If you have or are going to emigrate to Australia and you hold a UK driving license, you are allowed to drive on your existing UK license for the first 3 months that you are in Australia. After this period you will have to get an Australian Driving License, which is very straight forward, but DOES require you to be classed as a resident. The UK is one of a number of countries that Australia recognise the driving licensing system as similar, which means that you will not have to take a practical test if you have had your UK license for more than 2 years. However, Australian Driving Licenses are administered at a state level, so the regulations governing the driving license can vary. Please check with the local authority for more details
You are required in Australia to carry your driving license with you at all times. So please don’t forget to do this. If you get pulled over and do not have your license with you, you will be given a producer which gives you only 24 hours to produce a valid driving license at a police station.
If you have only held your UK driving license for a couple of years or less, you may have to have probationary restrictions applying to your new Australian Driving License. Again please check with the local authority for more details
Getting your license
For most states you will need the following to get your driving license:
- Proof of address
- Other form of identification
Usually any offical letter will suffice for the proof of address (such as your Tax File Number letter), but if you are are staying with family/friends etc.. you can get them to sign the form to vouch for you as long as they hold a license for the state in which you are applying. The other form of identification you will also need can usually be just a bank card with your name embossed on it, even if it is a UK bank card
For most the process of getting the license will be a 15-30 minute affair. The transport departments are very good and will take your photo there and then and give you your laminated license straight away. Beware though it’s not free!! You can usually specify between 1 and 5 years for your license with 5 years usually costing $100 or more, but this will again vary from state to state. Tasmania is currently charging $108 for a new 5 year license whilst in Queensland it costs $165. Quite a difference!
Change of address
You must notify your states transport authority of any change in your details. For example, Queensland Transport Authority gives you 14 days to notify them and they offer an online and telephone service for you to change your details. You will be issued with a sticker that has your new address on it and this usually is stuck to the back of your existing license. Yes, you read that right a sticker!!!! Here’s the proof