National Driver Work Diary NSW

The National Driver Work Diary in NSW: Navigating its Requirements and Implications

Managing and monitoring the working hours of heavy vehicle drivers is crucial for ensuring their safety and the safety of other road users. The National Driver Work Diary serves as an essential tool in New South Wales (NSW) and other parts of Australia for this very purpose. Here’s a comprehensive look at its requirements, penalties for non-compliance, applicability, and the law.

What is the National Driver Work Diary?

The National Driver Work Diary is a logbook where heavy vehicle drivers record their work and rest details. It’s an integral part of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) aim to ensure drivers are not fatigued when on the roads.

To Whom Does It Apply?

The Work Diary applies to drivers of heavy vehicles who

  • Hold a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle licence.
  • Drive a heavy vehicle that has a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) exceeding 12 tonnes or a combination that exceeds 12 tonnes GVM.
  • Are driving outside of a 100km radius of their base or the vehicle’s base.

However, certain exceptions and exemptions exist, and it’s always best to check directly with the NHVR or relevant state authority to clarify individual circumstances.

The Requirements

Drivers must:

  • Fill out the diary daily, even on days when they aren’t working.
  • Record specific details including the date, start and finish times, total hours worked, breaks, and vehicle details.
  • Maintain the diary for 28 days and have it available for inspection when asked.
  • Start a new page at the beginning of each day.

The Law and Penalties

The National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL) governs the use of the Work Diary in NSW

  • Failing to carry the Work Diary when required can result in an on-the-spot fine.
  • Falsifying information or not filling out the diary properly can lead to severe penalties, including hefty fines and potential disqualification from driving.
  • Overworking or not taking required breaks: Drivers found working beyond regulated hours or not taking mandatory rest breaks can face serious repercussions.

The penalties vary based on the severity of the breach. Minor breaches might lead to warnings, while severe or repeated breaches can result in court appearances, substantial fines, or even imprisonment in extreme cases.


The National Driver Work Diary is a pivotal tool for promoting road safety in NSW and across Australia. Its primary purpose is to mitigate the risks associated with driver fatigue in the heavy vehicle industry. For drivers, understanding and adhering to the diary’s requirements isn’t just a matter of legal compliance, but an essential step in ensuring their safety and the well-being of everyone on the road.