Getting Your Car Inspected For Registration – ACT vs NSW

Yearly registrations are a fact of life when it comes to car ownership, but being here on the border of the ACT and NSW means we regularly inspect cars following both the ACT Road Transport Authority and NSW Roads and Maritime rules. Many customers are confused by which inspections they’re required to complete in order to register their cars, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to break it down for you.


eSatefy Check

As a general rule, vehicles more than five years old require an eSafety Check (sometimes called a pink slip) to be passed before you’ll be able to renew your registration. It will state on your registration paperwork from the RMS if an inspection is necessary. 

You’ll need to take your car along to a registered eSafety Check station for the inspection. If your car passes, the details are forwarded onto the RMS but if your car fails you’ll be issued with a “white slip” detailing what needs to be repaired in order to pass your car. Once the repairs are complete it’ll need to be inspected again.

Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection

In some circumstances your car may need to have an authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection (sometimes called a blue slip) before it can be registered.

These circumstances include:

  • Registration that expired more than three months ago
  • If you’re bringing a vehicle into NSW from another Australian state, or another country
  • Vehicles with no number plates
  • Written off vehicles approved for re-registration
  • To adjust vehicle registration records, for example because something about the vehicle has changed significantly, such as a new engine
  • To clear defect notices.


Things are a little simpler in the ACT. There is no requirement for yearly inspections if nothing about the car has changed.

So when are inspections required? 

  • Any vehicle over 6 years old requiring a transfer of ownership
  • Interstate vehicles transferring to ACT registration
  • When registration has expired by more than 12 months
  • Defect clearances (unless directed to Road User Services, Dickson Motor Registry)
  • Establishment of registration

Bear in mind though that if you’re a public vehicle owner (taxis, hire cars and buses) or your vehicle weighs more than 4.5 tonnes you are required to have an inspection completed at the time of renewal.

You’ll also need a special inspection every 12 months if your car uses LPG.

If you meet any of the above criteria you’ll need to have your vehicle inspected at an Approved Inspection Station and if it passes you’ll be issued with a Certificate of Inspection that is valid for 1 month.

CTP Insurance

CTP (comprehensive third party) insurance is the other requirement you’ll need to fulfill in order to register your car in either state. In the ACT you can choose from 3 providers, while in NSW you’re spoilt for choice with dozens to choose from.

That is NSW and ACT Inspections in a nutshell. It’s always a good idea to check the ACT Road Transport Authority or NSW Roads & Maritime Authority websites for the most up to date information in case anything has changed since this article was written.

G&S are fully qualified and approved for both NSW and ACT inspections and are more than happy to provide you with advice to make sure you’re doing everything you need to in order to keep your car running smoothly and registered. Get in touch to book your car in for your next inspection.