You need to get a Driver Licence

As Melbourne is a large expansive city, the ability to move around easily is very important. You will soon find that getting around with just public transport is extremely limiting. Moreover, as taxis and delivery services are VERY expensive, having a car to transport groceries, small furniture, etc is very handy.

If you don’t have one already, the first step is to get a Driver Licence!

Driver LicenseYou Can Convert An Existing Driver Licence

In order to drive a car in Melbourne, you will need a valid driver licence which is issued by Vicroads.

As a newcomer to Melbourne with an existing licence, you will probably fall into one of the following categories:

  • Hold an interstate or NZ licence
    • If it is a current licence or has expired less than 5 years, you don’t need to take a test! Just show your current licence, prove your identity and Vicroads will send you a local one.
    • Else, you will need to take a knowledge test and practical driving assessment
  • Overseas licence
    • This is a bit more complicated and depends on several factors – most important of which is whether your stay in Melbourne is permanent or temporary
    • If you are on a temporary visa, you don’t need to get a local one provided it is in English
    • If you are on a permanent visa, you will need to get a local licence 6 months after you enter the country or 6 months after you get a permanent visa – whichever is more recent
    • If you have a license from a country on the Vicroads recognised list – includes USA, UK, Singapore, etc – you don’t need to take a test to get a local licence.
    • There is also another small list of countries – such as Korea, Taiwan, HK and South Africa – where driver experience is recognised. This means that if you are 25, you are exempt from the tests.
    • Unfortunately both lists do NOT include many popular immigrant countries like China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Phillipines, Sudan, etc.
    • If you find that you DO need to take a licence test, it comprises of:
      • Road knowledge test
      • Hazard perception test
      • Eyesight test, and
      • Practical driving test

Or You Could Start From Scratch.

If you don’t currently hold an interstate or overseas driver licence, you will need to go through the same process to get a licence as with local Melbournians. That is …

  • Apply for a Leaner’s Permit (if you are above 16 years old) and start learning ! – either with licensed instructors or friend/family with a full licence.Driver License P L Plates
  • Pass your test and get your Provisional driver licence! There are quite a few restrictions during the provisional period of 3 or 4 years – like the car that you can drive, zero alcohol, passenger restrictions, etc. Not to mention you must display big P plates.
  • If after provisional period and you haven’t got your licence busted, your licence automatically be converted to a FULL licence

( This blog post was first published by me in 2011. This is an updated version.)

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