School Owned and Hired Vehicles

Purpose of this policy

To ensure schools:

  • safely maintain any vehicle they own
  • hire a vehicle that is roadworthy
  • comply with driver’s licensing requirements when using vehicles they own or hire.

Policy

Schools must:

School owned buses - accreditation and registration

Under the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic), operators of school bus services are required to be accredited or registered operators, depending on the type of bus service they deliver.

You must apply for registration if you intend to operate one or more buses with:

  • 10 to 12 seats only (including the driver);
  • 13 or more seats (including the driver) that does not fall into the definition of a Commercial Bus Service or a Local Bus Service, including a:
    • community and private bus service
    • non-commercial courtesy bus service
    • hire and drive bus service
    • commercial minibus service

The table below describes the types of bus service that can be operated and the bus operator accreditation or registration requirement. The last column (Reason) provides an explanation of associated legislation.

​Scenario​Requirement​Reason

​Government contracted school service, where the Victorian Government contracts a bus operator to transport school students to and from school

​Accreditation

​This is a commercial bus service under the Bus Safety Act.

​School bus services funded by the school, where the school itself has a private arrangement where it pays a bus operator to provide to and from school transport services.

​Accreditation

​This is a commercial bus service under the Bus Safety Act.

​Schools operating their own bus service, where students are not charged and a school operates the bus/es to transport school students to and from school for no fee or a fee for cost recovery only.

​Registration

​This is a community and private bus service under the Bus Safety Act.

​Schools operating their own bus solely for school related activities (e.g. excursions) where students are not charged and the school (government or private) owns and operates a bus that is used only to transport school students and staff on school excursions, etc. but does NOT provide to and from school transport services.

​Registration

​This is a community and private bus service under the Bus Safety Act.

​Schools operating their own bus service, where students are charged a fee to access to and from school bus services operated by the school.

​Accreditation

​This is a commercial bus service under the Bus Safety Act.

Visit Traffic Safety Victoria (TSV) for information about bus operator registrationincluding the application process and your obligations as a registered bus operator.

Driver licensing

VicRoads is responsible for the licensing of drivers in Victoria and provide advice on the types of licenses required to drive a variety of vehicles including buses used for school excursions and other events, see: License Categories

Principals must ensure that school bus drivers hold a correct and current driver's license and if appropriate driver's certificate. Students must not drive buses under any circumstances

School hired buses - private and charters

Schools must:

  • ensure vehicles they hire, use or own that seat up to twelve passengers have seat belts or restraints for children under 7 years of age, see: Child restraints 
  • only hire accredited, insured and roadworthy vehicles.

Safe maintenance of school bus vehicles

Schools must:

  • maintain roadworthy vehicles and ensure repairs are completed by as soon as possible by a qualified mechanic
  • insure vehicles they own, and have them annually inspected by a licensed bus tester
  • meet all costs of purchase and maintenance of the vehicle

   Related policies

Related legislation

  • Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic)
  • Bus Safety Act 2011
  • Road Safety Act 1986
  • Working with Children Act 2005

Other resources