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


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

May 16, 2022

You don’t have to be a car fanatic to have tangled with blue slips, pink slips, green slips and white slips before.

Australia has strict vehicle safety laws and standards which must be followed by every single car on our roads. In particular, you might recognise “pink slips” in popular culture and car fiction, where criminals raced for ownership of souped-up street cars - however, pink slips down under relate not to vehicle ownership, but roadworthiness. Green slips refer to compulsory third party insurance (which we hope you have), and white slips are issued to indicate needs for repairs. 

Finally, there are blue slips - keep reading to find out more about what a blue slip is, and when you might need one.

What is a Blue Slip? 

If you’re new to car ownership or have never registered a car yourself, blue slips may be a new concept to you.

The technical name for a blue slip is an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection (AUVI) and they are administered by the NSW Government’s Roads and Maritime Service (RMS).

As you know, you cannot legally drive a car on NSW roads in an unregistered car. If your car is unregistered, your car registration is coming to an end, or you’re importing a car into NSW, you will need to apply for a blue slip.

Why do I need a blue slip?

All unregistered light vehicles require a blue slip inspection before they can be cleared for registration in NSW - a blue slip is what confirms everything from safety to ownership.  

Ultimately, without a blue slip, you won't be able to register your car.

How do I know if I need a blue slip?

It is likely that you're reading this because you have a light vehicle, which means you will have to get a blue slip inspection at some point. If you don’t know what a “light vehicle is”, according to RMS, they include:

  • Passenger cars.
  • Motorcycles, including ones with a side-car attached.
  • Goods carrying vehicles that have a Gross Vehicle Mass of 4.5 tonnes or less (excluding those with air or vacuum braking systems). For those who don’t have car scales, that is a small to medium-sized truck.
  • Light trailers and caravans that weigh 4.5 tonnes or less, included those fitted with breakaway brakes (also excluding those fitted with air or vacuum braking systems).

You will also need a blue slip if your vehicle has been transported from interstate, has previously been written off, requires adjustments to registration due to car modification, needs defect notices cleared, or doesn’t have number plates or has expired registration.

If some of this sounds like gobbledy-gook, don't worry. You're probably here because you have a regular, run-of-the-mill car and need to know what a blue slip inspection looks like, how much it costs and where you can get it done. Read on!

What does a blue slip inspection entail?

To be registered in NSW, your vehicle needs to pass a rigorous safety and identity inspection by mechanics at an authorised inspection station. During the inspection mechanics will perform:

  • Safety checks. Similarly to a pink slip, mechanics will check your tyres, fluids, lights, suspension, seatbelts, brakes and leakage. If you have a trailer they’ll check the wheel bearings and winch.
  • Identity checks. Thorough background checks will be run to ensure the validity of ownership and that the car or its parts aren’t stolen. You will need to provide proof of purchase, which can include a bill of sale, Certificate of Registration or a Notice of Disposal.
  • Design checks. This is an assessment of manufacturer standards. Cars must meet these standards to be deemed roadworthy. Check out the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) for more information: https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/design/adr_online.aspx
  • Written-off vehicle checks. If a car was written off but has been approved for re-registration it must undergo a write-off check. This also prevents criminal “rebirthing” of stolen cars and illegal replacement of Vehicle Identifying Numbers (VINs).
  • Defect notice or Adjustment of Records check. This is usually if something about the car has been changed or modified, like a new engine, or if a defect has been fixed and needs to be updated in the records so you can get your car back on the road.

Where do I get a blue slip?

Blue slips are easy to organise. There are authorised inspection stations all over NSW. Just punch your suburb, town or postcode into the NSW Transport for Road search engine (link below) and you can find the closest inspection station to you. 

Find your nearest inspection station: https://roads-waterways.transport.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/index.cgi?fuseaction=inspectionstation.form

If your vehicle passes inspection, the reports are sent electronically to the RMS.

What do I need to bring to my blue slip appointment?

Like anything involving bureaucracy, it's best to come prepared with as much documentation as you can get your hands on. However, the basic documents include a new registration application (which you can download from the Transport for NSW website), proof of identity, address, green slip and proof of vehicle ownership. Oh, and the car, of course.

If your vehicle has been imported, you will also need a Vehicle Import Approval which is issued by the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. 

How much does a blue slip cost?

It all depends on the type of vehicle you have, but overall blue slips are on the cheap side. The costs below were sourced from the Roads and Maritime Services and are representative of NSW only.

  • Light Vehicle =  $67
  • Motorcycle = $41
  • Trailer without brakes = $34
  • Trailer with brakes = $48

We know these costs can add up, but when you consider the fine for driving an unregistered light vehicle in NSW is $637, a blue slip more than pays for itself. And isn’t it nice to have some peace of mind out on the roads?

How long do blue slips last?

A blue slip lasts for 42 days! Please note that being issued a blue slip does NOT mean your vehicle is registered. Registration is a separate process which needs to be completed within 42 days of receiving your blue slip. If you let those 42 days lapse without registering your vehicle will have to undergo another inspection.

Also, before you can register your vehicle you will also need to purchase a green slip. We recommend that you compare prices between different insurers before deciding on a provider. Once you’ve picked one, contact them to get the ball rolling.

What is the Difference Between a Blue Slip and a Pink Slip?

A pink slip is a safety report of your car - this is different to a blue slip, which involves a full inspection of your vehicle, covering everything from leaks and lights to breaks and suspension.

Getting a Blue Slip

While dealing with the nitty-gritty of car insurance and registration may feel daunting, blue slips really are nothing to worry about (unless you're a car thief). Thanks to the streamlined, easy-to-use RMS website, the guesswork is taken out of the whole process, making the logistics of registering your car simple, cheap and relatively pain-free. If you have any more questions related to blue slips, NSW registration schemes or anything else, either contact us or head to: https://myrta.com/ebus/docs/is/AIS_Business_Rules.pdf