Reform of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989

What's new

The Australian Government has released an Exposure Draft of the Road Vehicle Standards package of legislation for the information and consideration of all stakeholders. The package of legislation comprises five draft Bills:

  • The Road Vehicle Standards Bill PDF: 668 KB ReadSpeaker
  • The Road Vehicle Standards (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill PDF: 615 KB ReadSpeaker
  • The Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition-General) Bill PDF: 221 KB ReadSpeaker
  • The Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition-Customs) Bill PDF: 221 KB ReadSpeaker
  • The Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition-Excise) Bill PDF: 220 KB ReadSpeaker

The draft Bills are accompanied by three Explanatory Memoranda, which explain the content of the Bills.

  • The Road Vehicle Standards Bill Explanatory Memorandum PDF: 458 KB ReadSpeaker
  • The Road Vehicle Standards (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill Explanatory Memorandum PDF: 240 KB ReadSpeaker
  • The Road Vehicle Standards Charges Bills Explanatory Memorandum PDF: 110 KB ReadSpeaker

The Government has also released an exposure draft of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules PDF: 891 KB ReadSpeaker (which will be made as regulations under the Road Vehicles Standards Act). The draft Rules will assist in the understanding of the overall legislative package.

This legislative package has been developed following extensive consultation with the motor vehicles industry, consumers and the wider community over the last five years.

This legislative framework is designed to deliver an updated and modernised system to regulate motor vehicles, in the interests of the automotive sector and consumers. The framework is designed to be flexible and adaptable, as continuing advances in technology are likely to bring substantial change to the automotive sector.

While the major strategic elements of the legislative package have been determined, there remains scope to finalise issues of detail. Given the complexity of the issues involved, it is important to allow time to consult with the automotive sector and other stakeholders on these issues of detail. To allow for this to occur, the Government has released this Exposure Draft and will conduct a formal consultation process between December 2017 and February 2018.

It is expected that the legislation will be introduced into Parliament early in 2018. The reforms will commence 12 months after the legislation receives Royal Assent.

The Road Vehicle Standards (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill provides a further 12-month transitional period after commencement to allow businesses to adapt to the new arrangements. During this transitional period some aspects of the current Motor Vehicle Standards Act will continue, particularly for full volume approval holders, Registered Automotive Workshops (RAWs) and Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles (SEVs).

To aid the community's understanding of the draft Bills, the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (the Department) will hold information sessions in major cities around Australia. These sessions are open to consumers, industry, states and territory governments and will provide clarity on the Rules, transitional arrangements and other possible considerations. Details on the information sessions, how to register to attend and how to provide a submission are available below.

Information Sheets have been prepared on each of the key changes.

The Australian Government welcomes stakeholder feedback through this process.

What are the reforms?

The Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (the Act) controls the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all vehicles entering the Australian market for the first time—both new and used.

The reform of the Act will reduce regulatory compliance costs to business by around $68 million a year and provide the Australian public with greater choice and confidence in the vehicle market. The reforms will improve access to specialist and enthusiast vehicles and ensure that Australia's vehicle fleet continues to offer world-leading standards in community and environmental safety.

Information sheets


2018 Public Consultation on the new Road Vehicle Standards legislation

The Road Vehicle Standards Rules support the Bills and contain the detailed requirements and processes of the new legislation. The exposure draft Rules are provided for the information of industry stakeholders, state and territory governments and the wider community and feedback is sought on the clarity and operability of the Rules, transitional arrangements and any other considerations. The Department encourages you to put your comments into a written submission to the Government and email it to

The Rules consultation process will be complete by the end of February 2018. Submissions will be accepted until close of business 16 February 2018.

The Department will also hold information sessions in major cities around Australia to brief industry and the community on the details of the Bills and draft Rules. The sessions are open to anyone who would like to attend and will run from 9 am to 12 pm at each of the locations listed below. Venue details are available at the following registration links:

Melbourne Monday 29 January Register here for the Melbourne session
Adelaide Tuesday 30 January Register here for the Adelaide session
Perth Wednesday 31 January Register here for the Perth session
Brisbane Monday 5 February Register here for the Brisbane session
Sydney Tuesday 6 February Register here for the Sydney session
Canberra Friday 9 February Register here for the Canberra session

Any further questions on providing a submission or attending an information session can be emailed to

Privacy notice

Your submission, including any personal information supplied, is being collected by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities for the purpose of consulting on the draft Road Vehicle Standards Rules, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act).

The Department will use the information in your submission to inform development of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules and may disclose this information publicly or to other government agencies for this purpose.

Your personal information will be stored securely by the Department. It may be used by the Department to make further contact with you about the consultation process.

Submissions, in part or full, including the name of the author may be published on the Department's website or in the Government's response, unless the submission is confidential. Confidential submissions (including author name) will not be published. Private addresses and contact details will not be published or disclosed to any third parties unless required by law.

Submissions will only be treated as confidential if they are expressly stated to be confidential. Automatically generated confidentiality statements or disclaimers appended to an email do not suffice for this purpose. If you wish you make a confidential submission, you should indicate this by ensuring your submission is marked confidential.

Confidential submissions will be kept securely and will only be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a request by a Commonwealth Minister;
  • where required by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia; or
  • where required by law.

The Department may also disclose confidential submissions within the Commonwealth of Australia, including with other Commonwealth agencies, where necessary in the public interest.

Please note that in order to protect the personal privacy of individuals in accordance with the Privacy Act any submissions containing sensitive information, personal information or information which may reasonably be used to identify a person or group of people may not be published, even if not marked as confidential.

The Department's privacy policy contains information regarding complaint handling processes and how to access and/or seek correction of personal information held by the Department. The Privacy Officer can be contacted on (02) 6274 6495.

Earlier consultations on MVSA between 2013–2017

Previous to the recent announcement, the Australian Government conducted a number of consultation sessions with key stakeholders to assist with the current package of legislation.

Further information

This webpage will be updated with additional information on the reforms to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 as it is made available.

Related links


Last Updated: 20 December, 2017