred to the buyer of the car), and 3rd Party Compulsory Insurance and expiry date.
3. How to order a complete car history report
For more information on your vehicle, you may also order a car history. Vehicle histories cost $22.00. The vehicle history is much more detailed and includes:
- if the vehicle was written off (and why) anytime since 2004
- if the vehicle, the plates, or engine were even stolen
- Number of registered operators
- Past use (e.g. taxi, hire car, etc.)
- If the vehicle has single or joint registered operators
- The vehicle’s first registration date
4. How to renew your rego?
Rego needs to be renewed every 12 months. This involves a check known as the eSafety Check (also called a pink slip), which can be done at any accredited mechanic’s shop.
The test checks for basic roadworthiness of your vehicle, including tyres, brakes, steering, mirrors, lights, leaks, and seatbelts. The cost of a safety check is $40.
You’ll get an automatic two-week reminder in the mail when it’s time to renew your rego. However, there’s no grace period for not having rego, so it’s important not to put it off.
5. How to pay for your registration
Most states (except Tasmania) allow you to pay for rego renewal online, and accept major credit cards as well as BPAY. If you pay your registration in person, service centers will also accept cash, cheque, and money order.
For Tasmania, you’ll need to visit a Service Tasmania shop in person to renew and pay for your rego.
First-time registration process varies by region, and may include the following:
- Getting a quote for your registration
- In-person inspection of your vehicle
- Application form
- Lodging your application in person
Rego checks offer a lot of peace of mind, as a quick and easy way to check that your car is sound (legally and mechanically).
You can check rego for free online before you buy a car to make sure it hasn’t been stolen or written off for mechanical failures.
Remember to renew your rego every 12 months, otherwise, you risk getting a $500 fine should you be stopped without rego.
Here are the rego check and renewal links to your specific state:
- Rego check
- Rego renewal (Note: TAS doesn’t seem to have online rego renewal, you need to visit a Service Tasmania shop to pay your renewal fees.)