Victorian Red Plate Club Inc

Red Plates

The Club Permit Scheme, or colloquially known as "Red plates" is a form of permit relatively new to Victoria.  To the critics of the Red Plate Club, the colour of the number plates is more a "Merlot."  We could have named it the Merlot Plate Club but Red was easier, not as confusing.  VicRoads does not consider this to be full registration but a "Registration Permit" of an unregistered vehicle recognised by VicRoads to make limited use of historic motor vehicles older than 25 years on the road network.  The entry for that day is valid until midnight that date.  It is not for 24 hours from when the book is signed.  It is not for a journey that may take months.  The signature is valid for that single callendar day.  If the motor vehicle is driven the next day the log book must be completed on the next line and it is valid for that callendar day.


The advantages are;

  • The VicRoads fee is made up mostly of the TAC insurance.  If extrapolated out over 365 days it can be seen to be fair value for the lesser period of 45 or 90 days.
  • There is no stamp duty applicable to CPS vehicles on the transfer of ownership.  This can be a substantial saving.
  • Insurance premiums are generally much cheaper.
  • We are seeing greater values for cars once they have gone through the checks and balances of the CPS.

The Club Permit Scheme as managed by Vic Roads allows motor vehicles over 25 years of age to be registered on a pro-rata system of 45 or 90 days of driving on the road.  For information regarding fees and for the intricate details of the VicRoads rules, check out the following links;

Each state in Australia has its own system and they are all different.  Tasmania has a system with historic vehicles where a "Club" membership is not required.  Their historic registration fees are about half full registration.  Across Australia the CPS systems appear adhoc.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each state but what we have in Victoria is broadly considered the benchmark on how it should be done.  No doubt at some stage the politicians will change it again.

Please see the information below regarding VicRoads Roadworthy Policy and their photo requirements, modified motor vehicle restrictions and requirements regarding providing a VASS Engineers Certificate and some tips for completing your logbook.


The fallacy

Old men with nothing better to do spread rumours the Club Permit Scheme will be shut down or that a lot of clubs are about to be closed or that this 'Red Plate Club' is about to be shut down.  This is misinformation spread by ignorant old luddites.  The police can't shut a club down.  VicRoads have a committee that focuses on auditing the 1,600 clubs and they shut down a few but it is a slow process.  It is easy to change clubs and most times no roadworthy is required.  If you put your car on club plates it will be fine, for many years to come and you save a lot of money.


VSI 33

Just because you have a roadworthy doesn't mean the car complies with VSI 33.  If the car has been modified beyond VSI 33 then a VASS engineers certificate may be required.  If you have a 5.7 litre V8 in your fully registered Morris Minor for the past 20 years it may pass a roadworthy but you will need an engineers certificate to put it on "Modified" plates.  Make yourself aware of the contents of the VSI 33 document.


Scrutineering of pre 1949 vehicles

A motor vehicle built prior to 1949 may be scrutineered by an approved club official.  We charge $400 which is a lot more than the usual roadworthy fee as we prefer you get a roadworthy.  The full scrutineering on an old motor vehicle is actually a bit involved and takes a couple of hours. All motor vehicles going onto the CPS must be scrutineered but a pre 1949 vehicle must be scrutineered personally by the secretary and not by photos.


EPA noise levels

To clear up a common misunderstanding, noise levels are not checked on a roadworthy BUT if the roadworthy inspector or engineer believe the vehicle is too noisey they can request an EPA test.  There are 20 testers in the state.  The maximum noise levels for stationary motor vehicles are not to exceed the following levels for a;

     Passenger vehicle (Other than a bus);

  • Before 1 November 1983 = 96 dB
  • After 1 November 1983 = 90 dB

     Motorcycle or tricycle;

  • Before 1 March 1985 = 100 dB
  • After 1 March 1985 = 94 dB

Trucks, buses and heavy vehicles are different again.  The EPA have put out a "Technical guidelines for air and noise emission requirements for modified in-service vehicles."  A link to that document and their web site is provided.   



After all the pictures are satisfactorily received by the secretary the appropriate forms can be prepared then posted to your address.  VicRoads require original documents.

The owner or an authorised representative can take the appropriate paperwork to a VicRoads office where new red plates and a log book can be issued immediately if they are in stock.  VicRoads allow applications by the post with a cheque but we don't recommend this.

VicRoads need to see the following paperwork;

  1. A proof of ownership of the motor vehicle document, for example, a receipt or previous registration papers in your name.  
  2. The copy of the roadworthy certificate provided by the mechanic.
  3. An original completed "Club Permit Application" completed and signed by the Victorian Red Plate Club secretary.
  4. An original completed "Vehicle Eligibility Standards Declaration for Club Permit Vehicles." completed and signed by the Victorian Red Plate Club scrutineer.  The details on the Roadworthy Certificate must be included on this form.
  5. A letter from the Victorian Red Plate Club confirming that you are a current member of the club. 

If all the planets are aligned, all the boxes have been correctly completed and the VicRoads receptionist is not having a bad day, you may get your important RED PLATES immediately.  About 1% don't succeed on their first attempt, for a multitude of reasons.  Don't give up, reassess the documentation and try again.