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Scrap Car Laws & Requirements You Should Know

by archi (follow)
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Law (24)      Legal (22)      Australia (8)      Legal Regulations (7)      Legal Rights (3)      QLD (2)      Registration (2)      VIC (1)     
One of the best ways to sell a broken car is to sell as scrap for money. But before scrapping your car, it is prudent to follow laid down legal procedures; otherwise, you may get into trouble with the government. Like with any other transaction, there is a legal process to scrapping vehicles. The following should be adhered to:


Don’t drive a car if your car is deemed a write-off

A car that is unroadworthy or deemed as scrap poses a danger to road users as it is written off by the law. It is therefore imperative at this stage to have a scrap service providers collect the car from you as soon as possible.

Ensure you have your vehicle registration and relevant accreditation

One of the rules of scrapping a vehicle is being able to identify it through its registration as provided by the traffic laws. This is in an attempt to curb car theft, which is a rampant trade in the underground economies and black-market. One must prove ownership of the vehicle before disposing it off. Otherwise, it would lead to legal problems along the way.


Don’t just leave scrap cars at home or at a junkyard

Vehicles that are scrap pose environmental and health risks. The materials that make cars are toxic, and when left in a home environment, they cause environmental damage and may harm members of the communities, including animals and small children. Even though a statute may not back this, it is prudent to have a car removal by a scrap service provider as soon as possible so that it can be recycled and reused. This reduces instances of environmental degradation, which is a current worldwide concern.

Know what to expect

When dealing with a scrap dealer, do your research beforehand, so you know what to expect. If you're scrapping a car, make sure you receive proof of destruction or other relevant paperwork to show that your vehicle has been properly disposed of. When buying or selling parts, always get a receipt showing the transaction details. Another important thing is to make sure that the service is licensed by the Environment Agency.

Inform the authorities that you no longer own your car

Once the scrap service provider has collected your car, you should inform the relevant government department that the car is no longer in your possession. Also, take back the plates of the car to the traffic authorities to make the process as official as possible for future reference in case of future legal disputes. Also, relevant documentation should be filled by the scrap dealer and yourself to show that indeed the car was scrapped, this way you absolve yourself on any claims that may arise in the future in connection to the scrapped car.

How to Cancel Your Car Registration When You Scrap a Car

Once your car is scrapped, you are no longer the owner. The Australian government law requires you to cancel your registration. The rules may vary between states.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

To cancel your car registration, you must:

• Complete an 'Application to cancel vehicle registration' form, signed by the registered operator(s)
• Provide proof of identity documentation for the registered operator(s)
• Provide a statement about the registration label for vehicles over 4,500kg. (there is a declaration on the application form if this is not possible)
• Provide the number plates or a receipt for the surrender of number plates from an interstate authority
• Provide a statutory declaration if the plates have been lost, stolen or destroyed and cannot be surrendered
• Show the registration certificate (if available)
• Complete an 'authority to act as an agent' form with the agent's proof of identity documentation (where applicable).

Download forms and visit the ACT government site for more information.


New South Wales (NSW)

To cancel your car registration, you must provide:

• Proof of your identity
• The Certificate of Registration for the vehicle, if possible
• A completed and signed Number plates and/or cancellation of registration form.
• The number plates, if possible:
• Payment for the cancellation fee.

Download forms and visit the NSW government site for more information.

Northern Territory (NT)

To cancel your car registration, you must:

• Lodge a completed 'Notice of Disposal' with the Motor Vehicle Registry. It should contain the following information:
- Full name and address of the buyer which can be a Body Corporate
- Their date of birth (but not required for a Body Corporate)
- The date of vehicle disposal or sale
- The price that was paid for the vehicle
- A signature of both the buyer/agent (on behalf of Body Corporate) and the seller
- Vehicle registration number
• You should also surrender your plates to the Motor Vehicle Registration.

Download forms and visit the NT government site for more information.

Queensland (QLD)

In Queensland, to cancel your car registration, you must complete a 'vehicle/recreational ship cancellation of registration application' form.

Take this form and your vehicle’s number plates to a transport and motoring customer service centre or, if you live in a rural area, a QGAP office, Magistrates Court or local police station that provides vehicle registration services.

Download forms and visit the QLD government site for more information.

South Australia (SA)

To cancel your car registration in South Australia, you can complete an application to cancel registration and lodge it at a Service SA customer service centre.

If you lodge your application at Service SA you will be required to surrender the number plates. Alternatively, a plate surrender exemption can be completed on the condition the vehicle will be re-registered within 12 month.

Download forms and visit the SA government site for more information.

Tasmania (TAS)

To cancel your car registration in Tasmania, you should fill out an Application for Transfer and Notice of Disposal form and take it to a Service Tasmania shop within 7 days.

You must also return your registration plates to the Motor Vehicle Registration.

Download forms and visit the TAS government site for more information.

Victoria (VIC)

To cancel your car registration in Victoria, if your car vehicle registration has not been renewed by 3 months after the expiry date, car registration will be cancelled automatically.

If not, you must provide the following, visit the VIC government site for more information.


Western Australia (WA)

To cancel your car registration in Western Australia, you simply need to surrender your number plates to a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or regional Agent.

Visit the WA government site for more information.

Can I request a refund for my unused registration?

When you cancel your vehicle registration, you can check with the authorities if you are able to get a refund.


With the above scrap car laws, it would be prudent to follow the due process when disposing of your scrap car. The result of not doing so would make one a subject of litigation. Not notifying authorities of having disowned your scrap car may mean that if anyone were to use the vehicle for sinister motives, it would provide grounds for criminal prosecution on you, not to mention the publicity that may go with it. It is, therefore, imperative to properly scrap your car.

Read Also:

Know Your Legal Rights When Buying a Used Car
Statutory Rights When Buying a Used Car at Auction

#Legal Rights
#Legal Regulations
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