Driving in Queensland with an International Licence

Written by Ben Ward


Moving to another country is an exciting and rewarding experience. I have experienced this first hand when we moved to North America to live for a year. Having to learn to drive in the snow and on the "wrong" side of the road was definitely a great part of our experience. Have you seen a 4 way stop intersection? Now that was a challenge first time around! Then we had to sit for our local driving licence by completing a practical test. So, if you are new to Australia - I feel your pain!

 

International Driver Licence - Queensland

To help you navigate some of the requirements here in Queensland, I have compiled a list of links and information for you from the Queensland Transport site (https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/licensing/driver-licensing/overseas/driving)

 

Driving in Queensland on an interstate or overseas licence

If you’re visiting Queensland from another country, you can drive if you have a valid overseas licence.

If you’re visiting Queensland from another Australian state or territory, you can drive if you have a valid interstate licence.

You can't drive in Queensland with your interstate or overseas licence if you’ve been issued with a Queensland licence.

Obligations for driving in Queensland

When driving in Queensland on your valid interstate or overseas licence, you must:

  • drive only the class of motor vehicle authorised on that licence
  • comply with your licence conditions (if any)
  • show your licence to a police officer when asked to do so.

 

If you’re driving in Queensland on an overseas car licence, you may drive vehicles allowed under a Queensland class C licence. This includes vehicles up to 4.5 tonne gross vehicle mass that may carry up to 12 people, including the driver.

If you get too many demerit points, we’ll send you a notice telling you that your authority to drive in Queensland will be withdrawn (suspended).

The length of your suspension will depend on the type of licence you held when you committed the demerit point offences.

When you can’t drive in Queensland

As well as the suspension mentioned above, you can’t drive in Queensland if:

  • an Australian court has disqualified you from holding or getting a driver licence
  • your authority to drive in Queensland has been suspended because you
    • haven’t paid fines issued to you
    • have been convicted of driving at more than 40km/hr over the speed limit
  • your authority to drive in Queensland on your overseas licence has been withdrawn because you
    • are medically unfit to drive safely
    • are an Australian citizen and you’ve been living in Queensland for 3 months
    • are not an Australian citizen, but you were given a resident visa before you starting living in Queensland and you’ve now been living in Queensland for 3 months
    • are not an Australian citizen, but you were given a resident visa after you started living in Queensland and you’ve now been living in Queensland for 3 months since getting the visa
    • have failed a practical driving test in Queensland.

 

A resident visa is a permanent visa or special category visa under the Migration Act 1958 (Commonwealth). These visas allow a person to stay indefinitely in Australia. These don’t include temporary, business or guardian visas.

If you drive in Queensland when you’re not allowed to, you’ll be charged with unlicensed driving and may have to appear in court

in all cases, if you are unsure about your ability to drive using an overseas licence you should personally contact the transport department to verify the requirements.

 

Safe driving in Australia and enjoy the adventure!

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