Application process and forms

Thinking of applying for PBS?

Initial investigation

  • As a first step, it is important to consider what safety and productivity benefits you might achieve through the Performance-Based Standards (PBS) scheme. Those benefits should be assessed against the likely costs and risks of submitting an application.
  • We recommend that you consult with an approved PBS assessor regarding your design options. PBS assessors have significant experience in PBS. They will be able to advice you on the feasibility of your proposed vehicle design as well as the associated masses, bridge assessment and the level of PBS network compliance.
  • You should also investigate road network access at the design development stage. Understanding the level of road network access likely to be granted by road authorities is crucial step when assessing the benefits before submitting an application. You can use the interactive NHVR Route Planner to assist with this. You can also contact the relevant state or territory road transport authority, or our PBS Team if you need more information about road network access.
  • Operators wishing to operate a PBS tanker carrying dangerous goods should investigate requirements under the Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) Code. It is a legislative requirement that all road tank vehicles intended to transport dangerous goods must meet the requirements set out in Chapter 6.9 of the ADG. Operators must obtain a PBS vehicle approval from the NHVR and approval from the Competent Authority in the jurisdiction they wish to operate for the carriage of dangerous goods. PBS vehicles carrying dangerous goods (PDF, 144KB) describes the requirements for PBS approved tankers carrying dangerous goods.

Step 1 - PBS design approval

  • If after the initial investigation you decide to go ahead and invest in PBS you will need to engage a PBS assessor to complete a PBS assessment and submit an application for PBS Design Approval to the NHVR. PBS Assessors will charge a fee for their services. Please note: Many PBS design applications for combinations can be processed as part of the PBS pre-advised design approval process (PDF, 338KB).
  • Anyone can apply for PBS Design Approval – manufacturers, operators, transport associations, road transport agencies and freight customers/shippers. However, only accredited PBS assessors can submit PBS Design applications to the NHVR. You as the applicant will be the owner of that Design Approval.
  • The application for Design Approval is then provided to the PBS Review Panel who review it having regard to relevant guidelines including the Standards and Vehicle Assessment Rules, and to its operating conditions.
  • The PBS Review Panel then advises the NHVR and makes recommendations about the application. The NHVR makes a final decision, having regard to the Panel’s advice.
  • If the application is approved, the NHVR PBS team will issue the PBS Design Approval and forward a copy to the applicant and the assessor.

Step 2 - Vehicle build, certification and approval

  • Once you receive the Design Approval you can build the vehicle to the approved design.
  • Once the vehicle's build is complete, you need to arrange certification from a PBS Approved Certifier. The certifier will inspect the vehicle combination/s and ensure the vehicle is built according to the approved design specifications. The certifier will then forward a certification package to the PBS Team at the NHVR. PBS Certifiers will charge a fee for their services.
  • Based on the certificate supplied, the NHVR will issue a PBS Vehicle Approval. This will list the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) enrolled in the PBS Scheme, as well as level of access, associated masses and operating conditions.

Step 3 - Accessing the road network

More information and assistance

For questions about vehicle design and approvals, contact our dedicated PBS Team at

Please quote your application number (if applicable), company name and vehicle type in the subject line. An application number is a seven character reference number starting with ‘V”, eg V140101.

For questions about access and permits to operate your PBS vehicle on the road, please visit Performance-Based Standards vehicle permit or call 13 NHVR (136 487). If known, please quote your Regulator Customer Number, your company name, vehicle type and case number.

PBS Applications

PBS applications for Design Approval and Vehicle Approval should now be submitted using an online form or uploaded to the portal via a spreadsheet submission tool.

From 1st February 2021, PBS Design and Vehicle Approval applications must be submitted via the NHVR Portal. Submissions by email will no longer be accepted.

This new process means:

  • streamlined processing of applications with less manual handling
  • new options to submit applications via browser or spreadsheet
  • the ability to track the status of your cases.

It is very important that your Design Approval and road access are confirmed before you build a PBS heavy vehicle. See the PBS approvals flowchart page for more information.

PBS forms

All PBS scheme applications and enquiries should be submitted using the below PBS application forms. You will be requested to upload these when you are submitting an application in the NHVR Portal.

PBS design

PBS certification

PBS vehicle approval transfer

Completed forms can be submitted via:

  • Email:
  • Fax: 1300 736 798
  • Post: PBS National Heavy Vehicle Regulator PO Box 492 Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

PBS vehicle access