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How to Get a Driving License in Australia

How to Get a Driving License in Australia

Stop worrying about getting a driving license in Australia. It’s not difficult – or lengthy. It could have been a lengthy process if you were coming from a country with lenient licensing standards but for you – a Canadian citizen – it should be a breeze.
Spoiler alert: You only need to convert your Canadian driving license to Australian. Here are a few possibilities you might encounter to get an Australian driving license.

You May Not Even Need a License

First thing first, if your trip to Australia is shorter than two months you may not even need an Australian license to drive your car! Australian authorities allow you to drive with your Canadian or overseas license to drive for the first 60 days of arrival.
You will only need to navigate the process of getting licensed or converting the one you already hold if your stay is longer than six months or if your overseas license is nearing its expiration date.
You Meet the Criteria for License Exchange Program in Australia
Does your driving license come from Canada? Or have you converted it to a Canadian license after passing citizenship test and becoming a Canadian citizen? If you currently carry a Canadian driving license, you qualify for your license conversion under the Australian license conversion program.
If you haven’t converted your license from another country to a Canadian license, check if the licensing country is included in the list of recognized countries or territories for the Australian license exchange program.

You Might Not Meet the Criteria for License Conversion

If your license isn’t from Canada – or any other recognized country or territory for the Australian exchange program, you should check if your licensing country is recognized among the experienced driver recognition program. If yes, you will get your license translated to an Australian license based on your experience if you are above 25 years of age.
If you haven’t yet celebrated your 25th birthday or if your country is not listed in the experienced driver's license program, you will be required to take the theory and practice tests before your license can be converted to an Australian license according to your driving experience.

You Are a New Driver

If you have never held a driving license in your home country and have never driven a car legally, you will be required to navigate the Australian licensing procedure from start. It means that you will pass a road safety theory test – aka driver knowledge test – to get a learner’s license. You will use this learner’s permit to kick-start your practical driving experience under supervision.
After you have gained confidence in your skills by driving with an accompanying driving instructor, you can apply for the practical driving assessment. Passing this assessment will qualify you to get Red P or P1 license which puts limits on certain driving behavior such as speed limit, blood alcohol levels, and pulling trailers.
You will hold this license for a year before progressing to Green P or P2. After holding this license with restrictions for six months, you will progress to a full license.

Take Away

Getting a driving license in Australia is easy if you have already earned your license in Canada. You may need to take some tests if your license isn’t from Canada or if you are a novice driver.

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