Work diary

National Driver Work Diary (PDF 3.8MB) - Has information and examples to guide you, including advice on: definitions and words used in the work diary, legal requirements for keeping work diary records, filling in your daily sheet, how to count time, work and rest hour options, and frequently asked questions.

Getting a work diary - The work diary can be purchased for $25 at many locations throughout Australia.

What is a work diary?

The National Driver Work Diary (also know as a "log book") is evidence that a driver’s work and rest hours are compliant with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and that their fatigue is being managed. Drivers are not allowed to drive or work more than the maximum work hours or rest less than the minimum rest hours in a certain period set out by law.

It’s important to complete your diary correctly and in accordance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and ensure you are counting time correctly

When must I use a work diary?

All drivers of fatigue regulated heavy vehicles who drive more than 100km from their base under standard hours or operate under basic fatigue management (BFM) or advanced fatigue management (AFM) must carry and complete a work diary to record their work and rest times. If you have a work diary exemption notice or permit you must carry it in lieu of the work diary.

What is a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle?

A fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle is a vehicle or combination with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of more than 12 tonnes.

A bus of more than 4.5 tonnes fitted to carry more than 12 adults, including the driver is also a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.

A vehicle built or modified to operate as machinery or equipment off-road and which is not capable of carrying goods or passenger by road, is not a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle. A motorhome is not a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle

Where can I get help with filling in a work diary?

The front pages of your work diary contains detailed instructions on how you must record information. Your employer or more experienced drivers may be able to help you fill out a work diary for the first time.

You can contact the NHVR for more advice on filling out a work diary and some Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) offer the course Complete a work diary in the road transport industry (TLIE3028). Visit to locate a training provider.

TDT Victoria with the assistance of funding provided through the Federal Department of Industry produced a video to help drivers complete their work diary called Get Your Diary Right.

Work diary exemptions



Heavy vehicle drivers operating under standard hours who cannot make records in their work diary because of literacy issues or a print disability can apply for a work diary exemption (permit).

To apply for this permit, the driver must be able to substantiate their literacy issues or print disability (for example, through a medical certificate) and nominate an assistant to help them complete their work diary at a suitable time.

What if my work diary is lost, stolen or destroyed?

If your work diary has been completed, lost, stolen or destroyed, please contact the NHVR to use a supplementary record for up to 7 business days until you purchase a replacement work diary.

Notify the NHVR if you can’t purchase a replacement work diary

You must notify the NHVR within 2 business days if you can’t purchase a replacement work diary.  To do so:

  • Go to the contact us section of the NHVR website
  • Select the Supplementary work diary option enquiry type (click/press circle)
  • Complete the details in all of the boxes (mandatory)
  • Press Submit

Make supplementary records

If your work diary is filled up, lost, stolen or destroyed you must use supplementary records to record your work and rest hours. Supplementary records must record all the information you would normally record in your work diary.

Carry the NHVR’s acknowledgement email and supplementary records when you work

When you notify the NHVR that you can’t purchase a replacement work diary, we will send you an acknowledgement email. You must carry this email with you when you work. A supplementary record must be treated the same way as your work diary. You must keep a copy of all supplementary records with you in the vehicle for 28 days and give a copy to your record keeper within 21 days.

Stop using supplementary records

You must stop using supplementary records when the first of the following happens:

  • you buy a replacement work diary; or
  • after 7 business days (even if this means you must stop working).

Do I have to complete a work diary record on days when I only do local work under standard hours?

For a day on which you only do local work under standard hours, you don’t have to record in a work diary. However, record keepers (including drivers who are self-employed) must record some information about local work. If your record keeper doesn’t know this information already, they may ask you for:

  • the registration number of the vehicle(s) you drove
  • the total number of hours you worked and total number of hours you rested that day.

If I am stopped by an authorised officer on the road, is this work or rest time?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it will depend on whether you are required to interact with the authorised officer or attend to your vehicle. An example of what could be considered work would be if you are required to respond to questions from an authorised officer throughout the intercept.

If you are unsure, it is usually in your best interests to count the time spent as work.

Can I have a split rest under BFM?

A split rest is where a driver takes 6 continuous hours at one time and 2 continuous hours another time in a 24-hour period, rather than the required 7 continuous hours of rest.

Split rests are not encouraged because they can impact on the quality of a driver’s sleep. However, the HVNL does provide a defence if you take a split rest under BFM. The defence only applies if you had at least the required 7 continuous hours of rest in the previous 24-hour period and you did not schedule the split rest.

What's different in my state or territory?

The fatigue laws relating to work diaries currently apply in the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

Northern Territory and Western Australia

  • The Northern Territory and Western Australia are not commencing the HVNL at this time and all road transport business with government remains under current state and territory law.
  • If you are a driver in the Northern Territory or Western Australia, you don’t have to use a work diary or similar unless you leave the state or territory. However, you can still choose to use a work diary as part of your fatigue risk management system.
  • If you enter and stay within the Northern Territory or Western Australia for less than 7 days, you should fill out a work diary for the entire period. 
  • When leaving the Northern Territory or Western Australia after a stay of more than 7 days, you must use a work diary from at least the last major rest break before crossing the border.