Vehicles Manufactured Before 1989 Option

This option is covered by Regulation 17 of the Motor Vehicle Standards Regulations 1989.

The purpose of the option

This option allows for the approval of the applications to import road vehicles not fitted with identification plates that were manufactured before 1 January 1989.

This option caters for the importation of older vehicles including enthusiast, classic or historic motor vehicles that are destined for restoration and hobby use. This option caters for both individual owners and car clubs.

The option permits the importation of vehicles which do not comply with current Australian vehicle standards, and are therefore outside normal certification arrangements. However State and Territory registration requirements will generally require the vehicle(s) to comply with the standards that applied at the date the vehicle was originally manufactured. Further detatils should be obtained from the relevant State or Territory registration authority.Heavy vehicles may have different requirements, please contact the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) for further information.

Without a concession, these vehicles may not otherwise be available to enthusiasts and hobby vehicle owners.

What is the date of manufacture?

The date of manufacture is the date the vehicle was first driven or moved from the manufacturer's production line or production facility, after the vehicle's body shell and powertrain assemblies were joined. This is equivalent to the concept of the build date (as developed and used by Australia's automotive industry). To qualify for this option the date of manufacture must be before 1 January 1989.

If parts of a vehicle with a date of manufacture before 1 January 1989 have been assembled into another vehicle, the date of manufacture is taken to be the date on which this new vehicle was first driven. If this conversion (into a different automotive product, such as a replica car, a drag racing car or a hot rod) happened after 1 January 1989, the vehicle does not qualify under this option.

How to apply

To apply for a Vehicle Import Approval under the Vehicles Manufactured Before 1989 option, will need the following documents to support your application:

  • A purchase document for the vehicle in your name (a purchase document can be a pro-forma invoice/receipt for a deposit or full payment.)
  • Details which help us to assess the vehicle, including:
    • Details of the pre-1989 vehicle—such as the manufacturer's specifications, brochures, diagrams and photographs of the vehicle.
    • Registration papers where these are available (registration papers are an accurate source to verify the make, model and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or chassis number for the vehicle).
    • The specification of the vehicle you are importing (especially the installed engine, transmission and overall dimensions).
    • A recent photo of the vehicle (in its current condition).
    • A detailed list of all modifications undertaken on the vehicle. Please see below for a comprehensive list of modifications for cars, motorbikes and trailers.
    • If the vehicle has been subject to alterations, supporting documentation to establish the details of the alterations and the date(s) on which the work was completed.

These documents are in addition to the documents required when you register on the portal.

Refer to the How to apply page for further information.

Cars

  • Please advise if the car has had any modifications from the manufacturer's specification and if so please list the modifications.
    • If there are no modifications, make a statement to that effect.
  • Please advise the body style of the car (e.g. 2-door convertible).
  • Please advise if the body of the car has been customised.
    • If it is not customised, make a statement to that effect.
  • Please advise what engine is in the car (e.g. 289 cu in 4.7L Ford Windsor V8).
  • Please advise what transmission is in the car (e.g. 4-speed manual).

Motorbikes

  • Please advise if the motorbike has had any modifications and if so please list the modifications.
    • If there are no modifications, make a statement to that effect.
  • Please advise the frame style (e.g. Harley Davidson FL 1200 Electra Glide).
  • Please advise if the motorbike has been customised.
    • If the frame is not customised make a statement to that effect.
  • Please advise what engine is in the motorbike (e.g. 1207 cc Harley Davidson V-Twin).
  • Please advise what transmission is in the motorbike (e.g. 4-speed manual).

Trailers

  • Please advise if the trailer has had any modifications and if so please list the modifications.
    • If there are no modifications, make a statement to that effect.
  • Please advise the body style (e.g. caravan).
  • Please advise if the body of the trailer is customised.
    • If it is not customised, make a statement to that effect.
  • If the vehicle's date of manufacture is unclear—please provide additional supporting documentation to establish the date of manufacture. For example, you may provide a copy of the vehicle's registration documents or a written statement from the manufacturer.

Heavy vehicles

  • Please advise if the vehicle has had any modifications from the manufacturer's specification and if so please list the modifications.
  • If there are no modifications, make a statement to that effect.
  • Please advise the body style of the vehicle (e.g. motorhome).
  • Please advise if the body of the vehicle has been customised.
  • If it is not customised, make a statement to that effect.
  • Please advise what engine is in the vehicle (e.g. 289 cu in 4.7L Ford Windsor V8).
  • Please advise what transmission is in the vehicle (e.g. 4-speed manual).

ADDITIONAL ROADWORTHY REQUIREMENTS MAY BE APPLICABLE, PLEASE CONTACT THE NHVR.

Applications for more than one vehicle

To avoid multiple application fees, you may apply for more than one vehicle (within the Vehicles Manufactured Before 1989 option) in one application.


The information provided on this page should be used as guidance material only for importing a vehicle into Australia. Please familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation prior to lodging an application.

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Last Updated: 17 June, 2016