Heavy vehicles

Getting a heavy vehicle licence

There are five heavy vehicle classes:

  • light or medium rigid vehicles (LR and MR class licences)
  • heavy rigid or heavy combination (HR and HC class licences)
  • multi-combination (MC class licence)

How to upgrade your licence to drive a heavy vehicle

1. Check the licence class table

See which licence and the minimum driving experience requirements for the vehicle you want to drive.

2. Get experience driving the vehicle for the licence class you want

If you hold a current driver's licence and meet the minimum driving experience requirements for the desired licence class, you can drive a motor vehicle of that class without a learner's permit - but only under learner's permit conditions and laws.

If you don't meet the minimum driving experience requirements for the desired licence class, you may be able to obtain a learner's permit for that class by either:

  • applying for an exemption or restricted licence
  • passing a training-in-lieu-of-experience course.

Training–in-lieu-of-experience courses

If you're applying for an HC class licence and have held a C class licence for at least two years, you can undertake an approved training-in-lieu-of-experience course. You must obtain a learner's permit before in-vehicle training can begin.

For more information, phone 13 10 84 or visit a Service SA customer service centre.

For all classes of licences, except MC class, you can choose to pass either a practical driving test (a vehicle-on-road test or VORT) or a competency-based training course (CBT) with an authorised driving instructor.

To obtain an MC class licence, you will need to pass a CBT course in a B-double vehicle.

Vehicle-on-road-test (VORT)

Heavy vehicle specifications for practical driving tests are available in the pamphlet 'Heavy vehicle driving tests' available from a Service SA customer service centre.

Competency-based training course (CBT)

Information is available in the trainee guide that records the training tasks as they are completed throughout the course.

You can download trainee information for each vehicle class below:

Authorised driving instructors are listed under Driving Schools in the Yellow Pages.

When you pass the VORT or CBT course you will receive a certificate of competence that can be presented to obtain your heavy vehicle driver's licence.

To apply for a licence, you will need to complete a driver's licence replacement application at a Service SA customer service centre. You will also need to take your certificate of competence and your current driver's licence with you.

Your licence will be endorsed with the new licence class on payment of the fee. Learner's conditions apply when driving a higher class of vehicle until the licence is upgraded.

You must carry your licence with you at all times when driving a vehicle with a GVM of more than 4500 kg (i.e. 4.5 tonnes).

Exemption or restricted licence

You can apply for an exemption from the minimum requirements to be issued a HR or HC licence if you have special circumstances, such as employment in farming or transporting produce.

There are different types of exemptions and the criteria to be eligible for consideration varies.

Restricted licences to immediate family members of a primary producer

An exemption from the minimum driving experience requirements for the issue of a class HR or HC licence may be granted to immediate family members of a primary producer, who require a heavy vehicle licence class to assist in the running of a farm (eg transport of produce to a silo).

The applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have held a class C driver's licence for at least 12 months.

To apply for an exemption, a Restricted Licence Application form should be completed and signed by both the applicant and the primary producer.

The following information must be included on the application form:

  • the applicant's name, address, date of birth and relationship to the primary producer operating the property
  • the name and address of the primary producer who operates the farming property and the location of the property
  • the nature of the agricultural or horticultural pursuits in which the applicant will be engaged
  • the details of the vehicles that the applicant will be required to drive, i.e. the registration numbers and GVM/GCM of all trucks, truck/trailer combinations and articulated motor vehicles (including trailer portions, if applicable).

These applications may be presented at a Service SA Customer Service Centre.

If your application is accepted you will be issued a restricted learners permit for either HR or HC. You will then be required to undertake a practical assessment in the class of vehicle you are applying for. This test can be conducted by an authorised/accredited instructor or a Police Officer.

Once you have successfully completed your practical driving test go to a Service SA Customer Service Centre to have your driver's licence issued with the new restricted class.

Restricted licence for harvesting purposes

An exemption from the minimum driving experience requirements for the issue of a class HR or HC licence class may be granted to farm workers who may be required to deliver produce from the farmer's property to a cattle market, rail siding, silo or other storage venue.

Any application for the issue of a restricted HR or HC licence to a farm worker is to be referred to the Manager, Licence Regulation for consideration and assessed on a case-by-case basis. In these cases, the applicant must be either:

  • at least 18 years of age and have held a class C licence for at least 12 months for the issue of a class HR
  • at least 19 years of age and have held a class C licence for at least two years for the issue of a class HC.

The following information will need to be included in the application:

  • the applicant's name, address, date of birth and licence number
  • the name and address of the applicant's employer (the farmer who operates the farming property) and the location of the property
  • a signed statement from the employer confirming the applicant's employment
  • the nature of the agricultural or horticultural pursuits in which the applicant will be engaged
  • the details of the vehicles that the applicant will be required to drive i.e. the registration numbers and Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) and Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of all trucks, truck/trailer combinations and articulated motor vehicles.

There is no application form for this type of exemption. To apply for an exemption, you'll need to provide all of the above information and post it to:

Licence Regulation Manager
Licence Regulation
Locked Bag 700
GPO Adelaide SA 5001

If your application is accepted you will be issued a restricted learners permit for either HR or HC. You will then be required to undertake a practical assessment in the class of vehicle you are applying for. This test may be conducted by an authorised/accredited instructor or a Police Officer.

Once you have successfully completed your practical driving test you must attend a Service SA Customer Service Centre to have your driver's licence issued with the new restricted class.

Further exemptions for restricted licences may be granted for other employment requiring heavy vehicle use, special purpose vehicles, fire trucks, motor trikes, farm tractors, farm machinery and self propelled agricultural machinery with a GVM exceeding 15 tonne. For information regarding exemptions for restricted licences for these purposes phone 13 10 84 or visit a Service SA Customer Service Centre

Removing a restriction

Once the holder of a restricted licence has held the licence for 12 months, the applicant may apply to have the restriction removed.

The procedure for the removal of the licence restriction is the same for a farm worker as an immediate family member of a primary producer.

If the original HR or HC practical driving test was conducted by a safety education officer or an authorised/accredited instructor, the applicant can apply to have the restriction removed after 12 months without the need to undertake a further practical driving test. The applicant is then issued with an unrestricted HR or HC licence class.

If the original HR or HC practical driving test was conducted by a police officer, the restricted licence holder needs to be re-tested by an authorised/accredited instructor, after 12 months.

More information on heavy vehicle licences can be found on the mylicence website


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Page last updated 10 February 2017

Provided by:
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/driving-and-transport/heavy-vehicles/getting-a-heavy-vehicle-licence
Last Updated:
10/02/17
Printed on:
29/05/17
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