Competing claims for ownership of a vehicle

Find out what you need to do if there is a dispute related to the ownership of a vehicle.

If you find yourself in a situation where there are competing claims for vehicle ownership, here are some important steps to consider.

Understand the vehicle licensing document

A vehicle licence document does not necessarily prove ownership of the vehicle.

Under the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012, the term “owner” refers to the person entitled to immediate possession and responsible for licensing and insurance of the vehicle, but it does not establish actual title to the vehicle.

A vehicle can be licensed in one person’s name but the asset owned by another person, provided the application for the grant or transfer of a vehicle and licence is complete and contains all the required details in accordance with the Act.

Seek legal advice

Disputes over vehicle ownership are civil matters, and the Department of Transport does not have the authority to resolve such disputes.

If you’re facing conflicting claims, consider seeking legal advice. For help with initial legal advice you may wish to contact:

Notify the Department of Transport

If you have sold a vehicle and need to transfer ownership, make sure you let us know within 7 days of the sale.

Refer to Sell and transfer a vehicle licence for more information.

Page last updated: Thu Mar 28 2024 12:27:16 PM