What Is A Roadworthy Certificate?

what is a roadworthy certificate

What Is A Roadworthy Certificate? (Free Checklist To Prepare)

If you’re anything like me, the first time you have to get your vehicle roadworthy can be quite confusing… I still remember researching stuff online like “roadworthy checklists” or questions like: 

What’s included in a roadworthy certificate?
What happens if you fail?
Where can you get a road safety certificate from? 
How long do roadworthys last?
How much does it cost?

These were all questions that we come across every single day from our customers, so don’t worry. You’re not alone. 

And of course, you want to make sure that if we are getting a mobile roadworthy, that your vehicle passes and you receive your road safety certificate. 

Fortunately, we’ve been experts in the field for years now. Not only that but we’ve also helped over 30,000 Queenlanders get their vehicle roadworthy… We don’t want to blow our own trumpet here, but yes, we’re pretty experienced… 😏

We love nothing more than to help our customers, so rather than answer the same question over and over we thought it would be sooooo much easier to write a complete guide on roadworthy certificates. 

So, if you want to make sure that you pass your roadworthy and ensure that you are fully prepared then let’s not waste any more time and get straight to everything you need to know. 

Now if you’re in the market for a roadworthy certificate then feel free to book one with me and my team online in under 60 seconds. You can book your roadworthy here.

PS. You can also find out how much a roadworthy costs’s in my full guide here

Table of Contents

safety examiner conducting a road safety inspection

What Is A Roadworthy Certificate?

Roadworthy certificates (also known as road safety certificates) are required by law as an official document to make sure that your vehicle is safe and maintained for all road users. In more simple terms, it essentially shows that your vehicle is safe to drive on Queensland roads

Look, no one wants drivers to be zooming around in broken cars with bits hanging off that can be a danger to our safety and health, right? 🤣

Road safety certificates mean that unless your vehicle is safe and secure you won’t be allowed to drive it around on Queensland roads. This ensures the health and safety for all other drivers.

Roadworthy certificates are issued by approved inspection stations which are registered, like ourselves. You can either get a digital copy of a roadworthy certificate or a written copy. Only Queensland approved examiners can issue road safety certificates who have appropriate experience to conduct the inspections. 

To be honest, I think it’s a great idea for roadworthys to exist. It means that us, as road users, are safer thanks to the Qld government. Now that you know exactly what a road safety certificate is, here’s when you’ll need one.

When Do You Need A Road Safety Certificate?

So, roadworthy certificates are required for a few different reasons. Each state also has their own different rules and requirements. For this article we are focusing on the Queensland state laws.

Don’t forget, you will need to get your trailer roadworthy so it’s safe for other road users. Especially those who are looking to buy a boat and pull it along! 

1. Transferring a registration to another person or state

By law you will be required to obtain a roadworthy certificate if you are transferring the registration of your vehicle to another person. This usually happens when the vehicle changes ownership for example, you sell your car or give it to a friend. 

Additionally, you will also need a roadworthy if you are transferring your registration to another state other than Queensland.This might be relevant if you are planning on moving interstate or travelling around.

2. Re-registering and unregistered vehicle in Queensland

You will need to ensure that you renew your registration every year or else you cannot legally drive your vehicle. If you have an unregistered vehicle that you want to get registered again, then you will need to obtain a roadworthy certificate.

3. You are selling a registered light vehicle

Any registered light vehicles will need to pass a road safety inspection before they can be sold. Here’s a list of vehicles that this applies too:

  • Cars
  • Motorbike 
  • Scooters/Mopeds
  • Trailers with aggregate trailer mass between 750kg and 3500kg
  • Caravans with aggregate trailer mass between 750kg and 3500kg
  • Any other vehicles with 4,500kg gross vehicle mass

How To Ensure You Pass And Get Your Vehicle Roadworthy Certificate…

Look, we understand roadworthys can seem daunting… But honestly, they’re really not. Most of the time vehicles will pass and even if you fail you still have 14 days to fix it and we can come out again for free! 

But, we want to get you prepared for the road safety inspection so that you know what to expect and which areas you might not pass on… So, we’ve created this fantastic roadworthy checklist that you can go through and see if there are any areas you need to improve on. 

These are all the areas that are checked in a mobile road safety inspection:

Ensure that none of your seatbelts are damaged or broken. This includes the buckle, it’s required to be able to fasten up without getting stuck. 

Make sure your mirrors are fully visible. If they have been hit or damaged then you will need to get the replaced or repaired. Any cracked mirror or blocked visibility will also need fixing.

There is a minimum tread depth you need to have which is 1.5mm. Also you should avoid any damaged, dirt or obstruction on your tyres or wheels. 

Ensure that doors can shut safety without any obstruction or swinging open mid drive. Door should also have padding and not have open wires showing. 

All windows should be clean and not cracked. They are required to also go fully up as a closed window, if they get stuck this could be seen as a safety risk. 

You shouldn’t have any bodywork parts hanging off or taped on using duck tape or glue. They should be properly repaired. 

Your drivers seat should be able to adjust upright for full viewing of the road ahead.

You will need to have sunvisors that are not broken or damaged. If they are not there you could receive a failure.

No cracks or large chips in the windscreen or anything that may impair your vision when driving. 

Your steering should be secure and not pull off over to one side etc. It should be smooth and easy to turn. 

Your headlights need to be facing forward and not outwards or upwards. This may affect the safety of yourself and other road users. 

Make sure that your interior lights are working fine, and that your exterior lights are bright enough. 

Leave this up to the experts. We will look over your engine. You can check by listening to the sound to see if there are any strange noises. 

You can test your battery to ensure that it has sufficient health and no problems. 

Make sure that your suspension is in good condition and hasn’t snapped or broken during a car journey. 

Wheel bearing generally wear out over time anyway, you can check yours to see if they need replacing. 

Another one to leave to the experts. If you had a car jack you could look underneath yourself. 

Double check to see if there are any holes or damages in your exhaust that could be a safety risk to yourself and other road users. 

Take your car on a test drive and check the brakes. If they are sticky, slow or make a load scratching noise they will need replacing. 

You can check your handbrake at home. Park on a slight incline and test. If you are not near an incline you can push your car.

You can visually check to ensure your speedo and odo are working fine, any issues this will be a cheap fix. 

We will carry out a road test where we drive your vehicle to ensure all components are working as they should. 

The 6 Most Common Areas People Fail Their Road Safety Inspection On:

Cmooooon guys. We want you to pass the roadworthy inspection first time, with a stress free experience. That means we’ve put together a list of the 6 most common areas that vehicle owners fail on. Prepare to focus on these areas the most… 


Ensure your tyres are fully inflated, haven’t got any sharp objects coming out of the tyre etc. Also make sure that you have the correct 1.5mm of tread in your wheel tread depth. Here’s a guide on how to buy the best tyres

Oil leaks 

Double check to ensure that your vehicle hasn’t got an oil leak. You can usually find this by oil drips on your driveway or road where you have been driving. Check your dipstick and ensure that you are not going through oil too quickly. 

Light bulbs 

So common, but make sure that your lights are working. Also make sure that they are bright enough and angled correctly in front of the vehicle. 


Both the handbrake and your wheel brakes will get tested. Make sure that they are working to optimise and don’t need replacing. 


These are the mounts that hold together areas of your car e.g. engine mount. Ensure that these are safety tightened and not loose. There is a high safety risk if your mountings are loose and able to rattle around. 


These work with the car suspension to absorb shocks and road bumps. Please check that they are not damaged or broken or even need replacing. This will save you time on the day of the inspection.

All in all guys, if you follow these areas then you will pass the safety inspection really easily. Don’t stress, most vehicles will past first time anyway. If you have looked after your car then

safety examiner checking the tyre tread depth of a car during a roadworthy inspection

What Can You Expect From Your Safety Inspector

Ok, so I’m going to talk you through the average mobile safety inspection that we conduct every single way with hundreds of Queenslanders like yourself. Once you have booked a date and time you can begin to relax and leave it up to us 😁…

When the safety inspector arrives they will ensure that your car is in a safe place to carry out the inspection. This may mean they will ask you to move your car or even place cones around the edges to ensure other road users are there and to warn of the hazard. 

Once your vehicle is in a safe location we will begin to carry out our safety inspection of your vehicle. If you are feeling really really generous, feel free to make our examiners a coffee for their hard work  and no, we won’t be bribed sorry 😆. 

If you are not at home during the inspection please ensure that your car is left in a safe place for the inspection. This is no issue, look, we know most people have to work and are busy. That’s why we make it so easy for us to do it for you then let you know the results after. 

However, you need to know that the inspectors will be required to do a test drive to ensure that the vehicle is safe. Please if possible, make sure your car is clean and safe inside so it passes first time. 

You will get a certificate for both passing and failing. If you have failed, you will get given a list of areas where you failed based on Queensland laws.

How Long Until You Get Your Roadworthy Certificate?

You will be issued your mobile roadworthy certificate in usually within 30 minutes after the inspection has been completed by our qualified examiners. This will only be the case if you have passed your road safety inspection. 

If you have failed the inspection, we cannot provide you with a safety certificate. Instead, we will give you 14 days to fix the issues that are not road safe and we will come back out to you and pass your vehicle at NO extra cost. 

Don’t stress too much, even if you have a couple of issues we will be there to help guide you. Sometimes, you can get these issues fixed the same day and we can get to you ASAP to pass your vehicle. 

It’s best to prepare for it to fail, so if you do have a buyer don’t leave it until the last minute and miss out on the sale if it doesn’t pass first time and needs rectifying.

Although the inspection is quick, your roadworthy will last for 2 months or 2000kms. Whichever come first. So make sure you’ve left enough time to sell or fix your vehicle. 

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3 Responses

  1. I didn’t realize there is such thing as a roadworthy certificate that conducts inspections for several reasons like when you are planning to sell your light vehicle. I guess I understand this regulation because I wouldn’t want to buy something that I am not sure of as well. So, I hope I could also get in touch with reliable services providers that conduct these check-ups in case I need to sell my vehicle.

  2. I need a roadworthy I just bought the car of a friend it needs work but I don’t have the money and I am trying to get a loan on it so they tell me I need roadworthy

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