Exemptions from wearing a seat belt or bicycle helmet

This page details the exemptions from wearing a seat belt or bicycle helmet in Victoria.

Seat belt

The Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2009 allows an exemption for an occupant of a motor vehicle from wearing a seat belt (which includes a child restraint and booster seat) providing the following conditions are complied with:

  • a medical practitioner has issued a certificate stating that, because of medical unfitness or physical disability, it is impractical, undesirable or inexpedient that the person wear a seat belt, and
  • the certificate is signed by a medical practitioner and displays the date of issue and an expiry date that is a date not more than 12 months after the date of issue; and has not expired.

The conditions stated in the certificate (if any) must be complied with. In addition the certificate must be carried in the vehicle in which the person to whom it applies is travelling and must be produced by the person, or driver of the vehicle, when requested to do so by a police officer or authorised person.

There are a number of other exemptions [non-medical] from wearing a seat belt provided by the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2009 including when:

  • driving a motor vehicle in reverse
  • a person is engaged in door to door delivery, collection of goods or collection of waste or garbage providing the vehicle's speed does not exceed 25 kph
  • travelling as a passenger in or on a police or emergency vehicle
  • a person is receiving medical treatment of an urgent and necessary nature while travelling in a vehicle.

Note: No application is required for these blanket exemptions.

Bicycle helmet

The Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2009 provides VicRoads with the authority to issue a person with a certificate of exemption from wearing a bicycle helmet while riding on, or being taken as a passenger on, a bicycle.

The certificate issued by VicRoads must be carried by the person to whom it applies while riding on, or being taken as a passenger on, a bicycle. The certificate must be produced by the person when requested to do so by a police officer or authorised person. The certificate is valid until the expiry date shown on the card (three years from the date of issue). 

This type of exemption may be requested for medical reasons. 

How to apply for a medical exemption

Complete the Application form for Exemption from Wearing an Approved Bicycle Helmet in Victoria [PDF 50 Kb]. The medical section of the application form must be completed by a medical practitioner. The application form should then be sent to VicRoads (details on form) for review. VicRoads may send the application to an independent medical practitioner for appraisal and to confirm suitability for exemption. If successful, VicRoads will issue an identifying Bicycle Helmet Exemption certificate (credit card size).

Religious exemptions

The road rules state that a person may also be exempted from wearing a bicycle helmet for religious reasons, if religious headdress makes wearing a helmet impractical. You don't need a certificate for a religious exemption. 

This applies if you meet the following requirements:  

  • you're a member of a religious group 
  • you're wearing a headdress customarily worn by members of that group 
  • the wearing of your headdress makes it impractical to wear a bicycle helmet


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