Different states around Australia have different certifications required and regulations regarding their vehicles and road safety—motorcycles are included in this. These could include the state requiring you to get a safety inspection and certificate before selling, registering, and riding the motorcycle.

For motorcycles in Queensland, along with getting your motorcycle license, it’s crucial to ensure your vehicle is registered and also obtain a vehicle safety certificate. Safety certificates aren’t only just required for motorcycles in Queensland but also for cars, trailers (including caravans) with an aggregate trailer mass between 750 and 4,500 kg, and any other vehicle up to 4,500 kg gross vehicle mass. 

A QLD motorcycle safety certificate is a legal requirement in the state and must be displayed on the vehicle. There are only a few situations where a safety certificate is not required, which we’ll cover later on in this guide.

Failure to get a safety certificate for a motorcycle, in some cases, can result in fines. To obtain a safety certificate, the motorcycle has to undergo a comprehensive inspection from an Approved Inspection Station (AIS). It’s important to note that getting a safety certificate isn’t the same as a pre-purchase inspection.

AIS businesses offer vehicle inspections and are the only places you can get a safety certificate issued in the state. After the inspection, if your vehicle passes, you’ll be issued a handwritten or electronically-issued certificate. 

If you obtain an electronic certificate, you won’t need to display it on the vehicle itself, but will need to present it if requested. A handwritten certificate must be on display in a visible place the moment the motorcycle is offered for sale. 

The motorcycle safety certificate is sometimes also known as a roadworthy certificate. In this guide, we’ll be covering how to get a safety certificate, when they’re needed, and how long they last. 

What Is A QLD Motorcycle Safety Certificate?

Motorcycle safety certificate QLD

A motorcycle safety certificate is a document that is issued after a motorcycle passes through a minimum safety standard inspection. These inspections are conducted by an Approved Inspection Station, of which there are several around Queensland.

This inspection covers basic factors essential for a motorcycle’s function and safe operation. During the inspection, the mechanic will check the motorcycle’s tyres, brakes, steering, suspension, lights, and any rust or structural damage. 

When Are QLD Motorcycle Safety Certificates Needed (And Not)?

Safety certificates are required in most cases if you’re looking to sell or transfer a motorcycle. They are needed when:

  • Transferring registration to a new owner
  • When transferring a motorcycle from another state or territory to Queensland registration
  • Re-registering an unregistered vehicle

Whilst it’s no longer required to have a safety certificate before offering a registered vehicle for sale, a certificate must still be obtained before disposing of a registered vehicle (transferring it to a new owner), unless it’s to a licensed motor dealer.

When transferring a motorcycle’s registration, the new owner must also receive the current safety certificate. Failure to obtain and give a current safety certificate can result in a large fine. 

The only times a safety certificate is not required when selling a vehicle, is if it’s unregistered and is traded to or between licensed motor dealers. If a motorcycle is being sold for parts, a safety certificate is also not needed; however, it must be deregistered first.

There are only a few situations where you can transfer a motorcycle without a safety certificate in Queensland. These situations are:

  • The disposer being in an exempt remote area
  • A beneficiary of a deceased estate
  • Between spouses, including separated married couples and registered partners. 

How To Get A QLD Motorcycle Safety Certificate

Motorcycle safety certificate QLD

When looking to get a safety certificate for your motorcycle, there are a few factors to consider. Here’s our guide to getting the certificate and the different requirements you have to meet.

Getting a roadworthy certificate

To get a roadworthy certificate, you’ll need to get in touch with an Approved Inspection Station and book an inspection. There are also fees for getting a safety certificate.

If you already have a safety certificate for your motorcycle but have misplaced it, you can get a replacement. At the time of writing, a replacement inspection certificate and the approved examiner’s inspection report both cost $26.20.

The Taverner Motorsports team is able to help you obtain a safety certificate through our extensive services. We partner with a company offering mobile inspections and can provide you with a safety certificate. 

When getting a roadworthy certificate, it’s also important to consider any modifications made to the motorcycle and ensure they are legal. At Taverner Motorsports, we can check over any motorcycle modifications, ensuring they’re legal and compliant with the Australian Design Rules (ADR).

The requirements

The Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads has vehicle inspection manuals available on their website. These are the manuals that are used by Approved Inspection Stations when looking over your vehicle and issuing a certificate.

During an inspection, they’ll check over the following:

  • Verify the vehicle’s registration plate number (if registered) and chassis/VIN number, and record all necessary vehicle details, such as the make and model. 
  • Check over the body, chassis, and frame of the vehicle to ensure it’s safe and working. For motorcycles, this also includes riding controls and mirrors.
  • Inspecting any lamps (lights) and electrical components. Aside from the headlights, this also includes any additional lighting fitted, the battery, and other electrical features.
  • The inspector will also check the steering and suspension on the motorcycle.
  • The wheels and tyres will also be checked to ensure that they’re safe to ride and up to standard.
  • The brakes and braking system are also thoroughly checked during the safety inspection. 
  • As per the official vehicle inspection manual, the engine, clutch, and emissions are also checked.

The above is only a general guide to a vehicle safety inspection and getting a roadworthy certificate. The examiners inspect each of the components listed above thoroughly, and along with an initial inspection, they also conduct a road test to see how the motorcycle performs when riding.

When getting a motorcycle inspected for a safety certificate, it’s also required that it’s presented in a clean condition—free of any excess dirt or grease. If it isn’t, you’ll be told to come back and get the vehicle reassessed when it is in a reasonably clean state. 

How Long Do QLD Motorcycle Safety Certificates Last?

Motorcycle safety certificate QLD

The length of time will depend on who is selling the vehicle. 

  • For licensed motor dealers, certificates are valid for 3 months or 1,000 km (whichever expires first) from the date of issue.
  • For all other sellers, certificates are valid for 2 months or 2,000 km (whichever expires first) from the date of issue.

The same safety certificate can be used to register an unregistered vehicle and then transfer registration, as long as it’s done within the timeframes listed above.

A new safety certificate is needed every time a vehicle is being sold, even if it’s sold, for example, twice within the same 2-month timeframe when the first certificate was issued. A safety certificate can only be used to transfer a vehicle once.

Get Your QLD Motorcycle Safety Certificate at Taverner Motorsports 

Motorcycle safety certificate QLD

Knowing when and how to get a safety certificate can save you from fines and legal issues. The process is straightforward: book an inspection at an Approved Inspection Station, like Taverner Motorsports, and make sure your bike is in good shape. Regular maintenance helps you avoid problems during the inspection.

If you’re looking to get a QLD motorcycle safety certificate, our team here at Taverner Motorsports is an Approved Inspection Station. Get in touch with our team today for a quote