New Changes are on the way

The Association (AOMC) was recently advised by the Victorian Department of Transport of the proposal to make interim changes to the Club Permit Scheme.The scheme carries the requirement for a ten year review cycle, due in 2020, but owing to restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic it has been decided to delay the full review for twelve months and introduce some interim proposed changes to the scheme that would come into effect in October of 2020.The proposals seek to add controls to the clubs in the manner of how they operate the scheme for their members, making sure that only safe vehicles are admitted and providing the ability to regulate clubs that are not complying with the permit requirements.It seeks to ensure that vehicles requested to be inspected by Vic Roads are presented for inspection, and VicRoads may disallow certain club individuals to be scrutineers (i.e. those persons that perform vehicle inspections) because it is found that they are not performing the function adequately and unsafe vehicles are on the road..For vehicles entering the scheme it would be a requirement that an appointment is made with Vic Roads for the application to be processed.  A fee of $19.00 would be payable, this would ensure that an operator with appropriate knowledge, would process the application and should save time for the applicant.It is proposed to levy a fee for the supply of club permit plates. The costs for either 45- or 90-day permits are to be pro rata of a standard registration fees for a light vehicle.  Slimline plates will be made available at the same cost as full registration slimline plates.An offence entitled “failure to complete logbook” would be introduced at a lesser financial cost than the current driving an unregistered vehicle infringement notice.Finally, it will see the definition of commercial use clearly defined as this is seen as a serious issue.For the management of the scheme, and the ability to transfer permitted vehicles upon the death of the permit holder will be allowed under the proposed changes.The Association of Motoring Clubs is requested to seek the opinion on these proposals from its member clubs and forward such information to the Department.Timelines are short so we seek your co-operation in providing this information to the appropriate club officials and returning your club’s position on them without delay. Please email your club’s response to  as soon as you can.In conclusion the much of the proposed change appears to be directed to ensuring that vehicles on the scheme are safe to operate on the roads, while the definitions relating to the operation are long overdue.   Additional fees are unfortunate, but probably in line with community expectations.We have the best club permit scheme in Australia so let us ensure that any planned modifications enhance the existing arrangements. Iain RossPresident.
The Victorian Department of Transport is in the process of making interim regulations for commencement in October 2020. BackgroundInterim regulations are being made for 12 months from October 2020 due to Covid-19 and an inability to conduct a full and formal consultation process including the release of a regulatory impact statement.  These regulations will be remade in 2021.On this basis, an exemption has been received from the Premier to delay the remaking of the 2009 regulations for a further 12 months It is re-iterated that these are proposed regulatory changes only and no decision has been made on their final form. Changes are proposed that would increase accessibility and clarity of the regulationsØ Consistency of terminologyØ Consistency for references to time periods to provide certainty as to due datesØ Clarification to be explicit about when a fee is PayableExamples include:Time period descriptions: All references to time periods have been aligned for consistency.  Time periods have also been updated where appropriate to allow tangible date for requirements (e.g. 28 days from the date of the notice as opposed to 28 days from the date the person receives the notice).Terminology: Introduction of new terminology to ensure that information required about registered operators and vehicles is consistent across all relevant regulations. Club membership requirementsØ In order to be issued with a club permit, a person will only be required to be a member of an approved car club Conditions for approved clubsØ VicRoads now has the ability to apply individual requirements or conditions on an approved club. VicRoads appointments for the issue of a club permitØ Pre-booked paid appointments will be required for all new club permit applications Club permit general conditionsØ A vehicle issued with a club permit can only be used for social, domestic or pleasure purposes (not commercial purposes) • Membership requirementsRegulations currently state that persons must be a “financial” member of a club.The proposed regulations stipulate persons only need to be a member of a club to be issued with a club permit (clubs can define what this means e.g. Financial or not). • Conditions for approved clubsThe current regulations do not permit the application of specific conditions to individual clubs.  The proposed regulations will permit conditions to be imposed on individual clubs.Conditions may be imposed where clubs are found not to be operating in line with the certain club individuals to be scrutineers (i.e. those persons that perform vehicle inspections) because it is intention of the club permit scheme. VicRoads may disallow certain club individuals to be scrutineers (i.e. those persons that perform vehicle inspections) because it is found that they are not performing the function adequately and unsafe vehicles are on the road. • Appointments for the issue of a club permitThere is currently no option to make an appointment for this specific transaction. Persons are required to attend a customer service centre and wait in a queue. Under the proposed regulations persons are required to make an appointment, with a fee payable of ($19) as it is a specialised transaction.  This provides efficiency for both the customer and VicRoads. • Club permit general conditionsThe current regulations do not specifically define use.  The proposed regulations define their use as for social, domestic and pleasure purposes and will not permit the use of permitted vehicles for commercial purposes. Club PermitsPermanent and temporary operating conditionsØ Club permits may be issued with permanent and temporary operating conditions when the vehicle does not comply with standards.  Requirement to advise of change of details Ø Permit holders must advise of any change of details within 14 days Offence for not completing logbookØ A new offence has been introduced for when a permit holder has not completed a logbook entry for each journey • Permanent and temporary operating conditionsCurrently if a vehicle that does not meet the Standards the vehicle is not permitted on the club permit scheme.It is proposed that vehicles that do not meet the standards can have operating conditions imposed on their permit.  For example, a vehicle with non-compliant headlights may not be allowed to be driven at night.  This proposed amendment increases the flexibility of the scheme and the number of vehicles that can participate • Requirement to advise of change of detailsCurrently there is no requirement to advise VicRoads of changes. The proposed regulations require VicRoads to be advised of changes to understand and record vehicle details such as engine number. • Offence for not completing logbookIt is not currently an offence to not complete the logbook however Victoria Police has the power to issue an unregistered vehicle infringement fine ($900). The proposed regulations introduce a specific offence for not completing the logbook (at the start of a journey) and offenders will be issued with a “Failed to complete logbook” fine (approx. $165).Rationale for introduction is that club permit holders must use the permit within its conditions, but it is not as serious offence as driving an unregistered vehicle. Suspension of Club PermitØ A club permit can also be suspended if the permit holder fails to present the vehicle for a required inspection Club permit number platesØ The issue of a standard club permit number plate will now incur a fee.Ø Introduction of a slimline club permit number plate.Ø Reassignment of club permit for deceased estate Reassignment of a club plateØ A club permit can be reassigned to the spouse/ domestic partner when the permit holder is deceased Rationale• Suspension of club permitsCurrently VicRoads cannot suspend a permit for the reason of not presenting their vehicle.  The proposed regulations permit suspension for this reason.In this instance, suspension occurs as the car may be illegally modified and it is now a safety risk e.g. Inserted an inappropriate engine (size), lights are not adequate, vehicle is outside standards • Club permit platesIntroduction of a fee for supply of club plates. Standard Permit Plates: Proposed change to the regulations aligns with the issue of standard number plates for registration and the principle of cost recovery.  These plates have been free to date.  Applies to new plates only ($38).  This is based on cost recovery and aligns with the cost of standard number plates for registration.The fees for permits are proposed to change to be aligned with a pro rata of standard registration fees for a light vehicle.  A 45 day permit is proposed to be $38.70, and a 90 day permit proposed to be $77.40. Slimline: Proposed change to the regulations provides for the introduction of a new product that has been requested by the club permit holders for some time. Cost for these plates aligns with the cost of a slimline black number plate. ($150) • Reassignment of permit: This is not possible under the current regulations. The benefit of the proposed amendment is that a spouse/domestic partner can now be reassigned the permit but will need to meet criteria such as being a member of a club. Note; These proposed changes remain subject of Ministerial approval.The final Interim regulations will come into effect in October 2020. In early 2021 a full and formal consultation process will be conducted including the release of a Regulatory impact Statement.