How Do I Get a Drivers Licence in Melbourne?

Our vast and well-maintained road network ensures driving is a popular mode of transport throughout Victoria.

In Australia, motorists must stick to the left side of the road at all times. You and your loved ones can feel safe and secure knowing that Victoria's police force strictly enforces our driving laws.

FAQs About Melbourne Drivers Licence

The number of driving hours required vary in different states and territories. Foreign nationals holding a current licence from a recognised country or an experienced driver recognised country can convert their overseas licence to an Australian driver's licence usually within three months after arriving in Australia.

You will require this licence if you intend to drive a motor vehicle in Victoria. A full driver's licence is granted through various stages of competency known as a learner and provisional licences. A motor vehicle includes a car, motorcycle, boat or marine vessel.

Compulsory 120 hours of logged supervised learner driving experience. A minimum 12-month learner permit period. A challenging on-road driving test. a two-stage probationary licence - P1 (minimum one year) and P2 (minimum three years)

In NSW, once a driver becomes a permanent resident, you should obtain a local licence generally within three months.

The number of driving hours required vary in different states and territories. Foreign nationals holding a current licence from a recognised country or an experienced driver recognised country can convert their overseas licence to an Australian driver's licence usually within three months after arriving in Australia.

Do You Need A Driver's Licence?

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Everyone who drives a car in Victoria needs a valid driver's licence. However, there are some exceptions for migrants and residents:

Temporary Residents

If you are a temporary resident, you don't need a Victorian driver's licence for the duration of your stay. Still, you need a valid International Driver Permit or overseas licence to drive here.

Permanent Residents

If you hold a permanent visa, you may drive on your overseas driver licence (if it's written in English or accompanied by an English translation) or an international permit for the first six months of entering Australia (or when your visa was issued).

If you want to keep driving in Victoria after these six months, you must get a Victorian driver's licence.

Why You Should Get Your Driver's Licence

Young adults don't care about getting their licence.   

Recent data shows that teens across Australia, Sweden, Canada, the UK, and the US are increasingly less likely to drive for various reasons.

Advancements in technology and a general shift towards a more online lifestyle over recent years means that owning a car is no longer a priority for many people, particularly the young ones with better things to spend their money on.

And why should it be?

The fact that even moving out of home is a far-away notion for millennials these days is a likely contributor, meaning that the traditional 'Mum and Dad's Taxi Service' still gets a solid workout.

Failing that, it's likely a few Ubers are already circling your area and can be at the bottom of your driveway within five minutes.

It's often said that if buying a house is the largest investment most of us will make in our lives, purchasing a motor vehicle is second (and weekly brunch dates are third). Learning to operate a car is, then, a pretty important skill, even if it's not for yourself.

It's always handy if someone in your circle of mates has a licence, especially if you're all out for a night on the town and there's a need for a designated driver.

Of course, if you live away from the big cities, or public transport can't help you, chances are you've already gone through the pain of getting a licence.

But if you haven't needed to own or even drive a car thus far, it begs the question: why should you have to deal with the stress of traffic and parking when someone else can do it for you?

Whatever the reason you've avoided it thus far, earning your licence is a life skill that we should all have a crack at.  

Getting A Drivers Licence In Melbourne

Car Registration

Every vehicle in Victoria must be registered with VicRoads. The cost of registering a vehicle will vary according to the type you drive and where you live.

Car registrations are generally renewed once a year, and there are different payment options available to pay for the registration.

Part of the cost of registering your car goes to the Transport Accident Commission (TAC which provides support services for people injured in transport accidents (but does not cover damage to cars).


All registered vehicles in Victoria must also have a Certificate of Roadworthiness. A Certificate of Roadworthiness is required when a vehicle is sold or used on the roads, and only a licensed vehicle tester can issue a Certificate of Roadworthiness.

Roadworthy cars help protect the safety of drivers and others who use the roads.

Car Insurance

Car insurance helps protect your car if you experience an accident or damage your vehicle. Many car insurers in Melbourne can provide you with competitive prices.

If you want to get car insurance, choose a product that best suits your needs.

Maps And Street Directories

These days, finding your way around is a breeze, thanks to in-car navigation systems or the ability to connect to portable GPS devices that can be used anywhere. However, you can find a number of free online street maps and directions to help you reach your destination:

Melway is a well-liked street directory that includes not only Melbourne but also its suburbs and much of regional Victoria. Both print and electronic versions are on the market.

Toll Roads

Some Melbourne roads, such as the toll-collecting CityLink and Eastlink highways, have tolls. Before driving on these tollways, you must either register for an account and receive a remote monitoring device (called an eTag) to attach to your vehicle, or purchase a pass.

We don't have toll gates, so you can drive through the tollway without stopping to pay.

Keep your balance high or prepay for your trip to avoid incurring any overdraft fees. The failure to comply may result in monetary penalties.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance for vehicle breakdowns in Melbourne is available. One of Melbourne's most common roadside assistance providers is RACV, but several car insurers provide roadside assistance.

Enquire about roadside assistance when exploring your car insurance options.

Tips On How To Nail Getting Your Licence

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Don't Listen To Your Parents*

Unless one of your parents is a driving instructor*, it might be best to take on board most of what your parents say, just not all of it.

Even with the advent of logbooks to record learner hours, it doesn't change that impressionable teens are getting instructions from someone who isn't trained to teach them how to drive a motor vehicle.

You're only ever going to be as good as the person teaching you, and if your mum or dad isn't the best driver, then it's not much good to you to have them pass on their bad habits to you.

As well, relationships between parents and kids can sometimes be strained? It doesn't bode well if you're both thrown together in a stressful situation, just like learning to drive.

A good compromise is getting your parents to go through the basics with you - which pedals do what, how the family car's wipers work and so on - before graduating to some carpark lessons on a quiet Sunday before tackling the mean streets.

Find A Good Driving Instructor

Driving with an instructor as soon as you get your Ls is the best way to make sure you pick up the correct driving techniques from the get-go. They'll keep you calm AF when it feels like everything's spinning out of control, too.

You will also fit an instructor's vehicle with dual controls to override any wayward accelerating, which can be reassuring.

They'll also give you measured and balanced criticism, and you'll need to take it on board because they're not your parents, and you can't tell them to get out.

And, they'll make sure you learn to drive the easiest and safest way. There are plenty of instructors around, too, so don't be scared of ditching one to try another if the personality fit doesn't work.

Practice Driving A Manual

Even if there's nothing more terrifying than the thought of three pedals beneath your fancy vegan slip-on, it's worth a try. Once you master it (and you will), it'll be second nature and a skill for life.

Manual gearbox-equipped cars are generally cheaper and less popular to buy in the secondhand market, which means you'll get more cars for your money. It also makes you an invaluable addition to a party roster if you can drive everyone home from a party in the only available manual car.

But do your test in an automatic, and you'll be locked into that for at least another year (depending on which Aussie state you live in). So come on, guys - stretch your talents and learn to drive manual.

Do A Driver Training Course

Practice instils confidence, and taking a defensive driver training course will do just that. It will teach you how to control your car in both wet and dry conditions, you'll perform an emergency stop before you need to do one, and you'll become a better driver in general.

Beginner courses for learner drivers are often subsidised by councils, governments or even insurance companies so that the cost can drop to as low as $150 for a full day course.

They are available for all levels of experience – so mum and dad can polish up on their skills, too.

It's A Great Form Of Identification

If you've got a licence, you've got identification. And with the ID, you can apply for a rental property (cause who can afford a house deposit these days?), you can get into clubs and buy alcohol (when you're 18), and above all, you can feel more adult-y.

Holding a valid form of ID also helps when you're applying for bank accounts, passports, utility services and other stuff, as well.

Getting A Driver's Licence In Australia

Despite Australia's well-connected transportation network and overall good transportation system, having your vehicle is still essential in this vast country. It means that obtaining a driver's licence is a legal requirement in Australia.

Australians place a high value on road safety, which is why the country has highly strict traffic laws and a zero-tolerance policy for any offence.

People are often concerned about Australia's stringent driving assessment procedures. Still, nothing can stop you from obtaining a licence on your first try, provided you learn to drive properly and make it a habit.

Standard Terms Associated With The Australian Driver's Licence

Let us begin by learning the standard terms associated with the Australian driver's licence and what you should know about them:

Department Of Transport

Every state or territory in Australia has its own Department of Transport (often referred to as DOT). These DOTs are in charge of granting driver's licences to individuals who have applied for them. Therefore, any licences issued by the Department of Transport are valid throughout all Australian states.

Demerit Points

A driver's licence (DL) is issued with 11 to 13 demerit points valid for three years. Different DOTs have different demerit points.

A specific number of demerit points will be deducted for each traffic rule violation. The number of demerit points removed varies, depending on the severity of the offence. For example, if you are on a long vacation, the number of demerit points assigned to each sort of offence will get doubled.

Furthermore, your driving licence will get cancelled if you're left with zero demerit points, and you will be ineligible to apply for a new licence for the following three months. As a result, when driving in Australia, extreme caution is required.

How To Prepare For Your Driver's Licence Application

Here is everything you need to know about preparing for your driving licence application in Australia:

If You Have An Overseas Driving Licence

Visitors on a temporary visa (not a permanent visa) from other countries are conditionally authorised to drive with their existing overseas driver's licence for the duration of their stay, except for Victoria and Northern Territory. When it comes to an Australian drivers license for foreigners, every Australian state and territory has its own set of conditions. 

In general, drivers must bring their foreign driver's licence and submit a copy of it together with other needed documents for a 100-point check when applying for a learner's permit.

An International Driving Permit or a certified translation is only necessary if the licence is not English. However, you must anyway carry your original licence with you. As per Australian drivers licence NSW (New South Wales) conditions, if a driver becomes a permanent resident of NSW, they must obtain a local licence within three months.

A resident of Victoria who intends to stay for more than six months is not authorised to drive with an international licence for more than six months (calculated using Australia entry date or the visa grant, whichever is later).

People who hold a driver's licence from a non-recognised country must possess a Driving Licence Verification Certificate together with the other papers. To see a list of recognised countries, visit this website.


If You Do Not Have An Overseas Driving Licence

If you are applying for a learner's permit and do not already hold a valid driver's licence from another country, you must provide evidence sufficient for a 100-point check. Everything you need to know about a perfect score is listed below.

The Australian government uses a 100-point check to ensure the identity of a person. Businesses and individuals in Australia are required to use this identification system to help stop fraud in financial transactions.

There is a standard set of documents that one must present to pass a 100-point check set by the Australian government. Each document has a distinct section with its own set of requirements. Therefore, you should always be prepared to present evidence that adds up to 100 points if a situation calls for you to pass a 100-point check.

Primary sources and secondary sources are distinguished in the documents. The maximum score that can be earned from a primary source is 70 points. In the event that you are unable to provide your primary documents, you must submit a secondary document bearing your photo.

Primary Documents
  • Birth Card
  • Birth Certificate
  • Expired passport (not cancelled and expired in previous two years)
  • Current Passport
  • Citizenship Certificate
  • Documents with the same characteristics as a passport (documents granted to refugees for identification purposes and diplomatic documents)
Secondary Documents
  • A boat licence
  • Australian Driving Licence
  • Student Identity Card
  • Public employee identification card
  • Document from your employer within the last two years
  • Land Titles Office record
  • Foreign Driving Licence
  • Medicare Card
  • Utility bill
  • Rent agreement
  • Educational Records

How To Get A Permanent Driving Licence In Australia?

All DOTs (Departments of Transport) in Australia have a simplified process for issuing a driving licence.

Here are some most common steps you can follow to obtain a permanent driving licence in Australia:

Step 1: Get A Learner's Licence

You must first complete an online assessment to obtain a learner's licence. In this Australian drivers licence test, you will get multiple-choice questions on road safety. You must ensure that 80 per cent of your answers are correct.

After passing the online test, you will receive a learner's permit. Keep in mind that everyone must obtain a learner's licence. Note: The test consists of around 30 questions.

Step 2: Learn And Practice Driving With Australian Regulations

Before taking the Practical Driving Assessment, it is recommended that you learn and practise driving with Australian rules and regulations. Driving instructors can teach you how to drive.

You will find several driving schools in every Australian city where you can learn how to drive efficiently without breaking any rules.

Step 3: Appear For Practical Driving Assessment (Pda)

You can take the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) after you understand the road safety laws in Australia and are confident about your driving skills.

You will be seated next to an examiner during your PDA, who will ask you to follow the instructions. The PDA incorporates five sections, each of which will require you to do certain activities.

At the end of the examination, the examiner will inform you whether you have received the licence or not, based on how well you performed in each area.

Step 4: Obtain A Red P Or P1

After passing your PDA, you will need to practise driving with some limitations, such as maintaining a blood alcohol level of zero, a speed limit of 90 kilometres per hour and the ability to pull trailers weighing up to 250 kgs.

Additionally, only a few demerit points are awarded to P1 drivers. P1 drivers must hold their licence for a year before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Get A Green P Or P2

After a year of holding Red P, you will receive a Green P or P2. As a P2 driver, you will only get a certain number of demerit points. Once you have your P2 driver's licence for six months, you will be eligible for a full driver's licence.

P2 holders are also subject to certain limitations, such as a blood alcohol level of zero and a speed limit of no more than 100 kilometres per hour.

Step 6: Get A Full Licence 

After six months of holding a Green P licence, you will be eligible for a full licence. Once you receive your full driver's licence, you can drive at the maximum speed limit. Furthermore, you will access all demerit points with your full licence.

If you have an overseas driver's licence and have been driving for at least six years before applying for an Australian driver's licence, you will be issued a full licence instantly after passing the PDA.

Check out the Australian government website if you want more information about the driver's licence application process for a specific state or territory.

Note: Although the format of the online assessment and PDA, the number of demerit points, and the process of obtaining a full licence is similar in all states, the numbers associated with these processes may differ. Please consult the respective official Department of Transport websites for different states.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Your Licence In Australia?

The age limit to get your driver's licence in Australia depends on where you reside in the country. Apart from that, you will need to take a few steps to ensure that you are ready to drive safely.

You first need to get a learner's permit for supervised driving, then move to a restricted, probationary or provisional licence, which allows you to drive by yourself (also known as your Ps), before obtaining a full driver's licence.

Australian Drivers Licence For International Students

In Australia, only those with a valid driver's licence can drive. Therefore, you always need to carry your driver's licence with you when driving. As an international student, one thing to keep in mind is that you are a temporary resident of Australia, which means that the Australian transport authorities must approve your home country's driver's licence.

Suppose your driver's licence is in your home country's language and not in the English language - in that case, you need to get an international driving permit from your home country or a certified translation in English.

If you do not have a driver's licence, you can apply for one in Australia. But, first, you need to check with your territory's or state's motor registration and take some assessments. Remember, you still have to apply for a driver's licence even if you get an Australian PR (permanent residency).

There are numerous other advantages of getting an Australian driver's licence for international students. It will serve as your principal identity document everywhere you travel in Australia. It can also assist in the job search because some positions demand a driver's licence. Overall, it allows you to go wherever you want, whenever you want!

Road Rules In Australia

To operate a motor vehicle in Australia, one must first familiarise oneself with the local road laws, which may vary from those in one's home country (like driving on the left side of the road). In addition, each jurisdiction has its own regulations; familiarise yourself with those that apply to the place where you actually live.

Seat belt laws, cell phone bans, and speed limits are among the most widely followed regulations.

Additionally, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle anywhere in Australia while under the influence of any illegal substances or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or higher. A fine may be imposed upon you if you are found guilty of an offence. In extreme cases, you may even be subject to criminal charges and the suspension of your driver's licence.


Now that you know everything about getting a driver's licence in Melbourne, you are ready to start with the process of getting your Australian driver's licence, which will give you the freedom to go anywhere anytime.


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