Page 2106 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2022

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Vehicle registration—transfer—petition 10-22

By Mr Barr, Chief Minister, dated 24 June 2022, in response to a petition lodged by Ms Clay on 5 April 2022, concerning vehicle registration transfers.

The response read as follows:

Dear Mr Duncan

Thank you for your letter of 5 April regarding petition 10-22, lodged by Ms Jo Clay MLA. The petition draws the Assembly’s attention to barriers to motor vehicle registration transfer between family members, including paperwork and motor vehicle registration duty.

Ease of transfer

Minimal paperwork is required to transfer the registration of a vehicle within the ACT, regardless of whether the transfer is within a family or not. This requires a transfer registration application, proof of acquisition and, for vehicles over 6 years old, a certificate of inspection confirming the vehicle meets the applicable standards for registration in the ACT. This helps protect against fraud, reduces dispute around legal status, and aids with ongoing road safety for older vehicles.

When a vehicle is registered to multiple operators, the primary and joint operator order can be swapped over the phone. If an infringement notice relating to use of the vehicle has been issued for an offence, either an internet SmartForm or paper form can be submitted to nominate the actual driver responsible for the offence.

The government does not consider this to be arduous paperwork. There is little need or opportunity to amend the system for family transfers.

Motor vehicle registration duty

Motor vehicle registration duty is a tax on the registration of a vehicle after it is transferred and is not charged on the purchase of a vehicle.

Motor vehicle registration duty is one of the more efficient taxes on transfers, allows diversification of the ACT’s revenue base, and is a strong tool for achieving environmental policy outcomes (such as encouraging reduction in carbon emissions). Exempting categories of vehicle registration transfer from duty diminishes these advantages. For this reason, the Government does not consider a broad exemption from motor vehicle duty between family members is appropriate.

Transfers to minors

The petition draws particular attention to the case where a parent or guardian is the registered operator while their child is in practice the main user of the vehicle. In most cases, there is no legal impediment from first registering the vehicle in the child’s name and the Government would prefer the main user of the vehicle to be the primary registered operator. As indicated above, the vehicle can also be registered to multiple operators.

However, registering a child as the primary operator is not always possible. For example, this could occur for learner licence holders aged 15, until they turn 16

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