Heavy Freight Vehicles

Licensing of heavy freight vehicles is provided under–
  • prior to 1 June 2018, the Licensing of Heavy Vehicles Act 1977 and the Licensing of Heavy Vehicles Regulation 1977,
  • from 1 June 2018, Division 3 of the Road Traffic Rules - Passenger & Goods Transport Licensing 2017.

The information on this page is a summary of the provisions as they relate to a person applying for a licence. See the Rule for all the provisions relating to goods transport licensing. Download Rule

The RTA is the licensing authority for heavy vehicles that ply for hire or reward on inter-provincial journeys and in the NCD.

Applicants for a heavy vehicle licence for inter-provincial journeys involving the NCD or the Papua Region (Central, Gulf, Milne Bay, Oro (Northern), and Western (Fly River) Provinces) and for journeys within NCD should apply to–

  • RTA Operations Office, Kunai Street, Hohola, Port Moresby.

Applicants for a heavy vehicle licence for inter-provincial journeys involving other regions should apply to–

  • Highlands Region – RTA Regional Office, Kungtang Street, Mt Hagen
  • Momase Region – RTA Regional Office, 3rd Street, Lae
  • Islands Region – RTA Regional Office, Aidik Street, Kokopo
The Provincial Government is the licensing authority for a heavy vehicle that plies for hire or reward on a journey with its starting point and ultimate destination within the boundaries of the same province.

Application for a heavy vehicle (goods transport) licence

The owner or operator of a goods transport vehicle that he or she owns or operates for hire or reward may apply for–

  1. a highway licence; or
  2. a provincial licence; or
  3. a highway licence and a provincial licence,
or renewal of such a licence, in respect of the vehicle.

The application must be made on this form [downloadable Form 13A], and be accompanied by–

  1. a description of each of the vehicles to be used, together with a description of the type of goods transport operation proposed and an explanation as to why the vehicle is appropriate for that type of operation, using this form [downloadable Form 13G]; and
  2. a current certificate of registration in respect of each vehicle; and
  3. a certificate of roadworthiness for each vehicle issued within 7 days before the making of the application; and
  4. evidence that the applicant is a fit and proper person under Section 64 of the Road Traffic Rules - Passenger and Transport Licensing 2017; and
  5. the fee prescribed in–
    • prior to 1 June 2018, Schedule 2 [Item 70] of the Licensing of Heavy Vehicles Regulation 1977.
    • from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 37] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017,
    which is in addition to any fee prescribed for the registration of the vehicle.

The licensing authority must be satisfied that–
  1. each vehicle is so constructed as to comply with the requirements of Road Traffic Rules – Vehicle Standards and Compliance; and
  2. each vehicle is roadworthy; and
  3. each vehicle is a currently registered vehicle; and
  4. each vehicle is suitable for the type of operation proposed by the applicant; and
  5. the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a goods transport licence.
The goods transport licence may contain conditions, as the licensing authority thinks fit in relation to–
  1. the area in which the vehicle or vehicles may be operated; and
  2. the routes over which the vehicle or vehicles may be operated; and
  3. the loading of the vehicle or vehicles.
A renewal of a goods transport licence may be on the same conditions as the original licence, or if the licensing authority so determines, on different conditions.

A heavy vehicle licence remains in force for a period of 12 months from the date of issue or renewal, unless sooner cancelled or suspended.

Application for endorsement or permit to drive a goods transport vehicle

Prior to 1 June 2018, the driver of a licensed heavy vehicle (goods transport vehicle) does not need to hold a special permit or endorsement to drive the vehicle.

This will change from 1 June 2018, when an endorsement on the driver’s driving licence or a permit is required to drive of a licensed goods transport vehicle.

Application for an endorsement or a permit to drive a goods transport vehicle must be made using this form [downloadable Form 15A] and be accompanied by-

  1. the applicant’s current driver’s licence; and
  2. evidence (such as a copy of the goods transport licence) of the class of motor vehicle to be driven; and
  3. evidence to the satisfaction of the licensing authority that the applicant is a fit and proper person in terms of Section 64 of the Road Traffic Rules - Passenger and Transport Licensing 2017; and
  4. the fee as prescribed in-
    • from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 38] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017.

Before the grant of an endorsement to drive a licensed goods transport vehicle the applicant must-

  1. answer, in writing, any questions required by the Authority to be answered; and
  2. sign his or her name to the answers in the presence of a Traffic Enforcement Officer or other person authorized for the purpose by the RTA.

The RTA may, by written notice, require an applicant for a goods transport licence to attend at an office of the Authority on a date specified in the notice.


Replacement licence or label

Where the licensing authority is satisfied that a licence or label has been accidentally lost, defaced or destroyed it may issue a replacement licence or label, on payment of the fee prescribed in–
  • prior to 1 June 2018, Schedule 2 of the Licensing of Heavy Vehicles Regulation 1977
    1. replacement licence [Item 72];
    2. replacement label [Item 73].
  • from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 40] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017.

Transfer of licence

Before the sale, transfer or other disposal of a licensed heavy vehicle, the person to whom the vehicle is to be sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of may apply, using this form [downloadable Form 14A] to have that heavy vehicle licence transferred to him or her.

An application to transfer a heavy vehicle licence must be accompanied by the fee prescribed in–

  • prior to 1 June 2018, Schedule 2 [Item 74] of the Licensing of Heavy Vehicles Regulation 1977.
  • from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 37] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017.

The application must also be accompanied by evidence that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a heavy vehicle (goods transport) licence.