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Road Vehicle Standards legislation

A new era for road vehicle regulation in Australia started on 1 July 2021 when the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) replaced the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA).

The operational aspects of the RVSA are contained in the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules). The RVSA, the Rules and other related legislation are collectively referred to as the RVS legislation.

The RVS framework represents the biggest legislative overhaul of road vehicle regulation in more than 30 years and sets nationally consistent standards suited to the 21st century.

A 12-month transitional period began on 1 July 2021, where some MVSA approvals will continue to remain in force to ensure a smooth transition to the new regulatory framework.

The Australian Government has implemented the new RVS legislation to support the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all road vehicles being provided to the Australian market for the first time—both new and used.

The department administers the RVS legislation and develops and implements national road vehicle standards as part of the regulation of new and used vehicles before they can be provided to the market for the first time in Australia.

The department undertakes compliance and safety investigation activities to ensure vehicles meet minimum safety and environmental standards that maintain the safest possible environment for the community.

Please visit the Road Vehicle Standards laws page for more information, including latest news and updates.

  • The Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA) sets vehicle standards for all new vehicles entering the Australian market and regulates the supply to the market of used vehicles.

  • The Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) delivers a modernised framework that increases community and environmental safety, provides greater choice for consumers and removes unnecessary red tape.

  • The Australian Government maintains jurisdiction over road vehicles up to the point of first supply to the Australian market (i.e. manufacture or importation).

  • Visit this page for information on standards development on vehicle safety, emissions, noise and energy issues, including links to the Australian Design Rules and Green Vehicle Guide website.

  • Every vehicle new to Australia must meet minimum safety standards that maintain the safest possible environment for all road users and our community.

  • The Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) introduces a Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) which will be an online, publicly searchable, database of vehicles approved for use on Australian roads.

  • A Registered Automotive Workshop is a business that has been approved to import and plate up to 100 used vehicles (per vehicle category), per year. A full list of Registered Automotive Workshops is available at the RAWS website.

  • This page provides information for consumers, manufacturers and suppliers in relation to the department’s involvement in road vehicle recalls.

  • Commonwealth regulators that administer, monitor or enforce regulation are required to implement the Australian Government Regulator Performance Framework.

  • The department takes a risk-based approach to the management of compliance with Road Vehicle Standards legislation. This is supported by intelligence (including reports from the public and industry), targeted compliance campaigns, responsive compliance activities and the proportionate use of enforcement responses.

  • This page puts you on the right path to find out the latest updates for Vehicle Safety Standards and provides the information you need by linking to information and services on many Australian government websites as well as selected state and territory resources.

  • Registers and portals for functions under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.