All About The Roadworthy  Certificate And Why It’s  Important In Australia

All About The Roadworthy Certificate And Why It’s Important In Australia

Roadworthy certification is important in Australia since you will need this when you seek re-registration of your used vehicle or sell it. The Victorian government has stipulated this for minimizing pollution caused by vehicles that are poorly maintained and ply on public roads. Another situation when you need a Roadworthy Melbourne is when defect notices have been issued to you when you presented your vehicle to obtain the roadworthy certificate. The roadworthy certificate also protects the buyer and seller apart from preventing poorly maintained automobiles from plying on public roads and thereby enhance public safety. 

The process of issuing a roadworthy certificate will focus on ensuring that all major components in your vehicle have not deteriorated or worn out and that the vehicle meets general safety guidelines for using Australian public roads.  Inspection for roadworthy certification covers the following:-

  • Seats and seat belts
  • Wheels/ tyres
  • Suspension, steering, braking systems
  • Windscreen wipers and washers
  • Lamps/ reflectors
  • Vehicle structure
  • Other safety concerns including chassis, engine and body
  • Wheels and tyres

The general condition or mechanical reliability of your vehicle is not covered by the roadworthy certification. When you are seeking comprehensive check-up of your vehicle and its overall reliability, you should get an independent report from a designated agency or an authorized garage. 

Who provides roadworthy certification?

A licensed vehicle tester operating out of nominated garages or service stations is authorized to issue roadworthy Melbourne certificate. The purpose of the certificate is to ensure that your vehicle is fit enough to use Australian public roads.

Two-part certification process

The roadworthy certificate comes in two parts. The first part is an inspection by a licensed inspector who checks the vehicle for identifying defects and faults needing replacement or repair to comply with the standards laid down for issuance of RWC.  When this part of the process fails:-

A rejection report is issued by the tester and you have 7 days to get the repairs/replacements done addressing the observations in the rejection report and take your vehicle for another round of inspection. Failure to bring your vehicle back in the stipulated 7 days time will mean that you start all over again from the first round. 

Second Inspection

The second inspection will be done by the same inspector who issued the rejection report when you bring the vehicle back within the 7day period. If all the items mentioned in the rejection report have been complied with, you will get a green RWC which means your vehicle is now officially roadworthy.

Transferring your vehicle/re-registration

At times, you may have to re-register or transfer your vehicle to another person. To do this, you will need an RWC issued for the vehicle within 30 days prior to the date of your application for transfer/re-registration. However, an RWC is not a guarantee that the vehicle remains roadworthy for the 30 day period after the certificate has been issued. 

Items not covered by the RWC inspection

The RWC inspection will not include mechanical stability or the general condition of the vehicle inspected. Further, the following will also not be covered by this inspection:-


  • The general condition of the vehicle including deterioration and wear
  • Accessories not related to safety such as air conditioner, electric windows, wipers on your rear window
  • Items checked as part of the RWC will continue functioning after inspection. For example, your brake light may stop functioning at any time post the inspection

Notice also that a roadworthiness certificate does not qualify as a comprehensive assessment of the vehicle or that it complies with standards prescribed under the ADR for registration. The ADR stipulates minimum standards for automobiles/trailers construction. Thus, an RWC inspection does not cover compliance with the standards laid down under the ADR. 

Where an RWC is used?

An RWC generally is essential when you are transferring or re-registering your vehicle and the paperwork for transfer/re-registration should necessarily contain an RWC issued not earlier than 30 days from the date you are making such an application. While the buyer/seller is not generally responsible for getting this certificate, it is in the interest of the seller to obtain a certificate to help establish the vehicle is free from glitches. You should also remember that till such time the vehicle gets transferred, you continue to be responsible as the legal owner of the vehicle even if it is driven by another person. Your car can be sold without an RWC, but you should remember to remove the number plate and deposit the same with an appropriate authority. With that, the registration of your vehicle will stand cancelled and you are absolved from any future events relating to that vehicle. 


Another reason to carry an RWC is if an officer of the law enforcement department stops you and asks for the certificate.  If the officer notices serious defects in the vehicle, you could still be fined and the RWC cannot save you from penal action. Bald tyres and leaking oil are easy to spot and can present significant problems to you and other road users. 

How much does the RWC cost?

The type of the vehicle, its age and general condition will dictate the cost of the RWC. Different service providers may also quote different prices. Getting multiple quotes is thus one way to ensure that your certificate comes at the least possible expense. 


In most situations, your regular mechanic or garage can provide you with updated guidance on obtaining an RWC for your vehicle.