Site navigation
Department of Transport and Main Roads

Frequently asked questions about heavy vehicle national laws

Important changes to access permit application process

The Class 1 Oversize and Overmass (OSOM) road access permits are transferring to the>National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) on 16 December 2019.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator implemented a staged approach for the return of Class 1 heavy vehicle delegations in Queensland (QLD). The Agricultural delegations returned in August 2019 and the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) delegations in November 2019.

The final phase of the return is the Oversize and Overmass vehicles and permit functions will return from 16 December 2019. 

From this date forward, all Queensland permit applications and consent requests will be processed and completed utilising the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator NHVR Portal.

Current heavy vehicle permits issued by TMR will remain valid until the permit's expiry date, or for 3 years (whichever comes first), unless the permit is otherwise amended by the NHVR. 

For more information, please visit the Delegations Project page of the NHVR website.

Frequently asked questions about:

Access permits

Who do I apply to for my access permit?
All access permit applications must be submitted to the NHVR via the NHVR Portal.

I already have local government consent/pre-approval for my route. Can I continue to use this?
Existing local government pre-approvals can continue to be used for applications submitted to the NHVR. This must be attached with your access permit application. Your vehicle cannot travel on the pre-approved route until an access permit has been issued by the NHVR.

Can I still use my access permit issued before 16 December 2019?
Current heavy vehicle permits issued by the department will be valid until the permit's expiry date, or for 3 years—whichever comes first—unless the permit is otherwise amended by the NHVR.

Can I still operate under guidelines issued by the department?
Vehicles that previously operated under the department's guidelines now operate under a series of notices issued by the NHVR. Get more information about current national notices.

Enquiries regarding all access permit applications should be made to the NHVR on 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487) or

Enforcing the new law

Is industry working to a completely new set of rules under the HVNL?
No. The new laws are largely the same as the old Queensland legislation with just a few notable changes. The HVNL is a consolidation of the national model laws for heavy vehicles. The previous laws in place in each state and territory were generally based on those model laws.

What changes do I need to know about?
The biggest change under the HVNL is that drivers of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles in Queensland will now need to complete a work diary whenever they are working more than 100km from their base.

How will the HVNL be enforced?
There are no changes to on-road compliance and enforcement arrangements. Transport inspectors and police officers will continue to enforce heavy vehicle laws in Queensland.

Is it true that penalties will increase?
The HVNL establishes nationally consistent penalties for heavy vehicle offences in all participating jurisdictions (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania). The extent to which penalties have gone up or down depends on each state or territory.

In Queensland, the new penalties are generally in line with previous penalties. In certain cases, the maximum penalties for some of the more serious offences have increased, but infringement penalties for minor or administrative offences have decreased.

How do I find out about new penalties?
Information about penalties under the HVNL are available at the Queensland Legislation website. For offences attracting an infringement notice, the infringement penalty is 10% of the maximum penalty for the offence.

What happens if I get a fine?
If you receive a fine under the HVNL, you will still make payment or contest the infringement notice through the department's Offence Management Unit or another agency as per the instructions on the reverse of the ticket. Get more information about how to pay your fine.

How can I report non-compliant behaviour or make a complaint about compliance and enforcement activities?
Any reports of non-compliant behaviour or complaints about compliance and enforcement activities relating to heavy vehicles should be directed to the NHVR by email or phone 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487).

I received an infringement notice before the HVNL started, do I still need to pay it?
Yes—any infringement notices issued for offences against transport legislation continue to have effect even after the law changed.

Where can I get a copy of the new heavy vehicle laws?
The HVNL and regulations are available at the Queensland Legislation website.

Changes to the work diary

Why did the work diary change?
Changes to the national driver work diary were necessary to make sure the instruction pages aligned with the new requirements for how information is to be recorded under the HVNL. The changes also took into account feedback received from drivers and the industry about the need for clearer instructions. The new work diary is easier to complete and includes extra information and guidance about the fatigue laws.

When do I need to use a work diary?
When you are driving a fatigue regulated heavy vehicle you must carry and complete your work diary for all work undertaken in an area greater than 100km from your base, not 200km as before. You must continue to monitor your work and rest hours for all local area work (that is work less than 100km from your base), but you do not need to use a work diary to record those times.

Drivers must purchase a work diary before they commence their first work in an area greater than 100km radius from their base. They need to complete the daily page at every change and carry that work diary with them for at least 28 days from the date they were last required to complete it.

What is a fatigue related heavy vehicle?
A fatigue related heavy vehicle is:

  • a vehicle with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of over 12t
  • a combination when the total of the GVM is over 12t
  • buses over 4.5t fitted to carry more than 12 adults (including the driver)
  • a truck, or a combination including a truck, with a GVM of over 12t with a machine or implement attached.

Some heavy vehicles are not classed as fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles. These include trams, motor vehicles modified to primarily operate as a machine or implement (plant such as agricultural machinery, bulldozers, tractors, etc.) and motor homes specifically modified for residential purposes (not just built with a sleeper berth).

Are there any exemptions to the 100km radius from base requirement?
From 1 June 2014, drivers of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles carrying out primary production in Queensland are not required to carry and record information in a work diary if they are working within a 160km radius of their base. Primary production means:

  • cultivation of land to sell its produce
  • maintenance of animals (including birds) to sell them or their produce
  • keeping of bees to sell their honey or other apiary products
  • transporting animals/produce in connection with the sale of animals/produce.

Get more information about the primary production exemption.

Where can I purchase the new national driver work diary?
Sale locations of the work diary have not changed, you are still able to purchase one through the same agencies as you could before the new laws commenced.

In Queensland, work diaries are available from customer service centres, Queensland Government Agent Program offices, and some regional police stations Drivers must apply for a work diary in person—they can't be purchased online or by a third party on their behalf.

How much does the new work diary cost?
The new national work diary costs $25 (including GST).

Do I need to replace my current work diary straight away?
No—drivers with an existing work diary have 6 months from the commencement of the HVNL to change to the new national work diary. So you can continue to use your old work diary until it is filled up or for 6 months from 10 February 2014—which ever comes first. From 10 August 2014, you must have started to use the new national work diary.

Do I need to change the way I fill in my existing work diary?
If you have a work diary issued before the HVNL commenced, you should continue to complete it according to the instruction pages in the front of the work diary.

However, despite anything written in the instructions of your existing work diary, you must comply with the requirements of the new law including completing a record of all work and rest hours on any days when you drive outside a 100km radius from your base, not the 200km radius as per the instructions in your existing work diary.

How do I fill in the new work diary?
The way you complete your new work diary is not significantly different from the way you would have completed your old one. For new users, there are instructions and example pages in the front of the new work diary which will help you fill it in.

What changes are there to filling in the new work diary?
The new national work diary makes recording work and rest easier in a number of ways:

  • drivers only have to record their vehicle registration once on their daily sheet, unless they change vehicles during the shift
  • operator’s Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management accreditation number is recorded once at the front of the work diary, not on every page.
  • solo drivers no longer have to record the state or territory where their licence was issued
  • the ‘two-up work’ line has been removed and a single line to mark two-up work has been included
  • for two-up driving, you record the other driver’s daily sheet page number as well as the work diary number
  • there is a notes line for drivers to record relevant information and a space so drivers can calculate work and rest hours if they want to.

Can I still operate under a work diary exemption?
Under the HVNL, only drivers operating under standard hours are eligible for work diary exemptions, including literacy exemptions. Although this is a change for some Queensland drivers who hold Basic Fatigue Management accreditation, it is consistent with the rules in other states.

Existing exemption holders may continue to drive in accordance with the terms and conditions of that exemption until the existing exemption expires, or is otherwise amended, suspended or cancelled. Eligible standard hours drivers who have an ongoing need for an exemption will need to apply to the NHVR for a new exemption in line with the requirements of the new law when their current exemption expires.

Where can I get more information about fatigue and work diaries?
Get more information about fatigue management.

Doing business with the NHVR and the department

What services do the NHVR provide?
The NHVR is responsible for:

  • heavy vehicle access permit applications (get information about exclusions)
  • vehicle standards exemption notices and permits
  • national heavy vehicle accreditation scheme approvals
  • performance-based standards scheme vehicle design and access approvals
  • administration of the national driver work diary.

How do I contact the NHVR?
Find the NHVR contact details.

Is there any heavy vehicle related business I will continue to do with the department?
Now the NHVR has taken over the regulation of most heavy vehicle operations, in most instances the NHVR will be your first and primary contact. However, you will continue to deal directly with the department for some matters, including:

  • heavy vehicle registration
  • driver licensing 
  • booking heavy vehicle inspections
  • dangerous goods regulation
  • road rules
  • drink and drug driving
  • accreditation of vehicle inspection stations and approval of vehicle examiners 
  • enrolling in the Intelligent Access Program.

Can I still do business at Transport and Main Roads customer service centres?
You can still do much of your heavy vehicle business (for services provided by the department) at customer service centres and Queensland Government Agent Program offices. Services include:

  • paying heavy vehicle registration fees
  • renewing driver licences
  • booking heavy vehicle inspections
  • paying fines.

You are also able to purchase national driver work diaries from customer service centres.

How do I contact the department?
Find Transport and Main Roads' contact details.

Will transport inspectors and Queensland police officers enforce the HVNL?
Transport inspectors and police officers will continue to enforce heavy vehicle laws in Queensland.

If you receive a fine under the HVNL, you will still make payment or contest the infringement notice through the department'sOffence Management Unit, or another agency as per the instructions on the reverse of the ticket. Get more information about how to pay your fine.

Vehicle Standards under the new law

Are vehicle standards matters now dealt with by the NHVR?
Under the HVNL, the NHVR is responsible for administering most vehicle standards matters relating to heavy vehicles. Vehicle standards services to be offered by the NHVR include:

  • Vehicle Standards Exemption Notices (issue and amendment)
  • Vehicle Standards Exemption Permits (issue and amendment)
  • reviewable decisions for the above
  • vehicle modifications.

Get more information about vehicle standards services provided by the NHVR.

Is there any vehicle standards related business I will continue to do with the department?
Vehicle registration, the inspection of vehicles for registration purposes and certificates of inspection are still conducted by the department.

Also, for the clearance of defect notices, operators are still required to deal with approved inspection stations or Transport and Main Roads.

Will approved inspection station operators be governed by the NHVR?
The NHVR has developed a National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM). The National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM) provides authorised officers and industry with consistent criteria for heavy vehicle inspections. The use of the NHVIM will ensure a nationally consistent approach to improve vehicle standards compliance and help reduce vehicle downtime.

Publication of the NHVIM provides inspectors and operators access to the same standards and criteria for which vehicles will be inspected nationally. Developed with extensive industry consultation, all participating states and territories have adopted the NHVIM into their inspection regimes.

Get more information about NHVR vehicle standards.

Last updated 05 September 2023