NSW withdraws Notice 17 rule change relating to GVM upgrades…for now

GVM upgrade rule change

The NSW Roads and Maritime Service has backflipped on its axle re-rate ruling, temporarily withdrawing its Notice #17.

Last month (April 20th) NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) issued Notice #17 which said that the axle mass ratings on a vehicle can only be changed under specific circumstances. The rule changes were:

  • documentation from the first stage vehicle manufacturer or axle manufacturer with specifications pertaining to Australian conditions; or;
  • The standard components have been replaced with components of a higher rating as appropriate with specifications pertaining to Australian conditions.

This meant it was near-impossible to upgrade the GVM of a vehicle in NSW unless you bought it brand new, in which case the federal pre-registration rules applied, or you replaced the axles. Notice 17 also stated the ruling clarified “existing modifications” based on VSB (Vehicle Standards Bulletin) 16 and 6. Which meant that, potentially, existing modifications may have become illegal.

The change was introduced without warning to, or consultation with, the aftermarket industry and, as can be imagined given the fact many people have GVM-upgraded vehicles and many products exist, consternation ensued. There were urgent meetings held between the RMS and industry bodies such as the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association which, late today (Thursday 7th May) resulted in the RMS issuing this statement:

“Transport for NSW wishes to advise that VSCCS Notice 17 will be temporarily withdrawn. 

“A sub-working group made up of stakeholders from the vehicle standards working group will be engaged to develop additional guidance material. 

“Certifiers are still required to comply with the registration regulations, including VSB6 and VSB14. 

“Following this process, Transport for NSW will then re-publish VSCCS Notice 17 with the additional guidance materials developed in consultation with the sub-working group.”

So, for now, post-registration GVM upgrades in NSW are still allowed, and no other states are affected. However, given the RMS has tried once already to remove GVM upgrades via Notice 17, and we have heard from a source the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is “going after post-rego GVM upgrades”, then it seems authorities are not keen on the idea of GVM upgrades. But the aftermarket industry is strong, and have managed to get Notice 17 withdrawn in New South Wales. For now.

Stay tuned as we feel there’s a lot more to come out of this story.

Watch this to understand the differences between the different types of GVM upgrade; pre-registration, post-registration, axle-sum and axle re-rate.

While you’re here subscribe to the MotoFomo Newsletter

Sign Up for the latest news, reviews, advice, buying guides and more delivered to your inbox every week


* indicates required

Previous articleHow does brake traction control work and do I need it?
Next articleTour 8 great automotive museums from your couch
Automotive technical journalist specialising in 4X4s, camping, racecars and towing. Has designed and run driving courses covering offroading driving, winching, track racing and towing. Enjoys most things involving wings, wheels or sails. Follow me on Facebook and YouTube if you want explanations you won't find anywhere else!