How to Get a Driving License in Australia

Australian Road Sign
Australian Road Sign (Image: by irene;;;;;

In Australia, resident driver's licenses are issued by state and territory governments. Australian citizens and permanent resident visa holders will need to acquire an Australian driver's license if they plan driving a car in the country. Permanent residents who have a current driver's license from another country are generally allowed to drive for their first three months after arrival without a penalty. To attain an Australian driver's license, a person must usually pass a written knowledge test, a driving test and an eyesight test.

Contact the state or territory in which you reside to determine if you are eligible to apply for a driver's license. Driver's licenses are issued by state and territory governments.

Obtain and complete the driver's license application forms. Forms are available at local Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) offices and may also be available at local police stations.

Make copies of proof of your identity and residency and submit the copies along with the completed application forms to the appropriate MVR. Evidence of identity and residency will be required during all MVR transactions.

Ask the appropriate driver licensing authority about restrictions for learner and provisional drivers, if necessary. If you have never had an Australian driver's license, all new drivers must apply and attain a learner's driving license before they will be eligible for full driver's license. Rules and regulations for learner's and provisional licenses vary by territory.

Study for the appropriate level test. Tests vary based on whether the applicant is seeking a learner, provisional or full driver's license. Potential tests include a computer-based Driver Knowledge Test, a driving test, a computer-based Hazard Perception Test and a Driver Qualification Test.

Schedule an appointment to take the required test(s). The requirements of each level must be satisfied before advancing to the next level.

Transfer an interstate Australian driver's license by providing proof of identity and residency along with a license transfer application to the MVR in the new territory of residence.

Determine if your current driver's license will be recognized by the Australian driver licensing authorities. If you hold a driver's license from another country and that country's authority is accepted by Australia, you may be exempt from taking the written and driving tests when applying for a driver's license. A list of recognized countries is available by following the link for Austroads in the Reference section.

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