The Vehicle Safety Standards Branch administers the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (the Act), develops and implements safety standards and reforms. The Branch undertakes compliance and safety investigation activities, which are fit for purpose, risk based and deliver both safety and environmental outcomes consistent with international approaches.

The Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (the Act) controls the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all vehicles entering the Australian market for the first time—both new and used.

  • Vehicle Safety Standards (VSS) Branch administers the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA), which sets vehicle standards for all new vehicles entering the Australian market and regulates the supply to the market of used vehicles.

  • The Australian Government maintains jurisdiction over road vehicles up to the point of first supply to the Australian market (i.e. manufacture or importation). Once a vehicle has been supplied to the market, it is “in-service”. State and Territory Governments are responsible for continued regulation after this point (e.g. vehicle registration, roadworthiness and the approval of modifications to vehicles in-service).

  • The Road Vehicle Standards legislation has passed Parliament and will commence 12 months after receiving Royal Assent. The Road Vehicle Standards legislation will deliver a modernised regulatory framework that increases community and environmental safety, provides greater choice for consumers and removes unnecessary red tape on businesses. A new website to support administration of the Road Vehicle Standards legislation is currently under construction.

  • The Department assists the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in monitoring road vehicle recalls. This includes considering the need for a recall, monitoring the progresses of announced recalls and providing advice to the ACCC and suppliers conducting a recall. This page provides information for consumers, manufacturers and suppliers in relation to the Department’s involvement in road vehicle recalls.

  • Every vehicle new to Australia must meet minimum safety standards that maintain the safest possible environment for all road users and our community.

  • This section contains information and bulletins on all vehicle related standards set by the Australian Government, together with information on and links to the various vehicle certification schemes.

  • A Registered Automotive Workshop is a business that has been approved to import and plate up to 100 used vehicles (per vehicle category), per year. A full list of Registered Automotive Workshops is available at the RAWS website.

  • The department is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Motor Vehicles Standards Act 1989. The department also assesses safety and non-compliance reports received from the general public, industry and other regulators and assists the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in monitoring the progress of motor vehicle recalls.

  • This page provides information about eligibility of motor vehicles for entry onto the register. You can also download an application form from here.

  • Visit this page for information on standards development on vehicle safety, emissions, noise and energy issues, including links to the Australian Design Rules and Green Vehicle Guide website.

  • This page puts you on the right path to find out the latest updates for Vehicle Safety Standards and provides the information you need by linking to information and services on many Australian government websites as well as selected state and territory resources.

  • This page links to the various registers and portals for functions under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 administered by the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch.

  • A listing of departmental publications relating to vehicles.

  • Commonwealth regulators that administer, monitor or enforce regulation are required to implement the Australian Government Regulator Performance Framework. The Framework was developed in late 2014 to support Australian Government regulators to measure and improve their performance. The department undertakes an assessment of achievement against the Regulator Performance Framework indicators every year.