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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

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BYO permit for party buses

Party bus operations that pose the greatest risk of alcohol-related harm are subject to regulatory control.

Some commercially operated party buses that take pre-bookings and allow passengers to bring and consume their own alcohol on board for things such as nightclub tours are required to apply for a BYO permit.

Concern for community amenity

Party buses can create significant disruption to community amenity, including when operators drop off passengers at the end of the night in areas where there are no public toilets or public transport options available for patrons seeking to return home.
Road safety issues can also arise, especially if buses are modified and feature amplified music, flashing lights, special seating or dance floors (creating a ‘party’ atmosphere for passengers).

Does it apply to all party buses?

The BYO permit requirements apply to commercially operated party buses that take pre- bookings and that:

  • operate at night between 8pm and 5am (regardless of the time of passenger pick-up)
  • operate in a designated area or for the purpose of carrying passengers travelling to or from or visiting a designated area.

The sale of alcohol

Bus operators must be licensed to supply alcohol. Selling alcohol directly, or including alcohol supply in a ticket price, would require the bus operator
to apply for and obtain a liquor licence. The application kit is available at www.vcglr.vic.gov.au.​

Offences apply

It is an offence to allow passengers to bring and consume alcohol on board without a BYO permit, or to supply alcohol on board without a liquor licence.

Applying for a BYO permit

Party bus operators that meet the outlined criteria need to apply for a BYO permit or a liquor licence as soon as possible. Applicants must also:

  • submit a management plan aimed at reducing alcohol-related harms associated with party bus activities
  • adhere to a code of conduct that complies with the standards of patron and operator behaviour expected by the VCGLR.

The VCGLR has the discretion to impose conditions on a BYO permit, including those relevant to the party bus environment, to mitigate any risks.

Apply for a BYO permit for party buses

Page last modified 
27 November 2018