A heavy vehicle has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) or aggregate trailer mass (ATM) of more than 4.5 tonnes. 

There are five types of heavy vehicles. Each heavy vehicle type requires a specific driver's licence.

If you want to get your heavy vehicle licence you must follow these steps:

Step 1. Learn to drive that type of heavy vehicle.

Step 2. In some cases, pass a heavy vehicle theory test.

Step 3. Pass a driving assessment in an approved vehicle.

Theory and practical test results remain valid for 12 months from the date of assessment.

If you do not upgrade your licence within this period you will need to sit your test again.

Theory test

If you need to do a heavy vehicle theory test, study the heavy vehicle driver's handbook along with the road user's handbook and the load restraint guide.

To prepare for the theory test, you can take a practice driver knowledge test. Read the list of questions you might be asked (2.8 mb).

Learning to drive

When learning to drive a heavy vehicle, you must be accompanied by an appropriately licensed person occupying the seat next to the driver, or in the case of buses, the seat nearest the driver.

You must display a DRIVER UNDER INSTRUCTION sign at the rear of the vehicle. The sign must be at least 530mm wide and 300mm high with DRIVER UNDER INSTRUCTION in black writing, at least 75mm high and on a yellow background.


All drivers of vehicles with a GVM greater than 15 tonnes must have a zero blood alcohol concentration.

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Last updated: 03 August 2018