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Advisory notice that a thing is not a road vehicle—overview

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What is an advisory notice that a thing is not a road vehicle?

An advisory notice that a thing is not a road vehicle (advisory notice) is a formal notice issued under section 233 of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules) by the Secretary of the department, or their delegate.

It is issued after the vehicle or thing has been assessed by the department and states that the subject of the application is not a road vehicle and does not need a road vehicle import approval to be imported into Australia.

What types of vehicles are not road vehicles?

An application for an advisory notice should be based on information drawn from the Road Vehicle Standards (Classes of Vehicles that are not Road Vehicles) Determination 2021. It lists the types of vehicles (classes) that are not road vehicles. These are:

  • agricultural machine
  • golf cart
  • light utility vehicle (for example a small vehicle designed to transport guests and luggage within a holiday resort or used within
  • a factory or farm to transport goods)
  • miniature motorbike (also known as a mini-bike or pocket bike)
  • motorised mobility device (a wheeled chair designed to assist a person who is unable to walk or has difficulty walking)
  • motorised recreational device (for example, motor-assisted rollerblades, skateboards and unicycles)
  • personal mobility device (for example, an electric scooter or Segway)
  • power-assisted pedal cycle
  • electrically power-assisted cycle
  • quadbike
  • tracked vehicle (for example, a bull dozer or excavator).

Further information about vehicles that are not road vehicles is in the Determination.

Note: Road vehicles require permission to be brought into Australia.

If a vehicle that the Australian Border Force (ABF) considers may be a road vehicle is detected arriving in Australia without a road vehicle import approval or an advisory notice confirming the vehicle is not a road vehicle, the vehicle may be held in storage (costs apply) until an assessment is made by the department.

If you believe your vehicle is not a road vehicle and would like written confirmation you should consider applying for an advisory notice before importing your vehicle.

Definition of a road vehicle

Section 6 of the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) defines a road vehicle, as including any of the following:

  • A motor vehicle designed solely or principally* for use in transport on public roads
  • A trailer or other vehicle (including equipment or machinery equipped with wheels) designed to be towed on a public road by a motor vehicle
  • A vehicle determined in an instrument under the RVSA, including the Road Vehicle Standards (Classes of Vehicles that are Road Vehicles) Determination 2021
  • A partly completed or unassembled vehicle that would otherwise be covered by any of the above.

* In determining whether a motor vehicle is designed solely or principally for use in transport on public roads, only to the physical or operational features of the vehicle should be assessed.

Note: If you are importing a road vehicle you need to apply for a road vehicle import approval.

How do I decide whether or not to apply for an advisory notice?

To be assessed as a non-road vehicle, your vehicle must be designed principally to not be used on a public road. The manufacturer’s specifications (in the form of a brochure or technical specifications) will generally outline this. If the specifications do not state that the vehicle was designed principally for ‘non-road’ use further information about the vehicle may be needed before a decision can be made. If this is the case, the department may ask you to provide further information.

Any vehicle imported as a non-road vehicle cannot generally be registered for road use in Australia. Individual state and territory authorities may have specific rules and requirements regarding the use of non-road vehicles.

To help you decide whether you need an advisory notice, take the quiz.

How do I apply for an advisory notice?

First, you will need to create an account in ROVER if you do not already have one. Next you will need to answer a series of questions about the vehicle you are importing.

As part of the application you must provide a manufacturer’s brochure or specifications for the vehicle.

You must pay an application fee of $55 when you apply for the advisory notice.