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RVS legislation glossary of terms

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The following glossary consolidates the acronyms and terms used in endorsed RVS policies, procedures and guidance material.



A person or user manages all their information in the one secure online place in ROVER where they can view/save/change/amend their contact details, account or registration details, as well as their applications and approvals.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

Conducts independent merits review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian Government.

Aggregate trailer mass (ATM)

The total mass of a laden trailer when carrying the maximum load recommended by the manufacturer, and includes any mass imposed on the towing vehicle when the towing vehicle and trailer are connected and resting on a horizontal surface.

Alternative standard

The legislation for each of the National road vehicle standards may identify equivalent alternative standards. These may include UN regulations, Australian or international standards and may be an alternative to a part, parts or the entire national road vehicle standard.


Individual or organisation applying for an approval under the RVS legislation.

Application name

A user in ROVER can select from the available different applications under the RVS legislation, such as ‘Application for approval of a testing facility’.

Approval holder

When an approval of an application has been granted, the named applicant becomes the approval holder.

Approved form

The form approved by the Secretary for the purposes of meeting the provisions under the Rules to ensure that each RVS application collects the information required for deciding the application.


An individual delegated under the RVS legislation to perform the role of assessing applications submitted under the RVS Rules.

Australian Design Rules (ADRs)

National road vehicle standards under the RVSA. They are determined under section 12 of the RVSA, and include ADRs that were determined under the MVSA.

Authorised user

An external user in ROVER with a verified authority to act for a specific entity to submit and so on, on their behalf.

Authorised vehicle verifier (AVV)

A corporation approved to provide an independent vehicle inspection and verification service. They will provide vehicle owners, and the public more broadly, with greater assurance of integrity and compliance for vehicles that have been modified by a RAW, as well as in other circumstances that may be required by conditions on approvals. Vehicle inspections conducted by the holder of an AVV approval must take place in Australia. An AVV cannot also be the holder of a RAW approval.

Authority to act

An authority to act establishes the relationship between an individual user to another individual user or organisation, or between organisations, to allow representation for an applicant seeking an RVS approval in ROVER. An authority to act is recorded in ROVER.

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Build date

Build date is the Month and Year (MM/YYYY) that the vehicle was substantially completed. Guidance for substantial completion is:

  • Motorcycles and passenger cars: the calendar month and the year in which the body shell and power train sub-assemblies are conjoined and the vehicle is driven or moved from the production line.
  • Commercial vehicles and buses: The calendar month and the year that the cabin and chassis, or body shell, and power train sub-assemblies are conjoined and the vehicle is driven or moved from the production line. Alternatively, for a cab/chassis vehicle that is manufactured in stages at more than one location and that remains under the control of the original equipment manufacturer, the calendar month and the year that the body is fitted to the cab/chassis and the vehicle is driven or moved from the production line.

    Where a vehicle leaves a manufacturing location for significant further manufacture that is covered by the approval, such as the installation of seats, the calendar month and the year that the further manufacture was completed.
  • Trailers: The calendar month and the year that the trailer is towed or moved from the production line. Alternatively, for a trailer that is manufactured in stages at more than one location and that remains under the control of the original equipment manufacturer, the calendar month and the year that the body is fitted to the chassis and the vehicle is towed or moved from the production line.

Business day

A day that is not a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday in the Australian Capital Territory.

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Component type approval

Approval of a road vehicle component, or system of components of a particular type to be:

Concessional RAV entry approval

Means the entry pathway that meets the requirements as set out under section 31 of the Rules.

Concessional RAV entry pathway

An entry pathway onto the RAV that applies to an individual road vehicle.

Create a ROVER account

The process where a person creates an online account in ROVER, by adding their required details.

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Decision maker

An individual delegated under RVS legislation to perform the role of making decisions, whether to refuse to consider an application submitted for approval, or whether to refuse to grant or grant approvals.

Design facility

Means the premises used for road vehicle or road vehicle component design activity.

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Entry pathway

Means by which a vehicle may be entered on the RAV if the vehicle satisfies the requirements of an entry pathway under the Rules.


External user

A person with a ROVER account with permissions for creating user profiles, completing and submitting applications etc.

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Gross trailer mass (GTM)

The mass transmitted to the ground by the axle(s) of the trailer when coupled to a drawing vehicle and carrying its maximum load approximately uniformly distributed over the load bearing area.

Gross vehicle mass (GVM)

The maximum laden mass of a motor vehicle, as specified by the manufacturer.

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Heavy vehicle

Power driven vehicles (for example trucks, buses etc) which are more than 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM) or more than 4.5 tonnes aggregate trailer mass (ATM) for heavy trailers.

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In relation to a road vehicle, means do an act which constitutes importation of the vehicle for the purposes of the Customs Act 1901.

Import approval

An approval under RVS legislation to permit a road vehicle to be imported to Australia. The Rules set out circumstances where a concessional RAV entry approval, or a vehicle type approval are taken to be an import approval.

Incomplete vehicle

A vehicle that is assembled but which does not include all the necessary components is a partly completed vehicle. See also partly completed vehicle.

International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)

International organisation for accreditation bodies relating to testing facilities.

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Key management personnel

Of a body corporate, means the persons who have authority and responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the body corporate (whether directly or indirectly) and includes any director (whether executive or otherwise) of the body corporate.

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List of approvals

For certain approvals that are in force, the Secretary must publish certain approval details on the department's website. This may include publishing notices where the Minister or Secretary has decided to vary, suspend or revoke an approval.

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The marque or brand name applied to each vehicle within the same range of vehicles, or the name of the ‘Manufacturer’, noting changes can be made for SSM vehicles. Make should be a trading name or business name associated with the manufacturer.


In relation to a road vehicle, includes modify the vehicle and assemble the vehicle.

Manufacturing facility

Means the premises where a road vehicle or road vehicle component may be fully or partially constructed, assembled or modified.

Minor and inconsequential (M&I)

Some approvals may be granted even if the road vehicle or road vehicle component does not fully comply with the national road vehicle standards if the non-compliance is in minor and inconsequential respects.


For a motor vehicle it is the name given to the class or family of motor vehicles that is of the same make, the same general type and appearance, noting changes can be made for certain circumstances such as SSM or road vehicle components.

For trailers, it is the name given to the different trailer type (pig, dog and so on), or the different ADR vehicle category (for example, TC or TD), or nonstandard identification.

Model Report

This is a tool to enable vehicles to meet the requirements of the type approval or concessional RAV entry pathway.

An approved Model Report includes 3 major elements, a Vehicle Scope to identify the road vehicles to which the Model Report applies, a series of Work Instructions that a RAW or holder of a road vehicle type approval uses to modify or manufacture vehicles to comply with the applicable national road vehicle standards, or standards identified in the determination made under section 89(2) of the Rules, and may include a Verification Checklist that must be used by an AVV to verify a vehicle has been manufactured or modified in accordance with the Model Report.


Means any alteration to a road vehicle including its components.

Motor vehicle

Means a vehicle that uses, or is designed to use:

  • Volatile spirit, gas, oil, electricity or any other power (other than human or animal power) as the principal means of propulsion, or
  • More than one of the powers mentioned in (a) (other than human or animal power) as a means of propulsion, but does not include a vehicle used exclusively on a railway or tramway.

Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA)

An Act to provide for national motor vehicle standards and for related purposes. The MVSA will be replaced by the RVS legislation—full implementation of the RVS legislation occurred on 1 July 2021.

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National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)

Accreditation body for laboratories, inspection bodies, calibration services, producers of certified reference materials and proficiency testing scheme providers.

National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS)

The organisation forming part of Austroads which owns and operates a data system allowing road authorities to interact across state borders. It contains data for registered operators in Australia, including registration numbers, Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), and address details. This data is collated from data held by states and territories.

National road vehicle standards

National road vehicle standards under the RVSA. They are determined under section 12 of the RVSA, and include ADRs that were determined under the MVSA.

Non-RAV entry import approval

An approval granted to a person in respect of a road vehicle that is not, generally, to be used on a public road

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Partly completed vehicle

A partly completed vehicle one that:

  • is sufficiently formed, by which we mean it will normally have an assembled power source, drivetrain and structure, but has not been fully completed
  • is not in a state to be compliant with all applicable ADRs and will require additional components to be fitted before completion
  • could be a component type since it can be tested against one or more ADRs but is not a completed vehicle.

A partly completed trailer will normally have an assembled coupling, axle and suspension.

Examples of a partly completed vehicle include a:

  • type-approved vehicle that is fully assembled for an overseas market but which will have an ADR 34 child restraint anchorage (CRA) fitted locally before provision to the market. Until the anchorage is installed, that vehicle is a partly completed vehicle
  • vehicle that consists only of an engine and a drivetrain bolted to a chassis and with no other components.


In relation to a person providing a road vehicle includes a reference to:

  • the provision of the vehicle due to a sale, exchange, gift, lease, loan, hire or hire-purchase, or
  • the provision of access to the vehicle.

Public road

Means a road open to the public for the passage of vehicles, excluding a:

  • footpath or bicycle path, and
  • bikeway, also known as a bike or cycle lane.

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Quality management system (QMS)

A system that is employed by the manufacturer of a road vehicle or road vehicle component to ensure conformity of production and design change control.

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RAV entry import approval

An approval that is taken to be granted to a person who holds a concessional RAV entry approval that is in force for that vehicle.


A voluntary recall is usually undertaken by the entity, whether an individual in business or a company, responsible for the supply of a vehicle or component for the first time to the Australian market through trade or commerce. However, it may also be appropriate for another entity in the supply chain to undertake the recall action. Voluntary recalls are generally initiated proactively by the supplier because the particular road vehicle or approved road vehicle component are either unsafe or non-compliant.
A compulsory recall occurs (rarely) when the Minister exercises the power to issue a compulsory notice for road vehicles or approved road vehicle components of a particular kind where it appears such vehicles or components:

  • will, or may, cause injury to any person through use (or misuse), or
  • do not (or it is likely that they do not) comply with relevant standards, and
  • one or more suppliers of such vehicles, or such components, have not taken satisfactory action to prevent injury or resolve non-compliance.

Registered automotive workshop (RAW)

The holder of a RAW approval can modify vehicles in accordance with Model Reports. They can modify specialist and enthusiast vehicles and used motorcycles to comply with the RVS legislation. They can also complete second stage of manufacture in accordance with a Model Report. This is a tool to enable vehicles to meet the requirements of the concessional RAV entry pathway.

Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV)

A publicly accessible online database of vehicles that have met the requirements of the RVS legislation and been approved for provision to the Australian market.

Reimportation import approval

An approval granted to a person for a vehicle that is outside of Australia and on the RAV (or fitted with a MVSA plate) being reimported while remaining consistent and in all relevant respects with the information entered on the RAV (or the MVSA plate).

Request for further information (RFI)

When an application is under assessment, the department may contact the applicant in writing with a Request for further information (RFI).

Request for Information in Writing (RIW)—in relation to Recalls only

During a recall, the department may contact the supplier in writing with a Request for Information in Writing (RIW).

Request for inspection

A request for inspection may be requested in writing of the applicant during the assessment process or the department may request the approval holder to allow or arrange for an inspection at any time while the approval is in force.

Road trailer

Means a trailer or other vehicle (including equipment or machinery equipped with wheels) designed to be towed on a public road by a motor vehicle or other trailer.

Road vehicle

A vehicle designed solely or principally for use in transport on public roads (including trailers and unassembled motor vehicles) or a vehicle determined in an instrument under section 6(6)(a) of the Act. However, a vehicle is not a road vehicle if it is covered by a determination under section 6(4)(a) of the Act.

Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS)

The departmental database for managing approvals for road vehicles and road vehicle components under the MVSA.

Road vehicle descriptor (RVD)

Means the vehicle descriptor that provides additional technical information for a range of variants and an image of the vehicle. Specific requirements for RVD information (including an image) depend on the vehicle category.

Road Vehicle Regulator (ROVER)

ROVER is the IT system that supports applications under the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation

Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA)

An Act to provide for the regulation of road vehicles and road vehicle components, to set national road vehicle standards, and for other purposes. For more information, refer to the Federal Register of Legislation

Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation

The legislation of road vehicles and road vehicle components, to set national road vehicle standards, and for other purposes. The RVS legislation includes the RVSA, related Acts (Consequential and Transition, Charges) and subordinate legislation.

Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (Rules)

The Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 are available on the Federal Register of Legislation

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Second stage of manufacture (SSM)

Manufacture or modification of a road vehicle by another approval holder prior to the vehicle's first provision to a consumer.

Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles Register (SEVs Register)

A publicly accessible online database of specialist and enthusiast road vehicles that are assessed as meeting the criteria for classification as a specialist and enthusiast road vehicle. It will provide potential importers and modifiers (RAWs) with sufficient details of vehicles that may be eligible for concessional RAV entry approval.

Supporting information

See definition of ‘Supporting information’ in Section 5 Definitions section of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019.

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Testing facility

The holder of a testing facility approval may test road vehicles or road vehicle components (or both) for compliance with certain ADRs or other standards.

Trailer types

There are three broad trailer categories:

  • Semi-trailer
  • Pig trailer
  • Dog trailer

For definitions of the trailer categories, please see Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1 (VSB1—Building Small Trailers).

Type approval pathway

Means the entry pathway that meets the requirements as set out under section 15 of the Rules.

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UN approval

Applicants seeking a vehicle type approval, component type approval or a testing facility approval may use a UN approval to demonstrate that they meet certain eligibility criteria.

Unassembled vehicle

All parts that are necessary to make the vehicle are present but the vehicle is not assembled. A container holding a compatible power source, drivetrain and vehicle structure would be considered to be holding an unassembled vehicle.

Unassembled vehicles would include kit cars and motorcycles that are disassembled for shipping.

Under the RVS legislation, motorcycles may require a condition that allows them to be unassembled for the purposes of shipping, and reassembled only in accordance with procedures that maintain conformity of production and quality.

A fully-compliant vehicle (or one that fully complies with a type approval) in any state of disassembly, or pre-assembly, would be an unassembled vehicle. That is, all the necessary components/elements must be present.

A motorcycle with the front wheel and forks unattached but located together in a crate would be an example.

At the extreme end of the spectrum, a collection of all the necessary components to make a vehicle but with no two components fitted together would still be considered a vehicle.

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Variant (non SEVs)

For a vehicle type approval, component type approval and Model Report, the ordinary meaning is:

  • a sub-set of a model which may be covered by the evidence for that model or may require supplementation through additional evidence.

Vehicle category code (VCC)

A two character vehicle category code used to differentiate requirements for different vehicles (for example, motorcycles, passenger cars, buses, goods vehicles, trailers and so on). The vehicle category codes are defined in the Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule—Definitions and Vehicle Categories) 2005. Sub categories of vehicle categories are sometimes also used to further differentiate requirements. For example, the Vehicle Category LE has sub-categories of LEM, LEP and LEG to differentiate these vehicles.

Vehicle identification number (VIN)

A unique identifier that is allocated to a road vehicle and permanently recorded on the vehicle, in accordance with Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 61/03—Vehicle Marking) 2020

Vehicle type approval

An entry pathway onto the RAV which applies to all vehicles of a particular type.

Verified external user

An external user whose identity has been verified (relevant identity documents check).

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1958 Agreement

Latest revision (3) to the 1958 Agreement is:
The Agreement concerning the Adoption of Harmonized Technical United Nations Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts which can be Fitted and/or Used on Wheeled Vehicles and the Conditions for Reciprocal Recognition of Approvals Granted on the Basis of United Nations Regulations. Entered into force (including for Australia) on 14 September 2017.