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Licences

Driving without a licence

It is against the law to drive a car or ride a motorcycle if you do not have a licence.  You could be charged up to $3700, lose your licence or be imprisoned for up to 3 months.

It is against the law to drive if you have been disqualified from holding or getting a licence,  or if your licence has been cancelled or suspended.  You could be fined up to $4450 or imprisoned for 4 months for committing this offence the first time or $35430 or 2 years imprisonment for subsequent offences.

Learners (L’s)

How old do I have to be to get my L’S?

To get your L’s for driving a car you need to be at least 16 years old and must successfully pass a car learner permit test.

To get your L’s for riding a motorcycle you need to be at least 18 years old  and you will need to pass the following tests:

  • Eyesight test;
  • Motorcycle knowledge test;
  • Learner permit road law knowledge test; (not required if you already have a car learner permit)
  • Motorcycle learner permit skill assessment (a practical ride).

What special rules apply to L-platers?

If you are driving a car;

  • You must be supervised at all times by the holder of a full Australian driver licence; 
  • You must have L plates on the front and back of your car when driving. The letter L on the plate must not be hidden; 
  • You must have a zero blood alcohol limit; 
  • You must not use any functions of a mobile phone including hands-free device;
  • You must not tow a trailer or vehicle.

If you are riding a motorcycle:

  • You must have an “L” plate on the back of your motorcycle, visible from a distance of 20 metres;
  • You must carry your learner permit at all times regardless of age;
  • You must not carry a passenger;
  • You must ride a learner approved motorcycle (LAM);
  • You must wear an approved motorcycle helmet;
  • You must have a zero blood alcohol limit;
  • You must not tow a trailer behind your motorcycle;
  • You must not use any functions of a mobile phone including hands-free devices.

If you fail to meet any of the above requirements you are committing an offence and may face penalties, including fines and loss of licence. 

Provisional (P’s)

When can I go for my P’s?

For car drivers, you can get your P1 licence once you have turned 18, or if you are under 21 and have had your L’s for a minimum of 12 months.  You must also have logged at least 120 hours driving time which includes 10 hours night-time driving.  You will need to pass a Hazard Perception Test and Drive Test.

For car drivers you can achieve a P2 licence after you have been on your P1 licence for 12 months.

For motorcycle riders, you can get your probationary licence once you have turned 18 and held a motorcycle learner permit for at least 3 months in the period immediately prior to applying for a motorcycle licence. You will need to successfully pass an Eyesight Test, Hazard Perception Test (not required if you have a car licence) and a Motorcycle Licence Skills Assessment (practical ride).

What special rules apply to P-platers?

If you are driving a car:

  • You must display the appropriate ‘P’ plates (red for P1, green for P2) on your vehicle. These requirements are the same as displaying “L” plates;
  • You must have a zero blood alcohol level;
  • You must not receive 5 or more demerit points within a 12 month period, or 12 or more demerit points within a 3 year period;
  • You must not drive a vehicle on the probationary prohibited vehicles list;
  • You must not use a mobile phone while driving. This includes hands-free devices, hand-held phones and messaging of any kind;
  • P1 licence holders can only carry one passenger aged between 16 and 22 years of age; 
  • If you passed your test in an automatic vehicle, you can only drive an automatic vehicle.  

If you are riding a motorcycle on a probationary licence:

  • You must display the appropriate ‘P’ plates (red for P1, green for P2) on the back of your motorcycle.  These requirements are the same as displaying “L” plates;
  • For the first 12 months you must only ride a learner approved motorcycle (LAM) and must not carry a pillion passenger;
  • You must wear an approved motorcycle helmet;
  •  You must have a zero blood alcohol level.

Full licence

You will get a full car licence after holding a P2 licence for a period of 36 months with a good driving record.

You can progress to a full motorcycle licence after 36 months on a P2 rider’s licence.

What if I'm from interstate or another country?


Coming from another state or territory 

If you are visiting Victoria temporarily and you have a current licence (other than a learner’s licence) from another state, territory or New Zealand, you can drive a car or ride a motorcycle in Victoria .
However, if you are moving to Victoria permanently, then you will need to get your licence transferred. You must do this 3 months after arriving in Victoria and your Interstate or New Zealand licence must be current or have expired within the past 5 years.

A current licence can be requested to be converted into a Victorian licence by appointment with VicRoads.

Coming from another country

If you are visiting Victoria temporarily and you have a current licence from another country, or an international driving permit, you do not need to convert to a Victorian one. You can continue driving on your overseas licence as long as your temporary visa remains valid, but will not be able to drive in Victoria if you are on an overseas learner permit. Your overseas driver licence will need to be accompanied by an English translation. This includes tourists, people visiting Victoria on business, and people studying temporarily in Victoria.

If you get stopped by the police, you will need to show your overseas licence or international driving permit, and you may need to prove that you are a genuine visitor and have no intention of living in VIC.

If you are on an overseas learner permit, it cannot be converted to a Victorian one. You will need to take the road law knowledge test at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. The same rules for learners in VIC will apply to you, as well as any restrictions which are on your overseas learner’s licence.

If you are moving to Victoria permanently, you will have to get a Victorian licence. You must do this within 6 months after arriving in Australia if your permanent visa was issued before you entered Australia or 6 months from the date the permanent visa was issued to you whilst in Australia.  You can continue to drive or ride in Victoria on a current overseas licence during those 6 months.

Demerit points

Demerit points are penalties for committing driving offences, such as going through a red light, not stopping at a stop sign, or speeding. They stay on your licence for 3 years after the date of the offence.
If you get 5 or more demerit points within a 12 month period or 12 or more demerit points within any 3 year period when you are on your Learner, P1 or P2 licence, you will lose your licence or it may be suspended. 

If you have a full licence and you get 12 or more demerit points in 3 years, you will lose your licence or it may be suspended. 
You can elect to extend the demerit point period like a ‘good behaviour period’ for an additional 12 months even if you are on a probationary or learner licence– however if you receive more than 1 demerit point within that period you will be subject to a longer suspension periods. 

For more information on licences

Contact your nearest VicRoads office or check out the VicRoads web site.

VicRoads

Phone: 131 171
Website:www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

This page was last reviewed 16 March 2015.


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