Modifying a Vehicle
The following sets out some of the issues surrounding modifying a vehicle from a compliance and legislative standpoint. Despite this focus your first priority in modifying a vehicle needs to be to ensure its safety.
Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme VSCCS
The Vehicle Compliance Certification Scheme was introduced in late 2011 under the Motor Transport (Vehicle Registration Regulation. It replaced the Engineering Certification Scheme that had operated since the early 1970.
All certificates are now created on the VSCCS online system and are available to the road authority and police instantaneously. More than one certificate can be issued for a vehicle. It is still a requirement that certificates be carried at all times and presented to the Police or authorised inspectors when requested.
When do you need a VSCCS Certificate?
Certificates are required for vehicles with major modifications, for individually constructed and imported vehicles.
The law requires that no vehicle be modified such that it no longer complies with the Australian Vehicle Safety Regulations. In NSW the AVSR’s mean the Australian Design Rules and/or the vehicle standards included as Schedule 2 of the NSW Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2007. It also requires that vehicles that have had certain major modifications undertaken be certified under the VSCCS.
The road authority has published VSI 6 to assist people to understand where a certificate is required. Notwithstanding the list of modifications shown in that document particular note should be taken of the following extract from page 2 of that document:
AUSTRALIAN DESIGN RULES
Any modification to a vehicle (whether or not listed in the Order) has the potential to affect one or more ADRs. Unless exempted by RMS (or ADRs do not apply to that vehicle), any modification that affects an applicable ADR will require certification; for example, a pole-mounted information technology (IT) screen is likely to affect one or more ADRs, and if this is the case, a VSCCS certificate will be required for the modification.
In addition some vehicle owners choose to have their modified vehicle certified even if the modification is only minor. As the certificate is evidence of compliance with the relevant vehicle standards. The ADR’s are very complex technical documents, without certification the obligation to ensure compliance of a modified vehicle falls to the owner and driver.
Additionally, it is possible to undertake modifications shown as not requiring certification on VSI 6 that will inadvertently reduce the safety of your vehicle. Without discussing the modifications with a certifier you may have made your vehicle less safe.
At ADR Compliance Services we believe that you should discuss your modification with a Licensed Certifier before proceeding regardless of how minor it appears to be.