Written-off vehicles are classed as either a statutory write-off or a repairable write-off.
It is against the law to drive a written-off vehicle on the road unless it is a repairable write-off that is currently registered or has been issued with an unregistered vehicle permit or displaying a trade plate and the purpose for it being driven is for repairs or an inspection prior to registration.
Under no circumstances can a statutory write-off be driven on roads.
A vehicle considered a repairable write-off if:
- it is written-off, but is not to be a statutory write-off
- the cost of the repairs will exceed the insured value of the vehicle
- it is declared a write-off by an insurer or owner following accidental damage.
A vehicle is considered a statutory write-off if it:
- has severe structural or other damage or deterioration that prevents it from being driven safely on a road.
- A motor vehicle that meets the criteria as specified in the document entitled Damage Assessment Criteria for the Classification of Statutory Write-offs - published by Austroads Ltd in July 2011
- is a motor bike, caravan or trailer that is burnt to such an extent that it is fit only for
- wrecking or scrap
- is stripped of all, or most of:
- interior and exterior body parts
- panels and components
- chassis components or assemblies.
- A motor bike that has been
- fully immersed in salt water
- fully immersed in fresh water for more than 48 hours
- has impact damage (excluding scratching) to the suspension
- 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 a financial interest in the vehicle
- inspection payment receipt
- the repaired written-off vehicle
- required Repair Diary fact sheet MR1547 - .
Additional requirements may include having a MR1419 Supplementary Restraint System Report completed by an accredited agent..
For more information see vehicle inspections or download the MR925 - Written-off Vehicle Inspection Requirements - .
Booking a vehicle identity inspection (Tier 3)
phone 13 10 84 to make a vehicle inspection booking.
Payments for fees can be made by MasterCard or Visa (debit or credit cards).
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
For rural inspections, the bookings officer will advise you about locations.
Find out if a vehicle is 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 circumstances:
Before selling or otherwise disposing of, or dismantling, a registered or unregistered vehicle.
Within seven days of writing off a registered or unregistered notifiable vehicle.
Dismantlers, wreckers and repairers
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
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 must be attached to a notifiable vehicle as soon as possible 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 registration cancellation.
Importing a notifiable written-off vehicle into South Australia
You must notify within seven days of bringing the vehicle into South Australia:
- a written-off vehicle
- a part of a vehicle bearing a vehicle identification plate or vehicle identification number.
Notification is not required in South Australia, if the current status has been recorded on an interstate written-off vehicle register.
What is a notifiable vehicle
A notifiable vehicle is a written-off vehicle that is less than 15 years 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 number
- 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
Complete the 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 vehicle
- the location and severity of damage caused to the vehicle.