ARTICLE
20 March 2024

All you need to know about number plates in NSW

JS
JB Solicitors

Contributor

Our team would be known as inspiring leaders within the community, displaying strong leadership on important issues in society even if it comes at a short-term cost. In delivering value by being both innovative and convenient, using technology and shifting the culture of work-life in the profession, we will attract the best and most diverse team of people. By creating opportunity and revolutionising our segment of the Profession through innovation and convenience for clients, we will assert a strong belief that having work experience at JB Solicitors is a door-opening in the legal profession. The knowledge and experience gained in working at our firm will be equivalent to, if not better than, obtaining an internship at a large top tier law firm.
Discusses related legislation, ordering, transferring, reservation, replacement, or cancellation of number plates NSW.
Australia Transport
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The primary function of number plates NSW (New South Wales) is to identify vehicles for law enforcement and other purposes. They link the plate to the vehicle registration, allowing authorities to track stolen vehicles, identify owners involved in traffic offenses, and track vehicles caught on cameras.

When you register your vehicle, Transport for NSW will issue a number plate for that vehicle. This article will discuss related legislation, ordering, transferring, reservation, replacement, or cancellation of number plates NSW.

Law on Number Plates NSW

The Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2017 (section 25) states that vehicle owners must permanently affix number plates NSW to their vehicles so that:

  1. The number plate is at all times:
  • In an upright position that is substantially parallel to the vehicle's axles, and
  • Not more than 1.3 metres above ground level.
  1. The numberplate is not obscured, defaced or otherwise illegible.
  1. The numbers on the numberplate are clearly visible from any point that is:
  • up to 20 metres from the numberplate, and
  • within an arc of 45 degrees from the surface of the numberplate above or to either side of the vehicle. See the diagram here.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of car owners or users to ensure that the licence plate is clean, clear, and level throughout. Additionally, it must not have any reflecting or comparable qualities that would make it impossible for an official device to detect traffic offences to function properly.

Where Should You Affix Your Number Plate?

Section 25 of the Regulations states the following guidelines:

  1. If you have a motor vehicle other than a motorbike: 1 numberplate is affixed to the front of the vehicle and another to its rear.
  2. If you have a motor bike or trailer: at least 1 numberplate is affixed to its rear, and
  3. In the case of a motor vehicle for which numberplates of different sizes are issued: the larger of the vehicle registration plates is affixed to the rear of the vehicle.

However, this law grants an exemption. If Transport for NSW (TFNSW) deems a particular vehicle to be exempt from these requirements, it may do so by imposing conditions. Nevertheless, TFNSW may revoke or cancel this grant.

Special Number Plates NSW: How to Order?

You can order your special number plate or custom plates online. The combination of words and numbers on custom plates is highly restricted. It is not allowed to include any references to drugs, profanity, or anything that could cause disturbance or encourage reckless driving.

PI55ED, I5PEED, and 5ATAN licence plates, for example, are prohibited by NSW Roads and Maritime Services. Transport for NSW is still the owner of standard and special number plates, which need to be turned in upon request. Before ordering, you must prepare the following information:

  • Your email address
  • Your driver licence number or customer number (if a business)
  • Your proposed content for your new number plates
  • Payment (for standard number plates NSW, AUD 52; see other Fees here)

Online payment is available through any of the following:

  1. Credit cards – Mastercard, Visa, American Express, UnionPay or Diners Club
  2. Paypal
  3. BPAY

However, if you can't utilise the online option, you can fill up this form and visit Service NSW Centre. Make sure to read the instructions and answer the questions completely and correctly to avoid delay.

Transferring Number Plates NSW

Does NSW law allow you to transfer your numberplate? Yes, you can. First, you'll have to visit the nearest Service NSW. A Service NSW Centre is where you can transfer personalised or special numberplates (SNPs) to a different person.

Changing plates can be pertain to:

  • the actual physical transfer of unique licence plates from one car to another (for example, by using the plate to prove registration)
  • the actual physical swapping of general issue number plates (such as an exchange of plates) between vehicles
  • the passing of a numberplate's reserved status or a registration from one person to another, along with the "right to display" SNPs or general issue plates.

Requirements:

  1. Transfer Right to Display form.
  2. Proof of identification.
  3. Payment ( Fees range from AUD 30 to AUD 2,302)

Complete these requirements and submit your request to any Service NSW centre.

Can I Reserve Number Plates NSW?

Definitely. There are two instances where you'd want to reserve your numberplate:

  1. When selling your vehicle
  2. When the registration expires

First, if you are selling your vehicle and you want to maintain your personal plates, you have two options: you can either reserve your plates and replace them with generic number plates, or you can exchange them with another vehicle that is registered in your name.

Second, you can reserve your number plates if the expiration date of your registration was less than three months ago.

What you need to do:

  1. Bring your number plates NSW and proof of identification to a Service NSW centre.
  2. Pay the annual reserve fee, or pay the exchange fee plus any yearly fees that may apply (AUD 66 + any applicable special plate fees while they are reserved)

Keep in mind that it is illegal to keep the licence plates if the expiration date has passed by more than three months or if your registration has been canceled for any reason. You have to turn them in at a service centre.

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Number Plates NSW

If your numberplate is lost or damaged, the first step you need to take is to make a report to a service centre.

If it's stolen, report it to the NSW Police< and get a COPS Event Number. Note that this number serves as proof of your police report. You must keep this number because you might need to present it to your insurance company later on.

You must prepare the following:

  1. Number Plates and/or Cancellation of Registration form (Form 1038)
  2. The remaining plate, if damaged.
  3. Proof of identity
  4. Payment – replacement fees:
  • AUD 52 – Standard number plates
  • AUD 29.20 – National Heavy Vehicle number plates
  • AUD 50 – Auxiliary (bike rack) number plates

After making such reports, the service centre will provide new plates. Thus, these new plates are not exact replicas of the ones you had.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

ARTICLE
20 March 2024

All you need to know about number plates in NSW

Australia Transport

Contributor

Our team would be known as inspiring leaders within the community, displaying strong leadership on important issues in society even if it comes at a short-term cost. In delivering value by being both innovative and convenient, using technology and shifting the culture of work-life in the profession, we will attract the best and most diverse team of people. By creating opportunity and revolutionising our segment of the Profession through innovation and convenience for clients, we will assert a strong belief that having work experience at JB Solicitors is a door-opening in the legal profession. The knowledge and experience gained in working at our firm will be equivalent to, if not better than, obtaining an internship at a large top tier law firm.
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