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Buying a car with South Australia (SA) registration

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  • Ivan
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Another good question from Nico.

How do you register a car with SA registration? Especially outside South Australia (SA).

If you buy a car with SA registration, you will need to be in SA, or plan to be get to SA within 14 days.

A little different than other states, in addition, you will need to provide proof you are a backpacker (i.e. not a resident) and get approval to register a car for the purpose of backpacking.

When you go to the registration office, you will need to take form MR592 signed by the youth hostel manager (I am also told a note or receipt from the hostel maybe accepted - you can try this) to say you are a backpacker! This must be then approved by the branch manager ... this is not automatic, but if you are a genuine backpacker, it should be approved.

You will need to get form MR592 from the registration office.

Same deal as (most) other states, if you can not get to a SA registration office in 14 days, you will get a fine and perhaps invalidate your insurance.

Options are :

1. Buy the car and register it in the state you are in. (this involves a safety test and some transfer fees)
If you do this, you should get a refund of ~$50 per month of outstanding registration from SA

2. Drive to SA ... depending on where you are this maybe easy or hard!

3. Find a different car ... (WA has the easist rego system to transfer)

Hope this helps ... sorry if it is bad news for some.

Really, this news should simply mean that a buyer of a SA car outside of SA can bargain a lower price to complete the proper procedure ... so if both parties agree a fare price, then all is good?

Remember, I am writing this September 8th 2009, so if you read this in the future, always check the registration site for latest updates:,+travel+and+motoring/Motoring/Buying+and+selling+a+vehicle/Buying+a+vehicle

As always, please feel free to login and comment   Cool

====== from Government of SA site Sept 8 2009 =======

Before you buy

    * Check the advice about buying a car on the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs Open in new window website.
    * Check if the vehicle is recorded as stolen, written-off or has money owing on it. Telephone 13 10 84 and ask the following questions:
            Is the vehicle recorded as stolen?
            Has the vehicle been recorded as written-off?
            Is the vehicle recorded as defected?
            Does the vehicle have any financial interests recorded against it?

    For complete protection against possible repossession of the vehicle you will need to purchase a Certificate of Registered Interests. Telephone 13 10 84 or visit a Service SA customer service centre.

      Buying a safer car Open in new window may be one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Whether you are purchasing a new or used car, this road safety information will assist you.
      Check out Government car auctions Open in new window.

What to do at the time of purchase

When you buy a motor vehicle you are required to register it (or ensure it is currently registered) before driving it on the road.

Follow the steps below:

    * Buying a vehicle that is registered in South Australia

    When you buy a vehicle that is registered in South Australia, you must complete and lodge an application for transfer of registration within 14 days.

    Step 1: You (the buyer) and the person selling the vehicle must complete and sign the application for transfer of registration which is located on the reverse side of the current certificate of registration.

    If the seller does not have a current certificate of registration, they should apply for a replacement at any Service SA customer service centre before you finalise the purchase.

    If the seller cannot produce a current certificate of registration it may indicate they are not the registered owner or that they may be going to cancel the registration once the vehicle is sold.

   Step 2: The buyer must lodge the application for transfer within 14 days of purchase at a Service SA customer service centre.

    You need to lodge the application for transfer of registration. (The person selling you the car must also lodge the notice of disposal)

    Note: It is in your best interest to obtain a receipt from the person you are purchasing the vehicle from.

    * Buying an unregistered vehicle

    If you buy a South Australian vehicle that is not registered and you wish to drive the vehicle, you must complete an application for registration and third party insurance and return it to your nearest Service SA customer service centre.

    If there are no other requirements, after you pay the fee, a certificate of registration and label will be issued to you.

« Last Edit: 15,September,2009 by Barb »

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