Good news to visitors with an overseas driver’s licence – you can drive in Queensland using it! However, if you have been issued a Queensland driver’s licence, you may no longer present your overseas licence to a police officer who stops you, as that licence is no longer valid in Queensland once you get your new Queensland licence. Do not even think of using your overseas licence interchangeably with your Queensland licence – the traffic police would know and you would be in trouble.
For those who are not merely visiting Queensland, you can no longer drive with your overseas licence, as it loses its authority if you are issued an Australian citizenship and are staying in Queensland for more than three months. Non-Australian citizens with a resident visa who have been staying in the country for three months need to acquire a Queensland licence.
The big question is how to get a Queensland driver’s licence.
Before going to a QGAP office, a Transport and Main Roads customer service centre, or a police station near you to apply for a Queensland driver’s licence, make sure you have evidence of three months residence in Australia and meet the age limit in Queensland, which is 17. You then need to accomplish the following:
- Fill up the application – Form F3000.
- Present your overseas driver’s licence. If it is not in recognisable English, you need a NAATI translator to translate it for you. You can order an approved translation online at The Migration Translators, a leading driver license translation service provider.
- Present three IDs or other documents to prove your identification. Passports, credit cards and student cards with signature and photos are accepted. Your overseas licence is counted as one ID.
- Present proof of residence in Queensland.
- Declare that you are fit to drive and have no medical conditions that could affect your driving. If you have a medical problem, a medical certificate may be required. It is important to be honest about medical issues, since a fine of $7,000 could be imposed if you fail to report a known medical condition.
- Upon submission of all of the above, your photo will be taken and you will be required to take a written exam (fee is $22.30) and a practical exam (fee is $52.25). If you fail the tests, you can re-take them as many times as you want. However, you will need to pay the fees each time.
- Pay the licence fee. The licence that will be issued may be valid from one to five years depending on your choice. The licence fee depends on the number of years you choose. Fees range from $71.20 (for one year) to $159.40 (for five years).
Once you have done all of the above, you will receive an interim document. This will serve as your valid driver’s licence until you receive the actual Queensland driver’s licence card, which will be mailed to you within 14 days.