This post should come in handy for those who already have an international driving license, but are unfortunate to be coming from a country where the license cannot be transferred. In this case, you would need to go through the process of obtaining the Australian Driving License. To check if you can transfer your overseas driving license, go to this link.
It is important to know that you can drive using your overseas driving license for up to six months from the time you enter Australia, given that you are under a permanent visa. For temporary visa holders, you do not need to apply for a driving license and can use your current driving license. Make sure the driving license has English writing on it, or carry an English Translation of it at all times.
The first step to obtain your driving license in Victoria is to apply for the learner’s permit (ls) which is basically a road law knowledge test. You can book your test online using this link: book vicroad ls test. You can also pay online using your credit card. Another option is to book the test through the vicroad customer service center. Select your nearest service center using this link: vicroad service center office locations. You can always visit the vicroad service center to book and pay by cash.
To prepare for the learner’s permit test, you need to read the Road to Solo Driving Handbook. This book should be available in vicroad customer service centers for a fee, and it is also available to view online for free Road to Solo Driving Handbook. It is available in several languages other than English as well. It consists of four chapters which you should read carefully. Try to focus on the facts, remember the figures and road signs. The test questions will consist of 32 multiple choice questions . Once you have read the handbook, you can practice sample tests available online vicroad ls practice test. The online practice test allows you to also correct your answers to understand which questions you got wrong, so make sure you do that.
On your learner’s permit test day, you will need to fill in an application, which can also be downloaded and filled prior to the test date. Make sure you bring in the necessary documents which include:
- Passport or birth certificate
- Medicare card or bank card
- Proof of address ( a bank statement will do)
You will also have your eyes tested on that day.
Now once the first stage is over, you need to register for the hazard perception test. Registration can be done online, although in my case the payment did not go through so I had to do it over the phone. The test is a 45 minute computer based one, that focuses on safety mainly. At first I thought this test was a nightmare, it just did not make any sense. There is not much practice available, so you need to be very careful with your answers. Each question consists of a video, in which you will be a driver on the road, and a certain task will be required from you (e.g. slow down, overtake, move off), which is basically a click of a mouse. You should click only when it is safe to do the action. Make sure you do not click too early, or too late. In some videos, no action is required so the correct answer will be to NOT click. Some hints from my side to pass the test:
- Focus on the whole video
- Notice other cars or tram/bus signals
- Pay attention to the sidewalk or parked vehicles as people might be coming from that side
- As much as you are urged to click, some videos asking you to overtake will actually need you to NOT click as it will never be safe to do so in the video
- In case of a road sign asking you to slow down (e.g. slippery road), only click after you pass the sign
- Make sure not to be hasty AND not to be too careful
More details can be found on the vicroad website using this link.
Finally, the last stage of the lengthy process of obtaining a driving licence in Melbourne Australia, the driving test. The driving test can be booked online on the vicroad website. The test consists of two stages. Stage 1 will take 10 minutes, consisting of basic knowledge of car controls and driving in low risk conditions. A reverse parallel parking or a 3 point turn can also be requested. If you pass stage 1, you will be asked to continue driving to complete stage 2, which usually takes 20 – 30 minutes.
You can use any vehicle for the driving test as long as it meets the vicroad conditions. Check car suitability: Cars for the driving test.
I recommend taking at least one driving lesson before you go for the exam, as there are many country specific rules and road manners that might not be the same as in your country. The driving instructor will also provide insight on how the exam goes and what is usually requested from test takers.
On the test day, make sure to bring with you the following:
- Passport / identification document
- Proof of address
- International licence (English translation if applicable)
- Bank card
Once you successfully complete the above hectic stages, you are eligible for the Victorian Driving Licence. You will pay for the licence, have your photo taken, get a paper to use for driving while you wait for your licence to be mailed to you within 10 days.
I think this about covers it all, best of luck!