Obtaining a Driver's Licence in Australia

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Obtaining a Driver's Licence in Australia

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Old 04-30-2016, 01:38 PM
jasonrebello's Avatar
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Thumbs up Obtaining a Driver's Licence in Australia

An underrated task but one which needs most attention is getting your driver’s license once you arrive in the country.

Surely, getting a license is as important as getting a job because without a license you will face following challenges:
1) Getting around - The most obvious advantage especially in regional cities and outer suburbs of the big cities.
2) Getting a Job – Some of the employers seek employees with an open License as a part of the role requirement.
3) ID Proof – Your License is the most recognized and accepted form of Australian identification and will make it much easier for you when approaching real estate agencies, Auspost, Banks and most of the organizations.

Note - Depending upon your country of origin, you may be able to get a licence across the counter or you may have to do a complete written and driving test for being issued an Aussie Licence.
In Queensland the list of recognized countries whose residents can get a licence directly can be found here:
Recognized Countries

How to Obtain a License:

Each state has their own requirement for getting an Australian License when coming from overseas. However a few general guidelines which are pretty much common across all states:

1) Your overseas License is valid for three months (provided it is open and unrestricted) in all the states except Victoria where you can drive for six months on your international license.

2) To apply for a open driver's license, you must attend the service centre in person and:
-Take your overseas license with you
-Provide proof of your identity and residential address
-Provide proof of your Australian permanent residency (If you can’t provide this, you will be issued with a Temporary Overseas Visitor license)
-Complete the License Application form
--Pass a knowledge test for each class of license you require, unless you are exempt
-Pass a driving or riding test for each class of license you require, unless you are exempt (Depending on your country of origin)
-Pay the relevant license fee

NOTE : If you fail your practical test you cannot drive on your international license anymore and you will then have to apply for a learner’s license. This also imposes a further condition that you cannot drive alone on your learner’s license and you need someone with an open license sitting beside you at all times.

It is well worth your money to invest your time before you move to Australia to start learning the state specific road rules and practice the Knowledge tests so that you are ready to ace this test on your first attempt.

Also it is highly recommended that you take some driving classes in the suburb you intend to take the test. You can then use the same institute’s car on the day of the test.

How Expensive is it? (Costs as of 01.DEC.2015)
Note – Prices vary from state to state so please check above links for actual costs. Mentioned below are costs in Queensland.
A written test (Knowledge test) - $22.30
The Practical test - $52.50
If you are taking a driving Class car you can be charged about $40-60 an hour.
Finally the 5 year driver (open) licence – costs $159.40

TIP – If you are migrating with your partner, then it is recommended that you stagger the practical test. This is just in case you are not able to clear on the first attempt, you cannot drive on your international license anymore. Also if you wish to drive with a learner license you will need to have someone with an open license sitting beside you. This way at least your partner can drive you around and sit beside you when you practice your skills.

Following is a great Link to start your research:


All the Best!

Jason Rebello
Migrant Ninja

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