Exemption from compliance with a heavy vehicle standard

Apply for exemption permits through the NHVR Portal.

The Exemption permit application is for operators or owners who are seeking an exemption from compliance with a heavy vehicle standard applying to the vehicle. An operator or owner can nominate a third party to manage this process on their behalf.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will consider vehicle standards and safety issues to decide if the application can be granted. Some vehicle standards exemptions may require road access conditions to be applied. You will be advised if a separate application for an access permit is needed. A vehicle standards exemption (permit) can be granted to one or more vehicles and can be for a period of up to 3 years.

Existing permits that were issued by jurisdictions prior to the commencement of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), continue to be valid for up to 3 years or to their expiry date or when an amendment to the permit is required. Operators or owners of heavy vehicles who have an existing exemption permit that was issued by a jurisdiction should apply for a vehicle standards exemption (permit) to the NHVR before the existing permit expires or if they need to amend the permit or transfer ownership of the vehicle. Apply for an exemption permit renewal or transfer of ownership through the NHVR Portal.

Before applying to the NHVR for a vehicle standards exemption (permit):

  • DO NOT complete an Exemption permit application if you have completed a Modification application.
  • Ensure your application is comprehensive and includes all additional information (for example, engineer’s reports, photos, diagrams or schematics) which help us assess your application.
  • Consider if the vehicle will also require an access permit.
  • Consider whether the vehicle registration will be affected by the issuing of a vehicle standards exemption (permit). For advice, contact your local state or territory road transport authority.  
  • Note that an approval to modify can also affect registration.

Please ensure you read NHVR Code of Practice for the Approval of Heavy Vehicle Modifications (PDF, 655KB) to check if the exemption you are requesting is included as a modification in the Code. 

An application is not complete unless all sections are complete in the NHVR Portal and all relevant documents have been attached with the application. Incomplete applications are not able to be submitted in the NHVR Portal. 

Once an application has been submitted, we will notify you by email of the expected assessment time. We may ask you to provide additional information to help us assess your application.

Operators or owners of heavy vehicles who have an existing exemption permit issued by the NHVR can apply to have the permit amended or cancelled. Apply for this through the NHVR Portal.