Special work vehicles (quad bikes)

Special work vehicles are specialised vehicles primarily constructed and used for off-road transportation in the performance of agricultural, maintenance or service tasks.  These vehicles can be conditionally registered for road use with strict operating conditions.

Registration of Special Work Vehicles is restricted to operator groups 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8.

For detailed information on operator groups visit the register a non-complaint vehicle page.

Persons eligible to operate a special work vehicle

A person driving a special work vehicle on a road must be at least 18 years of age and be the holder of an appropriate car licence.A learner permit holder is not permitted to drive a Type 1 special work vehicle (SWV1 body type).


New Special Work Vehicles

Applications for the registration of new special work vehicles can be made at accredited dealerships at the time of purchase.

Used Special Work Vehicles

All other applications can be made by appointment at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre using a Machinery Pack [PDF 199 Kb].

Before you contact us to make an appointment, make sure you have the following information ready:

  • the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or chassis number and engine number of your vehicle
  • the make, model and previous registration number of your vehicle (if previously registered)
  • your current licence number.

Make an appointment by:

Obtaining a Machinery Pack

You can download a Machinery Pack [PDF 199 Kb] or obtain the pack by visiting a VicRoads Customer Service Centre, or calling us on 13 11 71.

The requirements and items you need to provide VicRoads are outlined in the Machinery Pack. This pack also provides guidance and information on everything you will need to obtain the conditional registration.

The following is a summary of the conditions that apply to special work vehicles.

A full description of the operating conditions will be provided to the registered operator once the vehicle is registered and must be kept in the vehicle or be held by the driver at all times that the vehicle is in operation. Level 4 standardised conditions will apply to special work vehicle. This information is also available at Vehicles non-compliant with Australian standard.

General use

  • A special work vehicle can only be used on a road for the purpose for which it is registered.
  • The vehicle must not be used on the carriageway or shoulder of any M Road (freeway) under any circumstances.
  • The vehicle must travel on the un-formed roadside of roads unless obstructions prevent it from doing so or unless the road is not designated as an A, B or C road. (These are shown by yellow route numbers on green signs).
  • A vehicle can travel on the carriageway of any road other than an M road where it is necessary to cross a road by the shortest possible route (provided that this is not across double or continuous single barrier lines or within 25 metres of an intersection).
  • The vehicle must not be used on the carriageway of A, B or C roads at places where there are double or continuous single barrier lines unless it is necessary to cross a railway line, bridge, ford or causeway.

Carrying out works

A special work vehicle can be used to travel on a road between defined places where it is required for work to be carried out (worksites) unless the distance been worksites or between the vehicle’s garage address and the worksite exceeds one kilometre and the speed limit of the road is not greater than 60km/h. At all other times the vehicle must be transported to the worksite.

Public roads within the boundaries of private property

A special work vehicle can be used on roads within the boundaries of private property provided that the road has a speed limit of 60km/h or less and is not able to be used as a public thoroughfare through the land unless it is necessary to use that road to travel to or from a worksite.

Vehicle requirements

Vehicles must be fitted with:

  • a braking system
  • one dipped headlamp or a headlamp with a dipping device
  • one rear red lamp
  • one number plate lamp
  • one brake lamp
  • two or four amber indicator lamps
  • rear vision mirror or mirrors
  • a horn or warning device
  • one rear red reflector
  • elevated flashing or rotating warning lamp.

In addition to the above-mentioned construction requirements, Type 2 Special Work Vehicles must also be fitted with 2 seatbelts.

The vehicle must not be driven in excess of 30km/h.

Special requirements for Type 1 special work vehicles

The following conditions apply just to Type 1 special work vehicles:

  • no passengers apart from the driver may be carried on the vehicle
  • the driver must wear an approved motorcycle helmet
  • towing is not permitted.
Special requirements for Type 2 special work vehicles

The following conditions apply only to Type 2 special work vehicles.

  • No more than a driver and three passengers may be carried in the vehicle in seats designed to carry adults.
  • The towing of trailers exceeding the manufacturer’s limit is not permitted. The wearing of an approved motorcycle helmet is not mandatory but the operator should consider the use of helmets in making an assessment of the risks of using the vehicle as intended.

Duty of Care

The registered operator of the vehicle has a duty of care in assessing the risks of using the vehicle as intended, ensuring that it is used in a safe manner having regard to the conditions and ensuring that all people permitted to use the vehicle are given proper instruction in its use.

Special Work Vehicles are specialised motor vehicles, primarily constructed and used for off-road transportation that:

  • are a light motor vehicle not constructed as a tractor
  • are primarily constructed for and used for off-road transportation
  • are undertaking agricultural, maintenance or service tasks and
  • do not comply with the Australian Design Rules ( ADR) for general road use.

With conditional registration, the vehicle must be used for occupational purposes only and cannot be registered for recreational use.

They are divided into two distinct types:

Type 1 - special work vehicles are generally referred to as quad bikes. They are built to carry one person and steered by using a handle bar.

Special work vehicle type 1.

Image courtesy of Yamaha Australia

Type 2 - special work vehicles are steered by using a steering wheel, have side-by-side or bench seats and generally a small goods tray

Special work vehicle type 2.

Image courtesy of John Deere (Australia and New Zealand)

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