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The Driver's Handbook

What to do When Buying a Vehicle

Before buying a second hand car, telephone 13 10 84 to check the vehicle's status.

Ask the following questions:

  • Is the vehicle registered? (South Australian vehicles only)
  • Is the vehicle recorded as stolen?
  • Has the vehicle been recorded as written-off?
  • Is the vehicle recorded as defected?

You should also check the vehicle's financial statues against the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) at or telephone 1300 007 777. You will need the VIN (vehicle identification 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 Registration Details Certificate.

The registration certificate must show the details of the person or business you acquired the vehicle from.

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 a Registration Details Certificate, they can obtain a replacement on-line if they are an EzyReg account holder or, alternatively, they may purchase a replacement at a Service SA Customer Service Centre.

Send the completed form to

Service SA,
GPO Box 1533
Adelaide SA 5001

or apply in person at your nearest Customer Service Centre with the required fee.

Registered ownership does not prove legal 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 it at, or mail to, a Customer Service Centre.  Heavy penalties apply for driving an unregistered vehicle.


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