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Replacing or changing a number plate

Requirements for number plates

If you drive on Queensland roads, your vehicle must be fitted with official number plates.

It is your responsibility to make sure your number plates are kept in good condition. You can be fined for not replacing damaged or illegible number plates.

According to the law, the characters on a number plate must be visible from 20m away at any point within an arc of 45 degrees from the surface of the plate, above or to either side of the vehicle.

Normal (standard) number plates have a 10 year guarantee against faulty material and workmanship. This warranty period only applies when a vehicle is being used under normal conditions.  

A selection of number plates showing different types of wear and tear including greying of colour, crazing and peeling of the surface, damage and general wear and tear to the number plate.
Different types of wear and tear that can make number plates hard to read

When to replace number plates

Over time, excessive exposure to exhaust fumes, chemicals, stones, the sun, and general wear and tear can damage your plates and make them hard to read. You should check the condition of your plates regularly, particularly if you have older plates.

Police and transport inspectors regularly check the condition of number plates. Make sure your plates can be read. If they cannot be read and cleaning does not fix the problem, you will need to replace them.

If your plates have been damaged, destroyed or stolen, you are required by law to apply for replacement plates within 14 days.

How to replace number plates

To replace your plates, whether you are replacing normal (standard) number plates or personalised plates you can visit a Transport and Main Roads customer service centre or, if you live in a rural area, a QGAP office, Magistrates Court or local police station that provides vehicle registration services.

You will need to:

  • bring your old plates (but do not remove them from the vehicle until you arrive at the customer service centre)
  • fill in the:
  • bring evidence of your identity:
    • if the vehicle is registered in a business or company name, the person representing the company must have personal identification and provide evidence of representation, such as being in uniform or showing work identification
    • if your vehicle is registered in 2 names, either person can sign to replace a normal (standard) or customised plate and provide identification
    • if a personalised plate is in 2 names they must both sign the application and both provide identification.
  • pay the fee:
    • $26.35 will be charged to replace normal (standard) plates with a different plate number
    • you can call 13 23 90 to find out the fee to get a replacement plate with the same plate number
    • check PPQ for the fee to replace your personalised plate.

When you hand your form in, you will need to hand over your old plates as well. If you cannot hand over your plates (because they were lost, stolen or destroyed), you will need to explain on the form what happened to them.

If you are getting replacement plates that are not customised or personalised, you will get them immediately. You will get a new number plate combination. You must attach number plates within 1 day of receiving them. We encourage you to attach the new plates to your vehicle before you drive away.

If you are applying for the same plate number (these are known as customised plates) or personalised plates, your new plates will be ordered and mailed to you. You need to keep the old plate on the rear of your vehicle until you receive your new plates. For a vehicle with 2 plates, keep the plate that is in the best condition on the rear of your vehicle. You should hand in the old plate when the new plates arrive.

Items blocking your number plate

If you have a tow bar on your vehicle that blocks the view of your rear number plate, remove it when you’re not using it. If your vehicle’s tray is in the way, move your number plate to where it can be seen easily.

A registered trailer is allowed to block the view of your vehicle’s number plates if the trailer’s plates are visible.

If a bicycle rack or other accessory blocks the view of your number plate, you will need to buy an accessory plate from a customer service centre. This accessory plate can be attached to your accessory and makes your registration number visible from the required distance. Your standard number plates must be changed before you can get an accessory plate.

Plate of Origin

If you are about to replace your number plates, consider buying a Plate of Origin number plate—commemorating our record-breaking eighth State of Origin series win.

Get a Plate of Origin while stocks last.

Moving an unregistered vehicle

If you are using an unregistered vehicle permit to move an unregistered vehicle on the road, you must remove the number plates.

Changing interstate number plates

If you move to Queensland from interstate, you will need to re-register your vehicle with Queensland number plates.

Last updated
25 July 2014

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