Department of Main Roads Queensland :: How To Register A Motorhome

Gee where do I start? I did write a blog post about our experience with Department of Main Roads Queensland. I wrote it on Friday night, but did not publish it…..lucky I didn’t cause it was not the best of my writing, and after re-reading it I have deleted that post. Instead I want to share How To Register A Motorhome while in Queensland so that what we experienced does not ever happen again.

What You Need To Do To Register Your Motorhome ::

For the last two and half years we have traveled with Moving Permits, from town to town. Only cause we had so much renovations to complete. David wanted all of the big renovations out of the way before we went to the Department of Transport. That way we knew it would pass. Or so we thought.

While we were in Sarina David was working mainly on the outside work and on the inside cosmetic work, so our engine was a bit neglected. He did what was necessary, and in the process he broke the stop cable. So he replaced it and we made it safely to Bundaberg. Where we proceeded to finish off a few more renovations over the Christmas Break, and he worked more on the engine.

Last Wednesday 2nd January David took our Motorhome to the local Mechanic. It was only around the corner…….where he discovered that the stop cable was not the one for Bedford Buses.

Complete Renovations

Wanted Our Motorhome Painted Before Registration!

The right part was ordered from Brisbane.

The mechanic also wanted the following fixed ::

  • Tighten up front wheel bearings
  • Take care of a few oil leaks
  • Replace the correct stop cable
  • Adjust the warning alarm for the air pressure
  • Fix the blinker switch which was moving around on the steering wheel column (it was loose)

So David took the time over the next few days to carry out the repairs.

Back to the Mechanic on Friday 4th of January – and it passed “Road Worthy”

Straight from the Mechanic to the Main Roads in Bundaberg.

Before that David had to drive (in his parents car) to Bundaberg to RACQ to organise C.T.P Insurance. If we had time up our sleeve we would have rang around for quotes but we didn’t. Its a must to drive a Motrohome on the Road with C.T.P and we always arranged that with our Moving Permits.

At the Department of Main Roads Queensland Transport we thought we had every thing covered, because I had rang them so many times…..each time I asked “We are in the process of getting our Motorhome ready for Registration, what do we need?”

Every time they told me the following ::

Seats approved by an engineer to carry passengers. TICK.

Seat belts attached. TICK.

Modification Plate attached to the front on the inside. TICK.

Gas Certificate – we made sure we had that fully checked and approved for safety reasons. TICK.

C.T.P to allow it to be driven to the Main Roads. TICK.

Certified measure of the Motorhome – length and height had to be measured. We could do this through a Mechanic or through a certified company. Or even at Department of Main Roads.

Road Worthy completed by the Mechanics. TICK

Every Single Time that is all they told me….

There was never ever any mention of a Form that would be checked, and ticked off. The form is not even easy to find on the Main Roads Department of Transport – I had to search for ages before I did find “Motorhome/Caravan Inspection Sheet”

Now if you know David he likes to do EVERYTHING by the books – he won’t (does not like) to cut corners. So we double made sure we had all of the requirements for it to be approved for road worthy. We wanted our Motorhome Registered on Friday.

So that we could travel down slowly to the Sunshine Coast – taking the weekend to stop and see places that we have not seen before – I have always wanted to stop in at Harvey Bay but I guess that is still on my “Bucket List”.

David went late to the Bundaberg Main Roads….too late to benefit us!

Everything was good – the paper work was all in order.

The measurements were taken – all was good.

We even had a Smoke Detector and a Fire Extinguisher installed (they are also required)

Like I said David likes to make sure we travel safely.

NOT once on the phone did anyone state that we MUST have a dinning table installed for us to be approved as a Motorhome. David does plan on building a dinning table – one that can be folded down so that two people can eat together or put up so that all of us can eat together…..mind you we always normally eat outside.

If we had been told to have a dinning table bolted down, but easily can be removed for storage while travelling then we would have had one made.

David said to the lady “How can we safely have a dinning table placed near seats – seats that are for where our boys are sitting?” – The lady in the motor registry even had to ask her supervisor over to clarify the rule??

But they were firm – we had to have a dinning table.

It was even suggested that if David had come in earlier he could have go off to Bunnings to purchase one that could be put in. Unfortunately it was closing time.

But I guess the Universe works for a reason….we spent the weekend completing more renovations that we knew needed to be done – fiddly bits! Plus he got time to build this…..

Dining Table that Can be attached/removed

David Built This With Left Over Bench Top

On Monday 7th January (yesterday) we still had so much to do before leaving Bundaberg. Last minute packing – David also had to fix our Car because the head casket had gone (he spent all Sunday night on replacing it!)

Back to the Main Roads in Bundaberg before heading out of town……with the understanding that all they needed to see was the dinning table.

That same FORM got us again… Queensland YOU must have the same amount of Beds in a Motorhome as seat belts. Lucky for us our lounges make up the beds needed and we passed.

How TO Pass Your Motorhome For Registration ::

Here is a LIST of what you need ::

  • Road Worthy Certificate
  • Modification Plate/Seats approved by engineer
  • Gas Certificate
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Smoke Detector
  • Certified Measure – Length and Height
  • Attached Dinning Table – that can easily be removed for travelling
  • Seat Belts
  • Same Seat Belts ratio to Bed Ratios
 David even asked the nice lady on Monday why NO-ONE had told us about the requirements of a Dinning Table – yet we had spoken to main roads so many times over the phone….
She totally got why we did not know – every time you ring up the Department you are actually speaking to someone in Brisbane, and they always forget to tell a person something/anything about the finer details.

Why Share This News?

 Because I never want another Motorhome/Caravan Owner to miss out registration like we did. It caused us to leave Bundaberg late – David was meant to start work on Monday with Suncoast Caravan Repairs – luckily for us Bruce and Jenny are the best ever people to work for  🙂

 Department of Main Roads – You So Need To Get The Right Information Out.



New Life on the Road.

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26 thoughts on “Department of Main Roads Queensland :: How To Register A Motorhome

  • January 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Hi Lisa,
    We know all about the hassles with the Department of Transport Main Roads when we had out tour bus but, nowhere near what you have been through.
    we didn’t have any problems when we sold our camper nor when we brought our Lovely almost new Caravan.
    Name*Rita recently posted..Caravan Maintenance What You Should Know

    • January 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Rita,

      Never knew about the dining table rule! Crazy – nor about the same amount of beds to seat belts – but I guess we live n learn 🙂

      Good to hear you didn’t have any problems with your camper or Caravan – feel for you for when you had your tour bus!


      • June 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm

        Lisa, please note that it’s not seats to beds it’s a seat belt for every bed space, ie you can have 20 seat belts and one bed but you can’t have 20 beds and one seat belt. But I’m sure you know that by now.

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Oh boyo what a drama over a dining table . I can only imagine your frustration and snark.
    So glad you got your roadworthy certificate in the end.
    Safe travels.

    • January 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      So glad its now over with – we have our registration and we can travel whenever to wherever we want to go – hope it never happens to another motorhome owner!

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  • March 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I love reading about your adventures and the not so good parts! We are currently in the process of converting a 50 seater bus to a motorhome and what a mission trying to get the correct information. I have found it very difficult to find exactly what we need to be compliant!
    One told us we dont need a seatbelt on the drivers seat given the age and tonneage of the bus….another tells us we do….
    One tells us we need seatbelts for forward facing seats only – not side facing, another tells us we do. Very confusing….and we are only beginning…..

    • April 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Hi Tina,

      Its a very confusing process! And each State in Australia has different rules/regulations 🙂

      We put in seat belts because of safety issues {our piece of mind} as well as we were told to. Yes our Bus is Pre RDI but we still wanted to be safe.

      Even David has a seat belt attached to his Motorhome Seat….its a truck seat that we purchased from eBay.

      Hope you have a great journey, and get it all finished fine 🙂


  • April 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    hi lisa where did you buy your seats from? We need an extra seat. Cheers Deb

    • April 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Hi Debbie,
      David made our seats that we all sit on, our Lounges/Seats that are facing each other.
      The Drivers seat – we got that from eBay, its a Truck Seat. He had to have extra anchors added to have the seat approved {making it comply with safety issues}
      Hope that helps 🙂


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  • October 18, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Lisa, Very interesting run around from Qld Transport. Most frustrating government dept to deal Qld

    One thing you didn’t state was where you had your modifications inspected and certified. From my understanding as I had to deal with this matter a couple of years back, there were only two in the whole state. One in Townsville and the other in Toowoomba, if my memory serves me well. The one in Toowoomba was very difficult to deal with.

    Now it would seem that I will have to front up to him again. Ho Hum. Safe travels; I will be following your journeys. Hopefully We will hit the road in 2016. Kind regards, Keith.

    • December 31, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Hi Keith,

      Yes we had every thing checked over and approved by the guy in Townsville. He was so very good to work with, totally accepted the seats that David built after inspecting them.

      David is a perfection by nature so he made sure all of the work was carried out.

      There is more than two in the State – i know that there is one on the Sunshine Coast/Brisbane area, not sure of his name.

      Hope you got it all sorted 🙂 Yes be great to catch up with you some where on the road.


  • December 31, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Hi Keith, Debbie and Lisa

    The ADRs and registration process is quite bewildering as it has evolved organically and many of the older rules apply in some cases. If this was not the case already registered vehicles would suddenly become non compliant when the latest revision is released. So unfortunately it is just the way it is. But it is worth noting that the Approved Person can supply information far greater than simply inspecting and supplying the Mod Plate. Amongst other modifications I have the approval to issue LH11 and all the heavy vehicle K codes. Unfortunately most people doing these modifications are on a budget and the approved person is mindful of this so offer the bare minimum of advice because nobody likes to work for nothing. If you truly are after all the information let your approved person know and also let them know that you are prepared to pay for Quality advice. I will admit that due to the complexity of issues and the variations of application even the simplest modifications enquiry takes about an hour to research and respond with a simple yes no or possibly. I am a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) and my hourly charge-out rate is $135 per hour. So from a business perspective I don’t fully respond to an enquiry unless I think it has a high likely-hood of proceeding as no-one wants to pay for this initial consultation. This may be why some approved persons seem to be difficult to deal with. Additionally these people need to carry PI insurance and hold records of your modifications for 7 years and if an accident does occur they will be involved with the enquiry. My point is have some empathy for their position and let them know the level of service you are prepared to pay for and judge them accordingly. There are many easier ways to make a living with engineering
    Having said that I enjoy the role of an Approved Person as I see many creations good and bad ;-D

    • December 31, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      Hi Derek,

      We didn’t have any issues with the engineering side of our registration – it was the Queensland Main Roads in Bundaberg that we had issues with 🙂


      • January 1, 2015 at 6:34 am

        Hi Lisa
        Happy new year

        I understand you had problems with the Transport Department not the Approved person (who may or may not be an engineer). The point I was trying to get across is that the key to negotiating the pitfalls with the transport department is engaging the help of a willing and able expert for the entire project. As an example I have a project happening where the client called with a business idea they wanted to develop. They had not even purchased the bus. I explained to them the time life limits for queensland commercial busses and some of the other issues to consider. I regularly inspect the construction (not that it is legally required) to assist in their interpretation of the ‘rules’ and I look forward to seeing the concept hit the road.
        As for the paper trail. Start with the end in mind. Grab the registration forms, check the tick sheets, ensure you have all the required evidence and repeat until everything is there and answered. Our ‘friends’ at the transport department or anybody else for that matter cannot be expected to have the capacity to interpret all the rules or know which are relevant within a brief verification inspection. There are simply too many variables. That’s why they rely on the strict application of check sheets and lists. A phone call for advice is often met with willing and friendly help but as you are aware not very reliable as the breadth of the subject matter required is beyond anybodies ability to consume in detail at a moments notice. The last piece of advice they may have been asked could have involved the registration requirements of a moped…..
        Sorry for the lengthy responses but I am trying to help everyone on this post understand that the hassles they face are not personally driven. In most cases all parties are trying to do the best they can! It is just a very complicated beast and by necessity it is unlikely to change in the near future so we just need to be able to manage it.
        Happy construction

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  • March 15, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Ok so I am about to begin the whole process n live on the border of qld and nsw. Which state is easist with seatbelts I wonder… if I buy an older bus without seatbelts do I have to have them fitted? How much would it cost for fitting and approval do you think?
    Oh boy this seems complicated.

    • March 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      I am not too sure on NSW rules and regulations – with regards to seat belts – our Motorhome is PRE-ADR’s {pre the regulations} so technically we don’t have to have any seat belts but David added them for our own safety and peace of mind.
      It depends on the year of your Motorhome.
      David fitted them with bolting them into the frame work of the Motorhome, and he got them approved no worries. I can’t remember how much our “Compliance” Plate cost us, but we had to have it because we wanted to make sure it was licensed to carry us all.
      Maybe you can give NSW motor registry a call and see what they say in regards to your questions, and then give QLD registry a call and then decide which one would be easier?
      All the best – Lisa 🙂

  • February 7, 2016 at 9:32 am

    I am in Bundaberg and have recently purchased a Mitsubishi fuso bus that has been converted is not registered and I wish to register it. Can you tell me where I can get the relevant engineer certificate from please I have had seats with seat belts installed

    • February 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Dale,

      Hope you can get your Bus registered all fine 🙂
      We find it hard to have anyone look at our Bus for the Mod Plates. We do know of two guys but they are not in Bundaberg 🙂
      Here is the first guys details –
      And the other guy is Bruce Hartwig –
      We had our Mod plates done while in Mackay and even up there it was hard to find someone!!!
      There is a List of Registered engineers that the Department of Main Roads Queensland has, maybe ring them and ask them to point you in the direction of the list {David just tried to search for the list with google and couldn’t locate it but he remembers seeing the list way back in 2007 :)}

      All the Best

      • April 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm

        Hi Dale

        How did you go?

        I am based in Yeppoon but am currently working in Gladstone so not too far from Bundaberg during the week. I have the required approvals.

        The Queensland TMR does not publish lists but if you call them they will give out a list of approved persons for your area.

        • April 14, 2016 at 5:10 pm

          Hi Derek,

          Thanking you – I am going to email Dale your details – fingers crossed it helps him out 🙂


  • July 26, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Hi do u know where i would start if i bought a coaster as u cant drive it on a normal licence as is. How can i drive it on a normal licence. Thanks.

    • August 16, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      it depends on where you are and what state you are in, its best to ring Department of Transport and ask them – as it has to be a certain weight, with a certain amount of seats for you to be able to drive in on a normal licence. Once its over 5tonnes, and a certain amount of seats you will need a heavy vehicle licence. Like I said its best to call the local department of transport as they will give you the best advice possible – all the best 🙂


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