One of the most common speed-bumps on the road to Recreational Vehicle (RV) ownership is uncertainty around licensing. While this ought to be a consideration for anyone who’s looking to purchase a motorhome, it need not be something that gets between you and your dream trip.
Any vehicle that weighs more than 4.5 tonnes requires a special licence in all Australian states.
Licensing, tests, training and so forth is administered by state and territory road authorities, according to categories specified by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), which makes it easy to wrap your head around.
Heavy vehicle licenses fall into five classes:
- Small trucks that have a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) over 4.5 tonnes but not over 8 tonnes, and any trailer towed must not have a GVM over 9 tonnes
- Any vehicle with 2 axles with a GVM over 8 tonnes, any trailer towed must not have a GVM over 9 tonnes.
- Heavy Rigid (HR)Trucks and buses with a GVM over eight tonnes and three or more axles, any trailer towed must not have a GVM over 9 tonnes. This category also covers articulated buses with three or more axles.
- Heavy Combination and Multi-combinationTrucks ranging from articulated with more than three axles to road trains and B-doubles, unlikely to be applicable to any commercially available motorhome.
- Most campervans require nothing more than a regular car, or ‘Class C’ licence, and there are few motorhomes which exceed the LR and MR specifications.
Acquiring LR or MR licenses
First up, you’ll need to have had a full driver’s licence (Class C) for at least a year. The tests vary from state to state, but you’ll need to pass a written test that clarifies your knowledge or road rules as they apply to heavy vehicles, and you’ll need to pass a driving test.
By far the easiest way to take care of the whole process is to enrol with one of the many certified courses around the country. These generally last for one or two days, covering instruction on both the theory and practical components, as well as the tests themselves.
For more information on your state’s Heavy Vehicle Licensing, visit the relevant website:
- ACT – accesscanberra.act.gov.au
- NSW – rms.nsw.gov.au
- NT – nt.gov.au/driving
- QLD – qld.gov.au/transport
- SA – mylicence.sa.gov.au
- TAS – transport.tas.gov.au
- VIC – vicroads.vic.gov.au
- WA – transport.wa.gov.au
Or visit nhvr.gov.au