The State Government is removing red tape to allow more classic car lovers to enjoy their hobby out on the road.

Widespread changes to the conditional registration scheme are being considered to remove restrictions currently preventing thousands of car club members from accessing limited 90 day registration scheme.

Under current laws, historic vehicles are not allowed to be significantly modified from their original design to any significant extent, meaning even slight modifications, such as a CD player or air conditioner, can prevent them from using the scheme.

The same restriction also prevents historic left-hand drive vehicles which have had safety upgrades, such as better braking systems, from taking to the roads.

The State Government will begin formal consultation with key stakeholders such as car clubs on the changes which include:

  • Providing flexibility to allow owners to improve the ride, handling and safety of these classic vehicles, as well cosmetic enhancements
  • Moving away from a fixed cut-off manufacture date of 1979 to a rolling 30-year vehicle age
  • Removing bureaucratic requirements for motoring clubs to undertake vehicle inspections, reducing the administrative burden on these groups
  • Reducing limitations which ban left-hand drive vehicles with safety improvements such updated braking systems
  • Making the scheme more nationally consistent

This is another example of the State Government’s commitment to reducing red tape recently announced in the Simplify Day reforms.


Conditional registration was introduced in 1992 and allows historic, left-hand and street rod vehicles to be driven on public roads for up to 90 days a year.

The $87 cost does not include a registration component but covers Compulsory Third Party insurance, the Emergency Services and Lifetime Support levies, and other administrative charges.

Currently the vehicles cannot be significantly modified from their original design but the amendments to the scheme will allow access to the scheme for a broader number of late model classics and modified classic cars.

Vehicles with major modifications such as engine upgrades or major structural changes will still be required to undergo safety inspections and obtain relevant approvals to gain access to the road network.

Following the consultation, legislative changes are expected to be finalised to start from July 1, 2017.

Quotes attributable to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan

South Australia has a thriving motoring culture with hundreds of classic cars out on the road every weekend but our restrictive laws prevent too many of these historic vehicles from being driven.

The current laws can even prevent car owners from making safety improvements to their vehicles, because any modifications would force them off the road and into the garage.

These common sense changes will remove the red tape which prevents thousands of car lovers from enjoying their hobby.

They will also reduce the bureaucratic impost on car clubs, which are more often than not run by volunteers, freeing up more time to spend in their vehicles.

Thousands of previously unused vehicles are expected to join the scheme which will also support tourism events such as car runs, shows and concourse displays.

Quotes attributable to Street Machine Association of South Australia Spokesman Glenn Stankevicius

Our committee, members and affiliated clubs are very excited to see these changes to conditional registration. Allowing these changes will mean a lot more cars out at events around the state, boosting local economies.

We expect to see some cars back out on the road more regularly as most owners currently either elect to not register, and just store, their cars, or only register for 3 months at a time and store for the rest of the year.

It will also have a flow-on effect to local car businesses such as panel beaters, painters, motor trimmers, car recyclers, engine builders, detailers, tyre shops and many more as people prepare to get their cars roadworthy to qualify for the scheme.

SMASA would like to thank everyone involved and looks forward to growing our ‘all makes, all eras, all welcome’ policy.

Quotes attributable to Federation of Historic Motoring Clubs of SA

In the early 1990s, the Federation worked in conjunction with Government to bring about the Conditional Historic Vehicle Registration – a scheme which is the envy of the other States and has helped to nurture, grow and maintain the interest in historic vehicles in this State.

The Federation recognises there is scope for change and looks forward to continuing the working relationship with the Government to further grow the restoration and preservation of this State’s diverse collection of historic vehicles – South Australia’s unique mobile heritage.

Quotes attributable to Sporting Car Club of South Australia General Manager Deborah Briggs

Our car club has the most vehicles - more than 1300 - currently operating under the conditional registration scheme and we welcome this formal consultation.

Any move by the Government to simplify red tape and encourage greater safety in our road vehicles has to be endorsed.