Driving in Western Australia
A Permanent Resident is normally allowed to drive for 3 months before needing an Australian Licence. After that period they would be classed as driving without a valid licence.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In Western Australia, the 3 month period begins from the date you get PR, and NOT from the date you arrive, as used in all other States.
Consequentially, you may not actually get a 3 month period in which to change your licence over, unless you travel very soon after the PR is issued.
This situation is currently being reviewed by the WA Transport Department, but until any changes are made, anyone driving in WA, on a PR Visa, and a foreign licence, could be convicted of driving unlicensed, if they have gone past the PR issue date + 3 months, even if they can legally drive in all the other States.
A person on a Temporary or Visitors Visa is allowed to drive a private vehicle on a valid CURRENT driving licence from their own country, for as long as they have a valid visitors visa.
In Western Australia, this used to be a period of twelve months but has now changed, in line with the other States.
These visiting motorists are required to carry their licence (and English translation if applicable) at all times while driving and produce it to Police on request.
Production of their temporary visas may also be required as evidence of their temporary residential status.
Visiting drivers include:
- people on business trips, working-holiday visas or studying or working temporarily in WA
- overseas Defence Force personnel and their families.
As a visitor you can drive on your overseas driver’s licence until the licence expires.
If your overseas licence is not in English, it is advisable to carry an International Driving Permit or an approved English translation of your licence (if you have either of these) with you when you drive.
New arrivals from the UK, and other selected countries
- If you are the holder of a licence from the UK and other ‘recognised countries’, you are not required to sit the road rules theory, or practical test or the motorcycle theory, or practical test (if applicable).
- 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.
- Heavy Goods vehicles
There are Five classes of HGV: Light, Medium, Heavy-Rigid, Heavy-Combination and Multi-Combination. (LR, MR, HR, HC and MC)
For drivers from the UK, the following applies:
- LR needs just a practical test, but no theory
- MR needs Theory test and practical test
- HR needs Theory test and practical test
- HC needs Theory test and practical test
- MC needs Theory test and practical test
Driving Licence Fees
- Transfer Application (overseas or expired interstate) $36.20
- Licence fee – 1 year = $ 36.60
- Licence fee – 5 year = $ 116.00
Learning to Drive in Western Australia
Learning to drive in WA
- Step 1: Take a theory test, and then apply for a learners permit, after passing the thoery test.
- Step 2: Take lessons
- Step 3: Take the practical driving assessment (You must be at least 16 years and 6 months old)
- Step 4: Drive under supervision for at least 6 months, and accumulate 25 hours of driving experience. Whilst displaying L plates.
- Step 5: No earlier than age 17, you take the Hazard Perception Test. After passing that test, you can drive unsupervised whilst displaying P plates.
Minimum Driving Age & Learner Drivers
You can get a permit to drive a car when you turn 16, but if you are under the age of 18 when you apply, you must have a letter of consent signed by your parent or legal guardian.
When you are learning, you MUST ALWAYS be accompanied by either: a licensed driving instructor or a person who holds a current and valid licence and has held the class of licence specified on your permit for at least 4 years.
Speeding Fines and Demerit Points in WA
Fine Demerit Points Km/h over the speed limit
$75 0 Not more than 9 km/h
$150 2 More than 9 km/h but not more than 19 km/h
$300 3 More than 19 km/h but not more than 29 km/h
$700 5 More than 29 km/h but not more than 40 km/h
$1,000 7 More than 40 km/h
Police can impound the vehicles of drivers who exceed the speed limit by more than 45 km/h.
Double demerit points apply on all long weekends and holiday periods.