Who needs a transport service licence?
Whether you're an individual or a company, you must hold the appropriate transport service licence (TSL) if you're operating:
There are different kinds of TSLs for each type of service.
It's illegal to operate an unlicensed transport service of the kinds listed above. If you're convicted, you may face a fine of up to $10,000. The fine increases to a maximum of $25,000 for subsequent convictions.
In addition to the fine, the court may impound vehicles used in an unlicensed service for up to 90 days (no matter who owns them).
You'll need to fill in the appropriate form for the kind of TSL you wish to apply for. You can download it from our website, or get it from your nearest Transport Agency regional office. Then you'll need to return it to us, making sure you have provided everything necessary for the application.
You will need to provide:
the application fee of $449.80
a certificate of knowledge of law and practice relevant to the TSL you are applying for, except if you are going to operate a dial-a-driver or rental service
the personal details required in the application form, including a statement asserting that the information supplied in the application form is correct and that you are not disqualified from holding or obtaining a transport service licence.
Any one who will hold the licence or will be in control of the transport service must complete a personal details form and will have to meet the legal 'fit and proper person' criteria.
One of the requirements for getting a transport service licence is that either the licence holder or a person in control of the service must hold a certificate of knowledge of law and practice. This shows that the holder of the certificate has the required knowledge of the laws and practices relating to the safe, efficient and proper operation of a transport service.
Operators of rental services and operators of dial-a-driver services do not have to hold a certificate, but must still hold the appropriate transport service licence.
In special circumstances, the Transport Agency may waive the requirement for other transport service operators to hold a certificate where the service is limited or infrequent – for example, a truck that is used to carry apples in the picking season, but that only carries bits and pieces around the orchard for most of the year. Generally, waivers are granted for operators who are carrying their own goods and not for hire or reward.
The application form for a waiver is available from our contact centre.
To get a certificate of knowledge of law and practice, you have to pass a test run by Assessment Systems Limited (now known as Aspeq).
The test covers the rules relating to the type of service you will be operating and specific knowledge relating to the requirements and responsibilities of a transport service licence holder. There is an individual handbook for each class of service. TSL handbooks are available from our regional offices.
The Aspeq website has information on the test, including sample test questions.
The test questions are based on the Knowledge of law and practice handbook. You can buy the handbook online from Aspeq.
The test, which is computer based, is ‘open book’, which means you may take the handbook into the test with you. Handbooks are not supplied by Aspeq at the test venue.
An example of how the computer based test works can be found on the Aspeq website.
You have up to two-and-a-half hours to complete the test and you must score 80 percent or higher to pass the test.
Test standards are set and audited by the Transport Agency.
On the day of the test, you'll need to show identification that has both your photograph and signature on it (eg your driver licence or passport). If you don't present acceptable identification, you won't be able to sit the test.
Aspeq has timetables for when the test takes place in different areas. These are available on the Aspeq website (external link) .
Aspeq also offers an 'on demand' option, which reduces the waiting period but costs more.
|Handbook and test||Current price as at 1 January 2017|
|TSL handbook – Knowledge of law and practice (includes postage & packaging)||$50.50|
|Goods, passenger or recovery
You can book your exam up to 24 hours before the exam starts, subject to availability.
Go to the Aspeq website (external link) and click on 'Log On'. Enter your username and password and follow the prompts. Then click on Book Exam on the left hand side menu.
Go to the ASL website (external link) and click 'Register.' Follow the prompts to either order your exam electronically or download the ASL417 form and post it together with payment (cheque made out to Assessment Systems Ltd) to the Aspeq offices at:
Assessment Systems Ltd
PO Box 30343
If your application is incomplete, Aspeq may return the form to you for completion. If your application is not received in time for the exam booking to proceed, you may be booked in to the next available session.
For information on transfers to different test dates, cancellations or refunds refer to the Aspeq website (external link) .