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Standard fact sheet.
Large print fact sheet.

Motor vehicle recyclers  

The information on this page is to assist motor vehicle recyclers. It is a guide only and not a substitute for legal advice. If you are unsure of your obligations you should refer to the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 (the Act), the Motor Dealers and Repairers Regulation 2014 (the Regulation), or seek legal advice.


You will need a motor vehicle recycler’s licence if your business involves:

  • buying or obtaining, and demolishing or dismantling motor vehicles or parts or accessories of motor vehicles
  • buying and selling major body and mechanical components of motor vehicles, major car accessories, and prescribed parts or accessories of motor vehicles.

A motor vehicle recycler’s licence is not required for certain types of vehicles. These include:

  • vehicles not acquired for the transport of goods or passengers on public roads (e.g. agricultural equipment)
  • vehicles that are not capable of being registered in NSW (e.g. quad bikes, segways, motorised wheelchairs and battery powered bikes).

How to get a licence 

An application for a motor vehicle recycler’s licence must be lodged with Service NSW or Fair Trading. To be granted a licence you must meet the following criteria:

  • be over the age of 18
  • be a fit and proper person to hold a licence
  • not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • not be a controlled member of a declared organisation
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt
  • have approval from the relevant local council
  • not, as an adult, have been found guilty, in the past 10 years, of a motor vehicle stealing offence
  • have sufficient financial resources to carry on the business.

Licensees will have the choice of a 1 or 3 year licence. Licensees that choose a 3 year licence will save on processing fees.

You can apply for a motor vehicle recycler licence online at Service NSW. For more information please call 13 77 88 or visit a service centre.

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Signs and advertising 

Licensed motor vehicle recyclers must include their name, and the words ‘licence number’, ‘Lic. No.’ (or a similar abbreviation) followed by their licence number, on a sign at each place of business for which the licence is granted. The business name can be included on the sign, but not in place of the licensee’s name. The sign must be readily visible to anyone who approaches the place of business.

Licensed motor vehicle recyclers must include the same details in any advertisement related to their business so that consumers know who they are dealing with. The requirement covers any material that gives publicity for, or otherwise promotes a business. For example, if a licensee advertises on TV and mentions their places of business, they would be required to display their licence details in the advertisement. This requirement does not apply where only products are advertised, such as when a franchisor advertises its brand or products on behalf of all franchisees.

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The number-plates attached to any vehicle acquired by a motor vehicle recycler to be demolished or dismantled must be returned to Roads and Maritime Services as soon as possible.

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Sale of motor vehicles 

A motor vehicle recycler can only sell the following motor vehicles:

  • a motor vehicle that has been demolished or dismantled by the recycler
  • a substantially demolished or dismantled motor vehicle
  • a motor vehicle that has been acquired and used mostly for private use or otherwise for the purposes of the business.

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Making of prescribed parts 

Motor vehicle recyclers must mark all prescribed parts or accessories with the appropriate entry number in the recycler’s register relating to that part. The mark must be indelible (i.e. permanent, incapable of being erased or removed). A durable label or tag can be used if this is not possible.

It is good practice to mark the parts while they are still attached to the vehicle, as this reduces the opportunity for error if unmarked parts are removed for sale or storage. Any parts found at the premises that are not marked will be of interest to NSW Fair Trading and the police.

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Record keeping 

Motor vehicle recyclers must keep a register to record the acquisition and disposal of prescribed parts and accessories (Form 3) or the acquisition or disposal of a whole motor vehicle (Form 3A). The forms detail the particulars that must be included in the register. The registers ensure that there is an audit trail of goods. This aims to help reduce the trade in stolen vehicles and parts.

The prescribed parts to be recorded in the register are:

  • chassis
  • major body section
  • bonnet
  • right and left side door (front)
  • right and left side door (back)
  • hatchback door
  • boot lid
  • right and left front guards
  • front and rear bumper bars
  • engine/engine block
  • gearbox/transmission/transaxle (front wheel drive vehicles)
  • instrument cluster/odometer/hour gauge
  • car radio/tape/compact disc (CD equipment)
  • electronic navigation equipment
  • multimedia equipment
  • airbags and air curtains (side impact airbags)
  • alloy wheels
  • seats
  • final drive (differential for rear wheel drive vehicles)
  • headlights.

When a prescribed part is salvaged (kept from sale) from a vehicle, it must also be recorded in the register. If a prescribed part is kept for sale, a ‘yes’ must be recorded in the salvaged column. For damaged parts that have no value and are going to be scrapped, a ‘no’ must be recorded. If the part is not attached to the vehicle, ‘N/A’ (not applicable) is recorded.

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A motor vehicle recycler who disposes of a motor vehicle engine to a person must issue to the person a receipt containing the following information:

  • the date of disposal
  • a description of the engine
  • the entry number marked on the engine
  • the person’s name and address.

The receipts must be in duplicate and consecutively numbered. The receipts must be kept for at least 6 years after the date on which the last entry was made in it.

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Unlicensed motor vehicle recyclers 

Unlicensed motor recycling in NSW is an offence and can result in the issue of a penalty notice of $5,500 or prosecution with a maximum penalty of $110,000. In the case of a second or subsequent offence, the maximum penalty is $110,000 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

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Suspicious goods 

A licensee or any employee of a licensee is under a duty to inform the Commissioner for Fair Trading if they are suspicious of goods that may have been stolen or unlawfully obtained. These goods may be in the custody of the licensee or may have been offered to them for sale. Failure to do so is an offence.

Where an authorised officer believes that a motor vehicle, part or accessory in the possession of a licensee has been stolen or unlawfully obtained, the officer may issue a non-disposal notice on the licensee. This notice prohibits the licensee from altering, selling or otherwise disposing of it in any way or parting with possession of it for a period of 14 days.

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