Construct or modify a vehicle

You can construct your own vehicle for use on Western Australian roads, provided you follow the relevant procedures and your vehicle meets the required standards. Find information on kit cars, street rods, special purpose vehicles and more.

  Getting started, do you need approval?

Related material: Modify a heavy vehicle

Before making any modifications, you should check whether our approval is required. Generally no modification may be carried out if it:

  • Causes a nuisance or danger to other people.
  • Reduces the controllability of the vehicle.
  • Reduces the strength of the vehicle body.
  • Reduces the safety of the vehicle.

Modifications that don't require approval

Many minor vehicle modifications can be carried out without specific approval, as long as they comply with the applicable legislation.

Modifications that do not require approval include:

  • Additional lighting.
  • Air conditioners.
  • Air shock absorbers.
  • Alarm systems.
  • Badge bars.
  • Body markings and speed striping.
  • Gearbox (pre 1976).
  • Mesh stone shields for wind screens and lamps.
  • Mud spats and pebble guards.
  • Optional manufacturer seating.
  • Radio and stereo systems.
  • Rear-view mirrors.
  • Roof racks.
  • Seat belts for pre 1969 cars (no full harness types).
  • Single tone air horns.
  • Stabiliser bars.
  • Sun visors.
  • Torque rods and traction bars (not semi-tramp types).
  • Tyre size and aspect ratio.
  • Venetian blinds and other internal screening systems are allowed, subject to a clear view to the rear.

What to do if your proposed modification is not on the list

A list of modifications that require approval, and how to apply for their approval, is provided below.

If what you want to do is not on this list, or you are unsure, contact us. By contacting us first, you will ensure that:

  • The modified vehicle will be safe.
  • The vehicle's insurance remains valid
  • You avoid the inconvenience and expense of removing a vehicle compliance notice (yellow sticker)
  • You don't waste time and money on a project that subsequently proves to be illegal

Please note, if you modify your vehicle without the necessary approval you may be issued with a compliance notice (yellow sticker) and void your vehicle insurance.

LBU_VL_FAQ_VehicleLicensingSafety.pdf icon Vehicle licensing and safety (Frequently Asked Questions) Kb

  Modifications requiring approval (limitations and conditions)

For information on the following modifications please refer to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Vehicle Standards Bulletin: National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (VSB14):

  • Alternative power.
  • Body modifications.
  • Brakes*.
  • Electric drive.
  • Engines.
  • Fuel systems.
  • Motorcycles.
  • Seating and occupant protection.
  • Suspension and steering.
  • Test procedures.
  • Transmissions.
  • Trike guidelines.

*Note:

Modifications to the braking system of a motor vehicle are permissible only where listed by the vehicle manufacturer as an option for the particular model. However, the fitting of a suitable power booster unit to a brake system is in order where it is an option listed by the vehicle manufacturer or is recommended by a qualified brake specialist.

Passenger vehicles and their derivatives manufactured to comply with ADR 31 - Hydraulic Braking Systems, and ADR 35 - Commercial Vehicle Braking Systems, must not be modified without prior written approval from the department.

Seat belt replacement and repairs

Please refer to the documents below.

Bull bars

Please refer to the document below.

LBU_VS_CI_112.pdf icon CI-112C: Bull bar construction guidelines (Circular to Industry) Kb
LBU_VS_CI_109.pdf icon CI-109C: Guidelines for seat belt repairers (Circular to Industry) Kb
LBU_VS_IB_110.pdf icon IB-110F: Seat belt repairers - Accepted organisations (Information Bulletin) Kb
LBU_VS_IB_113.pdf icon IB-113B: Seat belt replacement (Information Bulletin) Kb
LBU_F_VL_SD_E7_SelfBuiltVehicle.pdf icon Statutory declaration: Self built vehicle (Form E7) Kb
External Link Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: Australian Design Rules
External Link Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: Vehicle Standards Bulletins (VSB)

  Step 1: Complete a modification application form

Before you can commence any vehicle modifications that require approval you must complete a modification application - Light vehicle modification application form. We will assess your application and advise you whether you have been granted approval in principle to proceed.

Read the guidelines document below before proceeding to complete the online light vehicle modification form. The guidelines provide you with information in respect to your proposed modifications and refer to the relevant industry bulletins for light vehicle modifications.

Please note that you will receive a return email copy of your application once it has been submitted. If you wish to provide photographs or drawings to support your application, please send them via the email address on your response.

LBU_F_VL_E36_ChangeVehicleDetails.pdf icon Change of vehicle details: Change of engine and/or colour (Form E36) Kb
LBU_P_VL_Online_Mod_Application_Light_vehicles_notes.pdf icon Online Modification Application Light (Production) Vehicles (Guidelines) Kb

  Step 2: Have your modification application processed

Your application will be processed by the Department as soon as possible. However, you should allow a reasonable time for processing.

  Step 3: Undertake modifications and vehicle examination

Once your modifications have been finalised, you will need to undertake a vehicle examination. Please note a fee is payable.

See also: Information on noise levels and emissions testing.

Pre-pay a vehicle modification permit fee

  Step 4: Issue with a modification permit or another form of approval

If you vehicle passes the examination and you have paid the required fee, we will issue a modification permit or provide another form of approval guaranteeing that the modification conforms to the regulations.

We recommend you keep these documents inside the vehicle, with copies in a safe place. These documents are proof that the vehicle is safe when used as the conditions on the permit dictate. When your vehicle is sold they must be given to the new owner.

It is also recommended that you discuss any modifications you have carried out or intend to make with your insurer, including those listed as modifications not requiring approval. Failure to do this could result in a subsequent insurance claim being denied.

  Applicable legislation (modify a light vehicle)

Whatever the reason for a modification, the vehicle in question must conform to the following regulations and rules.

  • Australian Design Rules.
  • Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012.
  • Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014.

Many minor vehicle modifications can be carried out without our approval. However, they must still comply with the relevant regulations.

External Link Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: Australian Design Rules
Opens in a new window State Law Publisher: Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012

  Engineering or modification reports and certificates

Engineering and recognised signatories

The document below provides a list of persons who are recognised by the Department as able to issue engineering or modification reports or certificates for vehicles modified by themselves or under their personal supervision.

LBU_VS_IB_102.pdf icon IB-102R: Engineering and recognised signatories (Information Bulletin) Kb

  Individually Constructed Vehicles (ICV)

What is an Individually Constructed Vehicle?

An Individually Constructed Vehicle (ICV) is any vehicle that is not a production vehicle and will be used only for personal use; a production vehicle is defined as a vehicle manufactured or marketed in volume for normal road use.

Individual Constructed Vehicles always need a new Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

If you want to construct more than three vehicles per year, you need to seek advice from us and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Such vehicles must be certified by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development prior to manufacture.

Do kit cars qualify as ICVs?

Yes. A kit car is a form of Individually Constructed Vehicle, usually built from a partial or complete kit provided by a manufacturer or supplier. Owners are free to assemble the vehicle in a personally customised form, providing they comply with the ICV guidelines and the National code of practice for light vehicle construction and modification.

If you want to construct more than three (3) vehicles per year, you need to seek advice from us and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Such vehicles must be certified by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development prior to manufacture.

How do I secure approval for an ICV?

If you want to construct an Individually Constructed Vehicle, you must obtain approval from us before starting construction. Please complete the application form below.

ICVs will generally need to be constructed under the guidance of an engineering signatory or other suitably qualified engineer. The engineer will be required to provide a report verifying that the vehicle complies with all the relevant Australian Design Rules, regulations and rules. A list of engineering signatories can be found in the Engineering and Recognised Signatories bulletin below.

ICVs built to the National code of practice for light vehicle construction and modification will comply with the above regulations and be suitable for licensing, subject to a final vehicle examination

LBU_F_VS_ICV.pdf icon Application to build an individually constructed vehicle (Form) Kb
LBU_F_VL_E106_MotorcycleVehicleSpec.pdf icon Motorcycle vehicle specification (Form E106) Kb
Opens in a new window Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF)
Opens in a new window Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
External Link Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: National Code of Practice
External Link Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: Street rod manual

  Motorcycle: Individually Constructed Vehicle (ICV) kit bike

You will need to apply for a Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) compliance assessment for the bike. This assessment may take up to 15 working days. To apply, please download and submit (Form E106): Motorcycle vehicle specification below.

The form can be submitted either electronically or by post.

To submit online, please email the completed form to the email address below.

All form fields must be completed. Please include as much information as possible to enable a proper assessment. Incomplete forms will be deleted without a response.

To submit by post, please print the form, complete it and then mail or email to:

Street address
Postal address
Telephone Fax Email

Vehicle Safety and Standards
Technical Policy and Services
21 Murray Road South
Welshpool WA 6106


Technical Policy and Services

In both cases, the assessment may take up to 15 working days.

Please refer to the reverse of the E106 form to complete the LAMS compliance checklist.

LBU_F_VL_E106_MotorcycleVehicleSpec.pdf icon Motorcycle vehicle specification (Form E106) Kb

  Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV)

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is a motor vehicle, other than a tow truck or an agricultural vehicle, built for a purpose other than carrying a load. SPVs include vehicles such as garbage trucks, street sweepers and cranes. Some SPVs, such as concrete trucks and fire trucks, may carry water.

Truck-based SPVs that are built in large numbers usually have to be certified by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

If you want to buy or construct over-dimensional or over-mass SPVs, you should first contact us. In the majority of cases Main Roads WA must also be contacted for information about access to the road system, or in the case of extremely large or heavy vehicles, about exceeding axle mass limits, which requires a permit.

Opens in a new window Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
External Link Main Roads WA

  Street rods

What vehicles qualify as street rods and how do I apply to construct one?

A street rod is defined as a vehicle that has a body and frame that were built before 1949, that has been modified for safe road use, or a replica of a vehicle the body and frame of which were built before 1949.

Before commencing the construction of a street rod an Application to construct/modify a street rod form must be completed. The application form is available from the Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF) and WA Combined Rodders Association (WACRA) examiners, for use by their members.

While you don't have to be an ASRF or WACRA member to construct a street rod, we recommend it as these organisations offer valuable expertise and technical support.

Constructing street rods

Please note that you must complete an Application to construct/modify a street rod form when you propose to make modifications to any currently licensed street rod. The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's, street rod manual provides a comprehensive set of guidelines.

After your street rod has passed a full inspection and 3/4 front and rear photographs of the vehicle have been provided to us, the vehicle can be licensed conditionally (B Class).

Street rods that do not comply with the street rod guidelines are deemed to be Individually Constructed Vehicles (ICVs) and must fulfill ICV regulations and be constructed to the relevant code of practice.

Interstate transfers of street rods

While standards of construction and modification for street rods are very similar across Australia, the method of registration and the permitting of these vehicles varies. Therefore, we advise that you contact the appropriate jurisdiction/s before transferring a vehicle interstate.

Further information on street rods

For more comprehensive information regarding the construction or modification of street rods, we recommend you approach the Australian Street Rod Federation or the WA Combined Rodders Association.

Opens in a new window Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF)
External Link Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: Street rod manual

 

Page last updated: Tue Dec 5 2017 2:18:17 PM