7.9 Disposal of a motor vehicle carrying diplomatic or consular number plates

If a mission, post or privileged individual wishes to sell a motor vehicle to a non-privileged person or otherwise dispose of a motor vehicle, a completed Disposal of a Motor Vehicle form must be submitted to Protocol Branch. Protocol Branch will forward the form to ABF for approval. Any residual duty and/or taxes must be paid to ABF.

Vehicles purchased under privilege may be sold without payment of customs duty or GST/LCT three years after the date of entry to Australia (where the vehicle is imported) or from the date of delivery to the purchaser (where the vehicle is Australian-manufactured).

Where a privileged individual is transferred from Australia before the three-year period expires, they will be charged, pro rata, the duty and/or GST/LCT that would have been payable at the date of purchase, unless the vehicle is sold to another privileged individual.

The ABF will calculate the residual duty and/or taxes payable and send the applicant a Vehicle Liability Report indicating the amount. When payment is received, the Disposal of Motor Vehicle form can be approved and returned to the applicant.

Where the early sale of a vehicle purchased under privilege is approved, and the owner intends to purchase a replacement vehicle under privilege, the owner must provide reasons for the proposed change of vehicle and demonstrate that no excessive profit will be made on the sale of the original vehicle. The 18-month rule (section 7.5) would also apply.

Diplomatic number plates are not transferable when a motor vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of. They must be surrendered, together with the completed Certificate of Registration Notice of Disposal slip and a completed and approved Disposal of a Motor Vehicle form, to any Access Canberra shopfront.

Consular number plates of vehicles that are sold or otherwise disposed of must also be surrendered, together with the completed Certificate of Registration Notice of Disposal slip and a completed and approved Disposal of a Motor Vehicle form, to the relevant state or Northern Territory motor vehicle registry.

Diplomatic or consular number plates must also be surrendered when a privileged individual remains in Australia after the termination of his or her posting.

A diplomatic or consular plated vehicle must not be sold or transported interstate with the plates still on it.  The vehicle’s registration should be cancelled before it leaves the state or territory where it is registered. The plates should be returned to the relevant motor vehicle registry, which can issue a temporary unregistered vehicle permit to allow the vehicle to be transported to the intended place of sale or port of embarkation.

Last Updated: 8 November 2017