One of the more common queries the BCSV gets from both existing and potential members is regarding the process for registering a bus on a club permit (also known as club plates, H-plates or heritage plates).
The registration process for club plates has been simplified over recent years.. The below summary was endorsed by the BCSV committee in January 2017 and is subject to review from time-to-time.
As per the Vicroads website the current annual rate for registration of a bus on club plates is $194.10 for 90 days per year or $119.40 for 45 days per year.
To meet the criteria for club plates, VicRoads regulations state that a vehicle must be at least 25 years old.
Almost all buses fall under the category of Classic and Historic vehicles, being manufactured after 31 December 1930 so we have only detailed that below. Vehicles built before 1931 are categorised into veteran and vintage categories with stricter conditions.
The BCSV committee has decided that we will only register buses that are still maintained as buses (e.g. with passenger seating intact) and not those that have been converted into motorhomes or the like.
Those looking to register motorhomes on club plates are advised to make contact with the Historical Commercial Vehicle Club of Australia who accept a boarder scope when registering historical vehicles.
A vehicle on club plates cannot be driven on more than 90 days a year. A cheaper permit for 45 days is also available.
The vehicles must be stored in Victoria.
From time-to-time the BCSV has been approached by members intending to preserve other types of vehicles than buses, either cars or trucks.
To encourage members to preserve buses and coaches for future generations, there is no limit on the number of buses that an individual member can register.
As a reward for those who have completed a bus preservation project, once a bus has been registered on BCSV Club Plates, the BCSV will consider registering up to two other historical vehicles (e.g. cars or trucks). The committee reserves the right to exercise discretion on which vehicles are registered, especially if there is no direct connection with the Victorian bus industry or the operators’ history.
As part of the registration process the Secretary must certify that the applicant is a financial member of the club (BCSV).
Those looking to join can find membership details elsewhere on this site. Adult memberships cost $50 per annum, or $40 per annum for concession holders.
Roadworthiness and Frame Inspections
To complete the registration process the applicant must arrange for the Roadworthy Certificate to be presented to VicRoads.
Vicroads have a comprehensive document on their website outing the various items that are checked as part of a roadworthy check to register a heritage bus.
Attention should be drawn various items relating to buses covered within Part 4 Section I, in particular the following statement: “Where a bus is more than 25 years old, proof of a current acceptable structural assessment must be provided and sighted by the tester.”
Part 5, Additional inspection standards for Buses, relates to buses and coaches used on accredited passenger work and does not apply to heritage vehicles registered under the club permit scheme.
A roadworthy certificate is not required annually in Victoria, it is only required when a vehicle is first registered or sold or, in some cases, to clear a vehicle defect.
Certificate of Roadworthiness
All club permit vehicles manufactured after 1 January 1949 require a Certificate of Roadworthiness.
Get a Certificate of Roadworthiness at a Roadworthy Tester
It is optional for vehicles manufactured on or before 31 December 1948 to get a Certificate of Roadworthiness. The club scrutineer/official may inspect and declare the vehicle to be safe to use on the road.
The Vehicle Eligibility and Standards Declaration for Club Permit Vehicles form
Download from Vicroads Website
- The VESD form must be signed by the Secretary of the BCSV
Club Permit Application form
Download from Vicroads Website
The Club Permit Application form must be signed by:
- the applicant
- the BCSV Secretary (or other Permit Scheme Officer) as an authorised officer of the approved vehicle club indicating you are a financial member of the vehicle club or association.
The club permit application must be signed and dated and received within 30 days of the declaration date on the Vehicle Eligibility and Standards Declaration for Club Permit Vehicles form, or the club permit application will be rejected by us, and a new club permit application will be required.
Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme (VASS) Club Permit approval certificate
You’ll need to get a Vehicles Assessment Signatory Scheme (VASS) Club Permit approval certificate when the vehicle:
- is modified outside what is permitted in the Vehicle Standards or the guidelines as specified below or
- wasn’t originally produced for the Australian market (no compliance plate and / or previous Australian registration history) and was manufactured after 31 December 1968.
Note: If a VASS Club Permit approval certificate has been provided for any modifications previously (where required) and no additional modifications have been made, a new certificate isn’t required for the vehicle to remain on the Club Permit Scheme.
Submitting Club Permit Applications:
The following advice regarding submission of a club permit application comes from the Vicroads website
Documents that you need to submit with your application:
- Your evidence of identity for the club permit holder and if applicable, for your authorised agent
- If the club permit holder will be a company or incorporated association a completed authority to act as an agent form. Visit register on behalf of someone else for more information
- Original completed Club Permit Application form
- Original completed Vehicle Eligibility and Standards Declaration for Club Permit Vehicles form
- An original Certificate of Roadworthiness (for vehicles manufactured after 1949, it is optional for pre 1949 manufactured vehicles)
- Payment of fees that will include the TAC, Registration fee and log book fee
- An original VASS Approval Certificate if applicable – see above
Note: All documents must be original, certified copies or fax are not accepted.
To submit your application visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre (pay by VISA, MasterCard*, cheque, EFTPOS or cash)
*A card payment fee applies for MasterCard transactions.
At the Customer Service Centre you will be issued the club permit on the spot and you will get the number plates, log book, club permit certificate and labels.
Once your application has been accepted and approved, VicRoads requires you to:
- attach the club permit certificate to the inside cover of your logbook
- attach the windscreen label to the vehicle to assist in identifying vehicles operating with a current permit
- affix the allocated Club Permit number plates to your vehicle
- follow the conditions of use for club permit vehicles (such as maintaining a log-book and keeping your vehicle in a roadworthy condition)
As part of the annual renewal process, a designated person at the club must sign the relevant renewal form. In our case, this is the BCSV Secretary, Paul Kennelly.
There is a risk of vehicles being impounded should they not be signed off by the club.
As part of the signing off process, we require owners to provide a recent photo of their vehicle each year for our records.
At any time we reserve the right to request a physical inspection of any vehicle registered on club permits through the BCSV.
Once registered, a roadworthy certificate is not required annually in Victoria, it is only required when a vehicle is sold or, in some cases, to clear a vehicle defect.
However, the Secretary may refuse the renewal of club permits if he does not believe a vehicle is of a roadworthy state.