Refusal provisions

The Tow Truck Industry Act 1998 and the Tow Truck Industry Regulation 2008 provide for applications to be refused on certain grounds.


There are mandatory grounds under which an application for a drivers certificate MUST be refused, and discretionary grounds, where Roads and Maritime Services has to make a decision, on a case by case basis, whether or not to approve the application.

If you are not sure if you can meet the eligibility criteria please contact the Roads and Maritime Enrolment Processing team on 1300 131 134 prior to submitting your application.

Mandatory grounds

Under Section 26(2) of the Tow Truck Industry Act 1998 (the Act), the mandatory grounds for refusing to grant an application for a drivers certificate are:

  1. That the applicant has, within the period of 10 years before the application for the drivers certificate was made:
    1. Been convicted, or
    2. Been found guilty (but with no conviction being recorded),

by a court in New South Wales or elsewhere of an offence prescribed by the regulations, whether or not the offence is an offence under New South Wales law and whether or not committed before the commencement of this section.

Under Clause 16 of the Tow Truck Industry Regulation 2008:

  1. For the purposes of section 26(2) (b) of the Act, the following offences are prescribed (regardless of whether they were committed in New South Wales):
    1. Any offence involving an assault of any kind against a person
    2. Any offence relating to the possession or use of a firearm or other weapon
    3. Any offence involving the supply or possession of a prohibited drug or the cultivation (for a commercial purpose), supply or possession of a prohibited plant, within the meaning of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985
    4. Any offence involving fraud, dishonesty or stealing
    5. Any offence involving robbery (whether armed or otherwise)
    6. Any offence involving the recruitment of another person to carry out or assist in carrying out a criminal activity within the meaning of section 351A of the Crimes Act 1900
    7. Any offence involving participation in a criminal group or participation in any criminal activity of a criminal group within the meaning of Division 5 or Part 3A of the Crimes Act 1900.

Being an offence in respect of which the penalty imposed was imprisonment for any period, a direction under a community service order that the offender perform community service work for 100 or more hours or a monetary penalty of $1,000 or more, or a combination of those penalties.

Imprisonment includes penal servitude, home detention, periodic detention or a suspended sentence of imprisonment.

Clause 18 Tow Truck Industry Regulation 2008

  1. For the purposes of section 26(4) of the Act, the grounds on which an application for a drivers certificate must be refused include any case in which:
    1. The applicant has been disqualified from holding a driver licence, or
    2. The applicant’s driver licence has been suspended or cancelled (other than for fine default under the Fines Act 1996)

      On more than one occasion during the period of three years before the application for a driver certificate was made.
  2. For the purposes of subclause (1), it does not matter that any of the periods of disqualification, suspension or cancellation occurred during only part of the three year period.

If you are not sure whether your driving record will stop you from being granted a tow truck drivers certificate, for a small fee, you can request your driving record online, or obtain a copy of your traffic history from any registry or service centre. This will show the dates of any suspensions and disqualifications on your licence.

Discretionary grounds

Section 26(3) of the Act

Roads and Maritime can refuse an application on discretionary grounds when:

  • The applicant is not, in the opinion of Roads and Maritime, a fit and proper person to hold a drivers certificate or is otherwise not competent to carry on the kind of towing work to which the proposed drivers certificate relates
  • The granting of a drivers certificate would, in the opinion of Roads and Maritime, be contrary to public interest.

Roads and Maritime must therefore consider your application, including any traffic or criminal matters which may appear on your record and any other matters about which Roads and Maritime is aware which are relevant to your application. Roads and Maritime must then determine that it is not contrary to the public interest for you to be granted a drivers certificate and that you are a fit and proper person to be the holder of a drivers certificate.

If you are unsure how these provisions may affect your application please discuss your application with a licensing officer on 1300 131 134 before lodging your application.

If you lodge an application which is subsequently refused you may be able to obtain a part refund of the application fee. Refunds are not considered until all avenues for appeal have been finalised.

Appeal provisions

If your application is refused on either mandatory or discretionary grounds you have the right to appeal this decision.

Firstly you may apply for an internal review of the decision. An application form for an internal review is included with the letter advising you that your application has been refused along with a statement of reasons for that decision.

An application for an internal review must be lodged with Roads and Maritime within 28 days of the receipt of the letter of refusal.

An internal review is conducted by another person in Roads and Maritime who was not involved in the original decision. Roads and Maritime must finalise an application for an internal review within 21 days of its receipt.

If you are still unhappy with the outcome of the internal review you can contact the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). This is a completely separate body which reviews administrative decisions made by many different government agencies.

Contact details for the NCAT are provided with the outcome of the internal review.

Roads and Maritime is unable to provide legal advice about your application. You should consult your own legal adviser for this information.

Further information

If you have any questions about the refusal provisions for a tow truck drivers certificate, please contact Roads and Maritime on 1300 131 134.

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