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What Queenslanders need to know when purchasing a second-hand modified vehicle from interstate

Finding a modified vehicle that is already is set up to meet your needs is a real blessing - saving months of waiting and money, but it is unlikely to be just around the corner.

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community Sarah Shaw

I'm one of the many people with a muscle wasting condition that hasn't quite got a name yet or official diagnosis, I live with my wife and Friday our furry companion. I first started to notice changes in my body in 2008 so I have been living with this degenerative condition for more than a decade now. I have used a wheelchair as my mode of getting around since 2014. I love getting out and about in the community and am interested in Theatre, Music and the Arts. I also keep an eagle eye on what is happening in current affairs across the country. I worked in the Federal Public Service for twenty-six years and retired due to invalidity about two years ago.

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Finding a modified vehicle that is already is set up to meet your needs is a real blessing - saving months of waiting and money, but it is unlikely to be just around the corner. My partner and I have just gone through the process of purchasing a Kia Carnival from a private seller in Sydney and here is the information we would have liked to have known right upfront.

Documentation to ensure the seller provides you:

  • Value of the modifications in the car. This can be a bit tricky if the car is now third or fourth hand but hopefully, it is available. This should set out from the company that undertook the modifications: what has been done and the value of each item.
  • Engineering Compliance Certificate (sometimes referred to as just a compliance certificate). Modified vehicles need to meet State legislation and standards and these can vary slightly between states. The company that undertook the modifications will have issued an engineering report to the original owner and they would have included this as part of their application for a compliance certificate, which is needed to be able to register a modified vehicle.
  • Warranty information for the modifications: Conversions are covered for a specified period. If the car is still within its warranty period, make sure you are provided with the appropriate documentation.

You need to know this information prior to insuring the vehicle and for the purposes of exempting the value of the modifications from the amount of transfer duty you will need to pay.

If the seller cannot provide this, then contact the company that performed the modifications and ask them to assist.

With a compliance certificate from another state you can apply in Queensland for reciprocal recognition that engineering standards have been met.

Without this information, you will need to have an engineer undertake a full assessment and provide a compliance certificate, which will be an additional expense you don’t need.

You have the car and the documentation. What now?

The steps in registering your vehicle in Queensland are:

  1. Apply for reciprocal recognition from Vehicle Standards & Modifications Advice Team via email. Provide the car’s current Engineering Compliance certificate and fill out the F1854 Vehicle Modification Application. Once you fill out page one you can then simply state that the car is already modified, and you are including the current compliance certificate with this application. Email the team at Once approved they will issue a letter of reciprocal recognition.
  2. Obtain a Safety Certificate. Show the letter of reciprocal recognition and the original compliance certificate to the assessor.
  3. Transfer duty is payable when transferring registration of a vehicle already registered interstate. Qld allows for the value of the conversions to be exempted from the duty payable. The form required to apply for this exemption is Modified vehicle - person with a disability (statutory declaration).
  4. You now have all the paperwork needed that are over and above normal processes in Queensland. Fill in the application to register the car. Then take it along with the compliance certificate, the letter of reciprocal recognition, the safety certificate and the statutory declaration to your local Qld Department of Transport and Main Roads office.

Happy motoring!!

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