Transport Accident Act 1986 (review)

VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) under the Transport Accident Act 1986.


For active TAC cases opened after 1 January 2014: Lodge documents online

For all other cases, you can submit documents by email, post or in person.


Cases we can hear

You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review if you are a person whose interests are affected by a decision of the (TAC) about a TAC claim as a result of injuries said to be suffered in a transport accident. Transport accidents may be caused by the driving of a car, motorcycle, other motor vehicle, train or tram.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.

Time limits

You must file your application by the later of:

  • 12 months after you become aware of the decision, or
  • If the decision has been the subject of the an application for pre-issue review under the Protocols then 3 months after the TAC notifies you in accordance with the Protocols of its decision on the application)

Read your decision letter carefully.

Protocols means the No Fault Resolution Protocols agreed between the TAC, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Australian Lawyers Alliance on 1 March 2005 as amended from time to time.

Legal representation in reviews under this Act

Many applicants seeking review of TAC decisions choose to be legally represented. You may wish to seek legal representation, which may be available on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.

When you make your application, negotiations often happen under the No Fault Dispute Resolution Protocols. These Protocols govern settlement negotiations between solicitors (who agree to be governed by them) and the TAC. VCAT will stay the application, which means it is put on hold. We take no further action until the parties ask for further orders.

If you are legally represented by lawyers who have not agreed to be governed by the Protocols, VCAT takes no action for 180 days unless the parties request orders. This is because section 77 of the Transport Accident Act 1986 gives TAC time to reconsider its decision before VCAT may act.

If you are self-represented, we usually schedule a directions hearing Definition A directions hearing is a hearing where a VCAT member decides how a case should be managed and how much time it will take. six weeks after receiving your application. While the 180-day period may still apply, the directions hearing is an opportunity to discuss the application.

For more information see VCAT’s practice note Definition A document at VCAT that details VCAT procedures, instructions, rules, processes and information. There are practice notes that apply across all of VCAT, for example PNVCAT1 - Common procedures. Some Lists have their own practice notes that provide specific information about processes, procedures…  on Transport Accident Proceedings.

Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:

  • affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
  • vary the decision
  • set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
  • set aside the decision and remit (send back) the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker Definition A person who makes or has made a decision under legislation that gives them this authority. giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Need help with your application?

We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim. The following services may be able to help you:

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. For more about applying for confidentiality.