Bus accreditation and registration

The bus operator accreditation and registration schemes have been simplified and consolidated into one accreditation system. These changes will come into effect on 1 March 2022.

Read about the changes to the Bus Safety Act and proposed amendments to the Bus Safety Regulations on the Department of Transport consultation page.

Anyone wishing to operate a bus service in Victoria with seating positions for 10 or more adults (including the driver) must be either accredited or registered. This includes community and courtesy bus services provided free of charge.

What is the legal definition of a bus?

  • A motor vehicle that has been built with seating positions for 10 or more adults (including the driver) and complies with the requirements specified in the Australian Design Rules for a passenger omnibus (refer to the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic) for full definition).

What is the legal definition of bus service?

  • The operation of one or more buses that transports passengers.

Who needs to be accredited?

You must apply for accreditation if you intend to operate a commercial bus service using buses with 13 or more seats which provides a:

  • Route bus service
  • Demand responsive bus service
  • Tour and charter bus service
  • Courtesy bus service (other than a non-commercial courtesy bus service)
  • Local bus service

Visit the bus operator accreditation pages for more information about applying for bus operator accreditation, understanding your obligations as an accredited bus operator and to download relevant publications and forms.

Who needs to be registered?

You must apply for registration if you intend to operate:

  1. One or more buses with 10 to 12 seats only (including the driver); or
  2. One or more buses with 13 or more seats (including the driver) that does not fall into the definition of a Commercial Bus Service or a Local Bus Service including a:
  • Community and private bus service
  • Non-commercial courtesy bus service
  • Hire and drive bus service
  • Commercial minibus service

Visit the bus operator registration pages for more information about the application process and your obligations as a registered bus operator.

Who can apply?

Under the BSA, any "person" may apply for bus operator accreditation or bus operator registration.

A person may be a natural person (a real human being) or an artificial, legal or juristic person. For example an organisation that the law treats for some purposes as if it were a person distinct from its members or owner.

Visit our who can apply? page for more information on the types of entities that may apply, or download our printable factsheet PDF, 274.1 KB.

Find out more about the types of bus service and operator requirements.

Visit the Department of Transport website to view Victoria's Bus Plan and Zero Emission Bus Project.

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