If your vehicle is written off by an insurer

An insurer has a legal obligation to cancel a vehicle’s registration when:

  • a vehicle is damaged, and
  • the insurer has decided not to repair it, and
  • its safe tolerance (as defined in the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Repair 1998) has been compromised.

This is to minimise the risk of unsafe vehicles getting back on the road.

The insurer will complete the cancellation paperwork. If you continue to receive licence (rego) reminder notices after you believe the insurer has cancelled the vehicle, give them a call to confirm they have completed the paperwork – if the vehicle has been cancelled you shouldn’t be receiving these notices.

Cancelling vehicle registration

Unused vehicle licence or road user charges

A refund of any unused vehicle licence or road user charges will be sent to the person registered in respect of the vehicle. 

When an insurer cancels a vehicle’s registration they are deemed by law to be the registered person at the time of cancellation. This means the refund of the unused portion of the vehicle licence or road user charges is refunded to the insurer. 

Outstanding licence fees

If there are outstanding licence fees owing on the vehicle, an invoice will be sent to the person registered in respect of the vehicle at the time the fees were due. 

This will usually be from the licence expiry date up until the date the insurer becomes the registered person, so the invoice will not go to the insurer. 

If the vehicle is later repaired

Repairs to cancelled vehicles need to be inspected, repaired and certified by a Transport Agency-approved repair certifier before the vehicle can be reregistered for road use.

Find out more about reregistering a vehicle
Find a repair certifier

If your insurer hasn’t settled the claim, but the vehicle’s licence about to expire

Most vehicles are required to be licensed continuously. We recommend that you apply for an exemption from vehicle licensing if your insurer hasn’t settled your claim but your vehicle licence is about to expire. 

This may mean that you are not liable to pay any licence fees while the vehicle is off the road and your claim is being processed by your insurer. 

Make sure that you apply for an exemption on or before the due date of the licence so that your exemption starts from the earliest possible date. 

Minimum period three months

A temporary exemption must be for a minimum period of three months.

If your claim is settled and the vehicle is repaired, and you want to renew the licence within three months of applying for the exemption, the fees will backdate to the expiry date of your last licence. 

If it takes longer than three months then you will not be liable to pay any licence fees while the vehicle is exempt. 

How to apply for an exemption

The easiest way to get an exemption is to apply online.

Otherwise, you can apply for an exemption at an agent or over the phone.

If you don’t apply for an exemption

If you don’t want to apply for an exemption, you will need to pay the vehicle licence fees as normal. 

Download Factsheet 76: Vehicles subject to insurance claims [PDF, 61 KB]