Driver Knowledge Tests

How do you get a heavy vehicle driver licence?

There are two ways in New South Wales:

  1. Contact a Roads and Maritime-Registered Training Organisation and do a Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA)
  2. Where HVCBA isn’t available, go to a Roads and Maritime registry and do a heavy vehicle driving test.

For both options you need to pass the heavy vehicle driver knowledge test.

Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment

This is the most flexible method as you can choose your own HVCBA provider, the vehicle you’d like to be tested in and the appointment time. You can find accredited RTOs here.

The assessment will include driving a truck that’s loaded to at least 75% of the maximum loaded mass allowable for the vehicle to be driven on public roads (i.e. 75% of its GCM for a combination vehicle or its GVM if it’s a rigid vehicle).

How to apply for HVCBA

Go to a registry or service centre in person and:

You’ll then be issued with a Heavy Vehicle HVCBA Learner’s Log Book, and the Guide to Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment publication. The Guide outlines the tasks you need to perform to complete the training course and the assessment. Your progress is recorded in your log book – see HVCBA Learner’s Log Book for more information.

You can then select a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and arrange to attend for training.

Test Manoeuvres by licence class and type
LR truck LR bus MR truck MR bus HR truck HR bus HC
Long reverse No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bus stop skills No No No Yes No Yes No
Reverse park Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
U-turn (3-point turn) Yes Yes No No No No No
Kerbside stop Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pre-departure check No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Coupling/uncoupling No No No No No No Yes

Assessment duration

There are minimum assessment durations for each licence class:

30 minutes is allowed for vehicle familiarisation

  • LR – 5 hours
  • MR – 5 hours
  • HR (auto/synchro gearbox) – 5 hours
  • HR (manual gearbox) – 6 hours
  • HC (auto/synchro gearbox) – 6 hours
  • HC (manual gearbox) – 6 hours
  • MC – 8 hours.

If you take your test in a vehicle with auto/synchromesh, you will only be able to drive vehicles with an auto/synchromesh gearbox. This restriction can be lifted by taking a competency test.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) and recognition of current competency (RCC) are included and the applicant can request a competency test (CT) to assess their current level of driving ability in an LR, MR or HR class vehicle, but a CT cannot be used to assess for an HC or MC licence.

Medical assessment for driver licence

Your fitness to drive a heavy vehicle is important which is why Roads and Maritime may ask for a medical assessment. This applies to class MR and higher. It’s based on Assessing Fitness to Drive, Commercial and Private Vehicle Drivers booklet. For an MC class licence a medical is required:

  • At age 21 then every 10 years
  • At age 40 then every 5 years
  • At age 60 then every 2 years
  • At age 70 then annually.

Check what your requirements are if you suffer from a particular medical condition which might prevent you from driving.

National Heavy Vehicle Driver Licence

You’ll get a national licence when you are licenced to drive a truck or bus over 8 tonnes GVM with three or more axles. Points accumulated in any state count towards the total in your home state.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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