CMC FORUM FOUR - SECOND FORUM ON HCRS
Held at the Western Suburbs Australian Football Club
40 Hampton Street, Croydon Park
on Wednesday 15th June 2011 at 8:00pm
In the Chair: T. Thompson, President.
Attendees: 90 delegates and members attended.
President, T. Thompson welcomed delegates and club members to the meeting.
Since the first forum on HCRS in June 2009, there have been some changes to the HCRS, which were outlined by T. Thompson:
1. Load limits on commercial vehicles on HCRS have been set at two thirds of the original load limit. These vehicles are not to be used for commercial purposed, and are restricted to carrying only the owner's personal goods, or goods intended for a club event. This load limit does not apply to fully-registered commercial vehicles.
2. LPG on HCRS vehicles, which were originally fitted with LPG may stay on gas. In the past, conversion of HCRS vehicles to LPG was unacceptable; the rule change now states that conversion is possible provided "as long as it does not alter the original state of the vehicle". The rebate for fitting LPG does not apply to vehicles either on HCRS or converting to HCRS.
3. Child restraints laws, in force since March 2010, state that "you cannot carry children in vehicles unless they are in a fully-authorised and certified child restraint or booster seat, which complies with the current rules and regulations". In order for this to happen the vehicles must have seat belts (lap/sash) fitted. "Any child under the age of 1 year old cannot be carried in any vehicle whatsoever, if it does not have the full kit including the seat belts". From 1-7 years old, the child must be restrained in a proper authorised booster seat and restraint, which again, requires (lap/sash) seat belts to be fitted.
If the vehicle was not fitted with seat belts when new, it does not have to have seat belts to be on HCRS, or full registration. However, if you can obtain an RTA authorised engineer (Signatory) to provide a letter, which says that it is not reasonably practical to fit seat belts to a particular vehicle, which was manufactured prior to seat belt legislation, then you do not have to have the child restraint, if on HCRS.
Feedback from the known signatories states that they would not sign such a letter, because of the ambiguity of the statement "not reasonably practical". A suggestion from the floor was for the CMC to locate a signatory / signatories, who is / are prepared to sign such a document, and publicise their contact details on the CMC website.
The current situation therefore is,
i. if your completely unmodified vehicle was not fitted with seat belts from the date of manufacture, it does not have to have them.
ii. if you wish to carry a child under the age of 1 year old, you must have the proper capsule style restraints, including lap/sash seat belts. No exemptions are available.
iii. if you wish to carry a child from the ages of 1 - 7 years old, and your vehicle does not have seat belts because it was manufactured prior to the introduction of seat belts, then you must have a letter from an authorised RTA signatory, which states that, it is not reasonably practical to fit seat belts (which would then attach to child restraints) to that particular vehicle. You would then need to carry that letter in the vehicle at all times in the event that you are pulled over by police, as proof that you are authorised to carry the child under those conditions. . For further information regarding child restraints please go to the RTA's official website at : http://rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/children/childrestraints/index.html
T. Thompson then opened the forum to questions and discussion from the floor, where he was able to clarify some points, regarding the above.
4. Using your vehicle for a wedding car / school formal etc, and accepting remuneration, in any form, is illegal unless they are registered for that purpose. The insurance for authorised hire cars and taxis is extremely high. If the wedding is a club event and noted in club minutes, it is okay to use your vehicle. You must therefore, carry evidence of this in your vehicle at the time. However, once again, under no circumstances are you permitted to receive remuneration. In all of these situations it is imperative that you obtain permission from your club to use your vehicle for this purpose.
5. HCRS vehicles being used in movies / television programmes can only do so with the permission of their club and are not permitted to carry passengers or to accept remuneration. It may be that any expenses incurred may be reimbursed. However, the finer details of this situation are unclear at this stage. If the movie / television programme is being filmed in a car park, be aware that a car park is not deemed to be a "closed road" situation and is still considered to be a public road. The penalty for driving an 'unregistered vehicle' is currently set at $1,089 and the loss of 4 points from your licence.
A member of the forum described how his club covers this situation with the use of either a tilt truck, or an Unregistered Vehicle Permit, to enable the vehicle to be driven to the 'set', again with club's permission. Once there, the vehicle is covered by the film company's insurance, and is covered by the Unregistered Vehicle Permit for the duration of the 'shoot' and for the area of the 'film set' only.
It was advised by a member of the forum that the origin of the club plate system came about when members of the Veteran Car Club were given the first plates, in 1959, as "a gift" for its services to the community, by raising funds for charity, and in order that the vehicle could be moved from one place to the next in this role. Other clubs then followed suit and applied for club plates. Prior to this, an Unregistered Vehicle Permit was required every time you wished to drive the vehicle on a public road.
6. HCRS Victorian and South Australian Logbook Scheme. South Australia has a 90-day scheme where logbooks are issued by your club and you are permitted 90 entries in any one year, for a 30-year old historic vehicle, and as long as you make an entry in the logbook, you are permitted to take that vehicle wherever you please. It does not have to be a club event. This scheme has been operation in SA for some time.
A logbook audit, performed by volunteers, is now being proposed because of people rorting the system by not filling in their logbook and reaching for it to fill in on the spot, when pulled over by the police. It is also now being proposed that recognised clubs in SA must become a member of the Federation to allow their member vehicles, who qualify, to obtain a logbook. This happens in the ACT, and SA is now asking to adopt this prerequisite, because of the clubs who are operating outside of the Council. The SA logbook system costs $143 p.a. (includes CTP green slip); NSW pays $50 (includes CTP green slip) for our current system.
T. Thompson stated that anecdotal evidence suggests there had been an upsurge in claims for historically registered vehicles, in the early days of the scheme, because people were taking their vehicles out on a non-club run; parking them on the street, in a more vulnerable environment than they would otherwise be if they were on at a club event, and having the vehicles damaged, stolen or vandalised.
Victoria is the last state in Australia to introduce a conditional registration scheme for historic vehicles and has opted to base their model on the SA scheme, having a 90-day and a 45-day option. They have remained with a 25-year old cut-off date, not a 30-year date. At this stage they will pay $65, but a recent letter states that the Victorian authority will be raising the fee following a review of the system.
A decision will be forthcoming on 1st July 2011. There has been some concern in Victoria that there will be an upsurge in club memberships and a downturn of people attending club events, because it is not a requirement of the scheme that conditional registration holders attend such events. They only need to renew once a year and collect a logbook.
There have been a few NSW club members who have expressed a desire to change to the Victorian model. Following the letter regarding this forum was sent to clubs; all of the replies received have expressed a desire to remain with the current NSW HCRS system.
A comment was made that in NSW it is imperative that proof of registration and a Certificate of Approved Operation, (a purple document) must be carried in your vehicle at all times, and some evidence that you are on a club event should also be carried. The Club's magazine is a good idea.
T. Thompson opened the meeting to comments / discussion from the floor.
- A comment from a member of the forum stated that under the SA scheme, if you are caught without the correct entry in your logbook, you can be charged with driving and unregistered vehicle. The penalty is payment of a hefty fine and you are then required to pay one-years full registration on the vehicle. The same penalty applies if you are caught speeding in a conditionally registered historic vehicle. He stated that the SA scheme initially may look like an attractive option, but bears closer scrutiny before all issues become evident.
- T. Thompson stated that under the SA scheme, if you take your vehicle out on a two-day event, this requires two separate entries in the log-book. The same would apply to a week-long event. The NSW scheme merely requires evidence that you are attending a club event and you are covered for as many days as the event takes place, plus the trip to and from.
- Further comments from the floor stated that under the Victorian scheme it is difficult for Club Plate Registrars to scrutinise member's logbooks because they are not attending club meetings or events. It was also commented that a regulation published on the VicRoads website, that a movement of more than 100 metres from the vehicle's garage site constitutes one trip. i.e. filling up on with petrol on the day before a club run requires an entry on the logbook.
- A comment stated that "Clubs are required to sign an agreement with VicRoads that they meet certain obligations including that they notify VicRoads if they become aware of, or reasonably suspect, a pattern of incorrect use of a logbook by a member. If this is not done, VicRoads will be able to revoke the club's approval to be part of the scheme". (A copy of the regulations governing the VicRoads scheme is attached for your information).
- It was commented that some clubs, on the NSW scheme, state that members on HCRS plates must attend at least 3 meetings or 3 events each year to obtain renewal. If adopted by Victoria clubs, this would allow for logbooks to be checked on a regular basis. One club stated that with the 90-day logbook scheme, would it not be possible to stipulate that 45 of the 90 days must be spent on club events / meetings to gain renewal? The downside to this is that it would penalise some club members who through illness or some other legitimate reason were unable to maintain the 45-day requisite.
- Thompson asked for a show of hands on which clubs present would be interested in approaching the RTA to change to the Victorian logbook scheme. Of the 90 people attending the forum there were 6 only in favour of this approach, with the overwhelming majority opting to stay with the current NSW HCRS model.
- A comment from one member of the forum stated that his club has refused to renew a particular member's conditional registration because he had not attended any meetings or club events for over a year.
- A comment was made regarding the inconsistency between RTA local offices regarding HCRS registration applications. T. Thompson stated that this was a problem with the RTA's training methods.
- A question was asked about impromptu runs by clubs, and what evidence could be carried to prove that the vehicles were on a club run. T. Thompson replied that a printed-off email carried in the vehicle attesting to the run would be sufficient evidence.
- There is anecdotal evidence that Victorian clubs with vehicles on conditional registration have been notified that their insurers are suggesting that that their CTP may increase by 500%. The $65 fee is only up to the end of June this year.
- There have been issues with modified vehicles under the Victorian scheme. Many have crept onto CH plates and had then to be sorted out.
- A discussion surrounding replicas being placed on HCRS arose. The RTA does not allow replicas to be registered under the HCRS. If built in a particular year, they must wait until the 30-year mark.
- A question arose regarding engine changes on HCRS vehicles. T. Thompson advised that the logical procedure is to ensure that the relevant paperwork is correct and to advise the RTA when you are renewing your registration. Your Club Registrar should also be advised of the new engine number at the time of the changeover. The new engine should be the correct one for the marque ensuring the vehicle is as close to original as possible. This is an RTA regulation, not a club condition.
A member asked a further question about a change of engine to a similar, but slightly larger engine. T. Thompson replied that this was, again, a club issue rather than an RTA one.
He also spoke of period options and accessories and advised that it is wise to keep records of these things related to your car as an aid when registering vehicles on full or HCRS registration. Issues regarding period options and accessories are not necessarily covered by RTA stipulations, but may again be a club interpretation.
- It was noted that some Landrovers have Holden engines, which were installed due to problems with the original engines. T. Thompson advised that as this was a broad-based change. If there is evidence that your vehicle was involved in this changeover, more than 30 years ago, you will be covered.
- P. Marshall-Cormack made mentioned of the CMC's recent negotiations regarding the age of a vehicle's chassis and not the body being the criteria for the age of a vehicle under HCRS. T. Thompson then outlined how the current RTA regulations, regarding "individually constructed vehicles", were affecting the Hot Rod and Street Rod movement, among others. As an example he spoke of a chassis of a 1927 Whippet he had purchased and donated to a Mudgee Men's Shed group, who built a boat-tail body onto the vehicle and raffled it raising $45,000 for prostrate cancer research. He pointed out to the RTA that this regulation would adversely affect the production of this type of vehicle. The RTA changed the regulation. This is an example of what the ACMC (consisting of the CMC, the Australian Street Rod Federation and the Street Machine Association) is able to achieve as an advocate for ALL motoring clubs.
- A comment made about what a member of the forum perceived as a positive regarding the 90-day logbook scheme, was that you were allowed 90 days use of your HCRS registered vehicle. He suggested that under the NSW scheme there were many days when the vehicle could be used on clubs runs etc. "without stretching any rules".
T. Thompson replied that some clubs use the events published on the CMC Events Calendar on it's website as their club events calendar, which is perfectly legal and allows them more opportunities to use their vehicles.
B. Horne stated that under the NSW scheme he had completed 57,000 miles, over many years, on his car and has had plenty of use of the scheme.
L. Gough stated that it is important to remember that under the NSW HCRS model, you must first abide by the club rules as they were given to the RTA, and which the RTA holds, and the RTA website. If there are any changes then the club must amend its rules and submit them to the RTA in Grafton for approval. You must also send the RTA any changes to the executive committee of your club, including the Club Plate Registrar. You must also provide the RTA with a Certificate of Incorporation of your club.
- A question was asked about interstate events, and how long clubs are permitted to remain interstate when on HCRS registration. T. Thompson replied that the limit set by the RTA is 3 months. The member also asked about whether NSW insurance regarding HCRS vehicles was covered while in Western Australia. T. Thompson replied that it is covered as they now recognize NSW insurance as it is currently a conditional registration scheme, not the old scheme where a Permit to Move an Unregistered Vehicle was used.
- A question was asked about converted left-hand drive vehicles changing to HCRS. T. Thompson advised this is not a problem. But, a problem would arise if they were to be changed back to full registration. In this instance you would need to have proof that the vehicle was previously on full registration. In this instance it is imperative that you keep your previous paperwork.
- A question was also asked about whether it is acceptable to allow cars which have been converted to right-hand drive to change to HCRS. T. Thompson advised that if it had been engineered in Australia, or was previously registered in Australia and provided with a blue slip, then this was acceptable. At this point in time it is also legal to register a 30-year old left-hand drive vehicle on full registration.
- K. Toovey (in absentia) asked whether a vehicle, having been imported from overseas, requires a blue or a pink slip to place it on HCRS. T. Thompson advised that a pink slip is all that is required, but if there is no previous registration you must have 'proof of purchase'
- A discussion followed, surrounding structural and mechanical changes to vehicles on HCRS. A member noted a number of anomalies existed regarding vehicles within his club. He stated that on occasion, where the details of their registrations were incorrect, members of his club were required to cancel the current registration and re-register the vehicle.
- A question was asked regarding unfinancial club members with vehicles on HCRS. T. Thompson replied that if they are unfinancial, then they are unregistered, and in the event of an accident they would be charged with driving an unregistered vehicle and would be subject to whatever penalties apply. ($1,089 and 4 points loss). The onus, in this instance is on the owner to ensure he is financial. In the instance that you are a member of a number of clubs, if you are financial with a secondary club and wish to take part in their club run, but you are not financial with your primary club, you are deemed to be unregistered. You must be financial with all clubs, especially your primary club.
Under the current Victorian scheme, the onus is on the club to report them to VicRoads if they become unfinancial.
At the conclusion of the Forum, T. Thompson spoke of the Services Directory on the CMC website, which contained names and contacts for HCRS and pink slip-friendly providers. The directory is open to all CMC club members and all trades, not just automotive, who wish to advertise their services here. The first year is free of charge and will then attract a small fee to help finance the upkeep of the website.
There is now a dedicated page on the website dealing with ALL aspects of the HCRS.
T. Thompson thanked the members for attending as asked that any suggestions for further forums would be gratefully received by the CMC. You can email suggestions to:
The Forum closed at 9:40pm
From 1 February 2011, new conditions of use for club permit vehicles apply.
Under the new conditions of use, permit holders are no longer restricted to club sanctioned activities when using their vehicles. Club Permit vehicles can be used at any time for any purpose other than for the carriage of goods or passengers for hire or reward.
A logbook is issued to permit holders to record the use of the vehicle over the permit period. A logbook entry must be made each day that the vehicle is used (unless the vehicle is within 100 metres of the garaged address).
A logbook must be carried in the vehicle, or on the rider in the case of motorcycles, at all times the vehicle is in use.
Financial members of VicRoads' approved clubs are able to apply for either a 45 or 90 day permit depending on how much use they expect to make of their vehicles over a 12 month period. If a person obtains a 45 day permit but later decides that this is not enough, another 45 day permit may be purchased later on.
However, no-one will be able to obtain a permit to drive their vehicle for more than 90 days in each 12 month registration period.
Other features of the new scheme include:
- A windscreen label will be issued to assist in identifying vehicles operating with a current permit;
- VicRoads may suspend or cancel a permit if the permit holder fails to comply with the permit conditions or engages in conduct which threatens public safety or undermines the integrity of the permit scheme;
- Clubs are required to sign an agreement with VicRoads that they meet certain obligations including that they notify VicRoads if they become aware or reasonably suspect a pattern of incorrect use of a logbook by a member. If this is not done, VicRoads will be able to revoke the club's approval to be part of the scheme.
- Club permit holders already on the scheme prior to 1 February 2011 have been issued with a free 90 day transitional logbook. The transitional logbook will be able to be used until the current permit expires. The logbook is valid until the permit expiry date and allows use up to a maximum of 90 days prior to the expiry date.
Permit holders operating with the transitional logbook are not issued with a windscreen label or logbook certificate sticker until the current permit is renewed after 1 February 2011.
Slim line club permit number plates will be made available upon commencement of production.
Applying for a club permit
To apply for a Club permit you will need to complete a Club Permit Application form together with:
- written verification by the club secretary (or person authorised by VicRoads) that the applicant for the club permit is a member of the car club
- in the case of a club historic vehicle that is not a street rod, a current certificate of roadworthiness or a letter from a scrutineer authorised by the club, stating that the vehicle is safe for use on the road
- in the case an application made in respect of a street rod, that is a vehicle modified in excess of the level prescribed in the Vehicle Standards Information No.8. (VSI8) document [PDF, 1.06 MB, 6pp.], a Street Rod Inspection certificate issued by Jean - Christophe Bonneville (VASS No. 1042) of Bonneville Consulting, 19 Cantala Court, Endeavour Hills, Victoria 3802. Bonneville Consulting can be contacted on Tel: 0427212464.
- Club Permit fee - refer to Permits (Club, Rally and Unregistered Vehicle Permits)
Refunds are not available for Club Permits if the period for which the permit was obtained has commenced.