Frequently asked questions about access.
Approvals and processes
Can I contact your case officers to help me complete my application?
Yes, there is an enquiries team that can assist you. Visit our Contact us page to get in touch.
Can I still discuss my access requirements with local government?
Yes. Operators are welcome to discuss access requirements with local government. However the NHVR work with local government on operators' behalf to seek access decisions.
Do I need a permit to operate my vehicle?
If your vehicle is outside of mass or dimensional limits, you will need a permit (or operate under a notice). Additionally if you operate a class 2 vehicle such as a B-double or road train you can only operate under a notice, or a permit specifying the routes of operation. For more information about permits issued by the NHVR, visit Access applications and forms.
Does the NHVR organise pilot and escort vehicles?
It is the responsibility of the operator to organise pilots or escorts. When a police escort is required, the operator needs to take into account lead times for access to police escorts.
How do I get an access permit for B-double, road train, oversize and overmass vehicles?
You can apply for a permit through the access applications and forms page.
How do I pay for my application?
You pay for your application upfront at the time you lodge it. Payment can be made by credit card or cheque. See our fee schedule for more information about the cost of permits.
I used to get my access approval for local roads from the local government, why are there changes?
The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) requires that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) obtain consent for all road managers prior to issuing a permit, including local councils. Operators that may have pre-approved routes with local governments are encourage to keep those arrangements in place, however when applying for a permit the operator will need to provide proof to the NHVR that these approvals are in place.
If my permit is refused, will I receive a refund?
A permit cannot be issued without full payment of the required fees. A fee may be charged to assess an application, even if it is ultimately deemed ineligible for a permit.
What route or area should I apply for in an application?
By limiting applications to a single route or area of operation, you allow the NHVR to more efficiently and effectively align permits to your operational requirements and gives you the best chance of a timely and favourable response from relevant Road Managers. For more information relating to route requirements read the Access permit applications - Route requirements fact sheet (PDF, 274KB)
When I apply for a permit, is the permit for various trips for three years (for example if I tick the return box in section 6 of the form)? Or is it for a single trip for three years?
The permit is particular to the type of vehicle and/or route you are planning. Some permits will cover one journey (e.g. oversize/overmass) while others (Performance-Based Standards, Class 3 and Special Purpose Vehicles etc.) may cover a longer period of time. The law allows for a permit to be issued for up to three years, however the period of a permit may be reduced based on road manager requirements.
Notices and permit-based schemes
Do I need to carry a copy of a notice?
Only if the notice states that you are required to carry the document.
- Notices that must be carried (PDF, 138KB) updated 3 January 2018 - lists the gazette notices that are legally required to be carried by drivers of heavy vehicles operating under those notices.
- Compliance bulletin 5 – Carriage and presentation of documents – Compliance and enforcement bulletin (PDF, 87KB) - advice on what documents need to be carried when operating a heavy vehicle and how they should be presented (including electronic copies) if intercepted.
What is happening in relation to Local Productivity Initiatives (LPIs)?
All existing LPIs that were in place immediately before the commencement of the HVNL have been preserved, either by transitioning directly under the HVNL or being remade into a NHVR notice. The NHVR will continue to consolidate and harmonise transitional notices and LPIs where possible.
Can the individual permit approvals be placed online so that everyone can read the particular conditions?
It is not possible for individual permit approvals to be placed on-line for members of the public to review due to potential commercial-in-confidence conflicts.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has an access management team if you require assistance with permit applications. Contact us for more information.
Police and jurisdictional road enforcement agencies have the authority to intercept and review the operating conditions contained within the permit to ensure the operator is complying with road safety conditions.
Can time restrictions and other conditions be placed on permits?
Yes, road managers can set travel conditions (times and direction of travel), and road conditions. They can also request vehicle conditions; however the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) needs to agree to them.
How long does my permit last?
A permit can be issued for up to three (3) years. The duration of the permit will depend on the requirements of the applicant and the approving parties.
I have a light vehicle (e.g. a car) towing an oversize trailer (e.g. a boat). Do I need a permit?
If either the towing vehicle, or the unit/trailer being towed is more than 4.5t, you will need to apply to the NHVR for a Class 3 (Miscellaneous) permit. Please visit the Access applications and forms page for the application form.
If both the towing vehicle and the unit/trailer being towed are, individually, 4.5t or less, then you will need to contact your state or territory road authority to determine whether a permit is necessary (regardless of whether the total combined mass is greater than 4.5t).
What do I do when my permit expires?
What documents do I need to keep with my permit?
A copy of the permit must be carried at all times. The permit will list travel, road and vehicle conditions which must be abided by for the nominated route, and may also require other documents to be carried.
Will the permit process be tracked to evaluate where bottlenecks in the process are?
The case officer responsible for managing the permit application will track and manage progress on the road manager approvals. We will evaluate how the process is performing and use this information to streamline assessment.
Will the NHVR secure third party approval for my permit application?
No. Operators still have to secure all other approvals from electricity companies, rail authorities and other third parties as part of their heavy vehicle operations. You may be required to provide evidence of these approvals either as; part of the application process, when the NHVR is advised by a Road Manager prior to permit issue, or as part of a condition on permit issue. See Third-party provider approval for more information.
I’ve heard it will take 28 days for my permit to be approved?
Twenty-eight days is NOT the standard timeframe for permits to be decided.
Twenty-eight days is a statutory deadline within which local government road managers must respond to a consent request. It caps the time they can take to respond to us and is absolutely NOT the standard timeframe for permits to be decided. At all times, we are working to resolve your permit request as quickly as possible.
The requirement imposed on local governments to decide an application within 28 days is part of the new Heavy Vehicle National Law. This is the first time this obligation has been imposed and it will cover the situation when applications haven’t been settled for months or where no reply is received from local government.
Prior to the Heavy Vehicle National Law, many states had no timeframe within which local governments had to respond which sometimes led to transport operators waiting indefinitely for an answer.
Do I have to use the NHVR Journey Planner?
Use of the journey planner is not mandatory, but it does help us process applications and provide information to road managers more quickly.
We can quickly confirm the suitability of the route and identify the road managers involved. We can then get this information to the road managers sooner so they can reply more quickly.
If you are using the NHVR Journey Planner and you are sending in your journey details, save your journey and enter the Journey ID into your application.
If you don't use the Journey Planner, provide sufficient information about the route required, including turn-by-turn description, so we can compile this for road managers. For example, it’s important to provide correct street names, sufficient suburb and town information and to indicate if a private road is involved, for example, a mine site road.
The following links may also assist you to plan your journey.
- State road transport authority mapping sites – These sites can assist you further with planning your journey. They display authorised heavy vehicle routes within each state, and in some cases, allow you to view additional route information.
- Notices and permit-based schemes – Due to limitations in web-based mapping services, users need to ensure they consult the relevant gazette notices to identify all conditional and route requirements.