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Special interest vehicle scheme

A concession is available if you are registering a classic or vintage car, a street rod or a historic vehicle. This concession is based on the vehicle having a very strict and limited road use which is reflected in the reduced fees and compulsory third party insurance premium.

This guide sets out the requirements for registering vehicles under the scheme and explains the conditions under which the scheme operates. Registered operators of special interest vehicles should be familiar with the conditions of use as outlined within this guide and ensure that anyone driving the vehicle is also familiar with these conditions.

Eligible vehicles

This concession is available for the following vehicles:

  • historic vehicles:
    • vehicles (light or heavy) that are at least 30 years old
  • street rods and hot rods:
    • vehicles modified for safe road use and have a body and frame built before 1949
    • replicas of a vehicle that has a body and frame built before 1949
  • historic ambulances and fire-fighting equipment vehicles:
    • retired ambulances and fire-fighting equipment vehicles (no age restriction) that are now used for display

Left hand drive vehicles may be registered under the scheme if they are a:

  • light vehicle (GVM not over 4.5t) and at least 30 years old
    or a
  • heavy vehicle (GVM over 4.5t) at least 30 years old and has been issued with a left hand drive Exemption Permit by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

In the case of historic ambulances and fire-fighting equipment vehicles less than 30 years old, the vehicle must be converted to right hand drive.

How to apply

Complete the registration concession application (F3937) and take it to your nearest transport and motoring 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—please call to confirm before visiting. You will also need to bring proof of eligibility – refer to the relevant vehicle type below for proof of eligibility requirements.

The special interest vehicle concession can be applied to multiple eligible vehicles—there is no limit. Please complete a registration concession application (F3937) for each eligible vehicle.

Historic vehicles—proof of eligibility

Club membership - You require evidence, at the time of application, of current membership with a Queensland incorporated vehicle club or incorporated association to be eligible for this concession. This membership should be maintained while the vehicle is registered under the scheme. Your incorporated club can provide evidence of your current membership, which needs to:

  • be on club letterhead
  • include details of your vehicle (make, model, year and chassis number)
  • be signed by an incorporated club official.

Vehicles other than historic ambulances and fire-fighting equipment vehicles must be registered in the name of the incorporated club member (individuals only). However, the Department of Transport and Main Roads may also approve incorporated historical societies with a recognised interest in vehicle heritage to register eligible vehicles under the scheme. Such applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Contact your nearest transport and motoring customer service centre or QGAP office, Magistrates Court or local police station that provides vehicle registration services for more information.

Dating certificate (if applicable) - A dating certificate is only required if the Department of Transport and Main Roads cannot verify the date of manufacture for your vehicle (from an existing or previous vehicle record, import papers, or from the identification or manufacturer’s plate). If a dating certificate is required, a dating officer (or incorporated club official) from a Queensland incorporated vehicle club or incorporated association will need to certify the vehicle’s authenticity and year of manufacture. This must be on incorporated club letterhead or other official incorporated club documentation and include details of the vehicle (make, model, year and chassis number).

Street rods and hot rods—proof of eligibility

Club membership – Registered operators must retain current membership with the Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF). Compliance with this requirement may be verified at any time by Transport and Main Roads officers.

Compliance – Street rods must comply with all the specifications contained in the ASRF Queensland Street Rod Guidelines.

Modifications – If a street rod that is registered under the special interest vehicle registration concession scheme is modified in any way, it must be certified and replated under the LH9 or LH10 section of the Queensland Code of Practice – Vehicle Modifications.

Supporting documentation – The Queensland State Director of the ASRF must supply documentation certifying the vehicle was manufactured before 1949, or is a replica of a vehicle manufactured before 1949, and the applicant is a current member of the ASRF.

Historic ambulances and fire-fighting equipment vehicles (no age limit) —proof of eligibility

There is no age restriction for historic ambulances and fire-fighting equipment vehicles.

To be eligible for registration under the Special Interest Vehicle Registration Concession Scheme, historic ambulances and fire-fighting equipment vehicles must be registered in the name of one of the following:

  • an incorporated fire brigade
  • an incorporated ambulance service
  • a current member of an incorporated ambulance historical society or fire brigade historical society (proof of this membership is required on letterhead or other official documentation).
  • a current member of an incorporated vehicle club if vehicle is 30 years of age or more (proof of this membership is required on letterhead or other official documentation).

Club membership exemptions

If you live in a remote area you may be eligible for an exemption from the incorporated club membership requirement. All exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Contact your nearest transport and motoring customer service centre or QGAP office, Magistrates Court or local police station that provides vehicle registration services for more information.

Conditions and restrictions

You and anyone driving your special interest vehicle must only use the vehicle for:

  • participating in rallies organised by incorporated vehicle clubs—a rally is a social event whereby a parade of special interest vehicles travel together for competition or to meet at an agreed location. Rallies are usually listed in a incorporated club newsletter or on the incorporated club’s website or social media page.
  • participating in processions for which a Special Events Permit has been issued under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management –Accreditation and Other Provisions) Regulation 2015
  • exhibiting the vehicle in displays, fetes or similar functions conducted for religious, charitable or educational purposes
  • ceremonial purposes (such as weddings, formals, funerals) involving immediate and de facto family members, or as part of a sanctioned incorporated club event, provided this is not done for fee or reward. Immediate and de facto family means parents, grandparents, sons, daughters, grandchildren, adopted children and adopted grandchildren, but not extended family members such as aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces
  • events sanctioned by the Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF)—street rods and hot rods only
  • preparing for, proceeding to, and returning from the above activities
  • direct travel to and from an approved inspection station to get a safety certificate or certificate of inspection before offering the vehicle for sale
  • travel in order to have the vehicle repaired. There is no distance restriction, however such travel must be reasonable and justifiable by the vehicle operator
  • road testing within a 15km radius from the place where the vehicle is garaged or is being repaired. The purpose of the travel must be to road test the vehicle following repair or restoration, or for general vehicle maintenance and not for any other purpose. This does not include use as an everyday means of transport. A passenger may travel in your vehicle to assist with road testing—only if your vehicle can legally carry passengers.

Buses are permitted to carry non-fare paying passengers for journeys (joy-rides) from an event (for example, a fete) and return provided the length of the journey does not exceed 5km. Payment of any kind cannot be received for these journeys.

Heavy vehicles over 4.5t GVM are permitted to carry a load provided the loaded GVM or gross combination mass (GCM) does not exceed 50% of the maximum permitted mass for the vehicle configuration. This mass is based on the lesser of:

  • Individual axle ratings
  • Tyre manufacturer's limits
  • Manufacturer's GVM or GCM
  • Regulation mass limits.

If your special interest vehicle does not have permanent lighting, you must carry a removable lighting system with the vehicle at all times and use that system whenever lighting would normally be required. Carbide lights are acceptable where that type of light was originally fitted.

What to carry in your vehicle

We recommend you carry paperwork that supports your reason for travel. This could include:

  • club newsletter
  • club calendar of events.

If your vehicle is being used and displayed for a funeral event, we understand there may not be enough time to include this as an event on an official club newsletter or calendar of events. In this instance, a funeral notice or an order of service would be suitable to support your reason for travel.

Penalties

If you use your vehicle outside of the conditions of the special interest vehicle concession, you may face a fine or risk having your concession revoked.

You may also risk serious insurance implications if your vehicle is involved in a crash whilst being used contrary to the conditions of the concession scheme. If there is damage to your vehicle, yourself or others your compulsory third party insurance and comprehensive insurance may become null and void.

Change of address

Before you move your special interest vehicle from its current garaging address to a new garaging address, please apply for a letter of authority at your nearest transport and motoring 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.

This letter will authorise you to move your special interest vehicle to your new address in a one way trip. Proof of your new garage address will be required (purchase document, rental agreement or completed Queensland Garage Address Statement form (F4408). Please also check with your compulsory third party insurer to ensure you are covered for the journey.

Interstate recognition

Vehicles travelling to interstate club events can operate under the same conditions as Queensland, when using the vehicle interstate.

Interstate visitors who hold a valid authority or permit from their home state or territory can use their special interest vehicle in Queensland (subject to the conditions of use where the vehicle is registered).

Number plates

Special interest vehicles are issued S series plates. You can choose either a standard S plate or USA style S plate for your vehicle. Motorcycles and small trailers are issued a small S plate.

Plate image Description

Standard S plate

Standard S plate
For passenger and commercial vehicles

USA style S plate

USA style S plate
For passenger and commercial vehicles

Small S plate

Small S plate
For motorcycles and small trailers

Previously issued special interest vehicle number plate

Square S plate
Previously issued special interest vehicle number plate—cannot be reissued.

Square S plates that are already attached to your special interest vehicle can continue to be used. If these plates are cancelled or need to be replaced, a different S series plate will be issued.

Green on white and traditional retro plates may also be used on a special interest vehicle if they are already attached or have been customised.

Another option is to attach personalised plates to your special interest vehicle. Visit www.ppq.com.au or call 136 356 for more information.

Motoring Organisation and Car Club meeting minutes

Read the minutes from the meetings. The Department of Transport and Main roads meets every 6 months with industry representatives through the Motoring Organisations and Car Club forum.

Last updated
31 May 2017
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