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The Driver's Handbook

What to do When Buying a Car

Before buying a car, telephone 13 10 84 to check if the vehicle is recorded as stolen, written-off or financially encumbered (money is owed on it).

Ask the following questions:

  • Is the vehicle registered?
  • Is the vehicle recorded as stolen?
  • Has the vehicle been recorded as written-off?
  • Is the vehicle recorded as defected?
  • Check the vehicle's financial statues against the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) at www.ppsr.gov.au or telephone 1300 007 777. You will need the VIN (vehicle indentification number) or chassis number to search the PPSR.

At the time of purchase, complete and sign the Application for Transfer of Registration and Disposal Notice on the reverse side of the current Registration Details Certificate. The registered owner/operator also needs to sign the application in order to transfer the remaining registration into your name.

An application for Transfer of Registration must be lodged within 14 days from the date of purchase. Failure to do so may incur an additional fee.

If the person from whom you are buying the vehicle does not have the current Registration Details Certificate, he or she will need to purchase a replacement from a Customer Service Centre.

Send the completed form or apply in person to your nearest Customer Service Centre with the required fee.

Transfer of the registration is different from transfer of ownership; it is in your best interest to obtain a receipt from the person you are purchasing the vehicle from.

If you are purchasing a South Australian vehicle that is not registered and you wish to drive the vehicle, you must complete an Application for Registration and Third Party Insurance and lodge or mail it to your nearest Customer Service Centre.

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