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2024 Most Complete Guide to Australian License Plates

If you are in Australia, you know that Australia is a sparsely populated country, and its infrastructure is not particularly well developed, except for the large urban areas. Therefore, the car has become the necessary means of transportation for all residents of Australia. Driving in Australia is the same as at home; all vehicles travelling on Australian roads must have a valid license plate number and registration information. On the streets of Australia, you will often be attracted by the cars parked next to each other, not because of the expensive sports cars, but because these private cars have very personalized license plates, some of which have different illustrations. In contrast, others have different text, and the owners can choose various types of license plates. So, how do you apply for a license plate in Australia? How do you customize personalized license plates? And how do you deal with expired Australian license plates?

Australian License Plate Tips

A vehicle registration number (Rego) is a series of numbers or letters assigned to a vehicle by the Road Traffic Department of different state governments in Australia after the motor vehicle registration. The Rego and the license plate are together, so the fee includes the license plate fee.

How Do you Get a License Plate in Australia?

License Plate for New Car in Australia

In Australia, the license plate of a first-hand car is usually underwritten by the dealer who purchased the vehicle. The dealer will first give you an available temporary license plate. And the official license plate will be sent to your home about one or two weeks later.

Licensing Used Cars

After choosing and purchasing a car at a dealership, the dealership will take care of all the transfer and licensing procedures for the customer, and some dealerships can even help the customer choose a good license plate number.

Because some states require that the transfer be completed within 14 days of signing the transfer certificate, and the RWC is only valid for one month, You go to the dealership as soon as possible after purchasing a privately owned used car. After the transfer, the vehicle will be yours. The DMV will give you a new Right of Way Rego Paper with the Rego expiration date. All cars on Australian roads must have a valid license plate number and registration.

Necessary documents for licensing a used car in Australia:

To register your vehicle, you must get an RWC (Roadworthy Certificate).

Then, prepare your vehicle’s VIN, engine, and driver’s license number.

After you have made an appointment with the Roads Department, drive the vehicle you want to register, bring the RWC certificate and your ID, fill out the form, and submit it to the Roads Department for registration.

Rego Registration Fee

In Victoria, for example, three different fees are depending on your vehicle’s location. If you are in the city centre, also known as the high-risk area, the total rego fee is $816.50. If you are in a nearby city area, a medium-risk area, the cost is $762.6; if you are in a more remote location, the lowest-risk area, the cost is $699.9.

Things to Keep in Mind

If the Rego expires, the car can’t go on the road, and you’ll be fined if the police catch you. Before the normal expiration, you can renew the fee directly on the official website of the road bureau of each state that can operate, or you can pay the fee by phone, post office, letter, and so on.

Within three months of expiration, you can typically renew the license plate. Still, after three months, if you don’t renew the license plate, the license plate will be cancelled, and you can only re-register the license plate/registration. Be aware that you can’t drive out without a valid license plate, and if you want to reapply for a rego, you need to do an RWC, and you can only call a tow truck to tow the car to the appropriate location or apply for a temporary license plate.

Of course, if you no longer drive the car, you can cancel the rego anytime. If the rego has not yet expired, you can request a refund of that part of the funds. However, few people do this because licensing is a hassle. The longer the rego remains, the more you save. So, in many cases, if you buy a used car, the vehicle comes with a rego.

Australian License Plate Types and Rules

Types of Australian License Plates

Each state in Australia has its traffic regulations, and license plates are not uniform. However, the general license plate comprises three letters and three digits. For example, the New South Wales license plate has letters in the first three digits and numbers in the last three digits; the Queensland license plate has numbers in the first three digits, letters in the previous three digits, and so on.

How do you distinguish the license plate number in Australia?

To distinguish which state a license plate belongs to in Australia, you should look at the tiny letters on the top or left side of the plate. For example, NSW is New South Wales, QLD is Queensland, VIC is Victoria, ACT is Canberra, WA is Western Australia, SA is South Australia, NT is Northern Territory, and TAS is Tasmania.

Australian Licensing Rules

Each state’s Roads Department only handles transactions for vehicles registered in their state. For example, suppose you buy a car in Victoria. In that case, you must register it with the Roads Department in Victoria, filling in the address of Victoria, and you cannot register it in another state.

Where the state license plate, you have to follow the rules of which state’s license plate, and the address must be filled in that state’s address. The rules differ for each state (you can check out the recommended websites below for specific regulations).

WA can transfer the license plate by correspondence, which is RWC exempted (correspondence transfer is convenient, but you must provide a bilateral WA address and pay attention to the car’s condition).

South Australia car, RWC exempted (must return to South Australia to transfer)

VIC Victoria License Plate (Melbourne base camp, suitable for selling cars, RWC is required for transfer, RWC is valid for one month)

Queensland License Plate (RWC inspection is required; transfer back to Queensland)

The point is that to buy a car, you have to buy where the license plate (Melbourne is to buy a VIC license plate) is (in addition to the WA car). The rest of the vehicle has to be driven back to the original location within a week to transfer. RWC needs time, so you need to estimate the time to check the car!

So far, the continents that don’t need car inspection for transferring are South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA). Still, the one that doesn’t require car inspection for exchanging license plates is only one continent, South Australia. (In other words, if you transfer your SA and WA license plates and get a license plate in SA, you can save a lot of money on RWC and repairs.) So, the WA license plate is still quite popular.

For friends in different areas, to provide you with the name and website of the Road Transport Authority of each state to register rego, vehicles in different states, trading and licensing rules are different, you can make your inquiries and appointments:

Australian Capital Territory Road Transport Authority


New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority


Northern Territory Transport Group


Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads


South Australia Transport


Transport Tasmania


Victoria VicRoads


WA Department of Transport


How to Apply for a Customized License Plate in Australia?

Walking down the street in Australia, you will be attracted by the personalized license plates on the side of the road from time to time. These plates are also called customized plates, and owners can choose from different types of plates to put on their cars: they can have fancy illustrations, personalized text, or even emojis added to them!

How can you get your customized plate? Here’s the detailed process of personalizing your license plate in each state of Australia:

Western Australia

Log on to the official website: https://plateswa.com/#/. Choose and reserve your favourite design!

If you don’t want to choose your design, the website offers many license plate designs, from vintage, European, and luxury metal to flowers, names, AFL clubs, and even Chinese zodiac signs!

Prices range from $105 for a customized license plate for the little guy to $1,499 for a top-of-the-line European-style plate for a luxury car.


Let’s take the Chinese Zodiac and lucky number license plate (from 445 knives) as an example:

1. Choose the type of vehicle for which the plate is intended (car/motorcycle/trailer), material (aluminium/acrylic), colour and size (eight);

2. Enter a combination of letters and numbers as required for pre-screening, make sure no one else is registered and click on “Design now” to see the license plate sample, then continue if you are satisfied;

3. Fill in the information about the owner of the plate (individual/company, myself/others), the name of the owner of the plate and driver’s license/existing license plate/year of birth and region (choose one of the three), and then click on the “Check the Identity” button to confirm that you can continue;

4. Fill in the contact information. 

5. Confirm your order;

6. Payment and confirmation are OK!


1. Visit the official website

2. Select Create Emoji Plate

For the Emoji license plate, you need to choose three letters and two numbers and click check after choosing; if it’s OK, you can go to the next step!

3. Click “CHECKOUT” to complete the personalized license plate.


1. Visit VIC Road’s official license plate selection website: http://www.vplates.com.au

2. Enter the personalized license plate number: according to your preference, enter the symbol you want the license plate. The license plate usually combines letters and numbers, or pure letters and numbers, up to six digits. License plates with one or two digits are already registered!

As shown in the picture above, the license plate you entered has been robbed or cannot be registered.

The picture above shows that the license plate you entered can be registered. Then, you can click the “Select a Style” button, choose your favourite colour and size, and choose from different types of license plates; the price is not the same.

3. Select price range

4. Choose the license plate size: Choose “Standard” for the size.

5. Choose the license plate colour.

6. Check the price of the selected license plate: then you can see the price of the chosen license plate; there is no problem with Online payment and friendly advice; individual rare license plates may be more expensive than the car, but the tycoon, please feel free!

7. Fill in personal information: Next is to fill in their personal information and home address. Then, in 7-14 working days, the license plate will be mailed to your home.

8. Complete the activation of the license plate: When you get the license plate, call the road department to complete the activation and tell them that you got a new license plate and replaced the old one. Then, ask them to transfer the remaining REGO from the old plate to the new personalized plate. A new REGO sticker will be mailed to you the first time at no charge. The old license plate usually asks you to fold or return it to the circuit office.

9. License plate installation: then install the license plate is also very simple; need to remove the screws of the original license plate and then install the new one!

Customized License Plate Price Reference in Australia

In Australia, emoji emoticon license plates can be paired with three letters and two numbers, and the price is expected to range from $160 to $500. These personalized license plates are impossible to see at home, so it’s an excellent choice to apply for one while you’re in Australia and bring it back home as a souvenir!

Warm tips: It should be noted that each state to buy personalized license plate sites is not the same, and the price is not the same—specific reference to the following website.

QLD Queensland personalized license plate application website: https://www.ppq.com.au/

NSW New South Wales personalized license plate application website: https://www.myplates.com.au

ACT Canberra personalized license plate application website: Canberra’s customised license plate needs to be applied on the official website

SA South Australia personalized license plate application website: https://ezyplates.sa.gov.au/

WA personalized license plate application website: https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/plateswa.asp

What Should I Do If My Australian License Plate Expires? 

It is not difficult to deal with expired license plates in Australia. The validity period of the license plate is the same as the Rego time. You can renew the license plate before the regular expiration date, which can be operated directly on the official website of the road bureau of each state. You can also pay the fee by phone, postal service, letter, or other means. Within three months after the expiration date, you can usually renew the license, but after more than three months, if you don’t renew the license, the license will be cancelled, and you can only re-license/register it again.

Australia REQO Enquiry

What is REGO?

A vehicle registration number (REGO) is a series of numbers and letters, usually abbreviated as REGO, assigned to a vehicle by the Road Traffic Department of the different state governments in Australia upon registration of the motor vehicle, which can also be understood as the license plate of the vehicle. If you plan to buy a used car in the market, conducting a REGO Check for that vehicle is essential to your decision.

How to perform a REGO Check?

You can check the vehicle’s registration using the license plate or the VIN (if the car was manufactured after 1989). You can do a free REGO Check (which only contains information on whether the vehicle is registered) by going to the state government website via the link we have provided above. Alternatively, you can purchase an AUCN Vehicle Report and get more information on the vehicle’s history.

Free REGO checks can be done directly on state government websites; here are the state REGO Check websites:

NSW: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/check-vehicle-registration

VIC: https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/registration/buy-sell-or-transfer-a-vehicle/check-vehicle-registration/vehicle-registration- enquiry

WA: https://online.transport.wa.gov.au/webExternal/registration/?1


SA: https://www.ecom.transport.sa.gov.au/et/checkRegistrationExpiryDate.do

NT: https://nt.gov.au/driving/rego/check,-renew-or-transfer-your-registration/rego-check

ACT: https://rego.act.gov.au/regosoawicket/public/reg/FindRegistrationPage?0


Registration Check

License plate number

Place of registration

Registration expiration date

Make, model, etc.

AUCN Vehicle Report

License plate number

Place of Registration

Registration expiration date

Make, model, etc.

PPSR Certification Report

Theft and Robbery Check

Check for Cancellation and for an outstanding loan

Check for meter adjustment

Average Mileage Comparison

Vehicle Valuation

List Item

VIN Check


Australia License Plate Number Search

As a general rule, the issuance of Australian license plates starts from A, and after using the A, you will use B….. 3 letters + 3 numbers is the standard combination. Of course, some states have three numbers + 3 letters. If you want a customized license plate, you can choose four letters + 1 number, five letters + 1 number, or all numbers. If you’re going to check your license plate, you can also visit the REGO Check website recommended above to check the details of your vehicle.

Australia Driving License-Related Issues

Suppose you are still on a temporary visa. In that case, you can legally drive in Australia with an overseas driver’s license, regardless of whether you are on a tourist or student visa. If it is a non-English license version, you must have a valid translation of the overseas permit while using it to ensure that the police can read it when they look at the license.

Converting an Australian License to a UK License

You can legally drive in the UK with a valid Australian license for 12 months. At the end of these 12 months, you must apply to the DVLA to convert your license to a full UK license if you wish to continue driving. You have five years from your last entry to convert your Australian permit to a full UK license.

Converting a Chinese Driver’s License to an Australian Driver’s License

If you are an international student in Australia and have a Chinese driver’s license, you can legally drive with your Chinese driver’s license and a translation until your visa expires. If you are a migrant (PR) and have had a Chinese driver’s license for over 3 years, you can drive legally for three months with your Chinese driver’s license plus translation and take the Australian driver’s license test system during this period. You can apply for the Hazard Awareness Test (HAZARD Awareness Test) directly after completing the Learner’s Permit Test (L), passing it, and then applying for the Roadworthiness Test (RAT). After passing the test, you can directly apply for the “Hazard Awareness Test” (HAT), apply for the road test, and then directly apply for the Full License (FULL LICENCE). If you have a Hong Kong driver’s license, getting a full license in Australia is easier if you have held it for three years!

Australia Traffic Rules:

Vehicles in Australia drive on the left side of the road. Just spend half a day driving carefully to get used to the left side of the road, and driving can be easy.

Australia has a strong sense of right of way. The right of way is the right of first refusal, which is expected: turn to let straight, side road to let the main road, not into the traffic circle to allow the already into the traffic circle. You must avoid vehicles with the right of way to prevent accidents with no right of way.

Australia has many traffic circles in the city. You must drive in the direction of the arrow and follow the vehicle’s priority principle on the right side of the road. When entering a traffic circle, the cars in the circle have priority. It would be best to avoid the vehicles in the traffic circle.

In addition, when there are STOP and GIVE WAY signs, you must stop your vehicle to ensure safety before passing.

Pedestrians have the absolute right of way, and cars must yield to pedestrians.

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