All States and Territories in Australia have a uniform driver licence system.
The licence classes are:
LR Light Rigid
MR Medium Rigid
HR Heavy Rigid
HC Heavy Combination
A 'Class C' licence covers vehicles up to 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM)
GVM is the maximum recommended weight a vehicle can be when loaded.
A 'Class C' Licence allows you to drive cars, utilities, vans, some light trucks, car-based motor tricycles, tractors and implements such as graders.
You can also drive vehicles that seat up to 12 adults, including the driver.
Motorcycle riders require a 'Class R' licence.
Rigid vehicle licences
Different licence classes are required by drivers of rigid vehicles:
- A Light Rigid 'Class LR' covers a rigid vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes but not more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. Also includes vehicles with a GVM up to 8 tonnes which carry more than 12 adult including the driver and vehicles in class 'C'.
Note: There are no restrictions on the number of axles for this class of licence.
- A Medium Rigid 'Class MR' covers a rigid vehicle with 2 axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. Also includes vehicles in class 'LR'.
- A Heavy Rigid 'Class HR' covers a rigid vehicle with 3 or more axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. Also includes articulated buses and vehicles in class 'MR'.
If driving passengers for a fare or other form of payment, a Public Passenger Vehicle Driver Authority issued by the Ministry of Transport is required.
Articulated and combination vehicles
Different licences are required for driving different types of articulated vehicles:
- A 'Class HC' Licence covers heavy combination vehicles like a prime mover towing a semi-trailer, or rigid vehicles towing a trailer with a GVM of more than 9 tonnes. Also includes vehicles in class 'HR'.
- A 'Class MC' Licence covers multi-combination vehicles like Road Trains and B-Double Vehicles. Also includes vehicles in class 'HC'.
Medical standards for commercial drivers
The medical standards for drivers of commercial vehicles are set by the National Transport Commission and AUSTROADS, and are set out in AUSTROADS 'Assessing Fitness to Drive'.
For those applying for heavy vehicle licence classes MR (Medium Rigid), HR (Heavy Rigid), HC (Heavy Combination) or MC (Multi Combination), it is strongly recommended that you ensure that you meet the medical requirements before commencing any training or tests for a heavy vehicle licence.
The driver of a vehicle carrying paying passengers (such as a school bus or tourist coach) requires:
- An appropriate driver licence.
- A Public Passenger Vehicle Driver Authority which is issued by the Ministry of Transport.
For information regarding taxi and hire car matters, contact Transport for NSW