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May 08 2011

Australian Driving Licence

Change your UK licence to an Australian Licence

The most important piece of information, for new migrants, is that No Theory or Practical Driving Tests are now required in any Australian State for the vast majority of fully licensed UK Car Drivers.A UK full licence holder is able to “swap” their UK licence for an Australian one, without the need for ANY tests, Theory or Practical.
This has been an area of confusion for some years, as different States had different rules for this over the years, but this is something that has now been standardised for all States.
You do still retain your old UK licence, as it is not actually cancelled or retained by most States.
This only applies to Private vehicles, NOT commercial vehicles.

As each State may have has different rules, and has different pricing structure for Driving Licences, please check the individual page for the relevant State.
ACT : NSW : NT : QLD : SA : TAS : VIC : WA

Some basic info for each State is listed here:

NSW/ACT

As from 17 January 2005 customers are exempt the car driver knowledge test if they hold an acceptable car licence from the UK or one of the other recognised countries.
The RTA reserves the right to require customers to undertake a knowledge test or driving test, and may not issue a licence until it is satisfied that the overseas licence is valid.

If you have held your driver licence for less than 12 months, you will be issued a NSW provisional P1 licence. If you have held your driver licence for more than 12 months but less than three years, a provisional P2 licence will be issued.

New South Wales Car Driving Licence Fees 2008

    • Licence fee – 1 year = $ 46.00
    • Licence fee – 3 year = $ 108.00
    • Licence fee – 5 year = $ 145.00
    • Motorcycle Rider Training Scheme
    • Pre-learner course $73
    • Pre-provisional course $110

Source: www.rta.nsw.gov.au

Queensland

As from March 2006, the requirement for UK Licence holders to take the Queensland written theory test has been removed.
A fully licensed, newly arrived migrant, can now visit the local Queensland Motor Registry Office and obtain an equivalent Queensland Drivers licence on production of their UK licence together with the relevant forms and payment, without taking any tests, other than an eyesight test.
This MUST be done within THREE MONTHS of arrival, otherwise you would be classed as “Driving without a valid licence” and subject to Police Prosecution if caught.
Testing requirements still apply for overseas licence holders when applying for a heavy vehicle licence.

South Australia

As of the 31st October 2005 The holder of a current overseas Driver’s Licence and from certain recognised countries do not have to now undertake a theory test, the UK is one of these countries.An applicant obtaining a Provisional Licence is required to hold the Provisional Licence until they turn 19 years of age or for two years, whichever period is longer.

Tasmania

If you hold a current car or motorcycle licence from one of the exempt countries, (United Kingdom included) you will not have to take a knowledge test or an on-road driving test.

If an applicant for a Tasmanian licence holds an overseas provisional licence, the Tasmanian provisional conditions will apply.

If the overseas licence is non provisional, the applicant will be issued with a non provisional Tasmanian licence

Victoria

If you are an existing licence holder from a recognised country, no tests are required to apply for a car or a motorcycle licence in Victoria

Western Australia

If you are the holder of a licence from a ‘recognised country’, you are not required to sit the road rules theory test or the motorcycle theory test (if applicable).

However, you are still required to sit the heavy vehicles theory test if you are applying for the equivalent WA classes.

If you are under 19 or have held your overseas licence for less than two years, you will get a probationary WA licence.
A probationary licence means that you will be required to display ‘P’ plates when driving until the probationary period expires.
While you are on ‘P’ plates it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or above.

HGV Licence Holders

For heavy vehicle licences (classes MR and above) you must pass an oral test on specific issues relating to size and dimensions of heavy vehicles.
You must get 8 correct out of 10 to pass.

The Drive Safe book containing these questions and the rules of the road can be obtained from any Licensing Centre or Agent.

The heavy vehicle practical test is still required for HC (heavy combination), HR (heavy rigid) and MR (medium rigid) equivalents.

Heavy Vehicle Licence Classes

    • LR (light rigid) small vehicle with ability to seat more than 12 adults including the driver.
    • LR (light rigid) has a GVM exceeding 4.5 t but not exceeding 8 t.
    • MR (medium rigid) has 2 axles and a GVM exceeding 8 t.
    • HR (heavy rigid) has 3 or more axles and a GVM exceeding 8 t.
    • HC (heavy combination) attached to: (a) a semi-trailer; or (b) a trailer that has a GVM exceeding 9 t.
    • MC (multi combination) is towing two or more heavy trailers.

http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/20672.asp

International Driving Permits

A Permanent Resident can ignore any references to “International Driving Permits (IDP)”, as these are not required for UK licence holders.
They are required when your normal licence is in a different language, and must accompany your VALID National licence.
An IDP is NOT a licence in itself, but effectively just a Translation of your licence.



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1 comment

  1. gavin o kane

    what are the steps to changing over a uk license to an australian one?

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