The bus operator accreditation and registration schemes have been simplified and consolidated into one accreditation system. These changes came into effect on 1 March 2022.
Information about the changes is available on the front page of the Bus Safety section of this website in Latest News. Online information sessions about the changes to the Bus Safety Act 2009 and the accompanying regulations will be promoted here shortly.
Anyone wishing to operate a bus service in Victoria with seating positions for 10 or more adults (including the driver) must be accredited. 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?
the Department of Transport (DoT) has mandated which bus operators are required to be accredited.
If you provide any of the following bus services you are required to be accredited.
- Commercial bus service*
- Commercial minibus service **
- Courtesy bus service using a bus with 10-12 seating positions
- Hire and drive bus service using a bus of any size
- operators who provide services to school aged children using a bus of any size
- people who require special care or support due to age or disability using a bus of any size
- a Council using a bus of any size.
- Community and private bus service in connection with the activities of a religious, educational, health, welfare, philanthropic, sporting or social body using a bus with 24 or more seating positions. However, if you are in this category and the bus that you use has less than 24 seating positions, and you are not transporting school aged children or people who require special care or support, you are exempt from the requirement to be accredited. This exemption is automatic – you don’t need to apply for exemption.
* Including a route bus service, a demand responsive bus service, a tour and charter bus service, and a courtesy bus service, using a bus with seating positions for 13 or more adults including the driver
** including a route bus service, a demand responsive bus service, and a tour and charter bus service, using a bus with seating positions for 10,11, or 12 adults including the driver.
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 can apply?
Under the BSA, any "person" may apply for bus operator accreditation.
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.
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.