Any vehicles that are modified, or are going to be modified need to be assessed to ensure that they comply with the legislated vehicle standards and so they do not pose a safety risk, to both the driver and the public.
What is a modified or nonstandard vehicle?
- Street rods
- Imported vehicles
- Individually constructed vehicles
Before any of these vehicles can be registered they must be assessed by a licensed certifier under the Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme. If your truck complies with the standards the certifier will issue you with a VSCCS Compliance Certificate. You then need to take a copy of that Compliance Certificate to your local vehicle registry/service centre to have your trucks records updated. A VSCCS Compliance Certificate does not expire and each modification performed on your truck only needs to be certified once.
Bare in mind that you should always speak with a licensed certifier BEFORE you make any modifications to your truck to make sure you are aware of any and all requirements BEFORE you make any modifications. You may, for example be asked to take photos of the modification work, or you may be asked to bring your truck in for inspection at different stages throughout the modification process.
J and P code – Heavy Vehicle modifications and registration.
J code modifications for heavy vehicles includes simple body mountings, while a P code modification includes fifth wheel, tow couplings and king pin installations. Prior to the introduction of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) on February 10, 2014, simple J and P code notifications did not require certification in New South Wales.
Licensed certifiers are only authorised to assess modifications and vehicles within their particular field of expertise. If you are planning modifications on a truck or heavy vehicle you should check with the certifier first that they can assess your planned modifications.
During the process of certification, the certifier will conduct inspections, analysis, tests and assessments according to the applicable vehicle standards. The licenced certifier will then give you a copy of the Compliance Certificate.
Modifications which add optional equipment to a vehicle can generally be owner-certified. Non- standard modifications of a minor nature that don’t affect the level of strength, reliability or safety of vital systems, such as steering or brakes may also be owner-certified. Modifications such as these have very little – or – no impact on the vehicles level of compliance with Australian Design Rules, however, the vehicle must still be able to pass an eSafety and identity check at an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection Station (AUVIS).
Cancellation of a compliance certificate
Roads and Maritime will cancel a Compliance Certificate and issue you with a written notification if –
- The vehicle no longer complies with the applicable vehicle standard
- The Compliance Certificate was issued incorrectly, negligently or fraudulently
- The certificate is no longer relevant due to more vehicle modifications
All vehicles need to comply with the Australian Design Rules and Schedule 2 of the Road Transport Vehicle Registration Regulation of 2007. If your vehicle complies with the standards explained in Vehicle Standards bulletins 6 or 14 you can be assured that it complies with the applicable vehicle standards – pending certification.
Your insurance may be void if you have modifications on your vehicle that have NOT been assessed as certified complaint within the associated standards. You should advise your insurer of any modifications and that your vehicle has been assessed under VSCCS.
If your vehicles braking system has been modified in a way that can affect its safety, you need to have it assessed by a certifier. The brake assessment manual available from Roads and Maritime Services details the different methods and regulations for assessing any vehicle braking modifications.
If you need more assistance about modifying your truck you can contact to a truck parts expert.