Seats and seat belts


Additional or replacement seats must be installed in accordance with the current issue of Vehicle Standards Bulletin 5 - Manufacture and installation of additional seats .

The addition or removal of seats requires a seating inspection by the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT).

The vehicle will then be fitted with a seating label to reflect the new seating arrangement.

The removal of seats or seatbelts to achieve a reduction in seating capacity must not interfere with the vehicle's supplementary restraint system (SRS) - eg removing a front seat and seatbelt with pre-tensioners may disarm the entire vehicle's SRS and therefore would not be approved.

Temporary removal of seats

Many 4WD owners who use their vehicles for holidays and camping sometimes would like to use the rear space of their 4WDs for camping equipment or for extra luggage room. Therefore it would be useful to temporarily remove the rear most seats in the vehicle.

If the removal of seats is temporary DIT does not need to be advised, and no seating inspection is required.

If the seat cannot be returned to its original position because of the permanent removal of an anchorage point, then a seating inspection is required and Service SA will need to be notified of the change.

The temporary removal of seats in vehicles in particular to 4WD's with rear seats for seven or eight passengers, is permissible providing that:

  • when removing rear seats that no tools or only simple tools are required
  • no seat, seat belt or child restraint anchorages are removed or modified and no modification has been made to the seating capacity
  • there are no structural modifications involved and there is no change in the vehicle's registration category.

Seat belts

Under the Road Traffic Act and Regulations seat belts are required in the driver's and front outboard seating positions from 1 July 1967.

Seat belts for all front seating positions became mandatory from 1 January 1969 and for all seating positions from 1 January 1971.

The level of safety provided by seat belts must not be reduced. Seat belts must not be replaced by belts of a lesser design rule standard.

A person must not sell a seatbelt or part of a seatbelt for use in a motor vehicle that has previously been installed in another vehicle.

There is no objection to seat belts of a higher standard being fitted, however it is recommended you contact DIT for advice to ensure that the belts are of the correct type and can be correctly fitted.

Seat belt anchor points are carefully chosen and tested by the vehicle manufacturer. Therefore it is not permitted to alter the location or the strength of the seat belt anchorage points without advice from a Chartered Professional Engineer.

Fitting harness belts to passenger vehicles manufactured on or after 1 January 1969, but prior to 1 January 1975, will only be considered on presentation of an engineering report prepared by a Chartered Professional Engineer that demonstrates continued compliance with Australian Design Rule 5A and that there is no rear seating position.

Australian Design Rule 5A - Seat Belt Anchorages

Fitting harness seat belts to passenger vehicles manufactured to comply with Australian Design Rule 4B manufactured on or after 1 January 1975, is not permitted as the Australian Design Rule requires the inclusion of a dual locking retractor system.

Australian Design Rule 4B - Seat Belts
MR426 Fact sheet and list of Chartered Professional Engineers (438.4 KB PDF).

    Contact DIT Vehicle Standards

    Related information

    Other websites

    Australian Design Rules - Commonwealth Department for Infrastructure and Transport


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    Page last updated 19 December 2021

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