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Disclaimer: I am not a forwarding agent, and I do not provide any vehicle importation or exportation services. The information below is for educational purposes only. My goal to give you an overview of what is required for shipping your car to Australia, not to provide specific advice.

List of Documents Needed to Ship Your Car to Australia

Before you can ship your car to Australia under the Personal Imports Option, you’ll need to apply for Vehicle Importation Approval. To get approval, you must prove you’re eligible for this option by attaching several documents to your application and addendum form.

To find out if you’re eligible to ship your car to Australia under the Personal Imports Option, read my post here that lists all the requirements.

I have examples of the Vehicle Importation Application and the Addendum to an Application for Importing a Vehicle at the bottom of this post. These are the most recent vehicle importation application forms for Australia I could find online. This doesn’t mean that they are the current application forms. Please use them as a guide only.

You’ll need proof of Australian residency for your vehicle importation application.

You’ll need to provide a copy of your current permanent residency visa or application.

If you don’t have a permanent residency visa, then you’ll need to provide a copy of your current visa and evidence that this visa entitles you to apply for permanent residency. For example, a 309 Partner Visa or a TSS 482 Visa. You might be asked for a declaration of your intent to apply for permanent residency as soon as you are eligible.

If you have a TSS 482 Visa, providing a letter from your sponsoring employer stating that after three years you’ll be eligible to apply for an Employer Nominated 186 Visa with them would definitely seal the deal.

At the very least, get a letter from them for proof of employment in Australia for your 100 points of proof that you intend to stay in Australia indefinitely. See below.

Heads up, New Zealand citizens are asked to briefly explain why they’re allowed to move and stay in Australia indefinitely. Here’s a link to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website with all the information you could possibly need for this.

You’ll need copies of your passport identity page for your vehicle importation application.

You’ll need to attach a copy of the identity page of your passport.

If you have more than one passport, then you need to also provide a copy of the identity page of that passport too.

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You’ll need to show that you intend to stay in Australia indefinitely before you can ship your car.

To ship your car to Australia under the Personal Imports Option, you need to show that you intend to stay indefinitely. To do this you’ll need to provide specific documents worth a certain number of points until you reach a total of 100 points.

But wait, there’s a catch.

You must include at least one primary document, worth 50 points.

You can have as many secondary documents as you need to reach 100 points.

You don’t have to include every document listed below, just enough to get 100 points. And yes, you can provide two primary documents and be done.

Primary Documents (Must have at least one.)Points
Proof of employment in Australia (for example a letter from your employer) 50 points
Recent sale/cancellation of overseas residential property.50 points
Resignation letter from your overseas employer50 points
Your residential details in Australia (e.g. copies of property purchase / rental documents)50 points

Secondary Documents Points
The shipment of your household goods to Australia (e.g. copies of shipping documents)20 points
Copies of other residential documents (e.g. telephone and electricity accounts)10 points
Evidence that you have applied for an Australian Tax File Number25 points
Evidence that you have applied for an Australian bank account25 points
Evidence that you have registered with Medicare25 points
Evidence that you have applied for Australian medical insurance25 points
Evidence that you have applied for an Australian driver’s license25 points

Please note: All documents not in English must be translated and certified by a member of an accredited agency such as the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

You’ll need to prove that you are the owner of the car you want to ship to Australia.

To show that you have owned and had access to drive the car at any time during the 12-month qualifying period, you’ll need to provide the following documents.

A copy of your driver’s license to show that you were able to legally drive the car.

You’ll be asked where you purchased the car and if you currently own the car. To support this claim, you will need to attach a copy of your purchasing documents, such as a bill of sale, for the car.

You’ll be asked for the date when you first registered the car in your name and to attach a copy of the vehicle’s registration papers for the previous 12 months. If your registration papers aren’t in English then you’ll need to also attach a translated copy. See link above.

If you have traveled internationally at all during the 12-month qualifying period, then you’ll need to provide a travel statement.

Long trips are ok, as long as you’ve maintained your residence in the country the car is registered and all paperwork for the car has been kept up-to-date during travel dates. So if you went on a long trip and your registration or insurance lapsed while you were away, then your 12-month qualifying period of use is no longer valid because you couldn’t legally drive the car.

Please note, that by a long trip I don’t mean a gap year or several months.

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List of information to include in your travel statement for your Australian Vehicle Importation Approval Application.

  • An itemized list of travel dates and destinations. Short, long, business or personal, it doesn’t matter, includes all international travel.
  • Date and country you purchased the car. The date should be the same as listed on the proof of purchase you’ve attached.
  • Date of registration of the car in your name. Again, dates need to line up with the proof of registration you attach.
  • Date of when your car is being picked up for shipment. Included this date because it’s the end of the 12 months of continuous use.
  • Date you’re leaving for Australia.

Example of what to include on your travel statement for your Australian Vehicle Importation Approval Application.

[Your full name as state on your Vehicle Importation Application]
[Your street address. This address should be the same as the address you listed on your application for your physical address.]

To Whom It May Concern,

RE: Personal Import of Vehicle [Make, Model, Year of Manufactured], [Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or Chassis Number of the Vehicle]

I, [Your Full Name], hereby certify that I purchased the vehicle listed above on [Date – Use Australia Date Format – Day Month, Year ] in [Country]. I registered the vehicle in my name on [Date].

I will be turning over the care of the vehicle for shipment to [Shipping Company] on [Date – If you don’t know the exact date then state the month and year]. I will be permanently relocating from [Country] to Australia on [Date of Departure].

I have owned and used the vehicle in [Country] for a continuous period of 12 months.

Since I have owned and used the vehicle, I have traveled away from [Country] during the following dates:

[Dates][Reason of Travel]
13th to 20th September, 2019 – Vacation in France [ Again – Use Australia Date Format – Day Month, Year ]
17th to 22 October, 2019 – Business Conference in San Diego

During these periods of travel, the vehicle remained fully registered, insured, and legally ready to be driven at any time while I was away from [Country].

By my signature below, I certify the information I provided in this statement is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

[Your Signature]
[Print Your Full Name]

Additional documents the Department of Infrastructure may request before you’re approved to ship your car to Australia.

If you had a migration agent handle your permanent residency visa application, then you’ll need a signed letter from them that outlines the responsibilities the agent performed for you, who the agent is, that the agent is authorized by you to act on your behalf. The letter should be on the company’s or agency’s official letterhead and include all the same information about your car as your travel statement.

If the Department of Infrastructure isn’t convinced that you owned and had access to drive the car at any time during the 12-month qualifying period, they will ask for additional proof. For example, they may ask for copies of receipts for any maintenance or repairs done, a copy of your bank statement that shows the transaction when you purchased the car, a copy of the deregistration certificate from the previous owner, and proof that the car was insured during the qualifying period. If you’re shipping your car from Japan to Australia, then expect to be asked for a copy of the Japanese deregistration certificate in your name.

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It’s very common to be asked for these additional documents.

To speed up your application approval, including copies of your insurance, receipts of any regular maintenance or repairs is a good idea especially if you’re on a tight timeline for shipping your car to Australia.

Other reasons you may run into a few hiccups with Vehicle Importation Approval would be your dates and addresses don’t line up.

More on Shipping Your Car to Australia

This is the second post in a series about shipping a car to Australia. For information on the requirements, how long it will take, and a list of fees and charges, read my first post titled What You Need to Know About Shipping Your Car to Australia.

Below are the examples of the Vehicle Importation Application and the Addendum to an Application for Importing a Vehicle that I mention in the beginning of this post.

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Vehicle Importation Application for Australia

Addendum to an Application for Importing a Vehicle