Bus operator number plates

This page details the information that must be contained on accredited bus operator number plates and how these should be displayed on the bus.

Photo showing Victorian bus number plates

Accredited bus operators must display authorised number plates on each bus that is registered by VicRoads in Victoria. Bus Safety Victoria (BSV) is responsible for authorising accredited bus operator number plates.

This information applies to all operators who are accredited under Part 4 of the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic) (BSA) and is a requirement of Regulation 12 of the Bus Safety Regulations 2020 (Vic) (BSR).

Authorised number plates

Regulation 12 of the BSR requires an accredited bus operator to display accredited bus operator number plates on each of the operator’s buses that is operated by the bus operator and is registered in Victoria in the name of the accredited bus operator or a relevant person in relation to the accredited bus operator.

The term accredited bus operator number plates is defined in the BSR as:  number plates issued by the Secretary for display on a bus used by an accredited bus operator.

Authorised accredited bus operator number plates display the words:

  • "Accredited bus" and have four numerals followed with a suffix of AO, or
  • "Accredited bus service" and have a prefix of two letters followed by the numerals and a suffix of two letters.

Requirements

Regulations 10 and 11 of the BSR detail requirements for signage for both accredited and registered bus operators.

10 Signage—accreditation number (1)  An accredited bus operator must ensure that the accreditation number of the bus operator is displayed in accordance with sub regulation (2) on each bus operated by the bus operator.
(2)  The accreditation number must be displayed—

  • (a)  adjacent to the front passenger loading door; and
  • (b)  in a position and colour so as to be clearly visible from the exterior of the bus; and
    (c)  in characters at least 50 millimetres high and of proportionate width.

11 Signage—registration number (1)  A registered bus operator must ensure that the registration number of the bus operator is displayed in accordance with sub regulation (2) on each bus operated by the bus operator.
(2)  The registration number must be displayed—

  • (a)  adjacent to the front passenger loading door; and
  • (b)  in a position and colour so as to be clearly visible from the exterior of the bus; and
  • (c)  in characters at least 50 millimetres high and of proportionate width.

For mini buses, it is suggested that the signage be fixed on the left hand  side  of the bus outside at the rear side passenger door panel to  the right of the door handle.

Transitional arrangements

Transitional arrangements apply to bus operators accredited under the Public Transport Competition Act 1995 (Vic) and subsequently deemed accredited under the Act on 31 December 2010.

Personalised number plates

Accredited bus operators whose buses have personalised number plates, may continue to display these until they become accredited under the BSA or 31 December 2015, whichever occurs first.

'AC' and 'SO' number plates

Accredited bus operators whose buses display accredited bus number plates with the suffix 'AC' or 'SO' may continue to display these until the bus is decommissioned. 'AC' and 'SO' number plates must not be transferred to a different bus.

When accredited operator number plates are not required

Accredited bus operators are not required to display accredited bus operator number plates on buses registered in:

Bus operators who are not required to display accredited bus operator number plates must display their Victorian accreditation number on each bus. This is in accordance with the general condition of accreditation under section 34(2) of the BSA on 8 June 2011.

A copy of the general condition can be viewed in the Victorian Government Gazette notice No. G 24 Thursday 16 June 2011, available from the Victorian Government Gazette website.

Offence

It is an offence to display accredited bus operator number plates if you are not accredited under Part 4 of the BSA.

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