How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate in South Australia

NOTE: Be aware that owners of vehicles that are subject to the compulsory defective Takata airbag recall may be required to provide proof that the defective airbags have been replaced by an authorised vehicle dealer before a roadworthy inspection can be performed.

At present, only public passenger transport vehicles like buses and taxis, as well as road trains and prime movers towing two trailers (b-doubles) require regular roadworthy inspections and certifications. All other vehicles are only subject to mandatory/statutory inspections and certifications under the following conditions-

  • If the vehicle has been fitted with a non-standard engine; in such cases, call vehicle standards on 1300 882 248 to ask about your vehicle or email [email protected]
  • If the vehicle has been structurally changed - eg change the length of the wheelbase
  • If the vehicle is a dedicated rally car, street rod or an individually constructed vehicle
  • If the vehicle has had modifications made to the brakes, steering or suspension systems
  • If the vehicle has been imported from overseas and requires an exemption from the fitting of a compliance plate (cars manufactured after 1971 and for motorcycles manufactured after 1977)
  • If the vehicle was originally manufactured as a left-hand drive model
  • If the vehicle has had a change in its seating capacity
  • If the vehicle was registered in another state, is more than three years old and has an unladen mass of 4 500kg or more
  • If the vehicle is a repaired, economically written-off vehicle
  • If the vehicle has a seating capacity of 12 or less and is used to carry passengers for hire, fare or reward (except self-drive)
  • If the vehicle is a bus with seating for 13 or more
  • If the vehicle is a heavy vehicle or trailer with a Gross Vehicles Mass (GVM) or Aggregate Trailer mass (ATM) of more than 4.5 tonnes and three years of age or over from the date of manufacture, being transferred to a new owner for registration in South Australia.
  • If the vehicle [of the prescribed class] has received a defect notice in terms ofsection 145 of the Road Traffic Act 1961(SA), which states that “…A member of the Police or an inspector may examine a vehicle which they suspect on reasonable grounds to have deficiencies. The owner of the vehicle may be required to produce the vehicle for an examination at a specified place and time.”

How long are roadworthy certificates valid in South Australia?

As a general rule, vehicles do not require regular roadworthy inspections if they remain registered in the same owner's name. The only exceptions to this rule occur when a vehicle receives a defect notice,  has been modified in meaningful ways, or when a written-off vehicle is repaired and placed back into service.

How much does a roadworthy inspection cost in South Australia?

The state offers and requires a wide range of inspections at different fees for different types of inspections. As such, the list of possible fees is too long to reproduce here, but the examples below are instructive-

  • $179 for an initial inspection of a defected car, car trailer or motorcycle
  • $92 for each subsequent inspection of a defected car, car trailer or motorcycle
  • $66 for an ID check on an interstate light vehicle
  • $272 for a roadworthy inspection of a modified vehicle
  • $92 for each subsequent inspection of a modified vehicle

Note that in addition to the above fees, which are correct as of 1 July 2022, an additional fee of $26 is payable at the time of making or booking an appointment, although this fee does not apply to Tier 2 inspections. Note also that you will need either a driver’s licence number or a client number to book or arrange appointments for inspections. More information on other possible inspections and fees is available at

Who can issue roadworthy certificates in South Australia?

The easiest way to arrange a booking for any statutory inspection is to call Service SA on 13 10 84. Note, though, that will need to provide the following information during the process-

  • your driver’s licence number or client number
  • SA plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN)
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