How to apply for an ODBS authorisation
Do I need an ODBS authorisation?
An on-demand booking service (ODBS) is:
- A provider who takes or communicates passenger requests for an on-demand trip and connects the customer with a vehicle and driver; or
- A driver who makes arrangements directly with the passenger for an on-demand trip.
If you are individuals or business that takes bookings for an on-demand trip from a customer and arranges a driver and vehicle to service that trip, you must be authorised as an ODBS. If you are not authorised as an ODBS in your own right, you will need to have an association arrangement.
What are association arrangements?
An association arrangement is a specific written agreement between two booking services. It is most relevant when one of the booking services is a business who dispatches or otherwise facilitates jobs for the driver and the other is the driver who takes bookings directly from their own clients.
An association arrangement must state which is the principal booking service and which is the associated booking service. Association arrangements are not approved by DoT. They must be developed and agreed upon by the booking services and meet the requirements detailed in the regulations.
For more information, visit What is a booking service.
If you are considering setting up an on-demand transport business there are a few things to consider to make sure you have ready.
- You will need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to apply for an ODBS authorisation.
- You will need a business name or logo to meet vehicle signage and sticker requirements.
- Sign up for a DoTDirect account that properly reflects your business structure.
- If you’re a sole operator, you can use your individual DoTDirect account. However, if you want other people to have access to your business dealings in DoTDirect (such as a business partner) then you should apply for an organisation account.
- Research what equipment your vehicle will require, where to get it made and how much it will cost. This may include equipment such as:
- roof light;
- roof sign;
- mountings or a phone cradle; and
- ODBS signage and stickers.
- If you’re driving a taxi, your vehicle must have a camera surveillance unit that meets the Camera Surveillance Unit (CSU) Standards 2020 and Taxi plates.
- Consider how you will fulfil your safety, record keeping and complaints handling obligations, and what tools or resources you will need.
Read the On-demand Booking Services: Setting up your own on-demand transport business fact sheet for more information.
|On-demand Booking Services: Setting up your own on-demand transport business fact sheet||Kb|
About responsible officers
A responsible officer is a person nominated by an on-demand booking service (ODBS) to represent them in providing their authorised service. An authorised ODBS must have a responsible officer at all times. ODBSs can have more than one responsible officer.
Responsible officers must:
- be directly involved in the day-to-day management of the ODBS;
- have the authority to represent the provider of the ODBS;
- have access and authority to provide any information relating to the ODBS;
- be fit and proper in character, and
- have the capacity, on behalf of the ODBS, to influence the safety of the drivers and vehicles used to deliver the on-demand trips.
All nominated responsible officers must be residents of Australia, and at least one responsible officer must be a resident of Western Australia. This ensures that there is someone in the State who can oversee, identify and address all matters relevant to the operation of the ODBS.
When an ODBS is a body corporate, at least one responsible officer must be a director or manager of the body corporate.
How is a responsible officer nominated?
A responsible officer must be nominated when applying for an ODBS authorisation using DoTDirect.
When nominating a responsible officer, the following documents must be provided:
- Statement of Authority for Nomination of Responsible Officer form (ODT103);
- proof of identity and residency, and
- National Police Certificate (NPC) (less than three months old at time of nomination).
It can take up to 14 business days to receive an NPC. Visit the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission website (below) for more information.
Submitting an NPC allows DoT to assess whether nominated responsible officers have been charged or convicted with a disqualification offence – see Disqualification offences for ODBSs below on this page for more information.
DoT has the right to refuse to grant, suspend or cancel an ODBS authorisation if a responsible officer is charged or convicted with a disqualification offence.
Proof of identity requirements for responsible officers are different to those required to be granted a Western Australian driver's licence, learner's permit or photo card. Read On-demand Transport Standard Proof of Identity Requirements – Responsible Officers below for full details.
A nomination to change the responsible officer for an ODBS can be made at any time using DoTDirect (fees apply).
IMPORTANT: The ODBS authorisation will be automatically suspended if the ODBS does not have:
1. at least one responsible officer who is a resident of Western Australia; and
2. where the ODBS is a body corporate, at least one responsible officer who is a director or manager of the body corporate.
The ODBS must immediately notify DoT if a person ceases to be a responsible officer. Penalties may apply.
Disqualification offences for ODBSs
Disqualification offences include offences under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 and other State and Commonwealth law, including:
- Criminal Code;
- Work Health and Safety Act 2020;
- Prostitution Act 2000;
- Misuse of Drugs Act 1981;
- Weapons Act 1999; and
- Firearms Act 1973.
If an applicant, close associate of the applicant or a nominated responsible officer has been charged or convicted of a disqualifying offence, ODBS authorisation may not be granted.
Full details about disqualification offences are available in the Act and Regulations.
|Disqualification offences fact sheet||Kb|
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020|
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018|
Answer these questions to find out how to register
Become a client of the Department of Transport
Before applying for an ODBS authorisation, you will need to become a client of the Department of Transport (DoT).
As a client of DoT, you will be issued with a DoTDirect account. DoTDirect is an online portal that allows you to complete DoT transactions such as licensing, vehicle registrations and authorisations.
Having a DoTDirect account does not mean an ODBS is authorised. ODBSs will still need to apply for authorisation via DoTDirect.
Please note: On-demand Transport has specific proof of identity requirements for becoming a DoT client. These are different to those required to be granted a Western Australian driver's licence, learner's permit or Photo Card.
Do you need to complete a form?
If you haven't already, please answer the questions under the How to get a DoTDirect account for your ODBS section (above) to find out whether you need to complete one of the forms below.
Please note: completing a form does not mean an ODBS is authorised. ODBSs will still need to apply for authorisation via DoTDirect.
Checklist to apply for an ODBS authorisation
Before you apply for your ODBS authorisation in DoTDirect, make sure that you:
- Consider your business structure – do you plan to operate as a sole trader, partnership, trust, company or cooperative?
- Get a DoTDirect account that fits your business structure – check Become a client of DoT above for more information.
- Identify who your responsible officer/s will be – remember, they need to be someone involved in the day-to-day operations of the ODBS and at least one needs to live in WA. If you’re a sole trader, you are the responsible officer by default.
- Prepare any necessary documentation, which may include:
- Confirmation of your business structure (e.g. company extract, partnership agreement, trust deed);
- Proof of identity and residency;
- National Police Clearance for responsible officer/s; and
- Statement of authority (ODT103) form for responsible officer/s (see About responsible officers above for more information).
Before you apply, it is important to consider your responsibilities as an ODBS and how you will meet these. If you’re unsure, contact On-demand Transport for an advisory visit to discuss your options.
To help you through the application process, follow the steps below on this page and/or use the On-demand booking service authorisation user guide.
|On-demand booking service (ODBS) authorisation user guide||Kb|
Step 1: Your roles and responsibilities
Open DoTDirect and select your ODBS profile – if the correct profile is not appearing, you may need to follow the steps above at Become a client of DoT, otherwise contact On-demand Transport.
Once the profile is open, select “On-demand Transport” and “Booking Services”. Then read the information provided and click “Apply for a booking service authorisation”.
Read the roles and responsibilities of being an authorised ODBS. Tick “I have read and understood the role and responsibilities of an authorised on-demand booking service” and click “Next”.
Read more about responsibilities for ODBSs.
Step 2: Business details
Enter your ODBS’s ABN – this is mandatory, and you won’t be able to proceed without providing this.
Your registered business names should be listed. If not, please contact On-demand Transport to have your business name added.
Select any business names that your ODBS operates under – all selected business names will be published on the DoT website once your authorisation is granted.
Note: Any livery or signage related to your ODBS and vehicles will need to match your ODBS or business names.
If your ODBS is operating under a corporation, partnership or trust, you will need to upload documentation confirming the legal structure of your business.
Step 4: Annual authorisation fees
Choose your fleet band
Select the fleet size band applicable to your business. The band of number of vehicles that is selected will be the maximum number of vehicles that your booking service will be authorised to dispatch work to within the 12-month period that authorisation is valid for.
Visit On-demand transport fees and charges for more information about ODBS fees.
Direct debit set up
Once you have selected your fleet size band you will be given the option to utilise direct debit as a method of payment for booking service authorisation fees (this does not include the ODBS authorisation application fee that is payable when submitting your application).
If you wish to use direct debit as your preferred payment method for authorisation fees tick “I wish to pay by direct debit when paying for booking service authorisation fees” and complete your direct debit details. Tick the boxes under “Request and authority to debit”, then click “Next”.
|Direct debit request service agreement on-demand booking services - authorisation||Kb|
Step 5: Add responsible officers
Responsible officer details
Fill in the personal details of the responsible officer and respond to the three suitability questions. If you answer “yes” to any of these, a space will display for you to add additional information.
You will need to upload:
- an NPC for the responsible officer – it needs to be less than three months old at the time you submit the application; and
- the responsible officer’s proof of identity and residency.
The proof of identity requirements for responsible officers are different to those required to be granted a Western Australian driver's licence, learner's permit or Photo Card – check out the On-demand Transport standard proof of identity requirements – responsible officers fact sheet below for more information.
You will then need to answer suitability questions for the responsible officer.
Make sure you have uploaded all the required documents, then click “Add responsible officer”. You can then add additional responsible officers or continue to the next page.
You will see a list of all responsible officers. Make sure the details are correct, then click “Next”.
Statement of authority for responsible officers
You will then be taken to a screen to upload a completed ODT103: Statement of authority for nomination of responsible officer form (below) for each responsible officer.
How do responsible officers work for individuals (sole traders)?
If you’re a sole trader, you will also be the responsible officer for your ODBS. You will need to tick “I intend to be a responsible officer of this on-demand booking service”.
|What is a responsible officer? fact sheet||Kb|
|Statement of authority for nomination of responsible officer (ODT103)||Kb|
|On-demand Transport standard proof of identity requirements - responsible officers||Kb|
Step 7: Review application and pay fees
You can now review all the information you have provided in your application – please read the information carefully, then agree to the privacy statement and declaration of acknowledgement, and proceed to payment.
You can pay your application fee online with Visa or Mastercard. Once your application fee has been paid, you will be able to download a receipt – this will also be emailed to you. Your application will then be assessed by DoT.
Department of Transport assessment
The Department of Transport will assess applications for ODBS authorisation once an application has been lodged and the application fee paid. The application must be lodged, and fee paid in full within 14 days of starting the application process.
Once the application has been submitted, the applications must be assessed by DoT against a range of criteria. Authorisations will be granted once this process has been completed.
Complete applications with correct and current supporting documentation can be expected to be assessed by DoT within 10 business days. Incomplete applications or applications with out-of-date supporting documentation may experience delays in being processed.
Managing your ODBS authorisation
Once your ODBS authorisation application is approved, the authorisation details will be available through your ODBS’s DoTDirect account. This includes the ability to
- change your direct debit account details;
- manage responsible officers;
- renew your authorisation with the same or a different fleet band size;
- increase the fleet band for the current authorisation; and
- manage the registered business names associated to your ODBS.
Visit How to renew, change or cancel an ODBS authorisation for more information.