Brief History of the Role the NSW Street Rod Committee has Fulfilled in Securing and Managing Registration for Street Rods in NSW

The NSW SRC has always been a volunteer-elected group of dedicated to developing and maintaining workable guidelines and registration systems for street rodders in NSW. The NSW SRC has to date been funded via a user pays system for permit (conditional) registration and fund raising for the balance of activities. Fund raising has ranged from running street rod drags at the old Castlereagh strip, to raffles, and auctions.

Apart from the registration activities, the NSW SRC has provided guidance, assisted with securing insurance and promotion of the sport/hobby. The SRC has also participated in National activities and assisted other states T.A.C.’s over the years. The NSW SRC has the delegated authority from the NSW Division of the ASRF to act as the T.A.C. for NSW and to represent ASRF members on registration matters in NSW.

Here are some of the milestones so far:

  • The Street Rod Committee was formed in 1972 for liaison with the Department of Motor Transport (DMT). This was as a result of serious registration difficulties at that time.
  • From 1972 to 1980, the system for extensively modified and replica chassis/body rods was based on individually constructed vehicles (ICV). Unfortunately, this was an era of more stringent Australian Design Rules (ADRs) being implemented for all manner of safety and pollution requirements. Compliance with these regulations progressively became more difficult. Lightly modified vehicles were registered based on year of manufacture as a modified production vehicle (MPV). Engineering Signatories were introduced.
  • Street Rod Registration (Unregistered Vehicle Permit {UVP} scheme) was introduced in 1977. The Street Rod Committee under the direction of the DMT had Street Rod number plates manufactured and administered the scheme. They inspected vehicles kept records and processed payment to the RTA for the UVPs. A guideline document was agreed to assist vehicles seeking Street Rod Registration under the UVP scheme.
  • In 1979-80 the classification of the level of modification allowed in MPV became more restrictive and individual interpretations led to high levels of uncertainty about classification. The NSW SRC had an established relationship with the RTA, and so began negotiations to clarify these classification limits. This proved extremely difficult; however, in a joint campaign with the AOMC, ASMF, ASRF and NSWSRC we managed to establish a workable set of classification limits, based on original chassis with at least one standard cross-member.
  • In 1982 the guideline document was updated to assist vehicles seeking Street Rod Registration under the UVP scheme. The DMT was provided with copies of the publication.
  • In 1988 the DMT amalgamated with the DMR to form the RTA. The RTA adopted the Street Rod Registration scheme and continued to provide UVP to Street Rods.
  • The MPV system of full registration provided good service until around 1990-91, when the problems re-emerged. Again, the NSW SRC, ASRF and ASMF representatives entered into protracted negotiation. The combined experience of a few dedicated representatives led to the development of the current RTA Light Vehicle Modification standards. These proved very workable for the majority of modified vehicles. The RTA would not grant concessions for reproduction chassis.
  • In 1991 the Street Rod Committee revised the general guide for Street Rod Registration and published the “Registration Requirements and Construction Guidelines for Street Rods in NSW” in 1991. Controlled copies of the publication Copies were provided to the RTA.
  • In 2001 the RTA sent a letter to the Street Rod Committee advising that a proposed Conditional Registration scheme was to be introduced and sought input on how the current scheme was being administered.
  • Several meetings took place between the RTA and the Street Rod Committee. The Street Rod Committee already had a good record covering 24 years in the Inspection of Street Rod Vehicles and the administration of the UVP scheme and now Conditional Registration scheme.
  • The RTA introduced the Conditional Registration Scheme in 20 May 2002 as a replacement to the UVPs. The Conditional Registration incorporated: items of plant, Historic Vehicles, Recreational Vehicles and Street Rods. (refer Attachment A).
  • On the 12th September 2002 the Street Rod Committee presented four street rods on the UVP scheme to a meeting at Botany. The vehicles represented a cross section of street rods with varying body styles and construction methods.
  • National Registration During 2003 the NSWSRC participated in several conferences with representatives of all state jurisdictions. John Dombrose (WA) was instrumental in pushing need for a Nation Guideline for the Construction and Modification of Street Rods in Australia (NCOP). The proposal is based on the WA guideline prepared by the WA TAC predominately Paul Walsh. The SRC prepared a comprehensive review of the document, and the majority of the recommendations were accepted and included.
  • All Australian State and Territory Jurisdictions including the RTA NSW approved this document on the 1st December 2003. These guidelines, published on the DOTARS web site, acknowledge that Street Rods are a separate category of motor vehicle. Eventually all states agreed to the NCOP; however, each reserved the right to implement it in their own way in their jurisdiction. In NSW, it effectively was not adopted.
  • Since the introduction of Conditional Registration, there has been a series of six meetings between the Street Rod Committee and the Road Environment and Light Vehicle Standards Section of the RTA to determine if changes were required to suite Conditional Registration. (2002-2003).
  • The Street Rod Committee have worked with the Registration Policy Section of the RTA who has developed policy and administrative procedures to cover Conditional Registration of Street Rods. This policy has been approved and promulgated on 28th October 2003.
  • The RTA has published its policy and procedures for Conditional Registration of Street Rods to all Registry Offices on 31st October 2003.
  • The RTA has produced standard forms for original registration and subsequent renewals of Street Rods on Conditional registration. The “Street Rod Declaration Conditional Registration ” RTA Form No1309 was issued in October 2003.
  • The Street Rod Committee has worked with the Road Environment and Light Vehicle Standards Section and the Registration Policy Section over the last two years and has incorporated all the requested changes into the revised documentation for Conditional Registration of Street Rods. The final draft of the documentation was presented to the RTA in January 2004 with the expectation of approval so the document may be published.
  • During the negotiations between the Street Rod Committee and the RTA, the RTA has participated in National forum of Australian Motor Vehicles Certification Board working party to develop and approve the adoption of a “National Guideline for the Construction and Modification of Street Rods in Australia”. All Australian State and Territory Jurisdictions including the RTA NSW approved this document on the 1st December 2003. These guidelines published on the DOTARS web site, acknowledge that Street Rods are a separate category of motor vehicle.
  • The Street Rod Committee has requested clarification on several times as to what would happen if a vehicle was built or modified to comply with these National guidelines. In all instances they were assured that registration would be made available. On further questioning the Street Rod Committee were informed that if any such vehicle were to request registration they would be referred to the Street Rod Committee for Conditional Registration.
  • The guidelines were finally formally endorsed on 23 May 2006.
  • Meanwhile the state RTAs were also working via DOTRs to develop a National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification. This covers all light vehicles. This document was placed on exhibition in late 2005. As it was more restrictive than the current NSW COP, the NSWSRC made a submission about many aspects of the content. This was largely ignored and the code implemented in January 2006. It is unclear what the RTA intends to do with its implementation in NSW.
  • In early 2006 the NSWSRC participated in a national TAC conference in Sydney to set down a strategy for state-by-state implementation of the NCOP for Street Rods.
  • Website foundation date 01/05/2006