Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA) Questions and Answers

These questions and answers (Q&As) provide information about how the Commonwealth Government’s Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 will apply in NSW. Some of these Q&As relate to technical matters that are relevant to people working in the automotive vehicle industry. We will update these Q&As as matters arise.

Frequently asked questions

  • The Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) replaced the existing Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA) from 1 July 2021. The RVSA was introduced by the Commonwealth Government to improve the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all road vehicles (new and used) being provided to the Australian market for the first time.

    On 1 July 2021, an initial 12-month transitional period  began for certain segments of the industry.

    This transitional period has been extended by the Commonwealth Government by a further 12 months until 30 June 2023 (and to 30 June 2024 for Special Purpose Vehicles excluding trailers).

    The extension provides more time for businesses to transition their operations to the RVSA requirements. Businesses should continue to make the transition, so they are compliant by 1 July 2023.

  • The RVSA is a Commonwealth Government initiative. Information is available on the Commonwealth Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website (DITRDC) and on the Transport for NSW website.

  • No, vehicles will now have their compliance information recorded on the Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) against their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). To find out more on how to search for a vehicle on the RAV and RVD on ROVER refer to the How to guide document on the Transport for NSW website.

  • Under the RVSA, new vehicles must be entered on the new Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) rather than having a vehicle identification (compliance plate attached. This is intended to streamline the supply of new vehicles to market. All the information that was previously contained on the identification plate will now be on the RAV. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is used to search for the corresponding RAV entry.

  • Yes, the RAV is a publicly searchable online database of vehicles approved for use on Australian roads, available to everyone. You do not have to be a registered user. Search the RAV here: Register of Approved Vehicles Search - My ASP.NET Application (infrastructure.gov.au)

  • Existing compliance plate data will not be loaded onto the RAV. It will only include vehicles approved under the RVSA. During the transition period from 1 July 2021 until 30 June 2023, we need to accommodate two scenarios:

    1. Vehicles approved under the current MVSA – with compliance approval nominated on the identification plate
    2. Vehicles approved under RVSA – with compliance approval nominated on the RAV.

    If a VIN is not on the RAV, the previous check for an identification plate still applies. An ID irregularity will still be called out if a VIN is not on the RAV or if it is a vehicle that must be fitted with an identification plate but does not have one. During the transition period, it is likely that we will see both new vehicles with identification plates and RAV entries. From 1 July 2023, new vehicles will only have RAV entries.

    Vehicles first supplied in Australia before 1 July 2021 will still need an identification plate, unless the vehicle is old enough to pre-date identification plates.

    Vehicle Inspectors please see: Vehicle Inspectors Bulletin (VIB) 77. Vehicle Inspectors bulletin VIB No. 77 June 2021 (nsw.gov.au)

  • No, it is for all vehicles approved by the Commonwealth Government for road use, including locally manufactured vehicles and imported vehicles.

  • The Commonwealth Government has introduced a new system to integrate approvals and applications under RVSA - Road Vehicle Regulator System (ROVER).

    RVD Sheets for vehicle Type Approvals are available from the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Communities and Communications website - https://rover.infrastructure.gov.au/

    View the video in the link below for more details on how to access and view an RVD in ROVER: https://vimeo.com/566881798/3d0e930553

    DITRDC Contacts: Website https://rover.infrastructure.gov.au/ Email ROVERinfo@infrastructure.gov.au

    The new system replaces the current Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS). RVCS and the NSW Road Vehicle Descriptor (RVD) Online website will be maintained for Motor Vehicle Standards Act (1989) vehicle approvals. In certain circumstances where ROVER does not have sufficient or current RVD you may still need to refer to RVCS or RVDs online for the current RVD.

  • (Registered Automotive Work Shops – for more information see the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website)

    RAWS workshops with current MVSA approvals can continue to import eligible vehicles up until 30 April 2023 if they are on the MVSA register of SEVS, or 31 March 2023 if they are on the register of Interim SEVS.

    RAWS workshops can also now obtain approvals under the RVSA. Vehicles complied under these approvals will require inspection by an Authorised Vehicle Verifier (AVV).

  • RAWS vehicles supplied under an RVSA approval will appear on the RAV under the entry pathway “Concessional - Vehicle to be modified by the holder of a RAW approval.”  RAWS vehicles supplied under RVSA approval will only be entered on the RAV once modified in accordance with the Model Report and has been verified by the holder of an Authorised Vehicle Verifier (AVV) approval.

    RAWS vehicles supplied under an MVSA approval will appear on the RAV under the entry pathway “Concessional - Road vehicle suitable for entry on the RAV” until 30 June 2023.

  • There will be minimal impact to the VSCCS.

    The information previously found on an identification plate will have to be found via a RAV search for a VIN. After the transition period, only vehicles with a VIN entered on the RAV will be accepted for NSW registration. VSCCS licensed certifiers will have to check the RAV prior to issuing a compliance certificate to ensure the vehicle will be eligible for NSW registration.

  • Yes, there will be changes to AIS and the way blue slips are performed. Identity check information will be on the RAV, instead of the identification (compliance) plate. There will also be changes to AIS rules, including the design and identity check sections. These changes are outlined in o.77.

  • Yes, there will be changes for heavy vehicles under the RVSA. Vehicle details will be found on the RAV, instead of the identification (compliance) plate. Further information is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ website, or from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) website. You may also find the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual useful.

  • Under the RVSA, the concessional pathways under which vehicles can be imported for first supply to market in Australia have been updated. The ‘Older’ vehicles pathway for vehicles older than 25 years replaces the MVSA ‘pre-1989’ scheme.

    To align with these import changes, new NSW regulations started on 1 July 2021 to allow vehicles aged 25 years or older which are imported under the RVSA rules to be registered, if they meet the vehicle safety standards for the time of their manufacture. In addition, left-hand drive vehicles that have been imported and approved under the Older Vehicle entry pathway may remain in the left-hand drive configuration.

    Older vehicles may still be imported, however:

    • the meaning of ‘older’ has changed from ‘pre-1989’ to ‘older than 25 years old’, and
    • the vehicles will need to meet the vehicle safety standards required at the time they were built to be registered. Left hand drives will no longer be required to convert to right hand drive. However, they will require some modifications before they can be registered).

    NSW will not allow registration of left-hand drive vehicles less than 25-year-old which are imported under the RVSA rules.

    Refer to Vehicle Standards Information VSI. 04 – Registering Imported Vehicles in NSW and Vehicle Standard Information Sheet No. 40 for more details.

  • The major change to light trailers under the RSVA is that manufacturers and importers will need to submit compliance documentation to the Commonwealth Government.

    Under the MVSA, light trailer manufacturers and importers certify that a trailer is compliant with Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1 (VSB 1 Revision 5) – ‘Building Small Trailers’ via a vehicle plate affixed to the trailer and are not required to notify the Commonwealth Government.

    Under the RVSA, all trailer manufacturers and importers will be required to contact the Commonwealth Government to apply for compliance approval and entry onto the RAV. This includes light trailers, which are trailers less than 4.5 tonnes. Light trailers will continue to be required to comply with the latest revision of VSB1 (Revision 6), which has been updated to reflect the RVSA changes. It also includes all homemade trailers.

    Manufacturers of heavy trailers (those 4.5 tonnes and above) currently notify the Commonwealth Government under current legislation and this will continue under the RVSA.

    Under the RVSA, people who manufacturer or import more than four trailers in a 12-month period will need to obtain a Type Approval, which will require the manufacturer to submit an application to the Commonwealth Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. More information about obtaining a Vehicle Type Approval can be found here: Guide to vehicle type approvals for low ATM trailers (infrastructure.gov.au).

    For manufacturers or importers of four or less trailers per year, a Concessional Entry Approval is required, which can be obtained from the Commonwealth Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications through the ROVER portal.

    After the transition period, all new trailers will need to be entered onto the RAV to be eligible for NSW registration.

    Further information is available on the Commonwealth Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ website.

    https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/rvs/light_trailers.aspx

    https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/rvs/high-atm-trailers.aspx

  • Trailers will still have a vehicle plate containing some information, such as the Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM). See VSB1 Revision 6 for more details.

    Under the MVSA, light trailer vehicle plates have the following compliance declarations:

    This trailer was manufactured to comply with the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989’ (new trailers)

    or

    This trailer is an imported used trailer. It has been modified and assessed as complying with the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989’ (used imported trailers).

    Under the RVSA, these declarations will be removed from the vehicle plate. The declaration that the light trailer complies with applicable vehicle standards will be submitted to the Commonwealth Government with the Type Approval or Concessional Entry Approval application. The trailer’s RAV entry is an assurance that the trailer’s compliance declaration has been submitted and it complies with the applicable vehicle standards.

  • The ‘written off vehicle’ (WOV) status of a vehicle will not be on the RAV as it is a ‘point in time’ status, not an ‘ongoing’ status. There will not be any changes to WOV practices in NSW at this stage. It is possible that future RAV data will be available via the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS). The Commonwealth Government has advised that ‘approved’ status in the RAV does not necessarily mean it can be registered.

  • Second Stage Manufacture vehicles will have multiple entries on the RAV. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is used to search for the vehicle and all entries against that vehicle will appear on the RAV. This will generally include two-line items. The first will be the Type Approval for the primary vehicle and the second will be the Type Approval for the second stage manufacture.

    More information on how SSM vehicles will appear on the RAV can be found here: What is a Second Stage Manufacturer?

  • Yes, online notices have been provided to NSW motor dealers, Authorised Inspection Scheme (AIS) examiners and Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme (VSCCS) certifiers about the RVSA.

  • No. However, the Commonwealth Government has informed us that we will still see that information on the Road Vehicle Descriptors (RVD).

  • A vehicle with an approval under the RVSA will only be registered in NSW if it is on the RAV. The types of vehicles imported as exhibition vehicles, for example, will enter the country as ‘non RAV entry’ vehicles. They will not be on the RAV and will not receive full registration.

    Some non-RAV entry vehicles may still be eligible for concessional or conditional registration as per current policy.

  • The RVSA and RAV is applicable for all vehicles provided in Australia, including imported and locally manufactured vehicles and components.

  • Yes, this will remain a state and territory responsibility.

  • No, it won’t.

    For vehicles manufactured under a Vehicle Type Approval, this information will be found on ROVER under the vehicles Vehicle Type Approval number.

  • Auditing the RAV is a Commonwealth Government responsibility. If a discrepancy is identified on the RAV, clarification should be sought from the approval holder who will correct any error in a RAV entry.

Auditing the RAV is a Commonwealth Government responsibility.  If a discrepancy is identified on the RAV, clarification should be sought from the approval holder who will correct any error in a RAV entry.

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