Dangerous goods driver licensing suitable persons policy

WorkSafe ACT issues ACT dangerous goods driver licences as the licensing authority under the ACT Dangerous Goods (Road Transport) Regulation 2010 (the Regulation).

If you are a resident of the ACT, you are eligible to apply for an ACT dangerous goods driver licence, provided that you do not already hold an interstate dangerous goods driver licence issued by a corresponding licensing authority in another State or Territory.

The application requirements, form and fees can be found on the WorkSafe ACT Dangerous Goods Driver Licensing page.

When you apply for a dangerous goods driver licence, the licensing authority is required to determine whether you are suitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods – such as flammable, toxic and corrosive substances – by road.

In making this assessment, the licensing authority will have regard to your driving history during the five years prior to the date of your application, and whether your road vehicle driver licence is current and valid.

If you have been found guilty of a criminal offence in Australia during that time, or you are presently subject to an Australian court order, this will also be taken into consideration if the nature of the offence or effect of the court order is relevant to the transport of dangerous goods by road.

This publication sets out the guidelines which will be used by WorkSafe ACT to determine whether you are a suitable person to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road.

Your suitability may be re‑assessed at any time whilst you hold a dangerous goods driver licence, if your circumstances change and the change is relevant to the transport of dangerous goods by road (for example, if your road vehicle driver licence is cancelled due to a driving offence).

If you transport dangerous goods by road under an interstate dangerous goods driver licence, and WorkSafe ACT becomes aware of information which suggests that you may not be suitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road, WorkSafe ACT may provide that information to the corresponding licensing authority which issued your licence.

WorkSafe ACT may also make a recommendation to the corresponding licensing authority that they vary your dangerous goods driver licence by imposing conditions on the licence (or amending any existing licence conditions), or that they suspend or cancel the licence.

Any questions about the information in this publication, or general enquiries about the requirements for transporting dangerous goods by road in the ACT, should be directed to WorkSafe ACT on 13 22 81 or by e-mail to the Dangerous Substances Licensing unit at DangerousSubstances@act.gov.au.

Collection, use and disclosure of personal information

WorkSafe ACT collects your personal information for the purpose of assessing your suitability to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road, and in order to administer the regulatory requirements governing the transportation of dangerous goods by road under the ACT Dangerous Goods (Road Transport) Act 2009.

WorkSafe ACT may make enquiries of, and exchange your personal information with, other licensing and regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies for this purpose.

WorkSafe ACT may contact any person or organisation who has provided information in support of your application for an ACT dangerous goods driver licence, and request that they confirm the accuracy of the information and/or provide further details. When making such a request, WorkSafe ACT may reproduce the relevant parts of your application.

The collection, use and disclosure of your personal information is subject to the ACT Information Privacy Act 2014, including the Territory Privacy Principles. Any questions about the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information should be directed to WorkSafe ACT on 6207 3000 or by e‑mail to the Dangerous Substances Licensing unit at DangerousSubstances@act.gov.au.

Application requirements

ACT road vehicle driver licence

WorkSafe ACT must be satisfied that you hold a current and valid ACT road vehicle driver licence, and that you are not a learner or provisional driver.

If you hold a probationary or restricted road vehicle driver licence due to a court imposed licence disqualification, you will be considered unsuitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road.

An ACT dangerous goods driver licence will not authorise you to drive a heavy vehicle unless your ACT road vehicle driver licence includes the appropriate licence class for that vehicle.

Information about the heavy vehicle licence classes can be found on the WorkSafe ACT Heavy Vehicle Driver Licensing page.

ACT driving history

You must provide a record of your driving history under your ACT road vehicle driver licence, which was issued within the previous six months and which covers a period of at least five years prior to the date of making your application.

If you do not have at least five years’ driving experience in Australia (excluding any period in which you were a learner or provisional driver), you may still apply for an ACT dangerous goods driver licence, but if the application is successful, WorkSafe ACT may place conditions on the licence, such as a requirement for supervision.

WorkSafe ACT may make enquiries to determine whether any further driving offences have been recorded against your ACT road vehicle driver licence after the record of driving history was issued and will take any further driving offences into consideration when assessing your suitability.

WorkSafe ACT may require you to provide additional information if there appears to be a gap in your ACT driving history which is not the result of a delay in renewing your road vehicle driver licence or due to a licence suspension or disqualification shown on the record of driving history.

Interstate driving history

If you have held a road vehicle driver licence issued from another State or Territory at any time within the five years prior to the date of making your application, you must provide a record of your driving history under that licence in addition to your ACT driving history.

Any record of driving history under an interstate road vehicle driver licence must be issued within the previous six months and must cover a period of at least five years prior to the date of making your application.

WorkSafe ACT may require you to provide additional information if there appears to be a gap in your interstate driving history which is not the result of a delay in renewing your road vehicle driver licence or due to a licence suspension or disqualification shown on the record of driving history.

Relevant offences and court orders

The application form will ask whether you have been found guilty of an offence in an Australian court of law within the past five years, and whether you are currently subject to an order made by an Australian court of law.

In answering these initial questions, you are not required to identify that you have been found guilty of an offence if that offence is covered by the Spent Convictions Scheme, including convictions which have been set aside or for which you have been pardoned in line with Part VIIC of the Crimes Act 1914 (Commonwealth).

If you are unsure whether a particular offence would be covered by the Spent Convictions Scheme, you should contact the Australian Federal Police on (02) 6131 3000 for advice.

If you answer yes to either of these initial questions, the application form will prompt you to answer additional questions about the offence or court order.

These questions are intended to ensure that WorkSafe ACT only collects information about offences and court orders which are relevant to the assessment of your suitability to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road.

Please note that if you are currently subject to a court order which prohibits your involvement in the transportation of dangerous goods by road, WorkSafe ACT is required by law to refuse to issue you with an ACT dangerous goods driver licence.

Additional information

WorkSafe ACT may request further information or documents from you at any time during the processing of your application, in order to ensure that your suitability to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road is properly assessed.

If there are any doubts about the accuracy or validity of the information which you have provided in your application, you may be asked to provide a Statutory Declaration for verification.

Assessment of suitability

General information

WorkSafe ACT will be unable to issue you with an ACT dangerous goods driver licence if you are currently subject to an Australian court order which prohibits you from being involved in the transport of dangerous goods by road.

In all other cases, WorkSafe ACT will make an assessment of your suitability based on your driving history, and any relevant offences or current court orders.

WorkSafe ACT may consider you suitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road subject to certain conditions being placed on the dangerous goods driver licence, such as a restriction on the types of dangerous goods being transported.

WorkSafe ACT may place any conditions on an ACT dangerous goods driver licence which are considered necessary for the safe transport of dangerous goods by road.

If you are refused an ACT dangerous goods driver licence on the grounds that you are not a suitable person to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road, or you are issued with a conditional ACT dangerous goods driver licence, you may seek an internal review of this decision.

The decision letter will set out how you may apply for an internal review and your further options if you are unhappy with the outcome of the internal review.

Unsuitability due to criminal offences

WorkSafe ACT will consider you unsuitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road if you have been found guilty of an offence which is listed in this publication as a disqualifying offence.

WorkSafe ACT may consider you unsuitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road if you have been found guilty of an offence which is not a disqualifying offence, if that offence is held to show:

  • A disregard for the health and safety of others, such that you could not be entrusted with control of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road; or
  • A disregard for the obligations imposed under a regulatory scheme, such that you could not be relied upon to comply with your obligations as the holder of a dangerous goods driver licence.

Unsuitability due to licence suspension or cancellation

WorkSafe ACT will consider you unsuitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road if you have had an Australian road vehicle driver licence suspended or cancelled within the five years prior to the date of your application, on the basis of:

  • The loss of demerit points for driving offences, if the contributing offences include one or more national schedule offences which are listed in Schedule 1 of the Road Transport (Offences) Regulation 2005 as incurring more than 2 demerit points; or
  • A court order disqualifying you from holding a licence to drive vehicles on a public road.

WorkSafe ACT may consider you unsuitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road if you have had an Australian road vehicle driver licence suspended or cancelled (including cancellation by revocation) within the five years prior to the date of your application, on the basis of:

Providing false or misleading information to the licensing authority which issued the licence or to a police officer in relation to a traffic-related matter; or

Another reason which is held to show a disregard for the obligations imposed under a regulatory scheme, such that you could not be relied upon to comply with your obligations as the holder of a dangerous goods driver licence (for example, fraudulently altering a road vehicle driver licence card).

The suspension of a road vehicle driver licence is taken to have occurred within five years prior to the date of your application only if the first day of the suspension period was within that timeframe.

Disqualifying offences – Driving offences

The following driving offences are disqualifying offences, which will result in you being considered unsuitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road:

Any offence prosecuted under a corresponding law of another State or Territory which is materially equivalent to one of the above offences.

Disqualifying Offences – Other Offences

The following other offences are disqualifying offences, which will result in you being considered unsuitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road:

  • Any offence for which an element of the offence involved action which comes under a law relating to the prevention of terrorism.
  • Any offence for which an element of the offence involved providing materially false or misleading information to a regulatory agency or law enforcement body, or in the course of the proceedings of a court of law, tribunal, government enquiry or Royal Commission.
  • Any offence for which an element of the offence involved the manufacture, packaging, labelling, storage, supply, transport, use or disposal of dangerous goods and for which the maximum available penalty for the offence includes a term of imprisonment.
  • Any offence for which an element of the offence involved the operation, use, inspection or maintenance of a road vehicle, rail vehicle, marine vessel or aircraft and for which the maximum available penalty for the offence includes a term of imprisonment.

Review of suitability

Notification of Change of Circumstances

If you are issued with an ACT dangerous goods driver licence, WorkSafe ACT may re‑assess your suitability to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road at any time during the period that the licence is in effect.

  • You are expected to notify WorkSafe ACT if any of the following changes to your circumstances, which may affect your suitability to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road, occur after you have applied for or been issued with an ACT dangerous goods driver licence:
  • Your road vehicle driver licence has been suspended or cancelled, or you have entered into a Good Behaviour Period arrangement under the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999 in lieu of suspension or cancellation of that licence; or
  • Your road vehicle driver licence has been varied in a way that imposes new or tighter restrictions on your driving (such as a new condition that requires you to wear corrective lenses whilst driving); or
  • You have been found guilty of an offence by an Australian court of law, and the offence is listed in this publication as a disqualifying offence; or
  • You have been made subject to a court order by an Australian court of law, and the court order prohibits you from being involved in the transport of dangerous goods by road; or
  • You were subject to a court order made by an Australian court of law at the time of applying for your ACT dangerous goods driver licence, and that order has been varied in a way that imposes new or tighter restrictions on your involvement in the transport of dangerous goods by road or extends the duration of any existing restrictions.

You are not required to notify WorkSafe ACT if your road vehicle driver licence expires due to a delay in renewing the licence, but your ACT dangerous goods driver licence will be of no effect until your road vehicle driver licence is renewed.

If you take up residence in another State or Territory, and you will not be surrendering your ACT dangerous goods driver licence, you should notify WorkSafe ACT of your new residential address and contact details, and confirm that you now hold a current and valid road vehicle driver licence issued from that jurisdiction.

Review on Other Grounds

WorkSafe ACT may re‑assess your suitability to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road on the basis of information received from a third party, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that you have failed to notify WorkSafe ACT of a relevant change to your circumstances.

WorkSafe ACT may also make enquiries of a third party in order to determine if there are reasonable grounds to believe that you are no longer suitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road.

WorkSafe ACT carries out periodic reviews of the driving history of persons holding an ACT dangerous goods driver licence for this purpose, and may seek further details about any matter shown on the driving history including new driving offences, changes to the licence conditions, and any suspension or cancellation of the road vehicle driver licence.

Action Following Review of Suitability

If WorkSafe ACT decides that you are no longer suitable to be the driver of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods by road under the current terms of your ACT dangerous goods driver licence, WorkSafe ACT may take action under the Dangerous Goods (Road Transport) Regulation 2010 to vary the licence by imposing conditions on it (or amending any existing conditions on the licence), or to suspend or cancel the licence.

In most circumstances, you will be provided with notice of the action which WorkSafe ACT proposes to take, the reason why WorkSafe ACT is proposing to take that action, and your right to give reasons why WorkSafe ACT should not take that action, at least 28 calendar days in advance.

However, WorkSafe ACT may take immediate action to vary, suspend or cancel your ACT dangerous goods driver licence if this is considered necessary in order to avoid, eliminate or minimise a dangerous situation.

WorkSafe ACT may also take immediate action to suspend or cancel your ACT dangerous goods driver licence in order to give effect to an Australian court order which prohibits you from being involved in the transport of dangerous goods by road.

If immediate action is taken to vary, suspend or cancel the licence, you will be provided with notice of the action which WorkSafe ACT has taken, and the reason why WorkSafe ACT has taken that action, at the earliest practicable opportunity.

Forms and fees

For the renewal of a licence use the Dangerous goods driver licence application form above.

For current fees go to https://legislation.act.gov.au/di/2019-81/

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