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What's a blue slip and why do I need one?

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Updated 15 Apr 2021

Michael Jacobson

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Under endless blue skies in our land girt by blue seas, we Aussies love our blue heelers, call our redheads ‘bluey’, give our blue-ringed octopus and bluebottles the respect they deserve, and embrace the blue-collar tradition in our Blue Star gumboots and blue singlets.

As for the Blue Slip, well, that’s another matter.

In fact, it’s mainly a matter for NSW — land of the Blues come State of Origin time (go the Maroons!) — where the Blue Slip is an important part of motoring legislation.

What's a Blue Slip?

There are five kinds of slip you need to remember in NSW – the Blue Slip for unregistered vehicles; the Pink Slip for roadworthiness; the Green Slip for third party insurance; the White Slip if repairs are required; and the Second Slip for Mark Waugh, who took some cracking catches there during his mercurial cricket career.

The Blue Slip is the term ascribed to the more official sounding Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection (AUVI) report administered through NSW Government’s Roads and Maritime Services.

It’s the document that ticks the official boxes on safety, design, ownership and identity requirements for an unregistered vehicle, whether it’s one you’ve just purchased or one for which the rego has lapsed for the required time.

In NSW, all unregistered light vehicles need a Blue Slip inspection before they can be registered in the state and, according to Roads and Maritime Services’ website, light vehicles include:

  • passenger cars
  • all motorcycles
  • caravans and trailers with an aggregate trailer mass of 4.5 tonnes or less, including those fitted with breakaway brakes, but not including those fitted with air or vacuum braking systems
  • goods transport vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass of 4.5 tonnes or less (without power-operated brakes)

Other Blue Slip requirements concern vehicles unregistered for more than three months; vehicles brought into NSW from other states or overseas; vehicles without number plates; and vehicles previously written off but now approved for re-registration.

Whacked a new engine in your car?

That’s a Blue Slip.

Need to clear those pesky defect notices and get back on the road?

That’s a Blue Slip too.

How do I obtain a Blue Slip?

If any of the previous points applies to your situation, the next stop should be a registry or service centre given the nod by the NSW Government under its Authorised Inspection Scheme (AIS).

Like the boy scouts, be prepared and bring along your completed new registration application, as well as proof of identity, address, vehicle ownership and CTP coverage.

How long does a Blue Slip last?

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of life is 42.

In an AUVI scenario, the report is usually valid for 42 days.

However, some light vehicle safety check inspection reports are valid for six months.

Once your vehicle has passed the safety check inspection, you can renew the registration.

What’s it cost?

The following figures came into effect in NSW on July 1, 2018, and may change with the 2019-20 financial year.

Until then, the maximum fees in NSW for an AUVI are —

  • light vehicle $65
  • motorcycle $40
  • trailer without brakes $33
  • trailer with brakes $47

Need to book your car in for a blue slip inspection? Grab an instant quote now!

For information on how the other states operate on safety/registration, you can count on AutoGuru.

How much does a roadworthy inspection cost?

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Written By

Michael Jacobson

Michael Jacobson is an award-winning Queensland-based writer.

His appreciation for motoring began as a young journalist covering racing from Simmons Plains in Tasmania.

Over the years he has interviewed many Australian and international motoring greats.

He has also been driven around Lakeside Raceway at ferocious speed, circumnavigated the Gold Coast Indy circuit at more than 200kmh and managed to squeeze 365,000 kilometres out of a Toyota Starlet.