How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate in the Northern Territory

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to the compulsory defective Takata airbag recall may be required to provide proof that the defective airbags have been replaced by an authorised vehicle dealer before a roadworthy inspection can be performed.

All vehicles, including trailers, in the Northern Territory, must be inspected for their state of roadworthiness before you can register it for the first time, or renew an existing registration. Note that depending on the vehicle type and its predominant use, some vehicles may only require an inspection once it is 5 years old and then again only when it is 10 years old.

The list of possible reasons why it may be necessary to have some vehicles inspected more often than once every five years is too long to reproduce here, but as a general rule, most vehicles in the Northern Territory must be inspected at various intervals under the following conditions-

  • if the vehicle is new and must be registered for the first time
  • if the vehicle is for hire or rental
  • if the vehicle had not been registered in the Northern territory for longer than 12 months
  • if the vehicle is registered in a state or territory other than the Northern Territory, but note that the vehicle must be inspected and registered in the Northern Territory within 3 months of moving to the Northern Territory
  • if the vehicle forms a part of a deceased estate

How long are roadworthy certificates valid in the Northern Territory?

The validity periods of roadworthy certificates vary according to the vehicle's age. For example, if a vehicle is between 5 and 10 years old, a roadworthy certificate remains valid for 5 years. However, if the vehicle is 11 years old or older, a roadworthy certificate remains valid for only 12 months.

Who can issue roadworthy certificates in the Northern Territory?

For normal roadworthy inspections, you can go to either a government facility or to an authorized vehicle inspector, but note that the procedure for submitting your roadworthy certificate filed with the authorities varies somewhat, depending on where you had the inspection performed. Note, also, that compliance checks, as opposed o roadworthy inspections, can only be performed at government test facilities.

More information on the locations of authorized vehicle inspection stations is available here, but note that not all authorised vehicle inspectors can perform all possible inspections on all vehicles, so be sure to book an appointment with an inspector that is authorised to perform inspections on your specific type or category of vehicle. Note that if you live in a remote area, you can have your vehicle inspected by a mobile inspector that you can find here.

How much does a roadworthy inspection cost in the Northern Territory?

The list of possible roadworthy and compliance inspections and their accompanying fees is too long to reproduce here, but the examples below, which were obtained from a current official state government source,  are instructive-

  • $59.45 for inspections on light vehicles
  • $59.40 for inspections on trailers with an ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass) of less than 4 500kg
  • $136.40 for inspections on vehicles with a GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) of more than 4 500kg

Note, though, that the following conditions apply-

  • Pre-payment of inspection fees is not required when you have an inspection done at a government facility; the fee will be added to the registration fee
  • Pre-payment of inspection fees is required for all defect clearance inspections
  • All inspection fees are prescribed and set by the state government, and although some authorised vehicle inspectors sometimes charge less than the prescribed fees, no inspector may charge more than the prescribed fees, a full list of which is available here
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