Department of State GrowthTransport

Defect Notices

Registration and Licensing Services manage the Defective Vehicle System on behalf of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. If a vehicle is inspected and found to be defective or not complying with the Act or the Regulations, it may be issued with a defect notice.

There are two classes for a defect notice:

Minor Defect

  • where further use of the vehicle on public streets after the time stated in the notice may constitute a safety risk.

Major Defect

  • where further use of the vehicle on public streets after the time stated in the notice would constitute an imminent and serious safety risk.

A multi use form covers both classes of defect notice along with provision to issue a formal warning (for minor defects where official follow up is not warranted). It also allows a major defect that prohibits further use of the vehicle (ie. the vehicle must be fixed on site, or be towed or carried from the place of inspection).

When a vehicle has been issued a major defect notice, a yellow defective vehicle label is also issued and affixed to the vehicle.

All defect notices issued by Police and Transport Inspectors are forwarded to Registration and Licensing Services for processing.  Details of all defect notices (not formal warnings) are entered against the vehicle's registration record on the Motor Registry System.

When a defect notice has been recorded, the vehicle will have a defect status of "MINOR" or "MAJOR". A vehicle with a defect status of "MINOR" or "MAJOR" can be renewed or transferred, but the status and defect clearance requirements remain.

A defect notice will specify:

  • the class of defect issued;
  • a date and time after which the vehicle may not be used, unless the defects have been rectified and any inspection requirements have been complied with;
  • conditions such as the route to be taken, maximum speeds, or hours of operation to be observed during that time (if applicable). A public passenger vehicle may be prohibited from carrying passengers for reward until the notice has been cleared, and in the case of a hire and drive vehicle, may prohibit the hiring out of the vehicle.
  • that the registered operator, or representative, has 28 days within which to forward the cleared defect notice;
  • how the defect notice must be cleared;

All defect notices (apart from formal warnings) require clearance by the time, date and method specified at part 3 of the notice. (For those clearances through an Approved Inspection Station a fee can be charged). Once cleared the registered operator, or representative, must forward the completed form Registration and Licensing Services within 28 days from the date of issue.

When Registration and Licensing Services are advised that a defect notice has been cleared, the registration record will be annotated accordingly and the defect status removed from the Motor Registry System. Follow up action will be taken if the defect notice is not cleared within the specified time.

If a defect notice is not cleared within the specified 28 days:

  1. The Registrar will advise the registered operator by letter that unless the defect notice is complied with, within a further 7 days, the registration will be suspended.
  2. If the defect notice is not complied with within the 7 days, the Registrar will advise the registered operator by letter that the registration has been suspended, and that unless the defect is notice is complied with, within a further 14 days, the registration will be cancelled.
  3. If the defect notice is not been complied with within the 14 days, the Registrar will advise the registered operator by letter that the registration has been cancelled.

Once a registration has been SUSPENDED it can be transferred, but not renewed.

Once a registration has been CANCELLED it can no longer be renewed or transferred.

When a registration has been CANCELLED by the Registrar due to an uncleared defect notice, there will be no refund of the unexpired portion of the Motor Tax and MAIB premium.

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