How long Can You Leave a Car Unregistered in South Australia?

Registering your vehicle in South Australia with the state’s Department of Planning, Transport, and Infrastructure (DPTI) is necessary. Driving a car that is not registered may result in fines and penalties; in many cases, your vehicle may be impounded.

If for any reason, you may need to drive an unregistered vehicle in South Australia, then you need to obtain permit to drive unregistered cars. In this blog, our team at cash 4 cars have discussed the rules and regulations for an unregistered vehicle and why it is necessary to obtain a license.

What is an unregistered vehicle permit?

It is critical to comprehend an Unregistered Vehicle Permit (UVP) and how to obtain one. A UVP permits you to lawfully drive your unregistered car on South Australian roads for a limited time. It is critical to note that the UVP is only valid for a limited time and is not a substitute for vehicle registration. You may require the permit for an unregistered vehicle in South Australia to make for many reasons. Such as 

  • If you want to drive an unregistered vehicle for a road inspection
  • To attend a car event or a rally
  • Go from point A to point B in a single trip
  • Travel from point A to point B and back to point A – return route
  • Travel from location A to point B to point C to point D.

These temporary permits are not allowed for cars used for rental or reward, for commercial reasons, or to transport goods. When a motorist uses this permission to relocate a vehicle to another state or territory, the driver must ensure that the permit complies with interstate road standards.

Requirements to drive a vehicle with an up

  • UVP is valid for a particular trip in which the time is specified. You are allowed to use the vehicle for the mentioned days.
  • You cannot use the routes as in the case of a registered vehicle. There are limitations where you only have access to particular roads and paths.
  • An UVP may not be required if car repairers are required to pass a registration safety check. 
  • UVP can only be issued if the plates are removed and returned if the vehicle registration is canceled.

Fees of unregistered vehicle permit in South Australia

The cost may vary depending upon the duration of the permit to drive unregistered car. Usually it ranges between $10 to $72.

Below is the chart to give you a clearer idea.

Unregistered vehicle permits

No ITC fee

ITC fee

Vehicle inspection issued for one day



Trailer inspection issued for one day



Vehicle relocation/repair – given for up to three days depending on the nature of the repair or relocation



Trailer relocation/repair – granted for up to three days, depending on the nature of the repair or relocation.



Fee for duplicate permit



W.E.F July 1, 2022. Whereas ITC is Input Tax Credit



Offense and fine for driving an unregistered car in South Australia

It is considered an offense if:

  • If you own an unregistered vehicle and it is found standing or driving on the road
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle
  • Or allowing an unregistered vehicle to stand on the road

According to the motor vehicle act 1959 (SA) ss 9(1), 9(3)] applies a penalty of ABOUT $7500.

How to apply for an unregistered vehicle permit in South Australia?

To apply for an unregistered vehicle permit in South Australia, you need to have the following documents to submitted at the service center


  • Application for an unregistered vehicle permit
  • Identity proof
  • Declaration of vehicle suitable for safe use
  • Insurance Fees and payment for the license and compulsory third party

By mail

You can apply for an unregistered vehicle permit via email or mail if you meet the following criteria: 

  • Have a valid email address and have previously held an NSW registration or license
  • Payment can be made by check, credit card, or money order.

Showing the license

Once your application is approved, you will be given the permit papers and label. The label must be displayed appropriately, and the permit must always be kept in your vehicle.

The label should be added to the following items:

  • A vehicle’s front windscreen or fixed window on the lower left side for visibility a trailer’s number plate slot (where the number plate would be if registered)
  • In all other cases (e.g., motorbikes and some plant vehicles), the label must be mounted on or behind the vehicle’s rear number plate.
  • Before driving with a permit, number plates must be removed from the vehicle.

How long is a permit valid?

Permits can be issued for one to seven days.

Your permit is valid for the duration of your journey—this must be the most direct path to your destination. The permit is valid from 12.01am on the first day of travel to midnight on the last day of travel.

To secure coverage, make sure the dates on your permit and the dates on your Class 22 CTP insurance certificate are the same for the voyage.

Exemptions and defenses for driving an unregistered vehicle

A person charged with driving unregistered in South Australia has several defenses available. To be successful, the driver must demonstrate that they were unaware that the car was unregistered and submit the Commissioner of Police with a statutory compliance declaration. The owner of a vehicle does not have this defense.

The owner of an unregistered vehicle has a defense if they can show that the car was not in their possession at the time due to an illegal act. For example, the owner is not liable if a vehicle is stolen. When someone with legitimate access (such as a family member) drives the car, the owner has a defense if they notify the driver that the vehicle is unregistered.


Driving an unregistered vehicle on South Australian roads is illegal. While there is no time limit for leaving a car unrecorded, obtaining a UVP is essential if you need to transfer your unregistered vehicle for specified reasons. Operating an unregistered vehicle without a valid UVP can lead to fines, penalties, and legal and financial ramifications. To minimize unnecessary risks, it’s critical to understand the legal requirements and potential penalties of driving an unregistered car.

If you have an unregistered vehicle sell it to our cash-for-cars company in Adelaide.