Losing your vehicle registration documents is not only inconvenient but could cause you problems later down the road. However, replacing lost vehicle registration documents is actually a lot easier than you think.


Just a few years ago you would have had to visit a service centre to make an application for replacement documents. Today, everything can be taken care of online. The actual process will vary depending on where in Australia you are. In this post, we are going to look at how to replace your vehicle registration documents in NSW.


Register an unregistered vehicle


Before looking at how to replace vehicle registration documents, we will take a quick look at another common query. In NSW, your vehicle will become classified as unregistered if you fail to renew registration by 23.59 pm on the date of expiry. It is all too easy to forget to renew your registration documents. Failure to do so will result in you committing a serious offence if you continue to drive an unregistered vehicle.


If you fail to renew your registration within 90 days from the date of expiry, it will be cancelled by the Roads and Maritime Services. If your vehicle registration is cancelled, you have 14 days to return the vehicles number plates to a Service NSW Centre. To give you an idea of the types of penalties associated with an unregistered vehicle in New South Wales, you can refer to the following.


  • Park or drive an unregistered vehicle on a road related or road area – $659.00 for light vehicles and 4 demerits and $1,392 for heavy vehicles over 4.5 tons.
  • Park or drive an uninsured vehicle on a road related or road area – $659.00.
  • Park a non-combination unregistered trailer on a road – $183.00.


Prices correct as of October 2018.


To renew your registration before expiry, first, you need to buy your compulsory third-party insurance. Once you have your insurance in place, you then need to have your vehicle inspected. With both of these complete, you can renew your registration online, via telephone, by post or in person at a registry or service centre. If the registration has already expired, you will need to visit a registry or service centre in person to re-register your vehicle.


How to replace a vehicle’s registration certificate


If you have lost your vehicle registration certificate or it has been destroyed or stolen, you are able to replace the document online. Typically, it takes approximately 7 days for the replacement certificate to arrive. If you require it before 7 days, you can expedite the process via a service centre in person.


When using the online portal to replace a lost vehicle registration document, there are a few things you will need to prepare beforehand. These include the following:


  • The details of the vehicle you wish to order replacement vehicle documents for.
  • The details of your New South Wales driver’s license.
  • The total amount payable for the replacement certificate.


As of November 2018 the cost for replacing or vehicle documents, labels, certificates and number plates are as follows:


  • A replacement certificate of registration $22.00
  • A replacement registration label $22.00
  • Approved operations replacement certificate $22.00
  • Number plates replacement $46.00
  • A replacement unregistered vehicle permit $22.00


Prices correct as of November 2018.


Replacement vehicle registration documents process


Once you have all of the required information gathered, you can navigate to the Service NSW website. If you already have an account, you can log in otherwise continue as a guest. If you already have an account, you can link the Roads and Maritime services and MyServiceNSW account by entering your driving license details.


You will then be asked to select whether your vehicle registration document has been destroyed, stolen or lost. Select the appropriate option and continue to the next section.


In this section, you will be asked to enter the New South Wales plate number of the vehicle associated with the documents. You may also find that the vehicle is already listed. In this case, you can just select the correct vehicle.


Once all of the above information has been entered, you will be asked to review the details entered for the replacement vehicle document. Once you confirm everything is correct, you will be redirected to the payments page. Upon making payment, you will receive a receipt to confirm the transaction has been processed.


It is important to ensure that your mailing address is correct. The replacement vehicle registration document will be sent by Roads and Maritime to the address held on record. To use the online service, the registered operator needs to be present.


Important considerations


When you order a replacement registration certificate or document, your rego is not renewed or extended beyond its current date of expiry. It is recommended that you renew your registration instead of replacing it if you have less than 6 weeks validity remaining.


Another area of confusion is registration labels. In NSW the majority of light vehicles, such as motorbikes and cars are not required to display a registration label. However, if you have an unregistered vehicle permit, you are required to have a current registration label on display.


Replace a vehicle registration renewal notice


If you have lost, damaged or misplaced your vehicle registration renewal notice and you want a replacement one, this can also be done online. When you renew your registration online, you will be able to find the billing number of your vehicle.


As with the above guidelines, you are going to need your NSW driving license details. You will also need the last four numbers of your VIN which you can find on your rego papers and the plate number of the vehicle.


Once you have these, navigate to the Service NSW website for replacing registration renewal notices. The entire process takes just a few minutes. First, you will need to choose the button for ‘replace online’. Click on the button to order a replacement and then review the terms and conditions before accepting them.


In the next section, you will be required to enter the vehicle and driver license details. To make payment online you will need a valid debit or credit card. Once payment has been made, you will typically receive the replacement registration renewal notice within 7 days. Again, you need to ensure that your mailing address is the same as the one registered with the Roads and Maritime services.


Now you know the steps to take if you need to replace your important vehicle registration documents. With the online application taking just several minutes, you can have your replacement documents within as little as 7 days. What once used to be an inconvenient and nerve-wracking experience can now be done from the comfort of your laptop or smartphone.

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