NSW licence requirements for drivers of low loader dolly combinations

Roads and Maritime Services is reminding truck drivers that a Multi Combination (MC) class licence is required to drive low loader dolly with low loader trailer combinations.

The National Driver Licensing Scheme requires an MC class licence for drivers of low loader combinations incorporating a prime mover, low loader dolly and low loader trailer.

Roads and Maritime is committed to ensuring all truck drivers hold the correct licence for the vehicle they are operating to ensure the safety of all road users.  Registered operators of heavy vehicles driven by unlicenced drivers may face fines and possible insurance issues in the event of an incident.

An implementation period to transition to the MC licence class was provided to industry last year.  In order to further assist businesses operating in NSW, Roads and Maritime is encouraging anyone still having difficulties meeting their MC class licence requirement to contact Roads and Maritime on (02) 8588 5523 to discuss their individual needs.

Drivers who need to upgrade to an MC class licence can contact a Roads and Maritime accredited Registered Training Provider to discuss any specific training requirements and enrolment information.  Details of accredited providers can be found at (Registered Training Providers web address).

Roads and Maritime will continue to carry out a risk assessment for each driver detected as being non-compliant and issue a formal warning to first time offenders if assessed as appropriate in the circumstances.

Note – some Australian jurisdictions have departed from the nationally agreed licence classes and permit HC licence holders to drive prime mover, low loader dolly and low loader trailer combinations.  Under mutual recognition provisions, NSW is required to recognise these licences.

Why enforce the MC class licence?

As a regulatory body, Roads and Maritime is responsible for setting standards, ensuring compliance, and enforcement for the safety of all road, harbour and waterway users.

Enforcing this licencing requirement is consistent with the agreed national licence classes, stated in Clause 7 of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2008 and also part of Roads and Maritime’s responsibility.

What is the difference between a HC and MC class licence?

An MC class licence allows you to drive all types of vehicles except motorcycles.

MC class licence holders can drive a low loader combination consisting of a low loader trailer connected to a low loader dolly that is attached to a prime mover, B-double, road train and any other vehicle included in the heavy combination (HC) to class C licence classes, excluding motorcycles.

Prime mover attached to a semi-trailer
Rigid vehicle towing a trailer

HC licence class holders can also drive any vehicle in the heavy rigid (HR) to C licence classes, excluding motorcycles.

MC class licence holders can drive a low loader combination consisting of a low loader trailer connected to a low loader dolly that is attached to a prime mover, B-double, road train and any other vehicle included in the heavy combination (HC) to class C licence classes, excluding motorcycles.

Low loader trailer connected to a low loader dolly attached to a prime mover
B-double
Road train

Heavy Combination (HC) licence class holders can drive any prime mover attached to a semi-trailer or a rigid vehicle towing a trailer with a gross vehicle mass of more than nine tonnes plus any unladen converter dolly.

Prime mover attached to a semi-trailer
Rigid vehicle towing a trailer

HC licence class holders can also drive any vehicle in the heavy rigid (HR) to C licence classes, excluding motorcycles.



How would I get an MC class licence?

To apply for a MC class licence, drivers must:

  • Have held a class HR or HC licence or equivalent for at least one year
  • Pass an MC knowledge test
  • Pass an eyesight test
  • Pass a medical examination
  • Complete Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment(HVCBA)  a Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment .

Note: HVCBA Drivers can’t practice to drive an MC vehicle until an HR or HC licence has been held for at least one year.

Roads and Maritime is urging heavy vehicle drivers to check they hold the appropriate licence class and discuss training requirements with an accredited training provider or their employer.

Find Registered Training Organisations Registered Training Organisations accredited by Roads and Maritime Services to provide Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment.

How will the MC class licence be enforced?

Roads and Maritime and NSW Police enforce this regulatory requirement. Drivers are considered unlicensed if they do not hold an MC class licence when driving a low loader combination and the vehicle will be grounded.  Roads and Maritime will assist the driver in contacting the operator and making arrangements for the vehicle and load to continue on the journey.

In order to further assist businesses operating in NSW, Roads and Maritime will continue to carry out a risk assessment for each driver detected as being non-compliant and may issue formal warnings to first-time offenders.  Those detected without an appropriate licence may risk heavy fines.

Will this affect interstate licensed drivers?

Some Australian jurisdictions have departed from the nationally agreed licence classes and permit HC licence holders to drive prime mover, low loader dolly and low loader trailer combinations.  Under mutual recognition provisions, NSW will recognise these licences.

What is the penalty?

A penalty notice fine of $637 applies for a first offence and $1,275 applies for a second or subsequent offence for anyone caught with an inappropriate class of licence.

The fine system is designed to influence behaviour by making sure individuals take responsibility for actions which break the law.



What are my options if I receive a fine?

If you receive a fine, you can:

  1. Pay the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) in full either:
  2. Make part payment, provided it is paid in full by the due date on the penalty reminder notice
  3. Request a review either online or by post if there were special circumstances and attaching documentary evidence
  4. Take the matter to court either online or by post.
    Note: Courts may impose additional costs.

The SDRO is the fines division of the Office of State Revenue. It is responsible for the receipt and processing of fines and fees issued by various government agencies and authorities, and administering the fines enforcement system for the collection of unpaid fines and fees.

What happens if I don’t finalise my fine?

If you do not finalise your fine by the due date on the Penalty Reminder Notice, SDRO will issue an Overdue Fine Notice adding additional costs.

Also if you do not pay or finalise the fine by the due date on the reminder notice, SDRO will begin enforcement action by issuing an enforcement order. The enforcement order will have an additional $65 fee applied and if the enforcement order remains unpaid by the due date, further costs may be added.

Road train: MC class licence

More information

See Heavy vehicle licences for more information.

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