Conditional Registration

Conditional Registration

Service NSW’s page on conditional registration, or club plates, can be found at the following link:

Club Plate Rules [PDF]

Conditional Registration and the HSRCA

Club plates (CP), conditional registration (CRS), Historic Vehicle Scheme (HVS) or Classic Vehicle Scheme (CVS) – call it what you will. Bottom line, HSRCA NSW Inc members are fortunate to be able to be a part of this government-approved registration system for our vehicles. As long as we don’t abuse it, hopefully it will remain in place for many years to come.

Winding back the clock to when I assumed the Club Plate Registrar role some 21 years ago, the registration system for vehicles at least 30 years old was somewhat different. For one, the plates consisted of a three digit number plate plus a club name bar, which fitted above the number plate in a colour originally chosen by the club (we chose dark green background with yellow numbers/letters). 

Secondly, the administration of the Club Plate system within NSW-based clubs included the individual club plate registrars having to personally attend the RTA (RMS/Service NSW) to submit new applications as well as for the lodgement of annual renewals. Many clubs had a single club plate inspection day each year so that as many as possible members could attend with their cars and registration papers for sign off and stamping so that the poor old registrar didn’t have to attend the RTA so many times. Unfortunately, HSRCA didn’t have this on the club calendar given our members are very widespread, so I cannot tell you how many trips I had to do to the local RTA at Frenchs Forest (now closed) to undertake these duties.

Fortunately for yours truly, in 2002 the scheme changed significantly. The new “H” plates became the current requirement so all the existing plates had to be handed back to the club (in fact they were mostly kept by members!) and the new “H” plates issued. At the same time, as the new “H” registrations were now on the RTA’s computer it became the responsibility of the owner/member to attend the RTA to lodge new applications or annual renewals after obtaining roadworthy sign off via a pink slip and the sign off of the registrar. This system continues today and makes the administration far more palatable I can tell you!

Because so many modified vehicles were ending up on the conditional registration ‘H’ plate scheme for supposedly historic original specification cars, in 2016 conditional registration was split into two groups – the Historic Vehicle Scheme (HVS – H & J plates) for original/unmodified vehicles over 30 years old and Classic Vehicle Scheme (CVS – D & E plates) for modified vehicles over 30 years old.

This took a while to fully understand and club members from many clubs with modified vehicles were somewhat reluctant to accept the change. The CVS requires an additional sign off by the Council of Motor Clubs NSW (CMC) who have an overriding authority for CVS. This does complicate things a little and CMC charges an additional $25 for their input to a new application and for every renewal. Not a lot when you consider how little you are paying for conditional registration ($47 per annum which includes CTP insurance) compared to full registration plus CTP insurance. 

I won’t go through the full details of HVS and CVS here. For further detailed information you can check it out on the RMS/Service NSW website where terms and conditions are reasonably well explained. 

Alternatively, you can always contact me and I will do my best to explain it to you – after 21 years or so I do know a fair bit about it. Bear in mind that things are changing regularly and the authorities are getting tougher on clubs and club members when it comes to acceptable “period options and accessories” for HVS and “modifications” that require engineering certification or otherwise for CVS.

It’s a bit of a hot potato at present and vehicles, particularly on HVS, are being pulled over and checked over by the boys in blue to ensure they fit the correct conditional registration scheme. Please be alert but not overly alarmed unless you have made modifications to your HVS vehicle and not let your club plate registrar know.

Just to let you know, the HSRCA currently has 160 vehicles on HVS and only 8 on CVS. Maintaining and administrating the system is time consuming but rewarding in many ways (certainly not financially). I will continue to undertake the role as long as the President,  committee and club members deem that age and treachery (plus 31 years of historic motor racing) have not diminished my capabilities too far and I can still handle the pressure of being your club plate registrar!

Rick Marks, HSRCA Club Plate Registrar