The Vehicle Identity Validation (VIV) inspection

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VIV inspections check that a damaged vehicle’s been repaired correctly and is safe to be on the road. They also confirm the identity of a vehicle, and of any parts that were used to repair it. When a vehicle passes a VIV inspection, it’s issued with a VIV certificate.


Do I need a VIV inspection?

Your vehicle needs a VIV inspection if it:

  • is recorded as a ‘repairable write-off’ in the Written-Off Vehicles Register (WOVR), and you want to register or re-register it
  • is being transferred from interstate, and VicRoads has asked you for a VIV certificate before it can be registered in Victoria
  • was recorded as a statutory write-off before 2002, was registered in Victoria before 1 May 2002, has since had its Victorian registration cancelled, and now you want to register it.

If your vehicle’s a repairable write-off that’s more than 15 years old, and it’s never failed a VIV inspection, you don’t need a VIV certificate.

Check out The Written-Off Vehicles Register (WOVR) and written-off vehicles for more information about the WOVR and different types of write-offs.

Booking a VIV inspection

Before you book an inspection, make sure the vehicle’s roadworthy and ready to register, and that you have all your paperwork ready (refer to ‘What to bring’).

Inspections need to be booked at least 5 business days in advance.

When booking, you’ll be asked to provide:

  • your name and driver licence number
  • the vehicle’s details (Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), engine number, make and model, colour, garage address and if known, the rego number)
  • Visa or Mastercard details to pay a deposit.

You’ll also need to acknowledge that the vehicle’s ready to register, and confirm that all your documents are good to go. Note that you can’t make multiple bookings for the same vehicle.

If your booking’s successful, you’ll get a text message that explains the requirements and conditions of the inspection, and includes a receipt for your deposit payment.

If you notice that you made a small typo when booking your appointment, contact the VIV Centre straight away to let them know.

Cancelling or rescheduling an appointment

VIV inspections can be moved or cancelled, as long as you give at least 5 business days notice. Get in touch with your VIV Inspection Centre directly to do this.

Fees apply to move or cancel an appointment.

Costs

Refer to Vehicle Identity Validation (VIV) Fees.

You need to pay a deposit to secure your appointment booking, and then pay the remainder of the balance on the day.

There are also additional fees if you need to cancel or reschedule a booking, and if the vehicle doesn’t pass the initial inspection and needs to be re-inspected.

If you violate the terms of service of the booking system you may forfeit your deposit.

How long does the inspection take?

Drop the vehicle off at 8.30am sharp, and be prepared to leave it at the inspection centre all day. If you’re late, you might need to come back on another day, and pay another deposit.

You can’t be present during the inspection, so organise a way to leave and return to the centre without your vehicle.

Sometimes, the vehicle won’t be ready to pick up until the next day.

The VIV Inspection Centre can ask you to leave and make a new booking if you bring a vehicle that’s different to the vehicle you booked in (eg you can’t make an appointment for a Ford and show up with a Holden). If you present the wrong car and the VIV Inspection Centre ask you to make a new booking you will forfeit your deposit.

Can someone else take the vehicle to the inspection for me?

Absolutely.  If you can’t make it to the inspection, write a letter that says somebody else can act on your behalf. Make sure the letter includes:

  • a statement that says you’re happy for the agent to attend the inspection on your behalf 
  • the vehicle’s rego number (if known) and VIN
  • your full name, licence number and signature
  • the agent’s full name and licence number

Your agent will need to provide evidence of identity when they drop off and pick up the vehicle (eg a Victorian licence, or current passport).

What happens if my vehicle fails the inspection?

A vehicle can fail a VIV inspection if:

  • it hasn’t been repaired well enough, and/or there are structural deficiencies
  • the paperwork isn’t correct or complete
  • there are irregularities in its identification
  • the vehicle is not roadworthy.

If your vehicle fails an inspection, you need to fix the problem/s within 20 working days otherwise you will need to make a new “first appointment”. It’s not possible to extend this 20 day period.

Fixing the reason it failed

The 20 working days are only to fix minor problems, not to complete any major repairs that should have been fixed before you booked an inspection.

If the inspector thinks there’s still major work required, they can say the vehicle needs a whole new inspection.

Make sure you record any further repairs in the repair diary. The inspector can also ask you to bring back a VicRoads Vehicle Damage and Structural Repair Report form [PDF 114 Kb].

When everything’s been fixed, book a reinspection. Note that a reinspection fee applies.

If you don’t fix everything within 20 working days, or if the vehicle’s reinspected and fails again, you’ll need to book a whole new inspection and pay the full inspection fees again.

Failing for identity reasons

If a vehicle fails for identity reasons, or it seems suspicious, the vehicle will be referred to Victoria Police.

Your VIV certificate

If the vehicle passes the inspection, you’ll get a VIV Certificate that’s valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

You need to bring this original certificate (and an original Victorian roadworthy certificate) when you register the vehicle at VicRoads. Check out Registering a repairable write-off for details.

Lost your VIV Certificate?

If you lose your certificate, send an email to RIT@roads.vic.gov.au that includes:

  • the vehicle’s details (VIN, engine number, and (if known) the rego number)
  • your name, licence number, and phone number
  • the details of your upcoming registration appointment (if applicable), or when and where you plan on registering the vehicle
  • a statutory declaration that explains how the certificate was lost or damaged
On the day of inspection

What to bring

Seems obvious, but bring the vehicle! If it’s unregistered, you can get an unregistered vehicle permit, organise to have the vehicle transferred on a trailer, or have it towed to and from the VIV Inspection Centre.  If you have a trade plate, you can use that.

You also need to bring:

  • evidence of identity 
  • proof of purchase for the vehicle: a tax receipt that shows the vehicle’s VIN and if applicable, a business ABN
  • proof of ownership, like a sales contract, registration papers or receipt*
  • tax invoices and itemised receipts for all repairs and replacement parts that were used. Receipts need to adhere to the Australian Tax Office’s requirements, and any invoices for second-hand replacement parts need to include the VIN of the vehicle they were taken from.
  • a crash repair diary with photos taken before and during repairs. Repairing written off vehicles has more information about this.  
  • a copy of the manufacturer’s repair instructions specific to your vehicle’s make, model and year, parts lists are NOT considered repair instructions
  • a Supplementary Restraint System Report [PDF 220 Kb] (including ECU check) from an authorised dealer (only required if the vehicle suffered impact damage, was damaged by fire or water, and/or any of the airbags were deployed or are faulty)
  • a front wheel and rear wheel alignment report, in colour, is required for repaired written off vehicles to ensure that vehicle safety is achieved through correct alignment, camber and toe of all wheels. The wheel alignment report must include your vehicle’s VIN. Also include the manufacturer’s specifications, for comparison.   
  • If there is any impact on the vehicle, you will also need a structural and measurement report.  

*If you have a personal receipt, make sure it includes the buyer’s name and address; the seller’s name, address, signature and (recommended) a copy of their driver licence; and the vehicle details (VIN, engine number, make and model). 

Note that statutory declarations can’t be used as evidence or proof, and they can’t be used in place of the above requirements. 

Your VIV inspector might also ask you to provide:

  •  photos from the auction house where the vehicle was purchased (if applicable)
  • further measurements or structural reports, if your original report doesn’t – in the inspector’s opinion - sufficiently represent the vehicle 
  • further reports, depending on how the vehicle was damaged (regardless of what the WOVR damage codes are). 

The inspector can also ask you to provide new report/s from an independent party, if there are concerns or doubts about the quality of the repairs. 

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