Who can be issued with a vehicle licence
Vehicle licences can only be issued or transferred to a person or legal entity that has the capacity to be held legally accountable for the vehicle and/or any offences relating to the use of the vehicle. Definitions of legal entities are included here.
An individual person is classed as a legal entity, in that a person can sue and be sued. If you are applying for a vehicle licence as an individual person, you must also satisfy other statutory requirements.
You must provide proof of Identity and proof you have attained the prescribed age for the type of vehicle you will be driving (16 years for light vehicles up to 4,500 kg, 18 years for heavy vehicles). Refer to Proof of identity: examples of accepted primary and secondary documents.
Where a vehicle is owned by more than one person, such as a jointly owned vehicle or a vehicle owned by an unincorporated body, small business or association etc, one of the owners must be nominated to be the Responsible Person for the vehicle for the purposes of the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012.
|Primary & Secondary Proof of Identity||Kb|
Clubs and associations
An incorporated association or club is also recognised as a legal entity in its own right (separate from its individual members and regardless of changes to the membership).
An original certified copy of a Certificate of Incorporation must be supplied before a vehicle licence can be issued in the name of the incorporated association.
To find out how to register as an incorporated association, please visit the Department of Commerce.
Vehicles may be licensed to a corporate body, registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth).
- You must supply your ACN (Australian Company Number) with your vehicle licence application.
- An ABN (Australian Business Number) cannot be used as proof of identity.
The major difference between a corporate body and an unincorporated body is that a corporate body is a legal identity in its own right, separate from its directors, owners or members.
To find out how to register as a corporate body, please visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) website.
|Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)|
|Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII): Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth)|
Other bodies recognised as a legal entities
There are other bodies that are recognised legal entities and, therefore, permitted to hold a vehicle licence. These include:
- Any Federal or State Government Department.
- Local Government Authorities (towns, cities, shires, etc.).
- Some semi-Government organisations (e.g. Water Corporation, Western Power).
- Vehicles licensed to a Deceased Estate or the Public Trustee.
- Statutory corporations and co-operatives.
Statutory corporations and co-operatives are created pursuant to a specific statute (legislation) and are therefore recognised as legal entities.
Statutory corporations must provide proof of their status as a legal entity in the form of a copy of the specific statute (legislation) that creates them as a corporate body. This legislation should state that they:
- Are a body corporate.
- Have perpetual succession.
- Have power to purchase, take on lease, hold, sell, lease, mortgage, exchange and otherwise own, possess and deal with, any real or personal property.
- Have a common seal.
- May sue or be sued in their registered name.
Any applications from statutory organisations that have not already provided proof of their status as a legal entity will need to be assessed on the basis of the client supplying the required evidentiary documentation as listed previously.
Co-operatives can also be recognised as a legal entity under the Co-operatives Act 2009. This can be verified via a Certificate of Registration, granted by the Department of Commerce.
Your responsibilities as the owner of a licensed vehicle
If you are the owner of a licensed vehicle you have certain responsibilities under the Road Traffic Act 1974, including ensuring you are able to identify who is driving your vehicle at any given time.
For example, if you let someone else drive a vehicle licensed under your name and they are photographed speeding, you will be issued with the infringement notice. If you are unable to tell the police who was driving the vehicle, you will be liable for the penalties.
Find out what the Act means for you as an individual, joint owner, under-aged owner or business, see vehicle owner responsibilities.
Driver and Vehicle enquiries (online)
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