Register an imported heavy vehicle

To register an imported heavy vehicle in the Northern Territory (NT) you need:

  • vehicle import approval issued by the Australian Government
  • steering conversion modifications (if required)
  • engineering certification if required
  • an NT roadworthy inspection.

Read below to find out what else you may need for a specific heavy vehicle.


Vehicles over 4.5 tonnes GVM must be right-hand drive except for special purpose vehicles and temporary imported vehicles.

If the vehicle is built on a conventional truck chassis, it will be classed as a truck. If the vehicle has more than nine seating positions, including the driver's seat, it is classed as a bus.

Vehicles imported under this category must have an Australian Identification Plate fitted via the 'Letter of Compliance Scheme', 'RAW Scheme' or 'Low Volume Approval Scheme'.

Special purpose vehicles are designed and built for purposes other than the transport of goods or people. For example, purpose-built cranes.

While the NT may accept these vehicles in a left-hand drive configuration, they may not be accepted for registration or operation in another state or territory.

For special purpose vehicles in the left-hand drive configuration, left-hand drive signage requirements will apply.

You must display this sign on the rear of the vehicle:

  • with words of a font size of at least 75mm high and
  • in colour contrast with the background of the words.

A status of forces agreement (SOFA) allows temporary importation of vehicles owned by overseas military personnel for personal use during their tour of duty.

Vehicles entering the NT under this agreement are not exempt from NT registration requirements.

NT registration requirements include the following:

  • the vehicle must comply with the roadworthy requirements of the home (overseas) jurisdiction in which it was most recently registered  - verification evidence may be requested
  • the vehicle must comply with the roadworthy condition as outlined in the NT inspection manual for heavy vehicles PDF (5.7 MB).

These vehicles are not required to be converted to right-hand drive.

For more information or to apply for a SOFA, go to the Australian Government's Department of Infrastructure website.

Modify your imported heavy vehicle

If you want to undergo modifications, or your imported vehicle has undergone modifications, it may be subject to an inspection. Find out more about vehicle modifications.

More information

For more information, get the V48 imported vehicles information bulletin PDF (746.8 KB).

Last updated: 25 February 2021

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