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Vehicles registered overseas temporarily being used in Queensland

Before you arrive in Australia

To bring a vehicle into Australia, you need to make sure you have the right approvals for it to enter the country and be driven on our roads. For a vehicle that is registered overseas and is being brought to Australia to use on a holiday, you will need a Carnet de Passage en Douane (CPD) issued by the motoring association in your home country (or in Canada if you are from the United States of America). The Department of Home Affairs has more information about CPDs.

It is important you organise the right approval for your vehicle before it is shipped. If a vehicle arrives in Australia without the right approval, it will not be allowed to enter the country or be used on our roads. You may also have to pay substantial storage fees until you either take the vehicle out of Australia or the correct approvals are issued.

Foreign defence personnel on exchange

Foreign defence personnel who are in Australia on exchange with Australian Forces are allowed to bring their overseas vehicle with them for personal use under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

To bring a vehicle to Australia under this agreement, the defence member must obtain a vehicle import approval issued under SOFA, issued by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Driving your vehicle in Queensland

Queensland does not require visitors to apply for an overseas vehicle permit. However, the vehicle’s overseas registration plates and registration labels must be attached to the vehicle, if required by law in the country of origin.

The vehicle must have:

  • working headlights
  • working tail lights, including stop and turn lights
  • working windscreen wipers
  • working seat belts (if fitted).

You may only drive while your overseas registration is current. Your driver licence must also be current.

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance must be purchased prior the vehicle being driven. In Queensland you must apply for CTP insurance for the length of your stay.

For a Queensland CTP insurance certificate see this list of licensed insurers.

Drivers are required to carry the following documentation:

  • proof of current overseas registration
  • current driver licence
  • CPD or import approval issued under SOFA
  • CTP insurance certificate.

Left hand drive vehicles over 4.5t GVM

If your vehicle is over 4.5t GVM and has its steering controls on the left side of the vehicle, you will also need to carry a left hand drive permit. Left hand drive permits for heavy vehicles are issued by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Disposing of your vehicle

A vehicle that is registered overseas and is being temporarily used in Australia cannot be sold in Australia. The vehicle must be taken out of Australia by the expiry date on the import approval.

You can dismantle the vehicle for parts only if your CPD allows for this. You will need to contact the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development for approval to dismantle, otherwise you must export the vehicle.

Changes to Compulsory Third Party insurance

Find out about the National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland, a lifetime care and support protection which started 1 July 2016.

Last updated
15 February 2018
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