Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need to nationally align vehicle modification legislation?
All states and territories currently have different legislation, standards and processes for modified vehicles, and each state / territory does not recognise other states when it comes to engineering processes and modifications, which are fully certified in other states. This means many motorists have been defected when driving legal vehicles from one state, into another state, and also trying to sell / transfer vehicle registration between states, sometimes requiring all pre-certified modifications to be re-engineered in the new state; potentially costing the vehicle owner many additional thousands of dollars to undertake certification, which has already been approved in their original state.
The fact that each state does not recognise engineering practices and processes from other states is purely an issue of state government bureaucratic bungling. Under the current state government arrangements, tourism is being effected as some states are being over-zealous in their enforcement of standards, as enforcement have little knowledge of differences from other states. Additionally, some automotive aftermarket companies cannot sell products and services nationally, as the rules are different in each state, which introduces anti-competitive / discriminatory practices by government policy makers.
If certified auto-mechanical engineers and approved persons undertake the same training which is recognised nationally, why are their skills and certifications not recognised nationally?
There is NO need in this day and age for legislation disparity between states and territories on such simple issues effecting every day Australians.
How would the alignment affect Australian motorists across states?
The alignment is structured to initially allow all certified vehicle modifications and processes from individual state governments, to be nationally accepted by all other state governments for the life of the vehicle, or if other modifications of another type supersedes a previously issued modification certification. This “Mutual Recognition” of state engineering, certification and processes would ensure what’s legal in one state, should be automatically transferable and recognised by all other state transport authorities.
The second component will be to create a National Modification Framework, which is driven by the automotive aftermarket industry and various motoring communities, to provide a single legislative framework for all Australians to be able to follow for modifications; and also for auditing and enforcement processes.
The National Modification Framework should be based on the Safe, Practical and Affordable concepts, so that all motorists can undertake safe modifications which use practical testing processes, to ensure they are affordable for the general public undertaking individual modification activities for current in-service vehicle fleet. If Safe, Practical and Affordable practices and concepts are not available in the National Modification Framework, then people will avoid undertaking sound vehicle modifications, if they are too complex, beyond reach, or overly expensive to the general public.
After implementation of a National Modification Framework, modified vehicles will be able to be sold / transferred interstate without re-certification. Small engineering companies can sell products nationally, and people seeking modification guidance will be able to reference one source of truth, minimising confusion within the communities due to different state government requirements – this can be particularly problematic in the era of social media, while each state has different standards and there’s too much incorrect information and resources.
Can I buy or sell modified vehicles across states with, or without, re-engineering?
Under the current state based model of separate vehicle modification legislation and processes, vehicles which are modified beyond the basics CANNOT be sold or transferred into a different state / territory jurisdiction, unless all modifications are fully re-certified in the new location; this could cost the vehicle owner several thousand dollars.
However, once “Mutual Recognition” is enabled, and the final “Vehicle Modification Framework” is mandated nationally, then all vehicle modification certifications from engineers, signatories and approved persons, will be accepted nationally by all state government transport authorities.
Which motoring communities support a National Modification Framework?
The following national motoring associations, on behalf of their state affiliations and club members, are engaged and fully support the “Time To Align” campaign:
- 4WD Australia Association
- Australian Recreational Motorists Association (Coordinating Organisation)
- Australian Street Rod Federation
- Bull bar Council Of Australia
- Downshift Australia
Why should the NSW VSCCS system be the basis for National Modification Framework?
The NSW Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme (VSCCS) uses the NCOP (AKA VSB-14) as a general guideline, however modifications can be certified outside of the NCOP guidelines by qualified auto-mechanical engineers, approved persons, and certification signatories, assuming the modifications pass prescribed tests, and they are deemed safe by the modification certifier.
Additionally, many states require modifications engineering requests to be submitted to their state government’s registration authorities for review and approval by a group of desk based bureaucrats before approval; this process provides more red tape, increases work delays for customers, and requires additional engagement and fees for bureaucrats review.
The VSCCS standard allows for qualified and approved engineers to undertake modifications without first submitting engineering requests and diagrams to state registration authority bureaucrats, based on their engineering qualifications and many years of hands-on build and experience.
NOTE: NSW has a requirement for annual vehicle safety inspections for all in-service road vehicles, which is mandated by the NSW state government, and has no bearing on vehicle modifications or certifications. In short, this campaign is not advocating for annual safety inspections, these continue to be based on individual state decisions.
What options do the Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF) recommend?
ASRF National Chairman: “The ASRF supports the principle that the immense number of motoring enthusiasts in all States of Australia have the ability to enjoy their hobby in a safe environment. The philosophy of Codes and Guidelines having enthusiast and industry input that is nationally recognised is critical for a number of reasons; security, surety and consistency being three of them.“
How else can the “Time To Align” campaign benefit the Australian community?
Many people have already pointed out the “Time To Align” campaign should be targeting far more issues than just the national alignment of vehicle modification legislation, and we agree. However, at this point in time, the campaign is only designed to resolve one long running, major issue for this federal election.
In saying that, as the campaign builds up into the election period, there is no reason why other interested groups or political parties can’t commit to undertaking additional Time To Align strategies to make general Australian lives easier, such as aligning the same road rules, driver testing, license age entitlements, highway speed limits, learner / provisional license speed limits, traffic offences, fines and demerit systems.
Australians want simple rules and equality across national jurisdictions, they are sick of state government elections where political parties continue to promise bigger, better, and more different than all the other political parities and jurisdictions; why can’t they just promise “equal”. The current state government based framework is disruptive, discriminative, anti-competitive, and provides additional levels of red tape which should be made redundant.