Registration labels might be a thing of the past but that doesn't mean you can now get away without paying.
As of January 1, light vehicles up to 4.5 tonnes - which accounts for 97 per cent of registered vehicles and motorcycles and trailers - no longer need to display a registration sticker.
It is also no longer an offence to display an expired label.
However, Wollongong highway patrol supervisor Sergeant Stewart Arnold said the absence of a sticker did not change anything as far as detecting unregistered cars.
"People think they're going to drive around unregistered and not be detected. Well that's incorrect, they will be detected by us," Sgt Arnold said.
As well as the mobile data terminals in every police car, several highway patrol vehicles are fitted with the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system.
Through the use of three cameras, the system automatically scans number plates in front, behind and to the side of the police car as it drives along. If a positive result is detected, an alarm sounds and the car is pulled over.
Sgt Arnold said the number of unregistered vehicles discovered increased dramatically with ANPR's introduction. Some of them were cars that might not have attracted attention beforehand.
"We've had this technology for a number of years now and what we have noticed is the number of new vehicles that were driving around the area unregistered," Sgt Arnold said.
"Over time we'd tend to look at the older vehicles; however with this new technology we were very surprised at the number of modern vehicles we are detecting."
A Roads and Maritime Services spokesman said the stickers were abolished after a review by the Better Regulation Office and the RMS, which found they were not needed to support compliance and that the presence of a label was not a reliable indicator that a vehicle was registered.
Doing away with the labels also saved the government $575,000 - the amount it cost to produce the labels each year.
The RMS spokesman said all the other registration requirements remained in force.
"There will be no change to the registration process other than the retirement of stickers, and customers are reminded registration renewals will still need to be paid by the due date to avoid enforcement action," he said.
"Driving an unregistered vehicle is an offence and heavy penalties apply."
The stickers were introduced in 1932 and NSW is the third state to abolish them, following in the footsteps of Western Australia and South Australia.