Another question about registration exemption for RFS vehicles.  This question relates to heritage vehicles. RFS Heritage is a Committee that is “Preserving Yesterday’s RFS History for Tomorrow’s Generations”.  My correspondent has noted that RFS Heritage has vehicles and

… they’re using them on the road (a few recent videos on a cruise with them all in convoy) to various events. They don’t display any other historical registration plates and only the “heritage” signage on the front/rear where a Brigade name would usually appear in order to enable the exemption. Thus, I’m curious as to how it could enjoy RFS registration exemption provisions as it’s not operational nor attached to a brigade.

It may be that RFS Heritage has been created as a brigade but that is only part of the issue.  As noted in my earlier post (NSW RFS appliances don’t need to be registered (March 6, 2018)) to enjoy the exemption the vehicle must be attached to a brigade it must also be used for an approved purpose. Those purposes include

  • being “used to convey persons or equipment to or from the work of preventing, mitigating or suppressing fires in rural fire districts (including clearing fire breaks or removing inflammable material)” (Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2017 (NSW) Schedule 1, cl 12(b)); or
  • other functions of the NSW Rural Fire Service that the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service or a fire control officer within the meaning of the Rural Fires Act 1997 may approve for the purposes of the exemption (cl 12(c)(v)).

It may be that the Commissioner has approved the use of the vehicles as protecting the heritage of the RFS is an important part of the administration of the RFS as is the value of heritage vehicles in recruiting.

If however the vehicle is not attached to a brigade and is not being used for one of the purposes listed in cl 12 then it cannot enjoy the exemption and would need to be registered or have some other exemption, if it is to be driven on the road.