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Apply for a Bus Driver Authority
To become a bus driver in NSW, you need to have a Bus Driver Authority
You can apply for a Bus Driver Authority.
To be eligible you must:
- be at least 20 years of age and
- have held a full (unrestricted) Australian driver licence for more than 12 months in the last two years,
- be at least 25 years of age and,
- have held a current Australian driver licence (not including a learners licence) or nationally recognised overseas driver license for at least three years in the last four years.
- be a safe driver and have a good driving record. Your traffic offences will be assessed by Transport for NSW (Transport) when processing your application. For more information click here
- be medically fit to drive
- be a suitable person to hold a BDA. Transport will assess all relevant documentation when processing your application. For more information click here.
What you need
- Commercial medical assessment from your doctor (completed no more than six months prior).
- Note: Ask your doctor to:
- submit your assessment online directly to Transport, and
- select the option to indicate the assessment is for the purpose of driving public passenger vehicles. This is to ensure your medical assessment can be prioritised. This must be recorded on the Transport system before you submit your application. You can enter your personal information into the online form to check if your medical has been recorded on Transport systems. If it has, you will automatically be able to proceed with your application. More information can be found here.
- Police check – Apply on the NSW Police Community Portal. Your Police check cannot be older than three months. Your Police check must include all current and former names.
If you are unable to arrange a National Police Check (NPC), Transport can send you a one-time link that is valid for seven days to apply for your NPC online when you submit your application. This will enable Transport to complete the NPC on your behalf. Note: This option will slow down the processing of your application.
- Bus Driver Training Certificate – from an approved training provider. Note: You can submit your application before you complete the course. When you complete the course, Transport will need your certificate before a BDA can be issued.
- Get your documents ready – Have the supporting documentation ready to upload in your online application. The best format for your documents is pdf.
- If you have held an interstate or overseas driver licence in the last five years, you will need to get a copy of your licence history and traffic record for each licence held from the relevant authority. Documents not in English must be officially translated.
Taxi, hire car and rideshare drivers
Transport assesses your application to determine if it considers you to be of good repute and in all other respects, a fit and proper person to be the driver of a public passenger vehicle.
If your application for a BDA is unsuccessful on the basis that Transport is unable to confirm that you are of good repute and in all other respects a fit and proper person, you will no longer be eligible to drive a taxi or hire car (including rideshare). For more information on Transport’s Public Passenger Driver Fit and Proper Policy, click here or review the Point to Point Transport Commissioner’s website for more information.
From 1 August 2023, the NSW Government has introduced a $70 fee waiver for those applying for a new BDA as part of efforts to boost driver numbers in NSW. The fee waiver will be available for 12 months.
The online application process takes about 30 minutes, and you cannot save your progress.
Do not click on the back button, refresh the web page or close the window. If you do, you will go back to the start of the application and need to resubmit.
Transport will respond within 10 working days of receiving your application.
Converting an interstate or New Zealand BDA (or equivalent)
If you already hold an interstate or New Zealand BDA (or equivalent) and want to apply for a NSW BDA, you should follow the Mutual Recognition Process. Find out the steps to:
- Renew a bus driver authority online
- Change the details on your bus driver authority online
- Convert your Bus Driver Authority to NSW
- Replace a lost, stolen or damaged bus driver authority online
Frequently asked questions
Can I submit my BDA application while I’m waiting for my medical appointments?
No. You must complete a Commercial Medical Assessment with your doctor (and any necessary specialists) before you can apply. It is a pre-requisite to be deemed medically fit to apply for a BDA.
Can I start my application and finish on another day?
No. You cannot start and go back to finish your application on another day.
What do I need to apply online for a Bus Driver Authority?
You need to have a valid email address to submit an online application.
You must provide all your supporting documents. This includes a digital copy of your driver licence.
What happens if don't attach all mandatory documents?
You will not be able to submit an application online without attaching all mandatory documents.
What if I don't have all my supporting documents?
You should not submit your application at this time as it will delay the processing of your application. Your application will not be assessed without all of the supporting documentation.
What will happen if my supporting documents are not in the correct format?
The best format for your documents is PDF. If your supporting documentation is not in the correct format, you should not submit your application as this will increase processing times.
Why do I have to submit a digital photo?
If you do not hold a valid NSW driver licence you will need to provide a digital photo for your BDA card.
Where can I get a digital photograph taken?
A digital photograph can be obtained from any Australia Post or camera retailer that provides this service.
What are the requirements of the digital photograph?
- Your digital photograph should be a recent, clear photo of your head and neck on a pale background without a hat or sunglasses.
- The resolution of the photo should be width 246 pixels and height 246 pixels.
- Photos should be uploaded in any of the following formats: JPG/JPEG/PNG/BMP/GIF.
- Selfies or photographs that have been cropped will not meet the requirements above.
- You will not be able to submit an application online if you do not provide a photograph that meets these requirements.
What computer browsers do I need to allow the online application to work?
You will need one of the following browsers for the online application to work;
- Chrome (version 66 or above
- Safari (version 12.1.4 or above)
- Firefox (version 66 or above)
- Microsoft Edge (version 100)
Does my application expire?
Your BDA application expires after six months. This starts from the time you apply to the time you are approved to become a bus driver.
Do I have to complete the training before I apply for a BDA?
No, you don't. But, your bus driver authority can't be approved until you have completed the training. Please note your application expires after six months and you will need to submit a new application.
When will I receive my Bus Driver Authority?
Your Bus Driver Authority will be posted within 10 working days, provided your application meets all mandatory requirements. Where TfNSW is requested to apply for a National Criminal History check on your behalf this will delay the processing of your application.
What if I don't have an email address?
This is a requirement of your application. You can create an account online (e.g. - Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook or Yahoo).
If I enter my details in lower case will they appear on my BDA in that way?
No, it does not matter how you enter the information.
If I have held a driver licence in another Australian state or territory, do I need to provide any more identification?
Yes. You need to provide secondary identification to prove who you are. Look at the Secondary ID List for more help.
If I have held a driver in another state and cannot remember the date, will this affect my application?
No. If you are unsure of the exact date you can apply for a copy of your traffic record and licence details at any Service NSW Service Centre or you can apply online. The information will be contained on the licence details provided.
If I have held a driver licence in another state and cannot remember the issue or expiry date, will this affect my application?
You can apply for a copy of your traffic record and licence details at any Service NSW Service Centre or you can apply online. This will be a complete history of your traffic record and driver licence details.
Where is the reference number?
I have held an interstate or New Zealand driver licence in the last five years. How can I get my driving history record?
You will need to contact the relevant state or territory government office:
- Victoria – VicRoads
- South Australia – SA.GOV.AU
- Queensland – Queensland Government
- Western Australia – Western Australia Police Force
- Tasmania – Department of State Growth – Transport
- ACT – Access Canberra
- Northern Territory – NT.GOV.AU
If you are from New Zealand and are applying for mutual recognition you can obtain your record from the New Zealand – NZ Transport Agency.
I have held an overseas driver licence in the last five years. How can I get my driving history record?
For international driver licences and traffic record details, search online. Contact your local consulate if you're having difficulty finding the information you need.
If the driving record and history are not in English, they must be accompanied by a certified copy of an official translation from Multicultural NSW or the Translating and Interpreting Service of the Department of Home Affairs.
I have further questions about my BDA, who can I speak with?
If you need to check your medical assessment, you can contact Service NSW on 13 22 13 or for all other enquiries phone Transport on 02 8848 8700.