This scheme replaced the former “club plates” in 2002. It is registration with conditions on the use and type of vehicles. “Club Plates” were a 12-month permit to move an unregistered vehicle. The current HCRS has far more legal status and rights with the benefits of less work and costs for the clubs involved. The vehicle owner enters an agreement with the RTA, much the same as a conventional registration. The club provides proof that the owner and his/her vehicle comply with the regulations and the club or clubs create the events, or authorisations, whereby the vehicle may be used on the public road.

Please refer to the RTA Historic Vehicle Policy in this section and read it in conjunction with the following Advice.


To be allowed to issue the required documents to their members, clubs must apply to the RTA, to be recognised and registered by them as a suitable club. Clubs should be well established and have genuine intentions regarding the organising of events for members to enjoy their historic vehicles. The CMC recommends that clubs are incorporated under the NSW Incorporated Associations laws, administered by the Department of Fair Trading. This affords protection for the executive committee and the members. CMC also recommends that clubs have adequate Public Liability Insurance cover. CMC and the RTA recommend that a ‘pink slip’ be obtained for vehicles. Clubs may opt to have a qualified member carry out roadworthiness inspections. However, this should be limited to vehicles with unusual issues such as mechanically operated brakes and the like, which may present problems for a normal inspection station. There are inspections stations which tend to specialise in servicing historic vehicles and understand their idiosyncrasies. Check our links to find those in your area if you have difficulties.

The RTA stipulates that clubs with less than 2 years of operation must obtain ‘pink slips’. The option of a qualified member signing off on roadworthiness is not available for the first 2 years.

Clubs, which are members of the CMC enjoy the benefits of our substantial numbers and our direct connections to the various departments and officers who administer HCRS in NSW. CMC will also provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding issues and changes to HCRS should they arise.

You must be a member of an RTA registered and recognised club before you can apply to the RTA for HCRS on your vehicle. Some clubs have by-laws requiring membership for a set period before you can apply, and others may not. If you are not a member of a club, then check our member list on this site. Find a club which suits your marque of vehicle or the area you live in and contact them to enquire about membership, their rules and the type/range of events they have each year.

We recommend a visit to your selected club’s next general meeting to talk with the members and find out more before you sign up.
The RTA requires you to be a NSW resident just the same as they do for normal or “modern” registration. You will fill in two forms, one of which is known as the 1259, which must have the bottom right corner completed by an appointed official of your club, and it must also have the club’s stamp in that corner. Without these items completed the RTA will not process the HCRS. From then on you will receive an annual renewal in the mail, which must be processed by the club each year.

The club official should keep a copy of the completed 1259 form as it is a legal document, which the club has signed. The information on that form is private and must be kept that way by the club.

30 years old is the first and major criteria. You do not have to work to the exact month of manufacture; just the year on the compliance plate.

As close to original as possible is the next. That should be clearly interpreted as unmodified, apart from such items as seat belts and turn indicators (blinkers), if the vehicle did not have them when new. Another clause allows “period options and accessories if desired”.

This was added at the beginning of HCRS to ensure that clubs were allowed to decide the eligibility of such things as period brake boosters, original style alloy wheels, sports accessories and the like, for their particular vehicles. CMC recommends that clubs gather catalogues and advertisements from the era of their range of vehicles. This data then allows the club committee to agree or disagree with any member’s application to include items on their HCRS vehicle. The RTA and CMC do not and in fact cannot arbitrate on such issues. The concept is for the clubs to be the experts and determine these issues themselves, as they have the appropriate knowledge. This does not, however, give them the right to approve inappropriate conversions, such as modern or larger engines, transmission components from much later era etc. If the component was available in the years when the vehicle was manufactured then it should be considered. Note that the wording does not specify that the options and accessories must be from the vehicle’s manufacturer or dealers. If the component was made and sold by anyone in the automotive business in the era then it can be considered.

Just remember that the clubs are responsible and we do not want problems. The important word in all this is “PERIOD”, which should be interpreted as the time span that the type of vehicle was made and in common or normal, everyday use. Components from many years later should not be considered. Accurate replacements made now are a logical matter as some items wears out plus others are unavailable or unserviceable. Naturally consumables such as tyres, brake linings, batteries etc. have to be currently available items and such things as valve seat inserts to allow engines to run on unleaded fuel should be permitted. If a vehicle is restored using serviceable components from two or more similar vehicles and all of the components are correct for the model, then that vehicle can be considered for HCRS.

A replica made from modern mechanical components and fitted with a body which is a copy of a 30-plus year old vehicle is NOT acceptable for HCRS. It is to be considered as dating from its completion and until it reaches 30 years of age it is not eligible for HCRS.

Vehicle Use
You are permitted to take the vehicle on authorised club events or runs. These events should be publicised in your club’s magazine or other means of communication to members, such as a website. That means from your home or place of garaging, directly to the start of the event. Complete the event and then directly home again.

There is provision on the aforementioned 1259 form to list more than one club, of which you are a member. IF the first listed club, which is known as the ‘primary club’, is in agreement and has duly documented it in its constitution or by-laws, you may take part in those other club’s events as well as your primary club’s without obtaining a specific invitation to qualify the event for you.

A current club magazine or list of events should be carried in the vehicle at all times.

These additional clubs MUST be recognised and registered with the RTA for HCRS, AND you must be a current financial member of all the clubs listed. Some ACT clubs are recognised by the NSW RTA for nearby NSW members who wish to join in Canberra events.

There are allowances whereby you may take a short trip to a service station to obtain fuel, check tyre pressures, etc without seeking permission. This is normally limited to the days preceding an event or after repairs or adjustments have been made. It does NOT permit you to use the vehicle for other purposes such as short local trips to the shops. The definition of short varies with your location.
Additionally it is possible for the primary club to grant permission for the vehicle to be taken to repairs, special events etc. over longer distances if needs be. The HCRS registered owner must contact the primary club’s registrar or other committee member of the primary club. Full details of the trip and reason for it must be recorded by the club and the record must include the date, HCRS number and preferably the time. It is recommended that a written authorisation should be issued by fax, email or mail so that the owner has proof in the vehicle if stopped by the Police or RTA. The other clubs listed are NOT to issue such permission, only the primary club. A longer event, which takes the vehicle out of NSW cannot exceed 3 months.

HCRS is a privilege granted to the Historic Vehicle Movement. We are very vigilant in making sure that no one abuses the system and puts our access to it at risk. The network of tens-of-thousands of club members is known for its ability to notify the CMC of anomalies and we are able to stop any incorrect activities either from within the club movement of, if necessary, with the assistance of the RTA and Police.

DO NOT CONSIDER THIS AS JUST “CHEAP” REGO. It is there for genuine enthusiasts who have other vehicles for everyday transport and wish to enjoy their ‘classic’ with like-minded club members.

APRIL 2002
Last updated on 25 September 2007

Historic (Veteran & Vintage) Vehicles
This policy has been produced by the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) in conjunction with the Council of Motor Clubs, the Council of Heritage Motor Clubs NSW, the Old Motoring Club, the XW-XY Falcon Owners' Club, the Classic Italian Motorcycle Club and the Velocette Owners' Club.

The RTA registers historic vehicles under the Conditional Registration scheme, which provides the vehicle with limited access to the road network and Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance cover. Historic vehicles registered under this scheme are exempt from the payment of stamp duty, motor vehicle tax and national charges.

Conditional registration is only an option for historic vehicles if the registered operator of the vehicle is a member of an RTA-recognised historic vehicle club and the vehicle's use of the road network is restricted. See Historic vehicle in the Conditional Registration Guide (Vehicle sheets) for more information.

See also the list of RTA-approved Historic Vehicle Clubs (PDF, updated quarterly).

Note: For information about adding new clubs to the RTA-approved Historic Vehicle Club list, please contact the Historic Vehicle Coordinator (Contact information), Driver and Vehicle Administration, Grafton.

An historic vehicle must be 30 years of age or older as from the year of manufacture.
Vehicles must be as close to original condition as possible, with NO alterations except for safety features such as seat belts and turn indicators or period accessories and options, if desired.

The registered operator must be a member of an RTA recognised historic vehicle Club. Proof of Club membership (Historic Vehicle Declaration, RTA form 1259) must be provided to the RTA prior to establishing or renewing conditional registration. Club membership cards are not acceptable.

Vehicle Roadworthiness
A vehicle operating under the scheme must be declared roadworthy by:
a safety inspection report (pink slip) issued by an Authorised Inspection Station examiner, or
a club declaration of roadworthiness (valid for 42 days) issued by a club official (a safety inspection report must be provided if the club is less than two years old).

If the vehicle is a historic plant vehicle, a customer roadworthiness declaration must be provided.

Vehicle Use
Vehicles can only be used for events organised by their Club, another Club or recognised community organisations provided an official invitation has been received and documented by the Club in the official minutes, or the official 'Day Book'.

Vehicles can also be used on a road or road related area for:
servicing within a short distance from their place of garaging
the inspection of the vehicle.
If a longer journey is necessary, the member must notify the Club Secretary so that they can enter the details in the Club's official 'Day Book' or minutes.
Any Club member wishing to use their vehicles for the carriage of persons to or from a wedding or reception should first check their legal obligation under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 with the Taxi & Hire Car Bureau of the Ministry of Transport. The Club must also authorise the use of the vehicle for this purpose.
Vehicles must display conditional registration number plates and a current registration label.
Name bars may be affixed to the number plate provided the positioning of the name bar does not obscure the number plate.
Historic vehicles registered under the conditional registration scheme are subject to the following conditions of operation:
Registered operator must be a member of an authorised motoring club'
Use only in conjunction with an authorised club event or maintenance'

The name of the registered operator’s Club (or primary Club if they belong to more than one) must be entered as a special condition. Other conditions may be applied as required.

The Certificate of Approved Operations, detailing the conditions applicable to the operation of the vehicle, must be carried in the vehicle whenever the vehicle is used on a road or road related area.

Historic vehicles registered under the conditional registration scheme must meet the following requirements if carrying a load:
loads cannot be carried for commercial purposes. Loads must either be the private property of the vehicle owner and/or carried as part of a club event.

the maximum load allowed is two thirds of the manufacturers load limit, and

the load has to be restrained to the performance based standards detailed in the Load Restraint Guide

Motorcars, tourers and limousines can only carry one person per seating position. Seat belts must be worn, where fitted.
This policy applies to NSW and ACT Clubs listed on the RTA's database. All members must be financial members of these approved Clubs and must be NSW residents.

Vehicles registered under the scheme may operate temporarily in other states and territories, under the same conditions as apply in NSW. Temporarily is considered to be three months continuously.

Interstate vehicles (operating under a similar scheme in their home state/territory) may be driven in NSW if they legally comply with the rules and regulations of their permit/registration.