If you’ve ever registered a vehicle in New South Wales, you’ve no doubt heard the terms “Pink Slip”, “Blue Slip” and “Green Slip”. But what exactly does this rainbow of slips actually mean and which one do you need when you renew your vehicle registration? And what if you live outside NSW? Do you still need any of these when you register your car?
Understanding the purpose of each slip is important when it comes to correctly registering your vehicle in NSW and, depending on your location and the age of your vehicle, you may (or may not) need a combination of these documents. They also have a role to play when it comes to car insurance.
In this guide, we’ll decode this trio of slips so you can be confident that you have the right documentation to register your vehicle in NSW.
What is a Pink Slip?
In NSW, a Pink Slip, otherwise known as an eSafety check, is more commonly referred to today as a Safety Inspection Report, which verifies that your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. Pink Slips are required when registering a light vehicle that is more than five years old in NSW, regardless of whether you’re renewing your registration or registering your vehicle for the first time.1
If you’re renewing your registration, your registration renewal notice will indicate if you need a safety inspection.
How do I get a Pink Slip?
To get a Pink Slip, you’ll need to have your vehicle inspected at an authorised inspection station.2 If your vehicle passes the Safety check, your mechanic will electronically send the report to Transport for NSW (TfNSW). If the vehicle fails the inspection, you’ll be issued with a report, and will have 14 days to have the required work done. After 14 days, the report expires and you’ll have to pay for a new eSafety check. Once all repairs are carried out, a follow-up check is required. If you return to the same eSafety check station that failed the vehicle initially, there will be no charge for the follow-up.3
How much does a Pink Slip cost and how long does a Pink Slip last?
Pink Slips have a standard cost in NSW with an eSafety check for a light vehicle costing $43, or $24 for a motorcycle.4 Reports are valid for six months and you must use the report to renew registration within six months for the safety check to be valid. If your vehicle is more than five years old, you’ll need a new Pink Slip each year.3
What is a Blue Slip?
A Blue Slip is also known as an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection report and ensures unregistered vehicles meet NSW safety requirements and design and identity standards before they are registered.5
When do you need a Blue Slip?
All unregistered light vehicles need a Blue Slip inspection before they can be registered in NSW. If your registration expired more than three months ago or if your vehicle doesn’t have number plates, you’ll need a Blue Slip. You’ll also need one if your car has been brought into NSW from another Australian state or territory, or another country, or if your car has been approved for re-registration after being written off.5
How do I get a Blue Slip?
To get a Blue Slip, you’ll need to have your vehicle inspected at an authorised inspection station.2 In most cases, the result of an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection is sent to TfNSW electronically, but you must also bring the original hard copy of your Blue Slip report when visiting a service centre to register your vehicle.5
How much does a Blue Slip cost and how long does a Blue Slip last?
Blue Slips have a standard cost in NSW, with a safety and identity check for a light vehicle costing $69, or $42 for a motorcycle.4 Your Blue Slip is valid for 42 days.5
How do I get my car to the mechanic to be inspected if it’s unregistered?
You’re allowed to drive an unregistered vehicle to the nearest convenient authorised inspection station for your Blue Slip inspection and to your nearest convenient service centre to complete registration.6 It’s a good idea to have proof of the purpose for your journey, like a booking notification at the inspection station, in case you’re pulled over by the police on the way.
Do I need a Pink Slip or a Blue Slip?
The age and registration status of your vehicle will determine which slip you need.
If your light vehicle is currently registered and is more than five years old, you’ll need a Pink Slip before renewing your registration or registering your car or motorbike for the first time.1
If your vehicle has been unregistered for more than three months, doesn’t have number plates, has been approved for re-registration after being written off or has been brought into NSW from another Australian state or territory or another country, you’ll need a Blue Slip before registration.5
If you’re in NSW and your vehicle doesn’t fit either of these categories, you’ll only need a Green Slip before registration.
What is a Green Slip?
In NSW, a Green Slip is another name for compulsory third party (CTP) insurance, which is required for all vehicles prior to registration.7
“CTP insurance is a mandatory insurance required to register your vehicle in NSW,” explains Glen Robinson, Youi’s Head of Product – CTP. “It protects the driver of a motor vehicle from liability if they cause injury to, or the death of, a person or people in a motor vehicle accident.
“In New South Wales, the Green Slip also provides limited coverage for injuries to the driver of the motor vehicle at fault,” Robinson says.
Green Slips don’t cover the cost of damaged vehicles or property. For this reason, it’s worth considering extra insurance that may offer greater protection in case of loss or damage – Third Party Property Only, Third Party Fire and Theft or Comprehensive Car Insurance all offer varying levels of additional cover.
How do I get a Green Slip?
A Green Slip must be purchased from a choice of insurers, including Youi, prior to registering your vehicle.8 Green Slip premiums can differ, depending on a range of factors including the driver’s age and driving record, type of vehicle and garaging location.9
What happens if I don’t have the right slip?
Put simply, if you don’t have the correct slip, you won’t be able to register your vehicle.
There are heavy penalties for using an unregistered or uninsured vehicle in NSW, with a fine of $1,528 plus four demerit points.10 This includes driving and parking the vehicle on a road or road-related area.11
You need to renew your CTP Green Slip policy within 21 days after the registration due date for six month policies, and within three months after the registration due date for 12 month policies. If you renew after the due date, you must not drive your car until you’re covered. You could be fined $1,200.12
What if I move interstate?
Each state and territory has their own regulations for registering your vehicle so if you’ve moved away from NSW, you’ll need to apply to register your NSW vehicle in the state or territory you’ve moved to.13 Visit that state or territory’s government website for more information.
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
CTP insurance is compulsory Australia-wide; however, cover varies across the different states and territories based on a number of factors such as fault, liability and compensation payable. The way CTP is purchased by drivers also varies, so check your state or territory’s registration requirements for full details.
What are the rules for Pink Slips and Blue Slips in other states?
Pink Slips and Blue Slips are only needed if registering your car in NSW. Different regulations apply in different states for safety checks. For example, in Queensland, a safety certificate is needed when transferring registration to a new owner, when transferring to Queensland registration from another state or territory, or when re-registering an unregistered vehicle.14
To check requirements where you live, visit your local state or territory’s government website for more information. If you're looking for Comprehensive car insurance to keep your vehicle protected out on the road, take a look at our option to see if it's right for you.
Note: Information in this article is relevant as of September 2023 and by its nature will change over time. Check relevant Government websites for updates in your state or territory if this information is important to you.
Article by guest writer Chelsea Spresser
1 Source: NSW Government – Get an eSafety check (pink slip)
2 Source: NSW Government – Find a safety inspection provider
3 Source: NSW Government – Safety checks and vehicle inspections
4 Source: NSW Government – Vehicle Safety check and inspection fees
5 Source: NSW Government – Authorised unregistered vehicle inspections (blue slips)
6 Source: NSW Government – When you can drive unregistered vehicle
7 Source: NSW Government – CTP insurance (Green Slips)
8 Source: NSW Government – How to buy a Green Slip
9 Source: NSW Government – How CTP prices are set
10 Source: NSW Government – Search offences and penalties
11 Source: NSW Government – Licence and registration offences and penalties
12 Source: NSW Government – What is a Green Slip?
13 Source: NSW Government – Transfer or register an interstate vehicle
14 Source: Queensland Government – Safety certificates