Assessing Fitness to Drive

Table of Contents

Appendix 1 Regulatory requirements for driver testing (as at February 2016)

Drivers in most states and territories are required to make a medical self-declaration in relation to their fitness to drive at licence application and renewal. The information obtained may result in a requirement for medical assessment or refusal of the application. In addition, each state and territory has specific requirements for medical examinations or road testing, depending on the driver’s age or the type of vehicle being driven, such as heavy vehicles, public passenger vehicles and dangerous goods vehicles. There are also specific requirements for drivers and operating a vehicle as a driver instructor. The following table summarises these requirements at September 2015. Note that various agencies are involved in overseeing the requirements for different vehicle types, and these agencies generally cooperate in this regard to support road safety.

Note: All review requirements may be amended on medical advice or on self-declaration or at the request of the licensing authority. This information is current as of February 2016. Refer to your state or territory driver licensing authority or other responsible agency for current requirements (see Appendix 9: Driver licensing authority contacts).

Commercial vehicle drivers accredited under Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) and Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) have additional medical assessment requirements. Under these schemes, medical examinations are to be conducted, as a minimum, once every three years for drivers aged 49 or under, and yearly for drivers aged 50 or over and must assess sleep disorders. Note: Not all states/territories participate in these fatigue management schemes (currently Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Western Australia do not participate).

State/TerritoryVision test Medical assessment Road test
Australian Capital TerritoryPrivate vehicle drivers
Vision test for all drivers on initial licence; on renewal at ages 50, 60, 65, 70 and 75, and annually thereafter.Medical assessment for all licence classes at age 75 years and annually thereafter.No prescribed period or age.
Commercial vehicle drivers
Heavy vehicle drivers (class MR and above): vision test on initial application; when upgrading to medium rigid (class MR); on renewal at ages 50, 60, 65, 70, 75 and annually thereafter.Heavy vehicle drivers (class MR and above): medical assessment at age 75 years and annually thereafter.Heavy vehicle drivers (class MR and above): road test on initial application; when upgrading to MR class or above. No prescribed period or age thereafter, unless declared or reported.
Public passenger vehicle drivers (H, M, O, T, W): vision test on initial application, then five-yearly to age 70, then annually thereafter. In all cases additional or more frequent health assessments may be required if a condition is reported.Public passenger vehicle drivers (H, M, O, T, W): medical assessment on initial application, then five- yearly to age 70, then annually thereafter. In all cases additional or more frequent health assessments may be required if a condition is reported.Public passenger vehicle drivers (H, M, O, T, W): road test on application, at age 70 and annually thereafter.
Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: no special requirements.
Driving instructors: vision test on initial application and annually thereafter.Driving instructors: medical assessment on initial application and annually thereafter.Driving instructors: no prescribed period or age after initial test for licensing.
New South WalesPrivate vehicle drivers

Vision test for all drivers on initial application.

All car and rider licence holders under 45 years of age have an eyesight test every 10 years.

All car and rider licence holders 45 years of age or older have an eyesight test every five years.

Drivers 75 years and over require an annual eyesight test.

Medical assessment for all licence classes at age 75 years and annually thereafter.

Road test required every two years for all car drivers (class C) and drivers of motorcycles (class R) from 85 years of age.

Annual driving test for heavy vehicle drivers with a light rigid (LR) to heavy combination (HC) from 80 years of age.

A road test may be required as a result of a doctor’s or police recommendation.

Commercial vehicle drivers
Vision test for all drivers on initial application and on each renewal and replacement.Medical assessment for all licence classes at 75 years of age and annually thereafter.Annual road test required for heavy vehicle drivers (LR, MR, HR and HC) from 80 years of age.
Multiple combination vehicle (road train) drivers (class MC): vision test with medical assessment on initial application and then at age 21 and every 10 years up to age 40, then every five years until age 60, then every two years until age 70; annually thereafter.Multiple combination vehicle (road train) drivers (class MC): medical assessment on initial application and then at age 21 and every 10 years up to age 40, then every five years until age 60, then every two years until age 70; annually thereafter.Multiple combination vehicle (road train) drivers (class MC): road test at 70 years and annually thereafter.
Public passenger vehicle drivers (buses): vision test on initial application and then every three years until the age of 60 years; annually thereafter.Public passenger vehicle drivers (buses): medical assessment on initial application and then every three years until the age of 60 years; annually thereafter.Public passenger vehicle drivers (buses): road test at age 80 years.
Dangerous good vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
Driving instructors: vision test on initial application; thereafter in line with driver licence class held.Driving instructors: medical assessment on initial application; thereafter in line with driver licence class held.Driving instructors: on initial application; thereafter in line with driver licence class held.
Northern TerritoryPrivate vehicle drivers
Vision test for all drivers on initial application.Medical assessment only when condition notified by a health professional or driver.Road test only when recommended by a health professional.
Commercial vehicle drivers
Vision test on initial application.Medical assessment only when a condition is reported by a health professional or driver.Only if recommended by a health professional.
Public passenger vehicle drivers: as above.Public passenger vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then five-yearly or sooner if a condition is reported.Public passenger vehicle drivers: road test only if recommended by a health professional.
Dangerous good vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then five-yearly thereafter.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: no specific requirements.
Driving instructors: as above.Driving instructors: medical assessment on initial application, then five-yearly or sooner if a condition is reported.Driving instructors: road test only if recommended by a health professional.
QueenslandPrivate vehicle drivers

A vision test, performed by a health professional, and a medical certificate verifying the outcome of the test is required if the applicant declares a vision or eye disorder or if required by the chief executive.

Vision tests are not performed by departmental staff.

A person must obtain, carry and drive in accordance with a current medical certificate if:

  • they have a mental or physical incapacity that may affect their ability to drive safely, or
  • they are 75 years of age or older.

Currency of the medical certificate is determined by the health professional. Medical certificates issued to drivers 75 years or older have a maximum validity of one year.

Road test required on application.
Commercial vehicle drivers

Heavy vehicle drivers: a vision test, performed by a health professional, and a medical certificate verifying the outcome of the test is required if the applicant declares a vision or eye disorder or if required by the chief executive.

Vision tests are not performed by departmental staff.

Heavy vehicle drivers: a person must obtain, carry and drive in accordance with a current medial certificate if:

  • they have a mental or physical incapacity that may affect their ability to drive safely, or
  • they are 75 years of age or older.

Currency of the medical certificate is determined by the health professional. Medical certificates issued to drivers 75 years or older have a maximum validity of one year.

Heavy vehicle drivers: road test required on application.

Public passenger vehicle drivers: a vision test, performed by a health professional, is required every five years (as part of the prescribed medical assessment), or more frequently if required by a health professional.

Vision tests are not performed by departmental staff.

Public passenger vehicle drivers: a medical assessment is required every five years, or more frequently if required by a health professional.

A driver 75 years of age or older is required to obtain, carry and drive in accordance with a current medical certificate.

Public passenger vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.

Dangerous good vehicle drivers: a vision test, performed by a health professional, is required on initial application, then every three years as part of the prescribed medical assessment), or more frequently if required by a health professional.

Vision tests are not performed by departmental staff.

Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: a medical assessment is required on initial application, then every three years, or more frequently if required by a health professional.

A driver 75 years of age or older is required to obtain, carry and drive in accordance with a current medical certificate.

Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.

Driving instructors: no vision test required unless the applicant declares a vision or eye disorder or if required by the chief executive.

Vision tests are not performed by departmental staff.

Driving instructors: no medical assessment required unless the person has a mental or physical incapacity that may affect their ability to drive safely.

A driver 75 years of age or older is required to obtain, carry and drive in accordance with a current medical certificate.

Driving instructors: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
South AustraliaPrivate vehicle drivers
Vision test yearly from 70 years of age for holders of licence classes other than C or if declared or reported.Medical assessment required yearly from 70 years of age for holders of licence classes other than C.Road test annually from age 85 for licence classes other than C.
Commercial vehicle drivers
Heavy vehicle drivers: vision test annually from 70 years of age or with prescribed medical examinations.

Heavy vehicle drivers: medical assessment annually from 70 years of age for all licence holders unless prescribed otherwise (refer below).

Multiple combination vehicle drivers (class MC) operating south of Port Augusta: medical assessment every three years up to 49 years of age, then annually.

Heavy vehicle drivers: road test annually from age 85.
Public passenger vehicle drivers: vision test with medical assessment every three years up to age 70 years, then annually thereafter.Public passenger vehicle drivers: medical assessment every three years up to age 70 years, then annually thereafter.Public passenger vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
Dangerous good vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application, then every three years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then every three years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
Driving instructors: vision test on licence application and renewal.Driving instructors: medical assessment on licence application and renewal.Driving instructors: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
TasmaniaPrivate vehicle drivers
Vision test required on initial application.No prescribed period or age but may occur if a medical condition and/or concern is declared or reported.No prescribed period or age but may occur if a medical condition and/or concern is declared or reported.
Commercial vehicle drivers
Multiple combination vehicle drivers (class MC): vision test required on initial application (as part of medical assessment).Multiple combination vehicle drivers (class MC): medical assessment on initial application.Heavy vehicle drivers: road test or training course on initial application; no tests/courses are required thereafter.
Public passenger vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application and then as part of required medical assessments (refer to next column).

Public passenger vehicle drivers (Ancillary Certificate Public Passenger Vehicles): medical assessment on initial application, then every three years up to age 65, then annually.

(ACPPVs are further categorised: taxi or other).

Public passenger vehicle drivers (ACPPV): no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.

(ACPPVs are further categorised: taxi or other).

Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application, then every licence renewal period.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then every licence renewal period.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
Driving instructors: vision test on initial application and then as part of required medical assessments (refer to next column).Driving instructors: medical assessment on initial application, then every three years until age 65 years; then annually.Driving instructors: training course on initial application.
VictoriaPrivate vehicle drivers
Vision test for all drivers on initial application and subsequently if a concern is declared or reported.No prescribed period or age but may occur if a concern is declared or reported.No prescribed period or age but may occur if a concern is declared or reported.
Commercial vehicle drivers
Heavy vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application. Otherwise no specified period, unless declared or reported.Heavy vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.Heavy vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.

Public passenger vehicle drivers (taxis, bus): vision test with medical assessment every three years unless medical practitioner advises shorter review periods. If a driver is changed from a three-year to a 12-month accreditation, ongoing annual review is generally required.

Public passenger vehicle drivers (taxis, bus): medical assessment every three years unless medical practitioner advises shorter review periods. If a driver is changed from a three-year to a 12-month accreditation, ongoing annual review is generally required.

Public passenger vehicle drivers (taxis, bus): no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
Dangerous good vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
Driving instructors: vision test on licence application then every three years unless a medical practitioner advises shorter review periods. If a driver is changed from a three- year to a 12-month accreditation, ongoing annual review is generally required.Driving instructors: medical assessment on application then every three years unless a medical practitioner advises shorter review periods. If a driver is changed from a three-year to a 12-month accreditation, ongoing annual review is generally required.Driving instructors: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
Western AustraliaPrivate vehicle drivers
Vision test required on initial application then yearly from 80 years of age (as part of required medical assessment), or as required dependent on condition declared or reported.Annually from 80 years of age, unless a medical condition requires earlier assessment.Road test annually from age 85 for licence classes other than C unless a medical condition requires earlier assessment.
Commercial vehicle drivers
Heavy vehicle drivers (class MR and above): vision test required on initial application then yearly from 80 years of age (as part of required medical assessment) or as required dependent on condition declared or reported.Heavy vehicle drivers (class MR and above): annually from 80 years of age, unless a medical condition requires earlier assessment.Heavy vehicle drivers (class MR and above): road test at 85 years of age, then annually unless a medical condition requires earlier assessment.
Public passenger vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application and then when applying for an additional class, then every five years until age 45, then every two years until age 65, then annually.Public passenger vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then every five years until age 45, then every two years until age 65, then annually.Public passenger vehicle drivers: road test at age 65, 70 and then annually.
Dangerous good vehicle drivers: vision test on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: medical assessment on initial application, then every five years.Dangerous goods vehicle drivers: no prescribed period or age, unless declared or reported.
Driving instructors: vision test on initial application and when applying for an additional class, then every five years until age 45, then every two years until age 65, then annually from age 65.Driving instructors: medical assessment on initial application, then as per public passengers vehicle drivers (every five years until age 45), then every two years until age 65, then annually.Driving instructors: practical driving and instructional technique assessment every three years unless exempted.