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Rego Revolt

Last month we revealed plans from the NSW State Government to follow the lead set by the WA and SA governments by ceasing to send out the annual windscreen rego sticker, as it was no longer necessary. Other states are expected to join them. We looked at the pros and cons and called for your reaction.

The initiative has been billed by the respective premiers as an efficiency measure that will save money and please the public. They expected the motorist to agree, and warmly welcome the move.

But, gauging the reaction from our readers, that may not be the case! We’d heard of rumblings from the West with some motorists lobbying to ‘restore the sticker’, and it is apparent now to us that they are not alone in arguing for its retention.

Gay lives in WA, where the sticker was withdrawn a couple of years ago. But she has left her old sticker on the windscreen “so I still get the reminder of the month it is due every time I drive”.

More disturbing was Russell’s tale of woe. He relates that his daughter was fined $600 by the Victorian police for not displaying a rego sticker- but she, and her car were from South Australia, so didn’t have one. Obviously an error was made but it still takes time and effort to correct it.

Chris worries about the poor guy who services the unregistered car, takes it for a test drive, has an accident (that may not be his fault), but he still cops the liability as he is (unknowingly) driving an unregistered car.

The Police Force seems to have problems with the doing away with the rego sticker. David is a serving Highway Policeman in NSW. He thinks it’s a BAD idea. It makes it harder to detect unregistered vehicles. He sympathises with drivers who have to drive vehicles that are not their own, as they now have no real proof-or even indication, of liability, and feels the label itself is a final reminder for ANYONE.

David also tells us that the vast majority of police vehicles is not, and will not be equipped with number plate recognition equipment (ANPR). So he believes the unlawful use of unregistered cars will increase wherever the sticker is withdrawn. That, of course could wipe out any potential savings to the state. It seems that police in NSW have been against this ever since it was proposed by the RTA.

David is strongly supported by other serving and ex police officers on our blog.

On the other hand there are some votes in favour.

Daniel lives in WA and he thinks the arrangement works well, that it saves money, and he wants to say goodbye to the wretched sticker for ever.

He is supported by BrianH who would love NOT to replace that ‘infernal’ and ‘ugly’ sticker every year. He thinks there will be enough reminders put in place to ensure the ‘forget factor’ is overcome.

ShaunH is from SA, has not had to take off/put on a sticker for a couple of years and sees no problems with this.

But perhaps the last word rests with David the Policeman who relates this very sobering tale.

“I attended an accident about 10 years ago involving a mature woman who ran up the back of a tradies’ ute. Not a particularly serious accident, but unfortunately this woman had moved 2 years before and not let the RTA know. The rego renewal, along with a 1 month later “If you’re not going to register it where’s our plates” letter went to the old address and her rego label from when it was last renewed (when her BMW X5 was new!) was still firmly attached to her rego papers out of sight in the glovebox. Now initially the two tradie types in the ute seemed fine and both said they were uninjured. But somewhere after I had told the woman that as her car was unregistered, she had no greenslip insurance, and her comprehensive insurance, although current, wouldn’t be honoured by her insurer as her car was unregistered, and they, seeing that she garaged her BMW in a nice north shore address, these two tradies came down with a bad case of ‘Mediterranean Neck’. This was apparent, as I recieved a summons to give evidence at a civil claims court hearing about 5 years later, and it seemed that they could no longer work due to some pain in both their necks and backs. The amount offered by the Motor Accidents Autority’s fund was insufficient for them, and each now sought some astronomical sum to compensate them for not ever working again. I asked the woman’s solicitor to keep me posted on the outcome of the court case and I understand this poor woman lost her house.
This is one reason why registration and taking care of your personal business is important.”

Nuff said.

What do you think?


  1. Michele says:

    This proposal must be the most stupid “green idea” I’ve ever heard of In my life. I suspect it comes from a Greens Party policy document somewhere, and WA/SA state governments are pandering to it. WTF? Rego stickers are important for a many host of reasons to the public, not JUST for authorities. Just because authorities think they don’t need them, what about protecting public safety? Insurance, compo claims, car accidents, reporting suspicious vehicles etc etc. Ludicrous proposal and I hope it doesn’t come to my state. Brain dead politicians!

    July 26th, 2012 at 10:51 am

  2. Chris says:

    I Log all my rego due dates into the computer with reminders set. This is after being fined for unregistered vehicle in similiar circumstances.

    July 26th, 2012 at 10:56 am

  3. Ian Viccars says:

    I think simple logic tells us that dispencing of rego stickers will deliver more negatives than positives. Everything these days relates to cost saving and less service delivery.
    Speaking of cost savings and motoring – Why do we pay multi 3rd party premiums if we own more than one vehicle. Totally unnecessary and expensive. Insure the driver as you can only drive/ride one vehicle at a time and attach registered vehicles to their policy – simple cheap fair and overdue !!!

    July 26th, 2012 at 10:56 am

  4. Clive Ferguson says:

    For years, each time I spend considerable time trying to remove the old sticker and cleaning the glue off the window prior to putting on the new sticker it has baffled me as to what is the point of it all. It is no proof that it has been paid and so I would think it would not help police identify unpaid registrations – unless, possibly, they were more than a year out of date. (I would assume they would not send out a new sticker if you have not paid for your last one.)
    It just adds to the more necessary labels and devices on the windscreen (parking passes, service reminders, e-tags etc) that are increasingly blocking the drivers vision.

    July 26th, 2012 at 11:05 am

  5. Kate Newton says:

    Vehicles that drive on public roads should show public confirmation of their right to be there – in other words, the rego sticker is a public document and should be available to all.

    If details are not shown on the vehicle, there will need to be some other way for a member of the public to check rego status. But why make it more difficult?

    There are various scenarios in which abolishing the rego sticker could lead at best to inconvenience and at worst to disaster. I cannot think of any good reason to cancel them apart from cost. But it is likely to be merely cost-shifitng.

    July 26th, 2012 at 11:18 am

  6. Simon says:

    You need to note that (here in Victoria at least) a rego sticker on the windscreen does not necessarily mean that the vehicle is registered as you can affix the label whether you have paid or not. Years ago the label had to be stamped at the Post Office, and that stamp on the label showed that the registration was in fact current.

    July 26th, 2012 at 11:42 am

  7. David Lord says:

    This is another case of the Government of the day using savings as a means of devolving the issue of renewal back to the user, often involving more cost to the user in hidden issues as described in the reports above.
    If a license or such like is a requirement to register a car and so much insurance is dependent on the car being registered, then it is the responsibility of the Government Instrumentality to ensure that the system is properly maintained.

    July 26th, 2012 at 11:48 am

  8. Deeanne says:

    I had a situation where I moved house and redirected the mail for 6 months. I had lost on the road the rego sticker for my horse float, and kept meaning to pop into Service Tas to obtain a new one or renew. Hard to believe but when I did finally go in, 4 years had passed and the trailer had been unregistered for 3 years. I had been paying insurance all those years, which would have been void in case of an accident and had towed the float all over Tasmania and the mainland.

    July 26th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

  9. Neil Creswell says:

    Another great leap backwards in the guise of econonics – surely the cost of policing this proposal would outweigh the minimal cost of producing a label!

    July 26th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

  10. Adrian Ahlquist says:

    I am all in favour of doing away with the rego lables, we operate a nationwide Rental fleet, so from our point of view and other business who have have to manage and register vehicles around the country this is a great workload of us, the various licencing authorities will only post the labels to the vehicle owners address we then have to sort and post back out to the relevant location of the vehicle, if Australia post manage to loose them (which of coarse would never happen, ah) it is then reliant on them being affixed on the vehicle when it comes back off hire and left in a draw, also if the vehicle has been moved to another location by the time it reaches the location posted to it then has to pay catch up in the post again.

    In talking with some people in fleet operations with other nationwide organisations this is also a blessing to them for the same reasons when company vehicles are relocated along with there employees to other locations and the fleet department are not told of it again the labels get on posted to the wrong address.

    Its now great to know that once you’ve paid the rego renewal that the jobs done and the vehicle is registered without worrying about the label, In today’s technology there are many ways for the individual to remember when they are rego is due one would be to simply put it in their smart phone everyone seems to own as an alarm/appointment.

    July 26th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

  11. LL says:

    Let’s talk about those “cost savings”. I am a South Australian so I have some experience at this new (& stupid) idea. First they send you a notice in the mail that your rego is due (3 pages), then if you don’t renew by the due date they send you a reminder – again by mail (2 more pages), then you pay over the internet, then they send you a Notice of Registration – in the mail- (another 2 pages). Let’s see, that’s 7 pages & 3 envelopes plus postage. Where are these mythical “cost savings”? Hiding in a cave with the flying dragons?
    I spend a lot of time out of state so now I only register my car for the times that I am in SA. Now we can only choose to register for 3 or 12 months – the choices used to be 3,6,9 or 12.

    July 26th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

  12. Steve says:

    I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the cost of rego would not decrease because of the “savings” of not issuing stickers. Rego stickers are a simple and effective means for anyone to quickly identify whether or not a car is registered. And as someone said previously, it’s a constant reminder of when your rego needs renewing.

    July 26th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

  13. Mike says:

    Any chance that the annual fee and car number plates will disappear with the sticker too?

    July 26th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

  14. Martin says:

    In WA I get the bill in the mail and pay it as before. The difference now is that I am not sent a sticker. It never acter as a reminder because it came only after renwa, so does not matter. To remove sticker, leave a wet sponge or rag against it for a feww minutes. Then lift off, and wipe up the glue

    July 26th, 2012 at 4:16 pm

  15. diianna says:

    If you can’t remember your rego due date you can put your own little home made sticker in your car. Get over it. … I forgot to pay for 4 years what a load of rot. You shouldn’t be on the road in the first place with that sort of memory. If you move house change your address! As for “simple logic tells us…” You are kidding. There was no logic in your statement? “The sticker is a public document…” says who?

    July 26th, 2012 at 6:59 pm

  16. philpots says:

    I agree with dianna. You all just blaming the gov because of your laziness. Most of the whining is about things when the stickers are still used. Grow up and take responsibility for yourselves. Its time.

    July 26th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

  17. Lauren says:

    We lived in WA when they brought in the no stickers thing and I went to their website and downloaded the pages regarding no rego sticker, printed it out and attached it to my rego receipt and kept in in my glovebox, that way if we were interstate and got pulled up we had in writing why there was no sticker, just in case.

    Personally I like to know when my rego is due and I check that by looking at my sticker, maybe a small sticker with a renewal date but no year that could stay permanently on the car would help.

    And there is no cost reduction for the consumer it just makes more money for the states, if you look at the WA website it even addresses this.

    What I want is a national car rego scheme, we move every 2-3 years because of my husbands job and each time we have to change our license and change the cars to another state. It’s annoying, time consuming and confusing as every state has different ways of working out how much you pay and what checks need to be made before you do it. If the states are so worried about losing $ though this the $ could still be allocated to the appropriate state though simply checking the address without having to go through all the rigmarole of changing it over.

    July 26th, 2012 at 7:39 pm

  18. Steve says:

    I am not in favour of not having a sticker for ergo, firstly i have 12 vehicles and it is good for me to be thinking well ahead that rego’s are coming up and need to be paid for…. also i manage a Government department with large fleet of vehicle and a huge number of people driving these on a non regular basis and as the liability rests with the Driver they need to be able to see for themselves that the vehicle is registered and not be worried that perhaps they have been asked to drive something that some over worked fleet manager forgot is out of rego or payment paid late or something like that.

    July 26th, 2012 at 8:44 pm

  19. Daniel says:

    I delighted with the new arrangement. Those who needs stickers to remind them of registration need to embrace the new technological age. I complain to every business that still sends me paper when they could have sent a pdf by email. So, thanks pollies for being clever for a change!

    July 26th, 2012 at 10:32 pm