Processing applications

You will generally be notified within 20 working days of receipt of your completed vehicle import application of the decision to approve or refuse your application. The Department aims to process applications sooner than this.

Circumstances that may prolong the assessment of an application include:

  • submitting an application using the paper application forms;
  • not submitting all supporting documentation with your application;
  • if your application requires technical assessment;
  • if you or your vehicle is deemed as not meeting the import option initially selected; or
  • seeking special consideration as to why you should be allowed to import your vehicle even if you or your vehicle does not meet any eligibility criteria set out in the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 or the Motor Vehicle Standards Regulations 1989.

Where you do not comply, you will be sent a query requesting additional information or provided with a Provisional Assessment, which sets out other possible options available under legislation.

Applicants should allow at least five working days for any additional information to be reviewed as part of an application.

If the information provided is satisfactory, you will be issued with an approval to import the vehicle (Vehicle Import Approval) by email.

Fast tracking applications

The Department assesses applications in the date order they are received. This ensures a fair and transparent decision making process for all applicants. The Department does not offer a fast track service or expedite applications.

Applications not appearing in the Client Portal

Generally, a user can view past and/or current applications in the Client Portal for up to 12 months. However, many users have reported that no applications, including current active applications are appearing in their portal. Please note this is a known IT issue and is being investigated. The Department will assess an application that has been lodged and payment received even though it may not appear in the Client Portal.

Payment information

You may notice that ‘DITR" appears as the payment reference on your bank statement.  ‘DITR" is an abbreviation for the ‘Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities".  Vehicle Imports sits within this government department.

Payment options are set out in the application form (Credit card (visa or mastercard only) for online payments. Cheque or money order in Australian dollars from an Australian financial institution are accepted for manual payments).

The $50 non-refundable service fee is a fee for lodging an application. Refunds will not be given, even if an application is withdrawn before a decision is made. The assessment of the application will not commence until funds have been cleared.