Heavy vehicle driving test

Need a heavy vehicle licence but can't access a Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment? Here's how you can still get your licence.

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Who is eligible?

There are some areas where the Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA) is unavailable. If this affects you, you may be eligible to take a heavy vehicle driving test with a Transport for NSW testing officer at a service centre.

To find out where you can take the test, call Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to take the heavy vehicle driving test you must:

  • have held a class C licence or equivalent for at least 1 year
  • pass the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test associated with the class of licence you are applying for
  • be applying for a heavy vehicle licence in classes Light Rigid (LR), Medium Rigid (MR) or Heavy Rigid (HR) or Heavy Combination (HC).

If you are applying for a class MC licence, you are not eligible to take a heavy vehicle driving test. Applicants for an MC licence must complete the HVCBA.

Note: Each class has minimum requirements you must meet to upgrade your licence to the next class. These requirements vary depending on the licence class. For more information, see Heavy vehicle licence classes.

What you need to take the test

Heavy Vehicle Driver Handbook

The Heavy Vehicle Driver Handbook is an informative resource that helps you understand the rules for heavy vehicles. It also outlines the obligations for heavy vehicle drivers.

Before attempting the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test, you must read the:

Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test

Before you can book your driving test, you must pass the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test.

You only need to attempt 1 of the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Tests:

  • Heavy vehicle rigid – take this test if you're applying for a LR, MR or HR class licence.
  • Heavy vehicle combination – take this test if you're applying for a HC or MC class licence.

To find out about the test and how to practise, see Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test.

Book the heavy vehicle driving test

When you are ready to take the test you can:

You will need to pay the test fee when you make the booking.

On the day of the test

You'll need to attend the service centre where you booked to take your heavy vehicle driving test.

You will need to:

Once you pass your driving test, you’ll need to pay the appropriate fee to upgrade your licence. For information about which fee you'll need to pay, see Heavy vehicle fees.

When you have paid the licence fee, your photo will be taken. Depending on which location you attend, your licence card will either be given to you on the same day, or posted to you. If it’s posted, you’ll receive a temporary paper licence you can use to drive a heavy vehicle until your new card arrives.

What happens during the test?

You'll take the heavy vehicle driving test with a Service NSW testing officer. The testing officer will check your performance on a number of different tasks covered in the Heavy Vehicle Driver Handbook (PDF, 1.46 MB).

Most of the checks are performed at specific locations along the test route. Some checks are assessed continuously during the test, such as your ability to use the vehicle controls.

The testing officer will mark a test sheet with either ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ for each check.

To pass the test you will need:

  • a score of at least 95%
  • no fail items.

If you do anything during the test that is unsafe or against the law, you will fail.

Examples of test checks

Some of the checks you’ll need to complete are:

  • braking to a line
  • maintaining safe buffer zones
  • selecting when to merge or enter a stream of traffic
  • observing and using mirrors
  • selecting appropriate speed and vehicle positioning when turning
  • coordinating gears, clutch, accelerator and other major controls
  • signalling correctly.

As part of the test, you’ll also need to describe to the testing officer a pre-departure check.

If you’re applying for an HC licence, you’ll also need to describe the process for coupling and uncoupling heavy combination vehicles.

Test manoeuvres

During the test, you’ll need to demonstrate particular manoeuvres for the type of vehicle you’re being tested in and the class of licence you’re applying for.

Manoeuvre Licence class and vehicle type
Long reverse MR truck, MR bus, HR truck, HC bus, HC
Bus stop skills MR bus, HR bus
Reverse park LR truck, LR bus, MR truck, MR bus, HR truck, HR bus, HC
U-turn (3-point turn) LR truck, LR bus
Kerbside stop LR truck, LR bus, MR truck, MR bus, HR truck, HR bus, HC
Pre-departure check MR truck, MR bus, HR truck, HR bus, HC
Coupling and uncoupling HC

Vehicles for the test

You must use your own vehicle when you take the heavy vehicle driving test.

It must be registered and roadworthy, and the right type of vehicle for the licence class you're applying for.

The vehicle you use for the test must also have a lap-sash retractable seat belt fitted to the front passenger seat for the assessor or testing officer. This requirement is not needed for MR and HR buses.

Vehicles for HR, HC and MC licence tests must meet these additional minimum requirements:

HR the test vehicle must be at least a 3-axle rigid vehicle with a GVM of more than 15 tonnes, excluding bobtail prime mover.

HC – the test vehicle must be at least a 3-axle prime mover with a minimum 2-axle semi-trailer, or a heavy rigid vehicle plus trailer over 9 tonnes GVM.

MC – the test vehicle must be at least a 3-axle prime mover with an A and B trailer, each with bogie axles. The vehicle must be B-double rated and a minimum of 22 metres in length, in B-double configuration.

Test vehicles must also be loaded to at least 75% of the maximum mass allowable for the vehicle, except for buses. For whichever is lowest, at least 75% of:

  • legal mass limit
  • the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) for rigid vehicles, or
  • the Gross Combination Mass (GCM) for articulated or heavy trailer combinations.

Vehicles that cannot be used for the test or assessment

The following vehicles must not be used for a driving test or HVCBA:

  • armoured security vehicles
  • vehicles carrying dangerous goods
  • vehicles carrying livestock
  • vehicles displaying Traders' number plates
  • vehicles that are not suitable for safe use
  • any heavy vehicle fitted with a dual accelerator or a dual steering wheel
  • buses carrying passengers
  • Special Purpose Vehicles.

Automaticsynchromesh condition

If you’re assessed in a vehicle with an automatic or synchromesh gearbox, a condition will be added to your licence. This means you’ll only be allowed to drive vehicles with a similar transmission.

To drive a vehicle with a constant mesh gearbox, you'll need to be tested or assessed in that type of vehicle.

In-cabin camera

In-cabin cameras are a requirement for any HVCBA Final Competency Assessment (FCA).

Applicants will be filmed when undergoing the FCA. This footage may be reviewed by an RTO.

RTOs are required by Transport for NSW to:

  • install a video camera in the cabin of the heavy vehicle to record the start and end of your FCA
  • notify you of the beginning and end of each FCA.
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