To conduct an engine & registration number search, please download the Search Application Form below.
How long will a search take?
A search might take from 2 to 6 weeks to complete as all searches are performed by volunteers in their own time, so please be patient. You will receive a reply whatever the outcome of the search.
Background Information and FAQs
Up until 1910 motor vehicles cars, trucks and cycles could be driven on Victorian roads without any legal constraint. Following the passing of the Motor Registration Act by the Victorian Government in 1909, motor vehicles were assigned a unique number - what we now know as a registration number. Owners of vehicles were required to display the registration number on their vehicle. In many cases the number was simply painted on the vehicle however some owners chose to have a "number plate" manufactured by a local specialist. In the early 1930s the Victorian Government began issuing official number plates made in a standard size and style with up to 6 digits. Existing vehicles were provided with these new number plates.
From the 1930s two cards were used in the registration process. One card contained details of the engine number, rated horsepower and the registration number. The other card contained the engine number, registration number and owner details. These cards were used by the Vic. Police Motor Registration Branch, Road Traffic Authority, VicRoads etc. to record the full history and ownership of each vehicle registered in Victoria. From the late 70's to the early 80's these records were gradually put on the official computer database and the card system was thus gradually made redundant.
The AOMC fortunately obtained custody of the engine number record cards from the Victorian Government in 1992. These records cover the period from the early 1930s to the early 1980s.
The companion cards which contained the owner details etc., were destroyed by VicRoads for privacy reasons.
More recently in 2006, the AOMC obtained a listing of all vehicles registered in Victoria for the period from about 1910 up to 1920 (The AOMC Veteran Records). These records contain details of the registration number, date of registration, owner name and address covering vehicles built from 1900 to 1920. These records are searchable on all of the above data fields. Also, the AOMC has access to similar information for registrations that continue from 1920 up to the 1930s (The External Vintage Records) where the Engine Record cards (The AOMC Engine No. Records) take over.
The AOMC is able to undertake a search of these records and provide a report summarising some of the key details of a vehicle's registration history in Victoria. Unfortunately it is possible that there may be gaps in the records - due to a multitude of reasons, so we cannot guarantee success in all cases but we will endeavour to search all available information to hand.
Note that not all details of the registration history are available over the period.
What information might be available?
|AOMC Veteran Records||External Vintage Records||AOMC Engine No. Records|
|1900 - 1910 - 1919||1920 - 1932||1933 - 1984|
|Date of Registration||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Changes in Engine No.||No||No||Yes|
|Changes in Owner||Possibly||Possibly||No|
|* Searchable Data Field|
|AOMC Search Fee (inc GST) as at #||$115||$115||$90|
* At present only a few Makes in the AOMC Engine Number records can be searched by computer. These records can be searched on any one item eg. Eng. No., Chassis No. or Reg. No., however the more detail you provide the greater the information that might be found. Other makes require a manual search on Engine No. only.
# The applicable search fees are shown on the current Search Form.
The search fee applies to the period in which the search is requested. Where a vehicle was continuously registered from the Veteran and Vintage periods through to the later years the maximum fee is $150 (inc.GST).
What is on a Record?
The amount of information provided in the search report is dependent on the original data and varies over the period. For example, it appears that it was not until the early 1920's that the make of vehicle was regularly recorded on first registration. If the vehicle was previously registered interstate or imported from overseas then a note might have been added to the Victorian record. If the vehicle was stolen at some stage then there may have been an entry on a separate card. Some interstate registered vehicles which have been stolen at some time have been included where that state had advised the Victorian authorities.
Where a vehicle was not currently registered at the time of the conversion to the Victorian government computer database (in 1983-84) the details were not input and hence any approach to the present registration authority (VicRoads) for a report on the history of a vehicle may not reveal this earlier detail. Therefore, in trying to trace an engine in a vehicle for originality or history, the AOMC database may be more useful as it records this detail and in some cases may duplicate the official database. It is important to note that there are a number of typographical errors on the cards particularly in the engine/chassis prefix and suffix, due to obvious errors when they were originally recorded. In the interests of historical accuracy no attempt has been made to correct these in the AOMC database and it is left to the user to make the interpretation. Indeed the original registration certificate may contain an error.
It is also instructive to note that there is also the possibility that the present official computerised records may now have even more errors through their subsequent transfer from cards. Where no record is found then it is possible that the engine record card has been incorrectly filed in the card system with some other make. These may be found later during our continuing sorting and checking process and when other makes are searched.
What use are the Records?
If you are trying to trace the history of your treasured vehicle for determining its original registration number, proving its racing career, concours originality of various items such as overdrive etc. or you are just inquisitive and want to settle a bet, then these irreplaceable records may be able to fill the gaps. Note that VicRoads currently requires evidence of previous registration in Victoria (or elsewhere in Australia) if a vehicle is to be re-registered. Many historic vehicles purchased as restoration projects might not have had any registration details supplied and the AOMC records may provide sufficient evidence to prove previous Victorian registration. The data may also be very useful in Family History studies by providing dates and ownership of long gone family vehicles.
What about later model vehicles from the 1960s and 70s?
Many of the high performance vehicles of the 60s & 70s are now becoming most collectable eg. Ford GT, Holden Torana and Monaro. It is also evident that there may be some non genuine vehicles dressed up as to appear as these. The AOMC Engine Number records are only able to provide the same information as was used on the original registration documents. Marque specialists (contact them through your club) may be able to provide supplementary detail as to what engine and chassis numbers corresponded with particular models.
What is needed for a Search?
As a first step you should request VicRoads to undertake a search to see what is revealed. Then, if it is clear that the vehicle was registered in Victoria at some time prior to 1983 then it is most likely that the details will have been recorded on the card index. (Note if VicRoads say that there are no earlier records on their computer then you can probably believe them!) The more details of the vehicle that you supply the better chance we have of identifying it in the system.
I don't have the original engine number, can a search be made on Chassis No?
As the records are filed in Engine Number sequence and many manufacturers reused the engine number by changing the prefix / suffix, there can be many diffferent models filed under the same engine number. For example there may up to 15 different Ford or Holden models using the same engine number but with the different model prefix. Also engine numbers may not "track" the chassis numbers. Thus, it is extremely difficult to search for a Chassis Number without knowing the engine number or at least the engine number of a very closely related model (sister vehicle). Therefore a search for a vehicle using a chassis number alone is very time consuming and the AOMC will provide a quotation for the additional fee charged. This fee will be based on how close the supplied engine number of a sister vehicle might be to the desired vehicle.
My engine number is V xxxx P. This is not a factory issued number for my model vehicle?
Victoria Police issued a V-P number where the original number was found to be illegible. This was a consecutive number commencing each year, eg 68472 was the 472nd number issued in 1968. This new number was stamped over, or near to, the original number. In most cases there is no link back to the original number on the record card. Major engine reconditioners such as Repco obtained a series of V-P numbers and used them as required on some rebuilt engines. A similar practice appears to have been used in other states. Victoria Police also issued a V-P number to a chassis for which the number was illegible or no number could be found. Note that the NP prefix on a Holden engine relates to a Nasco Part for new engine purchased or installed by GMH as a replacement for a damaged engine.
My vehicle was first registered interstate. Is there a similar service to the AOMC available interstate?
We are not aware of any other similar service operating although we understand that some states have microfilmed copies of some early records. You will need to make a formal request to the various state registration authorities as counter staff may not be aware of what might be held. There are a number of Marque Specialists who might have compiled production and registration data for particular makes/models and you should consult your local club for contact information.
What do you receive?
If there is record of your vehicle in the Engine Number records then a certificate of the details as per the original card will be provided as shown in the sample below.
If there are details of the vehicle in the Veteran and/or Vintage records then a similar certificate will be provided.
Registration Number Ranges
Note that the number ranges ranges and dates show below should not be taken as absolutely accurate as it is possible that small groups of numbers may have been issued to country Victoria districts and may have taken some considerable time to be used. Also in the 1920's & 30's it appears that it was common to reissue low digit numbers to new vehicles.
|1 to 5600||1910 to 1912|
|5601 to 31500||1913 to 1922|
Some more information on Victorian (and other states') registration plates may be found at