Vehicle standards for registration

This page includes the vehicle registration standards for lights on your vehicle, tinted windows, bicycle racks and other rear-mounted carrying devices. 

Any accessory must be securely fitted without increasing the risk of injury to any person or impede the safe control of the vehicle or affect the vehicle being roadworthy. 

For more information you can also read the light vehicle inspection manual (2.2 mb).

Lights

Vehicles must be fitted with at least two main beam headlamps to illuminate the road over a long distance ahead of the vehicle. You need at least one main beam headlamp on a motorcycle.

Up to four main beam headlamps may be fitted to a vehicle.

Additional lights

Additional lighting such as driving lamps, fog lamps and search lamps may be fitted to vehicles in the Northern Territory (NT).

Any additional driving lamps, fog lamps or work lamps fitted to a vehicle must be designed and securely fitted in a way that:

  • minimises the likelihood of injury to a person making contact with the vehicle
  • does not obstruct the driver's view of the road and traffic to the front of the vehicle
  • does not compromise the vehicle's compliance with the Australian Vehicle Standards Rules and Australian Design Rules.

Australian Standards and Australian Design Rules for additional lights

Read more about this under High intensity discharge lamps (HID) below.

High beam driving lamps (spotlights)

You can fit a combination of up to eight main beam and driving lamps (spot lights) to a vehicle (except motorcycles).

There are no overall height restrictions to the mounting position of a driving lamp, however the driver needs to have a clear view of the road ahead. 

The driver's view should not be obstructed by a driving light on a bumper, bull bar or nudge bar. 

The driving lamp/s must be in the same position on both sides of the vehicle.

An LED light bar may be mounted as a single lamp and must be mounted in the centre of the vehicle.

All driving lamps must turn off when the vehicle's main beam headlamps are switched to dipped beam or low beam.

Fog lamps

You can fit two fog lamps to a vehicle with at least four wheels. The lights must be mounted according to all of the following:

  • symmetrically
  • not more than 400mm from the sides (extreme outer edge) of the vehicle
  • at least 600mm apart
  • not less than 250mm above the ground so the top of the beam is not higher than the centre of the fog lamp, when measured eight metres in front of the vehicle.

Fog lamps must be able to be operated independently from the headlights and driving lamps. As a minimum, they must only be able to operate when the park lamps are on.

Search or work lamps

Additional lamps can be used for temporary purposes such as any of the following:

  • reading of signs
  • handling or adjusting of loads
  • providing additional illumination in off-road situations.

These lights may be fitted to a vehicle in any location on the vehicle.

High intensity discharge lamps (HID)

The below information will help you in fitting gas discharge light source lamps or lamp assemblies to a dipped beam (low beam) circuit of a vehicle as an in-service modification.

About HID lamps

These lamps or assemblies are also called high intensity discharge (HID) lamps, Xenon or Bi-Xenon lamps.

HID lamps produce light by creating a stabilised electrical arc across two electrodes resulting in a greater light output than standard halogen bulbs.

Each HID lamp receives power from a high voltage power or ballast unit which provides the necessary high voltage required to generate the initial electrical arc.

Requirements before fitting HID lamps

Some vehicle or equipment manufacturers offer HID lamp assemblies as standard equipment.

However under Australian Design Rules (ADR) you must follow the specific performance and orientation requirements for HID lamp assemblies.

Simply retro-fitting original or aftermarket conversions of HID lamps or lamp assemblies to the dipped beam (low beam) circuit of a vehicle does not guarantee that they will comply with the specific set of ADR performance requirements.

The ADRs include specific performance and safety requirements for HID lamps and assemblies, including self-levelling and headlamp cleaning devices for HID lamps producing more than 2000 lumens (a measure of light output). 

HID lamps may be retro-fitted to the vehicle main beam (high beam) circuit without the requirement for self-levelling or lens cleaning devices - however the road rules prohibits against dazzling another road user with bright vehicle lights.

Vehicles found with non-complying lighting may be defected or refused registration in the NT.

HID conversion kits 

HID conversion kits are also known as dipped beam (low beam) lamps with a high voltage power unit or ballast.

The kit manufacturer or supplier must provide evidence that the lamps comply with the ADRs if:

  • the HID conversion kit fits into the original manufacturer equipment (OEM) headlamp housing in place of the original dipped beam (low beam) lamp
  • and there is no change to the headlamp lens, reflector or housing. 

You must apply to the Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) for approval to fit HID dipped beam (low beam) lamps to your vehicle.

Before your modification can be approved, you will need to provide the MVR with certification evidence from a qualified Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) or approved engineering signatory that the lights comply with the ADR requirements listed below.

Australian Standards and Australian Design Rules for HID lamps

Lamps must be certified to comply with the following ADRs:

How to apply

You will need to submit engineering certification to the MVR for approval of your lamps so that your vehicle can remain registered.

Window tinting standards

The light clarity of a window on vehicles is referred to as luminous transmittance (LT).

If you apply a coating or tint on the driver and front passenger side windows, the windows must have an LT of at least 35%.

A coating or tint applied rearward of the driver's seating position must have an LT of at least 15%.

Any coating or tint applied to vehicle windows and windscreens must be non-reflective and must not have any distortion or bubbling.

Glazing used in the front windscreen of a motor vehicle must have an LT of at least:

  • 75% for a vehicle built after 1971
  • or 70% for another vehicle.

You can apply a strip with any LT to the following areas of a windscreen:

  • the area above the highest point of the windscreen that is swept by a windscreen wiper
  • or the upper 10% of the windscreen.

No other coating or tinting is allowed on the windscreen.

Glazing in the interior of a light vehicle must have a LT of at least 70%.

Glazing used in an interior partition of a light vehicle

Bicycle carrying racks and rear-mounted carrying devices

Any load-carrying device that is roof mounted, towbar-mounted or mounted to the rear of a vehicle must comply with requirements. Load-carrying devices may include: 

  • bicycle carrying racks - roof and towbar-mounted
  • wheelie bin carriers - towbar-mounted. 

Requirements for all load-carrying devices

You must follow all of these requirements when using load-carrying devices: 

  • make sure the load-carrying device is fit for purpose and is fitted and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • all welding carried out in the manufacture of a steel load-carrying device must follow Australian / New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 1554.1 Structural Steel Welding - Welding of Steel Structures
  • the load-carrying device must be secure and suitable for its load
  • make sure the load is adequately secured to the load-carrying device when transporting and that the load-carrying device is adequately secured to the vehicle
  • make sure the load-carrying device and its attachment to the vehicle is suitable for the weight of the load
  • make sure the load-carrying device is free of sharp edges and protrusions.

Lighting visibility requirements

You must make sure the load-carrying device does not obscure your vehicle's lights. You may need additional lighting such as a removable light board. 

Number plate visibility requirements

Make sure your number plate is not obscured.

You may need to relocate the number plate when using a load-carrying device or get an additional number plate from an MVR office. 

If you relocate your number plate or fit another number plate you should consider a number plate light.

Driver vision and safety requirements

Make sure you can see the rear of the vehicle. The load-carrying device should be removed when not being used to reduce potential hazards to other road users. 

Requirements for rear-mounted load carrying devices

There are additional requirements to the above for rear-mounted load carrying devices. 

Make sure the load-carrying device and it's load does not: 

  • project excessively behind the rear of the vehicle
  • exceed rear overhang limits - 60 per cent of the vehicle's wheelbase
  • protrude more than 150mm from the width of either side of the vehicle.

More information

For more information get a copy of the following:

V14 Additional lighting - driving, fog and search lights (300.6 kb)

V51 Vehicle window tinting (266.4 kb)

V20 Protruding vehicle accessories and equipment (89.5 kb)

V50 Bicycle carrying racks and other rear-mounted carrying devices (224.5 kb)

V15 High intensity discharge lamps (481.1 kb)

Last updated: 03 November 2017