Bye-Bye Rego Label, Tax Disc, RFL, Vehicle Registration Sticker…

… whatever you’re called, we will miss you.

An old ritual comes to an end this month. The state of Queensland have decided to scrap rego stickers for cars, beginning first of October this year. My ‘Road Fund Licence (RFL)’, ‘car tax’, ‘rego’, whatever you want to call it, ran out on 1 September this year.

So I’m one of the last people in this state to go through the following ritual which was made even more torturous today thanks to the rain. No worries though, we are going to do this in the carport.

First, you get your new rego label in the post…

tax disc 009Time to remove the old label from the car. You will need to get your fingernail right under one of the corner edges…

tax disc 014Here it comes…

tax disc 016Ah, got it…

tax disc 017Now, it always leaves a little bit of sticky glue behind on your window, so you’ll need to remove that first. It does specifically state that in the instructions that we must make sure “any adhesive residue is removed before applying the new label“.

I use turps even though the instructions specifically say “not to use chemicals chemical solvents“. They suggest using clean water, have you tried removing sticky adhesive with water? Okay if you have all day, but I don’t, so this is what I do…

tax disc 018

tax disc 020And then wipe it off…

tax disc 021Then dry it off…

tax disc 022Properly…

tax disc 023Now it’s time to peel off the new tax sticker from the back of your letter. You will need to get your fingernail under the bit where it says “lift the coloured label here” along with the helpful picture of a pointy hand…

tax disc 024Within no time you will be lifting the label like this…

tax disc 025

Now you are ready to apply the label to your window. I’ve chosen the left rear quarter light window, you can also place it on the lower left corner of the windscreen…

tax disc 027Smooth out your label making sure it is firmly attached at all edges…

tax disc 029

tax disc 030

tax disc 031There you go, job done…

tax disc 032Here’s how that looks from the outside with artistic reflections…

tax disc 033There you are, specific and detailed instructions along with pictures for a task you will almost certainly never ever be likely to have to do.

You’re welcome.

UK tax discs versus Aussie rego

I always thought that our car disc stickers were so superior to the UK’s round paper effort, as these images clearly show.

Inferior UK paper tax disc:

UK Tax DiscSuperior self adhesive State of Queensland rego:

Aussie discSo much nicer, don’t you think? Notice how the Aussie one requires no additional plastic envelopes or devices to attach itself to the windscreen and can indeed independently grip any window, even if it may be likely to experience high winds and exposure to the elements.

So, I was quite sad when I heard of the withdrawal of the label. But I also felt that the abolishing of these rego stickers by our state was truly innovative, what a fantastic idea. Apparently it will save taxpayers millions $$$. But hold on a minute!

Road tax changes: how the new system will work without tax discs

That was the headline in The Week in the UK, erm, this week. They are doing exactly the same thing over there, abolishing the tax disc, starting on exactly the same day, 1 October 2014.

Aren’t we clever, both of us?

No, we are not. We are behind.

Introduction dates of the ‘no disc’ system around Australia:

  • Western Australia – 1 January 2010
  • South Australia – 1 July 2011
  • Tasmania – 1 September 2012
  • NSW – 1 January 2013
  • Northern Territory – 1 July 2013
  • Australian Capital Territory – 1 July 2013
  • Victoria – 1 January 2014

So, we are not innovative at all, we are a bit slow to catch up. The innovation actually belongs to Western Australia.

Is it a good system?

Not everybody is happy.

  • In the early days, when South Australia had abolished stickers and most neighbouring states hadn’t, their drivers travelling to those states were harassed and often fined for not having registration stickers.
  • What happens if you want to borrow a friend’s car? How do you know if it has rego? If you ask your pal, and he is a rego dodger, he probably wouldn’t admit it. So what do you do? Find the nearest computer to check it out? No, you’d take his word for it and you could end up in court.
  • According to the Transport Department in South Australia, there were an additional 13,107 vehicles that were more than 31 days overdue renewal in the year following the abolition of stickers.
  • A year or so after the no rego disc rule was introduced in WA, 1900 motorists were surveyed by the RAC and 70% of those drivers said they wanted the rego labels reinstated.
  • Wayne Tarr, a magistrate in WA described the dumping of the disc as “a stupid idea” after he had to deal with yet another case of a Perth resident forgetting to renew their rego.

I have seen hundreds of similar situations (in WA courts) where people have forgotten about their vehicle licence fees…” Mr Tarr said.

Don’t cop a fine

It gets worse. There have been many stories of people not receiving their renewal notices and, of course, with no visual disc on the car to remind them, it’s much easier to forget. Each state has its own online website to check individual cars for rego details, but that is no substitute for a reminder.

Fines here for not having an up-to-date registration start at around $250, can increase by another $500 or so if you do not have compulsory third-party insurance and if it goes all the way to court, could end up costing you around $2500.

So I will be making a diary note to renew my rego in August 2015, whether I receive a renewal or not and it might be a good idea if you set up some kind of reminder as well.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • djmcbell August 28, 2014, 5:11 pm | Link

    I believe that here in the UK we will be adopting a system where cameras will check your numberplate so nothing will be required, as opposed to Australia’s system which, from here, seems to be replacing the tax disc (or rego) with a sticker.

    • BobinOz August 28, 2014, 10:10 pm | Link

      No no, it’s the sticker that is going. We won’t have any tax discs at all, and like the UK, the police can check with a camera system.

  • Mark M August 28, 2014, 4:29 pm | Link

    In South Oz they have an app for phones to check rego. I also switched to monthly direct debit so I dont need to worry about not paying. I get an email a week before saying the direct debit will be made and an email when the rego is paid.

    • BobinOz August 28, 2014, 10:07 pm | Link

      Yes, that’s a good idea, direct debit. That way you won’t get caught out. Hopefully they will run a similar scheme here.

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