Registration and licensing statistics - glossary of terms

Registration terms

  • Motor vehicles that are built to carry 10 or more persons including the driver that weigh over 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Plant that is over 4.5 tonnes GVM. This category primarily consists of earthwork plants, mobile cranes, roadwork plants, fork-lifts and industrial plants which weigh more than 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Heavy trailers are defined as trailers that are more than 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Motor vehicles constructed for load carrying that weigh over 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Heavy vehicles are defined as those over 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Plant that is less than or equal to 4.5 tonnes GVM. This category primarily consists of tractors, fork-lifts, earthwork plants, roadwork plants, agricultural plants and industrial plants which weigh no more than 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Light trailers are defined as trailers that are less than or equal to 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Motor vehicles constructed for load carrying (including panel vans and utilities) that weigh up to 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Light vehicles are defined as those less than or equal to 4.5 tonnes GVM.
  • Motorised vehicles (excluding caravans) that contain an area primarily used for accommodation.
  • Two- or three-wheeled motor vehicles (excluding three-wheeled cars) including mopeds and motorcycles with sidecars or side-boxes.
  • Motor vehicles designed with special features for off-road operation as defined by the Australian Design Rules that contain up 9 seats.
  • Includes snow vehicles, three-wheeled cars, hearse, invalid conveyance and all-terrain vehicles.
  • Motor vehicles that are built to carry people. Includes sedans, station wagons, coupes, convertibles.
  • Motor vehicles that are built to carry people, seat 6 to 8 passengers (including the driver).
  • Motor vehicles that are built to carry people, seat more than 6 persons (including the driver) and weigh up to 4.5 tonnes GVM. Includes passenger vans but excludes people movers.
  • There are two types of plant vehicles: (a) plant built on a truck chassis which has machinery permanently attached to it; and (b) 'implement' type plant which is not built on a truck chassis, such as excavators, road graders, bulldozers and forklifts.
  • The forward or hauling sections of articulated vehicles.
  • Two-wheeled motor vehicles with a step-through design incorporating a platform for placement of feet, as per the VFACTS vehicle definition as nominated by manufacturers. Most, but not all scooters have an engine capacity of less than 250cc.

Licensing terms

  • Class C (Car, old Class 1A) authorises the licence holder to drive any vehicle with a GVM of up to 4.5 tonnes and vehicles that can seat up to 12 persons (including the driver). It also authorises the licence holders to operate any tractor or implement.
  • Class HC (Heavy Combination, old Class 5A or 5B) is a National Heavy Vehicle Driver Licence. It authorises the licence holder to drive any prime mover towing a semi trailer or rigid vehicle towing a trailer with a GVM of more than 9 tonnes. Also includes vehicles in Class HR.
  • Class HR (Heavy Rigid, old Class 3B or 4B) is a National Heavy Vehicle Driver Licence. It authorises the licence holder to drive any rigid vehicle with 3 or more axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not have a GVM of more than 9 tonnes. Also includes heavy rigid buses and vehicles in Class MR.
  • Class LR (Light Rigid, old Class 1B) authorises the licence holder to drive any vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes but not more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not have a GVM of more than 9 tonnes. Also includes vehicles with a GVM of up to 8 tonnes which carry more than 12 adults (including the driver) and vehicles in Class C.
  • Class MC (Multi-Combination, old Class 5C) is a National Heavy Vehicle Driver Licence. It authorises the licence holder to drive any B-Double or Road Train. Also includes vehicles in Class HC.
  • Class MR (Medium Rigid, old Class 3A or 4A) authorises the licence holder to drive any vehicle with 2 axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not have a GVM of more than 9 tonnes. Also includes vehicles in Class LR.
  • Class R (Motorcycle Rider, old Class R) authorises the licence holder to ride any motorcycle. Special engine and power restrictions apply to holders of learner and provisional rider licences.
  • Learner (Green) licences are issued to people learning to drive or ride. A Class C learner licence lasts for three years and a Class R learner licence lasts for 6 months. Special restrictions apply to learner licence holders. Learner licence may be issued to drivers who wish to learn to ride a motorcycle or motorcycle riders who wish to learn to drive. They may also be issued to existing licence holders who have failed aged driving tests.
  • National Heavy Vehicle Driver Licences (Magenta) are issued to holders of licence classes HR, HC and MC. They were introduced to help ensure that one driver has only one licence and not holding multiple licences from different States or Territories. The licence may be issued for 1,3 or 5 years.
  • New licences are licences issued to people who enter into the NSW licensing system during the current year. These include licences issued to driver learners, rider learners, holders of interstate licences and holders of overseas licences.
  • Provisional P1 (Red) licences are provisional stage 1 licences. They are issued to new drivers and riders who have not previously held a licence other than a learner licence in NSW or elsewhere for a continuous period of 12 months or more. The licence lasts for 18 months and special restrictions apply to the holders.
  • Provisional P2 (Red) licences are provisional stage 2 licences. They are issued to drivers who have progressed from provisional P1 licences or who have not previously held a licence other than a learner licence in NSW or elsewhere for a continuous period of three years or more. The licence lasts for 30 months and special restrictions apply to the holders.
  • Some Organs refers to kidneys, corneas, liver, pancreas, skin, bone, heart and lungs.

NSW Photo Card terms

  • Issue type can be:
    • Original – a newly issued NSW Photocard
    • Replacement – of a card that has been lost, stolen or damaged etc.
  • The NSW Photo Card (NSWPC) was introduced in December 2005 to replace the Proof of Age (POA) Card. The NSWPC is a voluntary identification card for people who do not hold a current driver licence or other form of photo identification to help them prove who they are.

Driver and rider testing terms

  • The practical test administered to drivers aged over 85 (or 75 if recommended by a GP) wishing to maintain an unrestricted NSW driver licence without licence conditions.
  • Total tests attempted = Passes + Fails. In the case of the aged driving test, drivers must redo the test every 2 years and the attempt count starts afresh each time.
  • A computer-based assessment combining a knowledge test of road safety-related situations and a hazard perception test of the candidate’s ability to recognise hazardous situations. Required to progress from a P2 driver licence to an unrestricted driver licence.
  • The practical driving test conducted by Driver Testers
  • Courses of training and assessment conducted by 3rd party providers to Roads and Maritime Services.
  • A computer-based test of the candidate’s ability to recognise hazardous situations. Required to progress from a P1 driver licence to a P2 licence.
  • Language spoken by the interpreter where the candidate was assisted to attempt a computer-based test. These tests are conducted in English.
  • Computer-based test required to issue a new Learner licence. Different tests correspond to different licence types:
    • Driver Knowledge Test (DKT or C Knowledge Test)
    • Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Tests
    • Rider Knowledge Test (R Knowledge Test)
    See Licensing glossary of terms for further information.
  • Passes / Passes + Fails. Does not include results such as cancellations, non attendances, terminates etc, where the candidate did not attempt the test or the test was terminated beyond the control of the candidate.
  • Test required to remove the ‘Automatic Use’ only condition from a licence.
  • Count of completed tests, i.e. only those where a pass or fail was recorded. Does not include courses or 3rd party administered tests.
  • Language in which the computer-based test was conducted. Tests are available in a number of major languages.

Mobility Parking Scheme terms

  • Issue type can be:
    • Issue – a newly issued MPS card
    • Renewal – of an individual or temporary card after 5 years or temporary card after expiry (up to 6 months)
    • Replacement – of a card that has been lost, stolen or damaged etc
    • Additional – A person who is eligible for an Individual MPS card, and who has registered, either in their name only or joint names, an open style of vehicle such as a sports car (CONV), motorcycle or motor tricycle in addition to a standard style of vehicle can be issued two separate MPS cards
    • Organisations and customers who have a temporary card cannot apply for dual cards.
  • This is a parking scheme for people with disabilities that affect their mobility.
  • The Mobility Parking permit class may be:
    • Individual - Issued for a period of 5 years to eligible people with permanent disabilities affecting their mobility, who drive vehicles or who are passengers in vehicles
    • Temporary - Issued for up to six months to eligible people with temporary disabilities affecting their mobility, who drive vehicles or who are passengers in vehicles
    • Organisation - Issued to organisations that have been assessed by Roads and Maritime Services as meeting a genuine need to transport eligible people.
  • The tables are split into:
    • Section 1 – MPS permits on issue in NSW. These are counts of MPS permits that are active as at a given date
    • Section 2 – MPS permits that are issued, renewed or replaced during a given month.

Driver and rider suspensions and cancellations terms

  • Roads and Maritime Services may suspend or cancel a licence for administrative reasons such as dishonoured payments, failing a driving test or holding multiple licences.
  • Action taken against a NSW Driver or Rider licence to terminate driving/riding privileges for reasons of law enforcement, medical, administrative reasons. (Fine default, Excess Speed and Demerit Point licence cancellations ceased prior to the year 2000).
  • If one of the above speeding offences also takes a driver to or over their demerit points threshold, they will also be subject to an additional period of suspension on the grounds of demerit points. There are, therefore, two separate periods of suspension to be served which are combined unless the licence holder elects to serve a good behaviour period in place of the demerit point suspension.
  • Certain traffic offences attract a specified number of demerit points and Roads and Maritime Services must add the specified demerit points when it records the offence on the offender’s record. If a licence holder reaches or exceeds the threshold number that applies for their type of licence in any three-year period, Roads and Maritime Services is required to send a notice of suspension. The three-year period is based on the dates the offences were committed.
  • Roads and Maritime Services suspends an unrestricted licence for a period of three to five months if the licence holder accrues a total of 13 (from 31/1/2011) or more demerit points within any three-year period, calculated between the dates of the offences. The period for which a customer's unrestricted licence is suspended depends on the number of demerit points the customer gets in a three-year period.
  • Law Enforcement action taken against an individual by a court of Law to remove driving/riding privileges for a defined period of time.
  • If a driver commits the offence of 'exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h', Roads and Maritime Services suspends the licence for six months and applies six demerit points to the licence. If a driver commits the offence of 'exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h but not more than 45km/h', Roads and Maritime Services suspends the licence for three months and applies five demerit points to the licence.
  • Unpaid fines are referred to the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) by the police and the courts. If the SDRO does not collect payment for the fine, the SDRO instructs Roads and Maritime Services to cancel or suspend the offender's licence. The suspension remains in force until the SDRO instructs Roads and Maritime Services to lift it.
  • The option to elect to be of good behaviour applies only to suspension action against an unrestricted licence on the grounds of demerit points. The Good Behaviour Period is for 12 months. If the licence holder gets 2 or more demerit points during the Good Behaviour Period, their licence is suspended for twice the period that would have applied if the customer had not elected to be of Good Behaviour.
  • If a licensee fails a medical examination, Roads and Maritime Services may cancel or suspend their licence. Roads and Maritime Services can also cancel or suspend a licence if a licensee fails to do an annual driving test or a driving test specifically ordered to determine their medical condition and driving competency.
  • The police can suspend the driver licence of a person who commits any of the following offences:
    • causing death or grievous bodily harm by the use of a motor vehicle
    • driving with middle or high range prescribed content of alcohol
    • refusing a breath analysis
    • refusing to give a blood sample
    • travelling in excess of 45km/h over the speed limit
    • a street racing offence
    • an aggravated burnout offence
    • travelling in excess of 30km/h but not more than 45km/h over the speed limit whilst the holder of a learner or provisional licence
    • driving unaccompanied by a supervising driver whilst the holder of a learner licence.
    Where a person is charged with a relevant offence, the suspension will remain in place until such time as the charge is heard and determined by a court.
  • Suspension of driving/riding privileges for a period of time for law enforcement, medical, administrative or fine default reasons.

Other terms

  • Vehicles used for non-specific business purposes.
  • Registrations transferred between organisations, excluding those included in 'Other Transfers'.
  • Registrations transferred from organisations to licensed motor dealers.
  • Registrations transferred from organisations to individual registered operators.
  • Registrations transferred from licensed motor dealers to organisations.
  • Registrations transferred between licensed motor dealers.
  • Registrations transferred from licensed motor dealers to individual registered operators.
  • Establish registration refers to the process of adding a vehicle to the RMS registration system. Vehicles that have never been registered before are classified 'new'. A vehicle that has been registered before, whether in New South Wales, in other Australian States and Territories, or overseas, or has had its New South Wales registration lapsed is classified 'second-hand'.
  • Vehicles registered in NSW under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS). This is an Australia-wide registration scheme for vehicles used solely for interstate trade.
  • The maximum laden weight at which the manufacturer recommends the vehicle be operated.
  • Local government areas (LGAs) are districts under the control of local government municipal or shire councils. They are composed of one or more postcodes. Where LGAs share a postcode, statistics have been adjusted according to the ABS Postal Area to the 2010 Statistical Local Area Concordance.
  • All vehicle types except trailers.
  • Registrations transferred to or from certain organisations including State and Federal Government departments, authorities and trusts (e.g. State Rail Authority, State Transit Authority, NSW Fire Brigade and Bush Fire Brigade, Aboriginal Land Council, municipal and shire councils and consular corps).
  • Includes vehicles held for resale by a licensed motor dealer, vehicles used by community welfare organisations, ambulances, tow trucks, road work vehicles, fire fighting vehicles, etc.
  • Vehicles whose registered operators receive Commonwealth Department of Social Security or Veterans' Affairs pensions.
  • Vehicles whose registered operators are primary producers who are entitled to concessional registration. These vehicles are used mainly for carting goods that the primary producers produce or use in their businesses.
  • Registrations transferred from individual registered operators to organisations.
  • Registrations transferred from individual registered operators to licensed motor dealers.
  • Registrations transferred between individual registered operators.
  • Vehicles used substantially for social, pleasure or domestic purposes.
  • Includes charter buses, licensed public buses not let for hire, privately owned buses or tour vehicles for hire and buses operated by the State Transit Authority.
  • The person or organisation whose name appears on the certificate of registration and who is considered responsible for the vehicle when it is on roads and road related areas. The registered operator of a vehicle may be the vehicle owner, however, this is not always the case. Being identified as the registered operator on a vehicle's certificate of registration does not constitute proof of vehicle ownership.
  • Registration renewal is the process of continuing a registration without allowing it to lapse for longer than three months
  • Vehicles that are authorised by the NSW Department of Transport to stand for hire on a road and road related area for the carriage of passengers for payment.
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