Annual bus safety inspections
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.
This page provides an overview of annual bus safety inspection requirements for buses operated by accredited and registered operators.
Under the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic), bus safety inspections are a legal requirement for accredited and registered operators. Each bus that is used in the provision of the operator's bus service must be inspected annually by a licensed bus tester.
Who can inspect your buses?
Only licensed bus testers may carry out an annual bus safety inspection. In Victoria, bus testers are licensed by VicRoads.
VicRoads have created an interactive map showing all Victorian licensed bus testers, here you can search by location.
Update to Bus testing categories
From 1 July 2020 the categories for Bus inspections will be adjusted as outlined below to ensure alignment with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator for heavy vehicle inspections.
The Small Bus category will be replaced with a new category: Light Bus
Light Bus (LB) will apply to all vehicles of a weight up to and including 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM) with ten (10) seats or more (including the driver). Inspection of LBs must conform to all applicable standards and design rules for light vehicles, including VSI26.
The Large Bus category will be replaced with a new category: Heavy Bus
Heavy Bus (HB) will apply to all vehicles of a weight over 4.5 tonnes GVM with ten (10) seats or more (including the driver). Inspection of HBs must conform to all applicable standards, design rules and national laws for heavy vehicles, including the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM).
All current LBTs will retain current Bus Testing accreditation in their approved categories.
What is inspected?
The inspection is a check of the bus to ensure that key components have not worn or deteriorated and that it is safe for normal road use. An inspection mainly covers items including:
- wheels and tyres
- steering, suspension and braking systems
- seats and seat belts
- lamps and reflectors
- windscreen and windows, including front windscreen
- wipers and washers
- the structure of the bus itself, and
- other safety related items on the body, chassis or engine.
After an inspection, the licensed bus tester will issue a roadworthy certificate or a test report listing the defective areas of the bus.
A roadworthy certificate means that the bus is safe for normal road use. However, it does not mean that the vehicle is in top condition without wear or deterioration. For the purposes of the Bus Safety Act the certificate is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
If issued with a test report, a follow-up inspection is not required.
Accredited bus operators
Accredited operators must add the defects to the 'defect reporting and clearance' section of their maintenance management system (MMS) and rectify the defects before using the bus in their bus service.
Registered bus operators
Registered operators should keep records of their annual bus safety inspection and must rectify the defects before using the bus in their bus service. Although the Act does not require registered bus operators to have a MMS, Bus Safety Victoria may request evidence that buses have been maintained in a roadworthy condition.
Download the factsheet
A factsheet with the information on this page is available to download below.
Inspections in other jurisdictions
Bus Safety Victoria may recognise an annual safety inspection undertaken outside Victoria if the following conditions are met:
- At the time of the annual safety inspection, the bus is either registered in another state or territory, or the bus is registered with VicRoads and is operating in another state or territory
- The annual safety inspection is conducted by an authorised licensed bus tester
- The annual safety inspection is conducted in accordance with the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual and the relevant Australian Design Rules
- The operator keeps a record detailing the inspection results for each bus
- If the bus is greater than 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM), the annual safety inspection must include a roller brake test. A copy of the roller brake test report must be attached to the inspection document
- A copy of the completed inspection document (including the roller brake test report) must be sent to TSV within five days of the annual safety inspection.
The information on this page provides a general overview and does not cover all of the relevant law on the topic.