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Registration of Heavy Vehicles (Qld)

From 1 July 2018, the National Heavy Vehicle Registration Scheme will apply to all heavy vehicles registered in Queensland. Heavy vehicles means vehicles and trailers more than 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM) or aggregate trailer mass (ATM). The scheme is designed to provide consistency across jurisdictions and avert the need for number plates to be changed when switching registration of a heavy vehicle between states.

The scheme does not apply to:

  • Vehicles registered under conditional registration, which applies to non-standard vehicles that have limited access to the road network, such as tractors and forklifts;
  • Vehicles registered under the special interest vehicle schemes, which apply to classic, vintage or historic vehicles.
  • It does not apply to farm plate or Queensland fire and rescue vehicles.

What is the National Heavy Vehicles Registration Scheme?

  • Under the scheme, vehicles will be issued with a national number plate;
  • National heavy vehicle number plates will be transferable between jurisdictions when transferring registration between states and territories;
  • Heavy vehicles will not have to display a registration label.

Heavy vehicles are no longer being issue with standard number plates. Operators of heavy vehicles that are already registered in Queensland do not have to swap their number plate for  a national number plate but can choose to do so. If you are registering a new heavy vehicle, renewing the registration or replacing the number plates of a heavy vehicle, you must obtain a national number plate. You must also obtain a national number plate is you are transferring the registration of a heavy vehicle to Queensland from another jurisdiction. When your national number plate is issued, you must surrender your old number plates.

Federal Interstate Registration Scheme

Operators with heavy vehicles registered under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme must transition to the National Heavy Vehicle Registration Scheme when their registration is due for renewal or can choose to do so earlier. There is no fee for obtaining a national heavy vehicle number plates if you are transitioning from the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme.

Heavy Vehicle Registration Charges

The Transport and Infrastructure Council periodically determines the process for calculating the fees that must be charged to heavy vehicles. However, not all jurisdictions apply consistent heavy vehicle charges. A range of concessions is available on registration fees for vehicles used for specified purposes set out in Division 4 Concessional registration fees for category 2 vehicles of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Registration) Regulation (2010). A person using a heavy vehicle for such a purpose may apply for concessional registration.

The registration costs that apply to heavy vehicles are set out here.

The registration fee for a heavy vehicle depends on both the type of vehicle and the number of axles. The charge code listed on a heavy vehicle’s registration reflects the vehicle type and the number of axles. The charge codes are listed here.

National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme

The National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme is a voluntary scheme which sets minimum standards for heavy vehicle operation to improve safety in the industry. The standards require drivers to remain in a fit state to operate vehicles and to undergo regular health assessments with a focus on sleep disorders and substance abuse. Drivers must undergo such assessments every three years when they are under 50 and every year once they are over 50. Heavy vehicle operators must also ensure their drivers attend assessments regularly and remain certified fit to drive.

Heavy vehicle operators can obtain Trucksafe accreditation from the Australian Trucking Association to demonstrate their compliance with minimum standards for vehicle maintenance and healthy and well-trained drivers.  Such accreditation assures customers that a company has safe work practices and allows companies to show they are meeting their due diligence requirements.

If you require assistance with a traffic law matter please contact Go To Court Lawyers. 


Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection, domestic violence and family law in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

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