Transfer a vehicle
Find out what you need to do to transfer vehicle ownership in Western Australia.
Restrictions on transfers
When transferring a vehicle:
- The seller and buyer are both responsible for ensuring the vehicle licence is free of any encumbrances. You can check the vehicle’s licence status online.
- The notification of change of ownership must be completed by the legal owner of the vehicle, either online through their DoTDirect account, or by completing a Notification of Change of Ownership - Vehicle Licence Transfer (MR9) form.
- Vehicles you have owned will continue to be displayed on your record until transferred to a new owner, or until the vehicle is delicensed. If you have never owned the vehicle you will need to attend your local Driver and Vehicle Services centre, regional DoT office or agent, or call the Customer Contact Centre on 13 11 56 to have the issue investigated.
- Only currently licensed vehicles can be transferred. If a vehicle licence has expired by more than 15 days then it will be deemed unlicensed. The new owner will need to have the vehicle inspected and apply for a new vehicle licence.
To find out if your vehicle is listed on the Written-Off Vehicle Register or if the car you are buying has money owing on it, or has been listed as stolen, check the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR).
If you are engaged in the business of buying or selling vehicles, you need to have a motor vehicle dealer licence. If you sell or exchange four or more vehicles in any 12 month period, to or with persons who are not motor vehicle dealers, you would be considered to be carrying on the business of buying or selling vehicles.
For further information, contact the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety - Consumer Protection.
Other specific instances that can affect a transfer include:
- Contact the Fines Enforcement Registry (FER) on 1300 650 235 to check whether the seller has unpaid fines or infringements.
- If a court order has been placed on the vehicle then a transfer cannot take place until the court order is lifted and evidence presented at a DVS centre or regional DoT office or agent.
- For on-demand vehicles, refer to passenger transport vehicles or contact On-Demand Transport on 1300 660 147 for further information about transferring the vehicle.
- Where the owner is unable to sell the vehicle themselves, by being physically or mentally incapable of attending to their personal financial matters, the holder of an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) over financial affairs would be able to sell the vehicle. They will need to provide certified copies of the EPA with the MR9 form.
A vehicle licence may only be granted or transferred to a person or entity that can be held accountable at law for that vehicle and any offences relating to the use of that vehicle.
A vehicle licence holder must be a legal entity as defined below:
- An individual person aged 18 years or older for a heavy vehicle or 16 years or older for any other vehicle.
- A corporate body.
- An incorporated body.
- Any other organisation that is recognised as being a legal entity.
- The Public Trustee.
Note: Trusts are treated as taxpayer entities however they are not a separate legal entity.
Fees and charges for a change of ownership
A transfer fee must be paid when transferring a vehicle licence. Vehicle licence duty is payable on the grant or transfer of a vehicle licence (even if the vehicle has been gifted to you), unless an exemption or concession applies. Visit the Department of Finance website for further information on vehicle licence duty and available exemptions or concessions.
Vehicle licence duty is charged at a percentage rate of the dutiable value of a vehicle. Use RevenueWA’s Vehicle Duty Calculator to find out how much vehicle licence duty is payable when you licence or transfer a vehicle in Western Australia.
Reassessment of vehicle licence duty
Where an agreement for the purchase of a vehicle is rescinded, annulled or otherwise terminated (known as ‘deal cancelled’) within a 5-year period, an application for reassessment of duty can be made to DoT, using the new Application for Reassessment of Duty (E124) form.
This form must be completed by both the dealer and the purchaser. DoT will not accept or process applications for the reassessment of duty due to a deal cancelled, if the application is not received on the approved form or is incomplete.
While a 5-year reassessment application period is provided, applications for reassessment of duty can only be accepted if the purchaser has not taken possession of the vehicle.
|Application for Reassessment of Duty Deal Cancelled – Form E124||Kb|
|Department of Finance|
Vehicles with a concession
If you buy a vehicle that is licensed with a concession and that concession does not apply to you, you must tell us. A vehicle licence may be invalid if the correct licence fees are not paid. To find out the licence duty payable use our online calculator.
Note: If you disagree with the duty fee payable you can lodge an objection (see below).
|Payments, fees and concessions (Frequently Asked Questions)||Kb|
Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)
To find out if your vehicle is listed on the Written-Off Vehicle Register or if the car you are buying has money owing on, or has been listed as stolen, check out PPSR online or call 1300 007 777.
To make a PPSR enquiry, you need to provide the chassis or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). A search cannot be done by plate or engine number.
PPSR can tell you whether a vehicle, boat or farm machinery has money owing on it (encumbered) before making a purchase. This is important because a third party (e.g. a bank or finance company) may be able to repossess the vehicle you have purchased.
|Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)|
Competing claims for ownership of a vehicle
General information relating to disputed ownership matters involving the grant and transfer of vehicle licences in accordance with the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012 may be found in the fact sheet below.
|Competing claims of ownership of a vehicle (Fact sheet)||Kb|
Joint owners and nominated licence holders
In most cases, the owner (purchaser) will be the 'responsible person' for the vehicle. However, when there is more than one owner, all owners of the vehicle will need to nominate a single 'responsible person'.
The following rules apply to all jointly-owned vehicles:
- A vehicle cannot be licensed in the name of more than one person at a time.
- Where a vehicle is jointly-owned all owners must complete and sign a Proof of Identity Nominated Owner/Vehicle Licence Holder VL186 form to nominate an eligible individual to be the 'responsible person'.
- Where there is no change in the joint owners but the nominated owner/licence holder is to change, a Change in Nominated/Joint Owners form E4 is to be completed by all owners. Transfer and vehicle licence duty will not be payable.
- Where a joint owner or 'responsible person' is to be removed a Change in Nominated/Joint Owners (Form E4) is to be completed by all owners. Transfer and vehicle licence duty will be payable.
- The nominated owner will be recorded by the Department as the person responsible for the vehicle licence.
- An individual may not be nominated as the 'responsible person' for a vehicle unless that individual is also a joint owner of the vehicle.
- The nominated owner must be made aware of their obligations as the 'responsible person'.
Business partnerships and vehicle licences
In the case of a business partnership, when the owners of the vehicle have nominated a 'responsible person', only that person's name will appear on the licence.
If the business is operating under a trading name (and is not incorporated and does not have an ACN) the trading name cannot be recorded on the licence.
Changing or removing the nominated owner/licence holder
If you wish to cancel the nomination of the responsible person and change it to another joint owner, all joint owners of the vehicle must complete and sign a Change in Nominated/Joint Owners (E4) form.
If you cancel the nomination and the new owner/licence holder is not currently also a joint owner, or the previous 'responsible person' is no longer a joint owner, the vehicle must be transferred. Payment of transfer and vehicle licence duty is required.
|Change in nominated joint owners (Form E4)||Kb|
|Proof of identity: Nominated owner - vehicle licence holder (Form VL186)||Kb|
Transfer between spouses
There is provision for an exemption from vehicle licence duty, upon the transfer of a vehicle licence between spouses or de facto partners of at least two years.
The Application for Duty Exemption (Form FDA45) must be presented:
- Where the vehicle licence has not been transferred – together with the Notification of Change of Ownership Vehicle Licence Transfer (MR9) form at your nearest Driver and Vehicle Services centre, regional Department of Transport office or participating DVS agent; or
- it may be posted to: Driver and Vehicle Services, GPO Box R1290 Perth WA 6844.
- Where the vehicle licence duty has been paid - If you are applying for a refund of vehicle licence duty, send the completed form to: RevenueWA, GPO Box T1600, PERTH WA 6845.
The form is available through the Department of Finance website.
Eligibility for an exemption from the payment of vehicle licence duty is only available in the following circumstances:
- The transfer of the vehicle licence must be between persons who are married to each other or who are de facto partners of at least two years.
- Neither person can hold the vehicle as a trustee of a trust.
- The transfer of the licence must be for a vehicle used exclusively for social, domestic or pleasure purposes.
- The vehicle must be a car, bus or goods vehicle.
- The vehicle cannot be a heavy vehicle and the unladen mass of the vehicle is not greater than 3000 kg.
- The vehicle must not be used for carrying passengers or goods for hire or reward or in any business, trade or profession.
- Although the transferee will be exempt from paying the vehicle licence duty, a transfer fee is still payable.
- The transfer of the vehicle licence cannot be processed unless the forms have been signed by both the current licence holder (transferor) and the proposed licence holder (transferee).
- Motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and motorised wheelchairs are not eligible for vehicle licence duty exemption.
- Vehicles licensed in the name of a company or organisation are also not eligible for the exemption from vehicle duty.
|Department of Finance - Government of Western Australia|
|Notification of change of ownership vehicle licence transfer (Form MR9)||Kb|
Vehicles with optional or personalised plates fitted
If the vehicle is fitted with optional plates (other than personalised plates) and the plates are being sold with the vehicle, the purchaser and seller must each complete and submit a Transfer of rights to display special plates (Form VL176). The form is available below.
The purchaser will then have to pay the applicable plate transfer fee (see schedule of licensing fees above).
Note to purchaser:
If you do not want to keep the plates, return them to a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre to receive a set of ordinary state plates. Please note a fee applies.
Note to seller:
If you do not intend to sell the plates, return them to a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre for retention and receive a set of ordinary state plates for the vehicle you are selling. Please note a fee applies.
|Transfer of right to display optional plates (Form VL176)||Kb|
Vehicle licence duty
Driver and Vehicle Services is required by the Duties Act 2008 to collect vehicle licence duty when a vehicle is licensed or its licence is transferred.
Use RevenueWA’s Vehicle Duty Calculator to find out how much vehicle licence duty is payable when you licence or transfer a vehicle in Western Australia.
A transfer fee must also be paid when transferring a vehicle licence.
Any caravan defined as 'a trailer (including a camper trailer) permanently fitted for human habitation in the course of a journey' is exempt from the payment of Vehicle Licence Duty only. Transfer fees are still charged as they are a fee that represents a cost recovery for the administration of the licensing system when a change of ownership is processed.