Transfer a vehicle
Restrictions on transfers
Unpaid infringement notices or court fines may cause a licence suspension or prevent the grant, renewal or transfer of a vehicle licence.
- You are encouraged to check the vehicle licence status before considering the sale or purchase of a vehicle.
- Vehicle owners that might have outstanding infringement notices or court fines may contact the Fines Enforcement Registry on 1300 650 235 to enquire if their unpaid fines that have led to a suspension of the vehicle licence.
Until a suspension has been removed, the vehicle is considered unlicensed and continued use of the vehicle will be in contravention of the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012.
Further details or enquiries in relation to these matters can be obtained by contacting the Fines Enforcement Registry on 1300 650 235.
A person can place a restriction on their vehicle's licence to prevent another person from transferring it. To place a restriction on a licence the customer must provide a Court Order to a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent.
A transfer cannot occur unless the restriction is removed by the presentation of another Court Order to a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional Agent.
Public passenger vehicle licences (i.e. taxis, small charter vehicles, hire and drive, or omnibuses licensed under the Transport Coordination Act 1966) can only be transferred if the operator provides a written authority from On-demand Transport at the Department of Transport. If the vehicle is no longer to be used as a passenger vehicle, this authority is not required. However, any special identification plates (i.e. taxi plates) must be returned and a general series plate issued before the transfer can proceed.
The following outlines the steps required to transfer vehicle ownership. More detailed information is provided in the vehicle licence transfer form.
A vehicle licence may only be granted or transferred to a person or entity that has the ability to be held accountable at law for that vehicle and any offences relating to the use of that vehicle.
A vehicle licence holder must be a legal entity as defined below:
- An individual person aged 18 years or older for a heavy vehicle or 16 years or older for any other vehicle.
- A corporate body.
- An incorporated body.
- Any other organisation that is recognised as being a legal entity.
- The Public Trustee.
Note: Trusts are treated as taxpayer entities however they are not a separate legal entity.
Fees and charges associated with a change of ownership
Vehicle licence duty is payable on the grant or transferring of a vehicle licence. It is charged at a percentage rate of the dutiable value of a vehicle. Use our online calculator to find out how much vehicle licence duty is payable when you licence or transfer a vehicle in Western Australia.
Transfer Fee is a fee that represents a cost recovery for the administration of the licensing system when a change of ownership is processed.
Where a vehicle licence is transferred to a new owner it may be necessary to change the insurance class of a vehicle. Examples include vehicles licensed with a concession that attract a reduced Motor Injury Insurance (MII) rate i.e. veteran/vintage vehicles, farm vehicles, ambulances or vehicles previously used as a taxi, omnibus or hire vehicle.
Some clients and vehicles may be exempt from some or all of these charges. Please refer to Concessions for more information.
Vehicles with a concession
If you acquire a vehicle that is licensed with a concession and that concession does not apply to you, you must advise us. A vehicle licence may be considered to be invalid if the correct licence fees are not paid.
To find out the licence duty payable use our online vehicle licence duty calculator.
Fees for vehicle transfers and licences is provided in the schedule of licensing fees below.
If you disagree with the duty fee payable you can lodge an objection (see below).
|Payments, fees and concessions (Frequently Asked Questions)||Kb|
Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)
To find out if your vehicle is listed on the Written-Off Vehicle Register or if the car you are buying has money owing on it, check out PPSR online.
To make a PPSR enquiry, you will only need to provide the chassis or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Note that there will be no provision for searching or registering an interest by plate or engine number on the PPS Register.
- PPSR online.
- Telephone PPSR on 1300 007 777.
- PPSR online is administered by the Registrar of Personal Property Securities.
PPSR can tell you whether a vehicle, boat or farm machinery has money owing on it (encumbered) before making a purchase. This is important because a third party (e.g. a bank or finance company) may be able to repossess the vehicle you have purchased due to an encumbrance.
A search of the PPS Register will also create a request for vehicle information from the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System - NEVDIS. Depending on the information NEVDIS holds, this will include written-off and stolen status information (if applicable) in addition to make, model, colour and other information.
|Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)|
Competing claims for ownership of a vehicle
General information relating to disputed ownership matters involving the grant and transfer of vehicle licences in accordance with the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012 may be found in the fact sheet below.
|Competing claims of ownership of a vehicle (Fact sheet)||Kb|
Joint owners and nominated licence holders
In most cases, the owner (purchaser) will be the 'responsible person' for the vehicle. However, when there is more than one owner, all owners of the vehicle will need to nominate a single 'responsible person'.
The following rules apply to all jointly-owned vehicles:
- A vehicle cannot be licensed in the name of more than one person at a time.
- Where a vehicle is jointly-owned all owners must complete and sign a Proof of Identity Nominated Owner/Vehicle Licence Holder VL186 form to nominate an eligible individual to be the 'responsible person'.
- Where there is no change in the joint owners but the nominated owner/licence holder is to change, a Change in Nominated/Joint Owners form E4 is to be completed by all owners. Transfer and vehicle licence duty will not be payable.
- Where a joint owner or 'responsible person' is to be removed a Change in Nominated/Joint Owners (Form E4) is to be completed by all owners. Transfer and vehicle licence duty will be payable.
- The nominated owner will be recorded by the Department as the person responsible for the vehicle licence.
- An individual may not be nominated as the 'responsible person' for a vehicle unless that individual is also a joint owner of the vehicle.
- The nominated owner must be made aware of their obligations as the 'responsible person'.
Business partnerships and vehicle licences
In the case of a business partnership, when the owners of the vehicle have nominated a 'responsible person', only that person's name will appear on the licence.
If the business is operating under a trading name (and is not incorporated and does not have an ACN) the trading name cannot be recorded on the licence.
Changing or removing the nominated owner/licence holder
If you wish to cancel the nomination of the responsible person and change it to another joint owner, all joint owners of the vehicle must complete and sign a Change in Nominated/Joint Owners (E4) form.
If you cancel the nomination and the new owner/licence holder is not currently also a joint owner, or the previous 'responsible person' is no longer a joint owner, the vehicle must be transferred. Payment of transfer and vehicle licence duty is required.
|Change in nominated joint owners (Form E4)||Kb|
|Proof of identity: Nominated owner - vehicle licence holder (Form VL186)||Kb|
Transfer between spouses
There is a provision for an exemption from vehicle licence duty, upon the transfer of a vehicle licence between spouses or de facto partners of at least two years.
The Application for Exemption From Duty for the Transfer of a Vehicle Licence (Between Spouses Including De Facto Partners) (E176) form must be presented with the Notification of Change of Ownership Vehicle Licence Transfer (MR9) form at your nearest Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) Centre, regional Department of Transport office or participating DVS agent.
Alternatively, it may be posted to: Driver and Vehicle Services, GPO Box R1290 Perth WA 6844.
Eligibility for an exemption from the payment of vehicle licence duty is available in the following circumstances:
- The transfer of the vehicle licence must be between persons who are married to each other or who are de facto partners of two years.
- Neither person can hold the vehicle as a trustee of a trust.
- The transfer of the licence must be for a vehicle used for private purposes.
- The vehicle cannot be a heavy vehicle and the tare weight of the vehicle GVM is not greater than 4,500 kg.
- The vehicle must not be used for carrying passengers or goods for hire or reward or in any business, trade or profession.
Although the transferee will be exempt from paying the vehicle licence duty, a transfer fee is still payable.
The transfer of the vehicle licence cannot be processed unless the forms have been signed by both the current licence holder (transferor) and the proposed licence holder (transferee).
|Application for Exemption: From Duty for the Transfer of a Vehicle Licence (Form E176)||Kb|
|Notification of change of ownership vehicle licence transfer (Form MR9)||Kb|
Vehicles with optional or personalised plates fitted
If the vehicle is fitted with optional plates (other than personalised plates) and the plates are being sold with the vehicle, the purchaser and seller must each complete and submit a Transfer of rights to display special plates (Form VL176). The form is available below.
The purchaser will then have to pay the applicable plate transfer fee (see schedule of licensing fees above).
Note to purchaser:
If you do not want to keep the plates, return them to a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre to receive a set of ordinary state plates. Please note a fee applies.
Note to seller:
If you do not intend to sell the plates, return them to a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre for retention and receive a set of ordinary state plates for the vehicle you are selling. Please note a fee applies.
|Transfer of right to display optional plates (Form VL176)||Kb|
Vehicle licence duty calculator (2020/2021)
Driver and Vehicle Services is required by the Duties Act 2008 to collect vehicle licence duty when a vehicle is licensed or its licence is transferred.
Any caravan defined as 'a trailer (including a camper trailer) permanently fitted for human habitation in the course of a journey' is exempt from the payment of Vehicle Licence Duty only. Transfer Fees are still charged as they are a fee that represents a cost recovery for the administration of the licensing system when a change of ownership is processed.
Fees applicable as of 1 July 2020
To display the total vehicle licence duty payable for any vehicle:
- 1 Select classification of vehicle (light or heavy vehicle, and used/new).
- 2 Enter the "Dutiable value" of the vehicle in the field below.
- 3 Click on the "Calculate Fee Payable" button.
GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass)
- The tare/mass weight of a vehicle plus load.
- Determined by the vehicle manufacturer as the maximum weight that the vehicle can carry.
- A figure set by the manufacturer and is stamped on the compliance plate of the vehicle (sometimes referred to as GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight).
Vehicle licence duty payable objection
If you consider the dutiable value of the vehicle determined by us too high, you can lodge an objection against the dutiable value with the Commissioner of State Revenue.
For more information, or to make an objection, visit the Department of Treasury and Finance's Office of State Revenue.
|Department of Finance: Duties forms and publications|
|Department of Finance: State Revenue|