Authority to drive in hazardous areas

A Hazardous Area Authority is required for drivers of vehicles that have 13 or more seats (including the driver) and who wish to drive in proclaimed 'hazardous areas' for the Victorian Alpine region during the snow season.

Holders of a Hazardous Area Authority (HAA) are only permitted to drive a vehicle for which they have undertaken hazardous area training for. An HAA does not allow the holder to drive a vehicle if they do not have the appropriate driver licence category.

Types of Hazardous Area Authorities

There are two types of Hazardous Area Authorities:

  • Mt Hotham - this allows the holder to drive in any proclaimed hazardous area including Mt Hotham and
  • Defined Areas other than Mt Hotham - this allows the holder to drive in any proclaimed hazardous area except Mt Hotham

Carry a Hazardous Area Authority

You must carry a current Hazardous Area Authority and your current Victorian or interstate driver licence when driving in a hazardous area.

Vehicles requiring an authority to drive

If you are driving in a defined hazardous area, a Hazardous Area Authority is required for the following vehicles.

1. Vehicles that have 13 or more seats (including the driver) that are operated by a person who is either accredited or registered to provide bus services under the Bus Safety Act 2009:

  • for hire or reward
  • as part of a courtesy service, or
  • for, or in connection with, the activities of a religious, philanthropic, educational, sporting or social body

2. Vehicles that seat more than 30 people (including the driver).

It does not include vehicles that move on caterpillar tracks, which are designed for use on the snow.

Hazardous areas

Hazardous areas, and the period within which they are to be regarded as hazardous are determined by VicRoads and published in the Victorian Government Gazette.

The following specific areas are proclaimed as hazardous during the period 1 June to 7 October each year.

  • Falls Creek
  • Licola Area
  • Mt Buffalo
  • Mt Donna Buang
  • Mt Saint Gwinear
  • Mt Tamboritha
  • Lake Mountain
  • Mt Baw Baw
  • Mt Buller
  • Mt Hotham
  • Mt Stirling
  • Mt Torbreck

Hazardous areas are also defined in the VicRoads information bulletin Bus travel in hazardous Areas (Snowfields) [PDF 197Kb].

Duration of a Hazardous Area Authority

A Hazardous Area Authority is issued for 6 years. Hazardous Area Authorities expire on 31 December of the expiry year.


No fees are payable for the issue or replacement of a Hazardous Area Authority.

How to get a Hazardous Area Authority

You must successfully complete a four-day training course during the snow season.

How to renew a Hazardous Area Authority

Renewal information is sent to all Hazardous Area Authority holders in February/March of the year the authority is due to expire. This allows for assessment during the snow season.

Renewal requirements

The following renewal requirements are necessary for a Hazardous Area Authority, which is due to expire or one that has not expired by more than five years.

For further information regarding renewal requirements contact your course provider.

Driving on Mt Hotham

You must complete a one-and-a-half day reassessment of skills associated with bus operations in hazardous areas.

Driving in all other areas

You must either:

  • complete a one-and-a-half day reassessment of skills associated with bus operations in hazardous areas. This course is conducted by a training course provider during the snow season, or
  • complete a statutory declaration which states that the driver has driven a bus in a hazardous area at least five times during the last two snow seasons. National Driver Work Diary pages or other proof may be requested

Training courses

Training courses are conducted by a training provider in a declared hazardous area during the snow season. Training may commence the Monday before the Queen's Birthday holiday (Vic).

For further information regarding training and refresher courses contact your course provider.

After successful completion of the course the training provider will forward your details to VicRoads.

Test vehicles

You need to discuss the test vehicle with the training provider. You may be able to undertake the training/course using in your own vehicle.

Issue and renewal

Applications must be sent to:

  • [email protected], or
  • VicRoads
    Demerit Points and Offence Management
    Locked Bag 7000
    Kew VIC 3101

1 Stop Driving School (External link)

Call: (03) 5721 5307

Call: (03) 5721 5307 

Wondonga TAFE (External link)

Call: 02 6055 6672 or
1300 698 233

Integral Training (External link)

Call: (03) 5821 9607

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