Motor vehicle recyclers

NSW Fair Trading wants to help you understand your obligations under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 (the Act), the Motor Dealers and Repairers Regulation 2014 (the Regulation).


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.

From 12 June 2020, amendments to the Regulation clarify that if your business involves either of the above functions, you are required to hold a motor vehicle recycler’s licence for written-off light vehicles, on the NSW register or interstate 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

You can lodge your application online or in person with Service NSW if you 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 (if this is needed)
  • not, as an adult, have been found guilty, in the past 10 years, of a motor vehicle stealing or dishonesty offence
  • have sufficient financial resources to carry on the business.

From 1 July 2020, you can apply for a 1, 3 or 5 year licence.

Go to Service NSW, call 13 77 88, or visit a Service NSW centre to apply for a licence.


You must display your name as it appears on your licence, and the words ‘licence number’, ‘Lic. No.’ (or a similar abbreviation) followed by your licence number, on a sign at each notified premises, for example: eg 'ABCD Motors Pty Ltd MD1211212'.

The business name can be included on the sign if nominated on the licence, but not in place of the licensee’s name.

The sign must be visible to everyone on approach to the business.



The number-plates attached to any vehicle that is going to be demolished or dismantled must be returned to Roads and Maritime Services as soon as possible.

Sale of motor vehicles

You can only sell the following motor vehicles:

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

Marking of prescribed parts

You 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 permanent. A durable label or tag can be used also.

Record keeping

You must keep a register to record any prescribed parts and accessories (Form 3) or whole motor vehicles (Form 3A). The forms detail the particulars that must be included in the register. The registers makes sure that there is an audit trail of goods. Entries in the register are to be entered within one business day that the transaction occurs.

The prescribed parts that need 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.

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.

A register can be kept in writing or through a data processing equipment. A register that is kept in writing must be kept in a book, or series of books, that meet the following requirements:

  • each book must consist of pages permanently bound together
  • each book have a number corresponding to its number in the series (such as, Book 1, Book 2 and so on) on the front cover
  • each book must be used for the purposes of one kind of register and for no other purpose
  • the information must be entered within one business day that the transaction occurs.

Each record must be on white standard A4 sized paper and be clearly readable. Anything in the register can be altered or deleted, but the deleted bits must still be readable, with the preferred method being a line drawn through them.

Data processing equipment records must make sure that:

  • the information in the register can be displayed and printed, on demand, at each place of business
  • the information in the register when displayed or printed, each page in the register is in the form prescribed
  • the information in the register includes the date on which each record was made
  • the information must be entered within one business day that the transaction occurs.

It must also make sure that, in the event that any information in the register is amended or deleted, a record is kept:

  • of the information in the form in which it was before the amendment or deletion
  • the date on which the information was amended or deleted.


If you sell a motor vehicle engine to a person you must also issue a receipt with:

  • 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 duplicated and consecutively numbered. The register and receipts must be kept for at least six years.


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. If you commit a second or subsequent offence, the maximum penalty is $110,000 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

Suspicious goods

If you suspect any goods have been stolen or illegally obtained, you must inform the Commissioner for Fair Trading. Failure to do so is an offence. If an authorised officer believes that a motor vehicle, part or accessory in the possession of a licensee has been stolen or illegally obtained, the officer can issue a non-disposal notice. 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.

Prev Motor dealers
Next Motor vehicle repairers