Bus accreditation FAQs

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 contains questions we are frequently asked by bus operators about accreditation and registration.

Driver accreditation

I'm a driver for a community and private bus service. Do I need to apply for driver accreditation?

No, the driver of a bus providing a community and private bus service does not require driver accreditation.

However, the operator of such a bus service is required to ensure that the driver of the bus holds the appropriate driver licence for the category of motor vehicle that the bus is. For a community and private bus service an "appropriate driver licence" for the category of motor vehicle means:

  1. A full driver licence for that category of motor vehicle; or
  2. If the registered bus operator has been given approval under Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic) (BSA) section 22(5A) to use drivers who hold a probationary driver licence – a probationary driver licence for that category of motor vehicle; or
  3. A driver licence issued in another jurisdiction that is equivalent to (1) or (2) above.

As an accredited bus operator providing a commercial bus service, do my drivers need specific accreditation?

Yes, an accredited bus operator of a commercial bus service must not permit a person to drive a bus for a commercial bus service unless that person holds a driver accreditation under Division 6 of Part VI of the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 (Vic).

Commercial bus services are:

  • Route bus services
  • Demand responsive bus services
  • Tour and charter bus services
  • Courtesy bus services wherein the bus used to provide the commercial bus service is built with seating positions for 13 or more adults (including the driver).

Also of note – the requirement to hold a driver accreditation also applies to the driver of a minibus providing a commercial minibus service. A commercial minibus service is a route service, a demand responsive bus service or a tour and charter bus service wherein the bus used in the service is built with seating positions for 10, 11 or 12 adults (including the driver).

Interstate operators

As an interstate operator, am I required to submit a National Police Certificate when applying for bus operator accreditation in Victoria?

Yes. Bus operators who submit a National Police Certificate from a state other than Victoria may be asked to supply a statutory declaration stating that they have not committed any criminal offences in Victoria. The reason for this additional requirement is that the parameters governing police checks differ between some jurisdictions.

Vehicles with fewer than 10 seats

I want to buy an eight-seater vehicle to drop off and pick up customers from various venues. Do I need to hold bus operator accreditation or bus operator registration?

You do not have to apply for bus operator registration or accreditation to operate a vehicle with seating capacity of less than 10 seats (including the driver). This is because under the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic) (BSA), 'bus' is defined as a vehicle with seating positions for 10 people or more.

However, other Victoria legislation, such as that applying to taxis and special purpose vehicle licensing, may apply. Contact Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV), formerly the Taxi Services Commission, on 1800 638 802 to ascertain the relevant requirements.

Courtesy buses

We are a social club and want to hire a minibus for a few months to use as a courtesy bus for our members and patrons. Do we still need to complete an application even though we don't own this bus?

Yes, as the operator of a community and private bus service the club is required to hold bus operator registration.

A community and private bus service is defined as a bus service consisting of the carriage of passengers by a bus for or in connection with the activities of a religious, educational, health, welfare, philanthropic, sporting or social body; and which is provided for no consideration or for consideration which is limited to the costs or part of the costs incurred in making the journey.

There is no application fee or annual fees for bus operator registration. If you have any questions, please contact us.

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