Can I drive my car the day it expires in Australia?

driving car on expiration date australia

In Australia, all vehicles need to be registered before being driven on public roads.

Every state has its regulations on the registration or “The Rego”, a mandatory document for driving your car in Australia.

The Rego is in the car owner’s name, and if a vehicle is traded, the name on the Rego should be transferred to the new owner.

There is a fee on the Rego collected by the government for road safety and maintenance. Still, the purpose of the Rego is for authorities to identify vehicles and their owners.

Registration is part of the costs of owning a car in Australia. Ignoring the expiry date of your car’s registration can be a costly mistake since the fine for driving a vehicle without a Rego is not cheap.

So you have to renew your registration before you can take your car out of the parking again.

Accidents happen with all the bills that we have to pay monthly, and sometimes you might forget to renew your registration.

But when exactly is Car Rego due?

There is an expiration date, and people are often confused if they can drive their car on the expiration date. In this article, we will answer your question and more frequently asked questions surrounding the Rego.

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What is the renewal period of my car registration?

The Rego has to be renewed every year, but shorter renewal periods are offered to keep the costs down in some states.

So registration periods vary from monthly to every six or 12 months.

For example, in NSW, you can renew your car registration every six or 12 months.

You can change the renewal period only at the renewal time.

Other states such as Victoria offer car owners three, six, or 12-month renewal options.

Queensland provides monthly registration for car owners, with three, six, and annual options also available.

However, shorter periods mean you need to be careful not to forget to renew your registration!

Another thing you should keep in mind is that if you are buying a new vehicle, generally it is best to buy a vehicle with a current Rego.

However, sometimes a car’s registration is expired or you will have to pay the Rego at the time of purchase.

The owner can choose the duration of the Rego and you can transfer it to your name.

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How to make sure you don’t forget to renew your car registration?

With all the responsibilities of work and the bills and maintenance costs we have to pay monthly, it’s no surprise that sometimes we might forget about paying to renew our car’s registration.

However, this can be avoided with SMS and email reminder services available that can help you pay your Rego on time.

You will receive a reminder between 6 to 4 weeks before the expiration date.

There will be follow-up reminders a week before the expiration date if you haven’t renewed your registration.

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You can register on mySA Gov to receive reminders.

Some states, such as Queensland, have mobile apps you can download from Android and iOS app stores, which lets you quickly check the status of your car’s registration on your phone.

You can renew your registration up to 3 months before it’s due and 3 months after expiry.

But you must not drive without current registration.

Driving without registration is illegal and the charges cost higher than the renewal of your Rego.

When you renew late, the registration expiry date remains the same, so it’s better to renew on time to get a full period of registration.

If more than 3 months have passed from the expiration date, your registration will be cancelled.

When your registration gets cancelled you have to hand in your number plates because owning the number plates of an unregistered vehicle is considered an offence.

Hand in your number plates at a service centre.

Unregistered vehicle permits

As mentioned above, unregistered vehicles cannot be driven on the road in Australia.

However, there are times when it’s not reasonable or possible to renew your registration.

For instance, when you are preparing your unregistered car for registration.

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You can ask for an Unregistered Vehicle Permit (UVP) in these situations.

You cannot use a UVP for the duration of time provided by the permit, which can vary from 1 to 7 days for trips or up to 28 days for registering your car.

To request a UVP, you need to provide the reason you need one, the details of your journey, and your vehicle’s details.

Can you drive your vehicle on the expiry date?

Your car’s registration is valid until midnight of the expiry date.

This means that if your vehicle is registered on May 1, 2022, for 12 months, your registration will expire at midnight on May 1, 2023.

If you have paid to renew your Rego earlier, the period commences precisely one day after the current expiry date.

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Unregistered cars lose their insurance automatically, and if you are caught driving without one, the fines are higher than the cost of registering your vehicle.

Traffic cameras can detect unregistered cars, and you could be charged even if you are not pulled aside by a cop.

What is more, you will be liable for the costs of accidents and injuries. Hence, it’s always good to double-check your Rego papers for the expiry date and renew earlier.


In conclusion, your car’s registration expires at midnight of the expiry date.

In most countries including Australia, you have up to about three months to register your car once it expires.

If you do not register your unregistered car, driving will be illegal for you and you need to take care of that before it gets too serious and problematic for you and your situation.

The dates are determined based on the duration of your Rego. Depending on your preference, you can renew your car’s registration every 12 months or 6 months.

Some states offer 3-month or monthly payments to decrease the costs.

No matter what plan you choose, remember to renew your car’s registration.

A vehicle without registration is not supported by insurance.

Furthermore, the fines cost higher than the Rego fees.

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