Special Purpose Vehicle - In-principle support

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is responsible for giving in-principal support for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).

Heavy vehicle operators importing SPVs need to apply to the NHVR for in-principle support and may need submit a vehicle standards exemption permit application to enable registration of the SPV.

The NHVR liaises directly with state and territory road transport authorities and road managers to coordinate exemption applications and issue permits.

Only the NHVR may grant a vehicle standards exemption under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. The HVNL is not intended to prohibit the use of non-complying heavy vehicles that have a genuine reason for using the road but to facilitate the use of such vehicles provided that their impact is fully considered and managed.

In general, there are 6 steps you need to complete to register and operate a SPV.

  • Step 1 – Complete a Special Purpose Vehicle in-principle support application. A Statement of Requirements will be issued to describe the conditions for obtaining a vehicle standards exemption (permit).
  • Step 2 – Comply with the Statement of Requirements. 
  • Step 3 – When the vehicle is ready for road use - arrange supervised weigh with local jurisdictional authority.
  • Step 4 – Apply for a road access permit with the NHVR.
  • Step 5 – Vehicle standards exemption and access permit approved.
  • Step 6 – Register your vehicle with the relevant state or territory road transport authority.

See An industry guide to in-principle support approvals (PDF, 676KB) for more information.