Written-off heavy vehicles

The NSW Written-Off Heavy Vehicles Register (WOHVR) improves road safety and reduces the incidence of heavy vehicle theft, re-birthing and related crime.

What is a written-off heavy vehicle?

If your heavy vehicle is assessed as a 'total loss' it must be written-off. A vehicle is a 'total loss' when the cost of repairs plus its value as a damaged vehicle (its salvage value) is higher than its market value.

A written-off heavy vehicle must be classified and recorded on the Written Off Heavy Vehicles Register as either a 'statutory' or a 'repairable' write-off.

What is a ‘statutory’ write off?

Heavy vehicles that are assessed as a total loss and have sustained damage listed under the statutory write-off assessment criteria will be classified as statutory write-offs and will be unable to be repaired or re-registered.

The vehicle can still be bought and sold, but only used for spare parts and scrap metal. These vehicles also have their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or Chassis Number permanently cancelled.

What is a ‘repairable’ write off?

A repairable write-off is a vehicle that has been assessed as a total loss but can be safely repaired. A repairable write-off can be re-registered if it has been repaired and certified by a suitably licensed repairer and meets Transport for NSW inspection and registration requirements.

Why establish a Written-Off Heavy Vehicles Register?

The WOHVR aims to improve road safety and reduce the incidence of heavy vehicle theft, re-birthing and related crime.

What vehicles are included in the WOHVR?

The WOHVR applies to heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass including trucks, prime movers, trailers and buses. Transport for NSW maintains the WOHVR.

Who is responsible for notifying the WOHVR?

Vehicle insurers, self-insurers, recyclers and dealers each have a responsibility to update the WOHVR.

How can I notify the WOHVR?

There are two options for using the WOHVR.

  1. You can submit a Written-Off Heavy Vehicles Register Notification form for a single heavy vehicle or;
  2. Apply for access to an online platform if you use the WOHVR regularly.

What happens if my heavy vehicle is written-off?

The vehicles registration will be cancelled and it will be recorded on the WOHVR. You'll be notified of this in writing.

Heavy vehicle damage assessors must have relevant qualifications, or be acting on the advice of a person with those qualifications.

A qualified assessor will use statutory write-off assessment criteria to determine if your heavy vehicle should be classified as a 'repairable' or 'statutory' write-off.

If your vehicle is assessed as a statutory write-off and notified to the WOHVR it cannot be re-registered and can only be used for scrap metal or dismantled for spare parts.

If your written-off heavy vehicle can be safely repaired, it may be repaired and certified by a licensed repairer who will issue a Heavy Vehicle Certificate of Compliance.

What is a 'hail damaged' heavy vehicle?

NSW registered heavy vehicles written-off due to superficial hail damage and retained by the registered operator are known as written-off hail damaged heavy vehicles and are treated differently to other written-off heavy vehicles.

The registration of the vehicle is not cancelled and no restrictions are placed on the registration. However, the Certificate of Registration shows that the vehicle was previously written-off.

How should a damaged heavy vehicle be assessed?

If a damaged heavy vehicle is not economical to repair and is deemed to be a total loss, then the national damage assessment criteria in the Austroads Technical Guide - Damage Assessment Criteria for the classification of Heavy Vehicle Statutory Write-Offs must be applied.

Heavy vehicle damage must be assessed by a person who is qualified to do the job.

Assessors are usually contracted by an insurer. To be a qualified assessor you must have:

  • successfully completed an approved course
  • demonstrated ability to determine whether or not a vehicle has suffered damage listed under the statutory write-off assessment criteria.
  • demonstrated ability to apply the relevant technical specifications.

Assessors must:

  1. Notify the WOHVR within seven days of assessment as a write-off before it's sold or disposed of.
  2. Issue a vehicle total loss assessment on request by the vehicle operator or Transport for NSW.
  3. If the heavy vehicle is assessed as a write-off, attach a written-off heavy vehicle warning label in a visible place to show that the vehicle cannot be re-registered until it is repaired and certified (repairable write-off) or is suitable only for spare parts or scrap metal (statutory write-off). On a dismantled vehicle, attach the label to the part with the VIN on it.
Example – statutory written-off heavy vehicle warning label
Example – statutory written-off heavy vehicle warning label
Example – repairable written-off heavy vehicle warning label
Example – repairable written-off heavy vehicle warning label

Note: Keep documents from a total loss assessment for seven years regardless of whether the heavy vehicle is actually written-off or not.

Re-registering a written-off heavy vehicle

Transport for NSW can only re-register a written-off heavy vehicle when it has been assessed as 'repairable' and has been repaired by a suitably licensed repairer who will issue a Heavy Vehicle Certificate of Compliance.

The Heavy Vehicle Certificate of Compliance contains a declaration that repairs have been done according to the manufacturer's repair guidelines or according to standards accepted by industry.

Once all the repairs are completed and certified, you'll need to have the vehicle inspected at a Transport for NSW Heavy Vehicle Authorised Inspection Station Scheme (HVAIS) station.

Once your vehicle has met Transport for NSW inspection requirements, you'll need to bring all the documentation related to the vehicle repairs to the registry or service centre, including:

Transport for NSW recommends that you keep all information to do with the repair process, including invoices and receipts for parts.

Self-insurers

If you have a heavy vehicle registered for business use and do not have an insurance policy covering its loss or damage, you are known as a 'self-insurer'. If you choose to have your damaged heavy vehicle assessed, you will be responsible for having it properly assessed and notifying the WOHVR. If you choose to dispose of the vehicle to a motor vehicle recycler, you are also responsible for notifying the WOHVR.

Insurers, self-insurers, vehicle recyclers and dealers

Insurers, self-insurers, heavy vehicle recyclers, heavy vehicle dealers and damage assessors need to assess and classify written-off heavy vehicles using the statutory write-off assessment criteria.

If you fail to meet your responsibilities under the legislation you will face penalties, including fines of up to $110,000.

Licensed repairers

Only suitably licensed repairers may repair and certify repairable written-off heavy vehicles.

A suitably licensed repairer is a person who holds a motor vehicle repairer's licence issued by NSW Fair Trading (or corresponding interstate agency), and their repairer's licence class authorises them to repair the vehicle and damage type.

Certificates of Compliance:

Interstate licenced repairers must also hold, or employ a person who holds, the relevant qualifications set out in clause 36 of the Motor Dealers and Repairers Regulation 2014 for the classes of repair work set out in clause 34 of that regulation. For more on information visit www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Legislation

Road Transport Act 2013 and the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2017.

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