Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS)

The Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) provided a mechanism for interstate heavy vehicle operators to be registered under a national system. FIRS was decommissioned and closed to new registrations and renewals on 1 July 2018.

  Interstate heavy vehicle operators

The Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) provided a mechanism for interstate heavy vehicle operators to be registered under a national system.

FIRS was decommissioned and closed to new registrations and renewals on 1 July 2018.

In Western Australia (WA), Main Roads WA (MRWA) manages and regulates the movement of heavy vehicles on the State's roads through the accreditation of heavy vehicles, the issuing of permits and orders as well as the administration of restricted access vehicles on roads. Heavy vehicles in other Australian jurisdictions are regulated by the independent National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) which was established under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

The HVNL applies to heavy vehicles from WA that cross into one of the states or territories where the HVNL applies. Alternatively, heavy vehicles travelling into WA from interstate are required to comply with WA heavy vehicle laws and regulations.

If you are a WA-based interstate heavy vehicle operator, you must carry all of your documentation when travelling interstate in order to comply with HVNL heavy vehicle requirements. Specific documentation can be determined by visiting the NHVR website.

Heavy vehicles travelling into WA from interstate will need to comply with WA heavy vehicle laws and regulations. You must carry all of your heavy vehicle documentation when entering WA. It is important to check the MRWA website to ensure you have the appropriate permits for operating on WA roads.

Opens in a new window Main Roads WA: Heavy vehicles
External Link National Heavy Vehicle Regulator
External Link National Heavy Vehicle Regulator: Heavy vehicle national law

  Decommissioning of the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme

The Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities is progressing the repeal of the Interstate Road Transport Act 1985 (Commonwealth) which means the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) will be decommissioned by 1 July 2018.

FIRS was decommissioned and closed to new registrations and renewals on 1 July 2018.

The termination of FIRS will require the current FIRS registered vehicle owners to apply for their vehicles to be licensed under WA road law.

Please refer to the factsheet below for more information about this.

LBU_P_FIRS_Factsheet.pdf icon Decommissioning of the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (Fact sheet) Kb
Opens in a new window 19/06/2018: Duty exemption for FIRS heavy vehicle transfers

  B-doubles

B-double combinations must comply with standard dimensions (width <2.5 metres, height <4.3 metres) and are allowed an overall combination length of up to 27.5 metres (deck length <22.0 metres).

Axle spacing, tyre and axle loadings, gross mass limitations, and braking systems must meet specified standards. The vehicles must operate on approved routes under prescribed conditions.

  B-double combinations under FIRS

FIRS b-doubles may be operated on any approved B-double route. If travelling on a route that is not approved in WA, a permit from Main Roads is required.

The owner of any FIRS licensed B-double vehicle that operates on a non-prescribed route without an appropriate permit is liable for prosecution. The Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development publishes a list of all B-double routes.

Opens in a new window Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities: Transport
Opens in a new window Main Roads WA: Heavy vehicles

  Change of ownership of FIRS vehicles

Federal legislation requires a person disposing of a FIRS vehicle to notify the relevant licensing authority of the sale within 7 days and for a person acquiring the vehicle to apply for a FIRS licence within 14 days of the sale.

If the previous owner authorises the crediting of any remaining balance of the licence fees to the new owner, the existing licence (and the plates) can be continued. In such cases, an inspection is not required.

The seller can make this authorisation by endorsing on the 'Notification of Change of Ownership (Form MR9) above the signature area, "I nominate that any residual registration charge be credited to the new owner".

Where this is not practicable (e.g. a Notification of Change of Ownership form is not readily available), the seller must supply a separate written statement identifying the vehicle in question and incorporating the wording quoted above.

Where the seller does not authorise the crediting of the remaining balance of the licence fee to the new owner, the new owner must take out a new licence incorporating a vehicle inspection and issue of new number plates.

Once the existing licence has expired the vehicle will need to be inspected and licensed under the WA Scheme.

LBU_F_VL_MR9_VehicleTransfer.pdf icon Notification of change of vehicle ownership (Form MR9) Kb

  Changing vehicle usage to a B-double

If a client wants to change their vehicle usage to a FIRS B-double configuration (MP3 category), approval is required from the Senior Examiner at the DoT Vehicle Operations Centre.

The vehicle must be equipped with ABS braking systems before approval will be granted. The approval allows clients to operate their vehicles at 62,500 kg (rather than the state limit of 42,500 kg) without the need for a Main Roads permit. A 'Change in Heavy Vehicle Use' (Form VL184) must be completed.

If the change in nominated configuration results in a change of the heavy vehicle category code, a new label will be forwarded in the mail.

Before a vehicle can be licensed in the MP3 category, the vehicle record on our system must show the GCM as 62,500 kg. If not, the vehicle must be inspected before the category can be changed.

LBU_F_VL_184_HeavyVehicleUse.pdf icon Change in heavy vehicle use (Form VL184) Kb

  Distance measuring devices

At the time of licensing, if the owner nominated on the applicable paperwork that a vehicle is fitted with an approved distance-measuring device (a device for measuring the actual distance travelled by a vehicle during the year), a calculation will be made at the end of the licence period based on a charge per kilometre travelled.

Only authorised installers can fit distance-measuring devices and the device must be of a type approved under the Interstate Road Transport Act.

  State trailers and semi-trailers

WA licensed trailers and semi-trailers, when being towed by FIRS vehicles permitted to operate at the higher mass limit, may also operate at the higher mass limit provided that the higher mass limit does not exceed the manufacturer's rating for the trailer.

This is consistent with current WA permit schemes where any trailer can be towed by a vehicle that has a permit and the increased GCM of the permit also applies to the trailer.

  Surrendering a FIRS licence

If you surrender your FIRS plates before the licence expiry date, you are entitled to a refund of the remaining licence fees. This refund may be used as credit towards renewal of a licence for a WA licensed vehicle.

 

Page last updated: Mon Feb 11 2019 1:55:19 PM