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1Who issues defect notices and why are they issued?

Defect notices for light vehicles are issued by:

  • Police, or
  • Transport Safety and Investigation Officers(State Growth)

Defect Notices for heavy vehicles are issued by;

  • Safety and Compliance Officers  (National Heavy Vehicle Regulator)

If they believe that a vehicle is:

  • Unroadworthy, or
  • Does not comply with the relevant vehicle standards, or
  • Does not comply with other statutory requirements.

2What should I do if issued a defect notice

You must follow the requirements of the defect notice.

This will state:

  • The class of defect
    • Major defect
    • Minor defect (including a self-clearing defect)
  • A date and time after which the vehicle cannot be used
  • How the defect can be cleared and by what date
  • Conditions that must be followed while the defect is in place

Please refer to the defect notice for information on instructions for forwarding your defect clearance.

3What is the difference between a minor and major defect

A major defect is issued when further use of the vehicle on public streets:

  • Would constitute an imminent and serious safety risk

A yellow defective vehicle sticker will also be affixed to your vehicle.

A minor defect is issued when further use of the vehicle on public streets:

  • May constitute a safety risk

Both major and minor defects:

  • Will specify a time after which vehicle is considered a risk
  • Are recorded in our registration system
  • Require action to be taken

4Can I buy, sell or renew a defective vehicle?

Yes, for both minor and major defects if the registration has not been suspended or cancelled (see below) there is no restriction on renewal or transfers.  However, the vehicle will remain recorded as defective and the conditions must still be followed.

5What happens if a defect notice is not cleared?

If a defect is not cleared within the timeframe (shown on the notice) steps will begin to suspend and/or cancel the registration of your vehicle. You will be sent information to let you know what is happening prior to the suspension or cancellation taking place

6After a suspension or a cancellation, your vehicle:

  • You are unable to use or park the vehicle on a public street
  • You will not be able to renew or transfer the registration

7What is the difference between a cancellation and a suspension

  • If the vehicle registration is suspended and you have the defect cleared before the registration is cancelled, the registration will be reinstated and you can start using the vehicle.
  • If the registration is cancelled the vehicle will need to undergo a full roadworthy inspection and be re-registered before it can be used on a public street
  • You are also unable to receive any refund on remaining motor tax or MAIB premium