It is against the law to drive a written-off vehicle on the road unless it
is going for repairs or an inspection.
What is a written-off vehicle?
Written-off vehicles are classed as either a statutory write-off or a
repairable write-off and must not be driven on a road other than for the
purpose of being driven to or from a place of repair or inspection, prior to
A vehicle considered a statutory write-off:
- has severe structural or other damage or deterioration that prevents it
from being driven safely on a road
- is not eligible to be registered in South Australia.
A vehicle considered a repairable write-off:
- is written-off and is determined not to be a statutory write-off
- has been assessed as uneconomical to repair, as the cost of the repairs
will exceed the insured value of the vehicle
- may be declared a write-off by an insurer following accidental damage
or if determined to be a write-off by an owner.
What is a statutory write-off?
- A motor vehicle (other than a motor bike or trailer) with a Gross
Vehicle Mass not greater than 4.5 tonnes to which Australian Design Rules
apply that meets the assessment criteria as a statutory write-off specified
in the document entitled
Damage Assessment Criteria for the Classification of Statutory Write-Offs published by Austroads Ltd in July 2011, as in force
from time to time;
- A motor bike, caravan or trailer that is burnt to such an extent that
it is fit only for wrecking or scrap or is stripped of all, or a
combination of most, interior and exterior body parts, panels and
components (such as, for example, the engine and gearbox (if applicable),
wheels, guards, body and chassis components or assemblies);
- A motor bike that has been fully immersed in salt water for any period
or has been fully immersed in fresh water for more than 48 hours or has
impact damage (excluding scratching) to the suspension and at least 2 areas
of structural frame damage.
Presenting a written-off vehicle for inspection
When presenting a repaired or rebuilt written-off vehicle for inspection,
you must supply:
- proof of identity of the person presenting the vehicle for inspection
to the authorised officer
- proof of previous registration in Australia if available
- unless delivered by tow truck the vehicle must have some form of
current registration, such as:
- 'Unregistered vehicle permit'
- 'Trade Plate' where the Plate owner has financial interest in
- inspection payment receipt
- the repaired written-off vehicle
Repair Diary fact sheet MR1422
Additional requirements may include having a Supplementary Restraint System
Report completed by an accredited agent.
A report form for vehicles damaged by impact (MR1419b) and for
water immersed and storm damaged vehicles (MR1419c) can be
For more information see vehicle inspections or download the
Purchasing a written-off vehicle fact sheet (MR925).
Booking a vehicle identity inspection (Tier 3)
Step 1: If you live within a 100 kilometre radius of the
Adelaide GPO, the vehicle must be inspected at:
Vehicle Identity Assessment Station
7 Naweena Road
Regency Park SA 5010
Rural inspection locations will be advised at the time of booking.
Step 2: To book an inspection and pay the fee by MasterCard
or Visa - phone 1300 882 247.
Or, after making a booking you can pay at
- a Service SA customer service centre
- or at the Vehicle inspection office Department of Planning, Transport
and Infrastructure, Kateena Street, Regency Park. Phone 1300 882 247.
No payments (except for credit card payments) will be accepted at the
Naweena Road Vehicle Identity Assessment Station. Payment for Tier 3
inspections are to be made prior to arriving for the inspection.
Find out if a vehicle is recorded as wrecked or written-off
To find out if a vehicle has been recorded as written-off phone 13 10 84 or
go to a Service SA customer service centre.
You will need to supply the registration number and vehicle identification
number to enable a check to be done.
When to report a written-off vehicle
Penalties apply for not notifying of a written-off vehicle in the following
Private owners (including businesses not associated with motor vehicles
in the course of trade) must notify a notifiable vehicle before selling or
otherwise disposing or dismantling a registered or unregistered
Insurers must notify within seven days of determining a registered or
unregistered notifiable vehicle as written-off.
Dismantlers, wreckers and repairers
Dismantlers, wreckers and repairers must notify within seven days of
acquiring a registered or unregistered notifiable vehicle that has been
written-off. This includes vehicles or parts of a vehicle bearing a vehicle
identification plate or vehicle identification number.
Auctioneers and motor vehicle dealers
Auctioneers and motor vehicle dealers must notify within seven days of
acquiring, but before auctioning, or disposing of a registered or
unregistered written-off notifiable vehicle.
Written-off vehicle notices
Written-off vehicle notices (where issued) must be affixed to a
notifiable vehicle as soon as practicable and before the vehicle is sold or
otherwise disposed of.
If it's intended to cancel the registration of a notifiable vehicle, a
notification must also be completed and accompany the application for
Importing a notifiable written-off vehicle into South Australia
If importing a notifiable written-off vehicle into South Australia you
must notify within seven days of bringing the vehicle into the State
(including a part of a vehicle bearing a vehicle identification plate or
vehicle identification number) into South Australia from another State or
Territory of Australia.
Notification is not required in South Australia if a notification has
been recorded on an interstate written-off vehicle register in the
prescribed manner for the current status of the vehicle.
What is a notifiable vehicle?
A notifiable vehicle is a written-off vehicle that is less than 15 years of
age (determined from its date of manufacture) and is:
- a motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) not greater than 4.5
tonnes to which Australian Design Rules apply
- a motorbike
- a caravan
- a trailer with a GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes
- a vehicle wrecked or wholly or partly disassembled or a part of a
vehicle bearing a vehicle identification plate or vehicle identification
- an interstate written-off vehicle not recorded on a written-off vehicle
register administered by an interstate vehicle registration authority.
How to notify a written-off vehicle
notification of a written-off vehicle form and return it to a
Service SA customer service centre or, if you
are authorised as an agent to issue written-off vehicle notices, phone Service
SA on 13 10 84.
Regardless of whether you are a private owner, an insurer or a business
associated with the motor trade, you must supply the following:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- the registration number of the vehicle if available
- the engine number, vehicle make and body type of the vehicle
- the date the decision was made to write the vehicle off
- whether the vehicle is a statutory or repairable write-off
- the name and address of the person notifying the written-off
- the location and severity of damage caused to the vehicle.
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On this site
Buying a vehicle
for the South Australian Written-Off Vehicle Register
New Damage Assessment Criteria for the Classification of Statutory Write-Offs -
frequently asked questions
Customer service centres
Phone 13 10 84