Wed. May 8th, 2024
Driving license in Australia as an international student

Are you an international student planning to drive? And you know very well that this isn’t possible without a driving license in Australia. Being an international student, understanding how to obtain one can be a bit confusing, but don’t worry! In this blog, you will get all the details on how international students can get an Australian driver’s license.

Read the article till the end because I am covering every aspect of how to obtain a driving license in Australia as an international student so that you get comprehensive knowledge about it. Now let’s get started.

For many students studying in Australia, having a car is important for navigating their new surroundings. However, before you hit the road, it’s important to ensure that your documentation is up-to-date and valid. That means applying for an Australian driver’s license!

To get an Australian driver’s license as an international student, you will have to follow specific steps and regulations.

Definition of Driving License

First of all, what is a driving license? 

Well, you must be having one in your own country. The definition is basically same and its significance too. It is an official document that allows you to legally drive a motor vehicle, it can be a car or a truck. The license must be issued by the government of the country where you plan to drive and usually requires passing both written and driving tests. 

The driving license serves as proof of identity for- 

  • employment
  • alcohol purchases
  • renting vehicles
  • international travel.

Talking about driver’s license in Australia, each state and territory has its own process for issuing it. As an international student if you are looking for a license, then you must have: 

  • valid visa with working rights or permanent residency status 
  • evidence of English language proficiency
  • proof of address 
  • identification documents. 

After meeting these requirements, you can apply for a learner’s permit or a full driver’s license, depending on your qualifications and experience.

Eligibility Requirements for Driving License in Australia

To apply for a driving license in Australia, you must be 18 years old and provide valid proof of identity. This includes a passport or official document with your full name, date of birth, current address, and signature. And since you are not a citizen, so you will have to submit additional documents like- evidence of your student visa status. And also you will have to go for a criminal record check.

Now if all your eligibility requirements are met, then you must pass both written and practical driving tests. 

Written Test and the practical test

The written test will assess your knowledge of road laws and regulations, and the practical test will evaluate your driving skills on public roads- with an instructor. After passing these tests, you will receive a provisional driver’s license. This will permit you for independent driving but with certain restrictions.

To get full driving privileges without restrictions, as an international student, you must complete mandatory logbook hours, which involve supervised practice sessions with an experienced mentor or instructor. The specific rules and conditions may vary slightly between states, so it’s important to research thoroughly and understand the application process for an Australian driver’s license.

Applying for a Learner’s Permit

Now the next question that arises is how to apply for a learner’s permit. As an international student you can apply for an Australian driver’s licence like other residents. 

The first step is to get a learner’s permit, which requires passing a written knowledge test and a vision screening. Once you pass these tests, you receive the learner’s permit.

This learner’s permit will allow you to practice driving on public roads, but under specific conditions, which means you can do supervised driving with someone who has held an open Australian driver’s license for at least twelve months. There are also other restrictions to follow while driving, like limiting passengers and refraining from using mobile phones. After you fulfill these requirements and gain confidence behind the wheel, you can take the practical driving test to get your full driver’s license!!!

Driving Classes and Tests

Now, many of the students ask if they should take driving classes or not. Well, the answer is yes! As an international student, you must attend driving classes and pass tests to be issued a license.

Driving classes usually cover the basics of safe and efficient vehicle operation and familiarize you with local traffic laws. These classes last several weeks and cover topics like road safety, gear shifting, parking techniques, and basic navigation skills. 

After completing the classes, you must take practice tests to demonstrate your driving proficiency. These tests will assess your ability to control the vehicle, understand speed limits, and follow traffic signals in different conditions. After passing all necessary exams, you receive your driving license.

Application fees for Driving License in Australia

When you are applying for a driving license, some fees must be paid right. So, international students seeking an Australian driver’s license must pay the application fee. Most states here have an application fee and a knowledge test fee. This fee will cover administrative costs, such as processing the application and issuing the license if approved. The knowledge test fee will cover the cost of providing the necessary tests for getting the driver’s license.

If successful in obtaining the license, you may also need to pay for additional items like a photo card or logbook, which come at extra costs that vary depending on individual circumstances.

Driving License Renewal in Australia

After addressing application fees, you should be aware of the process for renewing your Australian driver’s license. It’s important to remember that all licenses must be renewed every three years to remain valid.

When applying for a new license, you must provide two forms of identification and proof of address. You will also need to pass an eyesight or knowledge test before receiving the new license. After submitting your application, you’ll receive confirmation within a week, and the license will be issued a few weeks later.

Age Restrictions for Driving License in Australia

As an International student, you must meet the same age restrictions as the local citizens when applying for a driver’s license in Australia. Generally, you need to be at least 16 years old and hold a learner’s permit before obtaining your full driver’s license. The minimum age for a motorbike license is usually 18, and some states may require you to be 21 for heavy goods vehicles.

Insurance requirements for Driving License in Australia

To obtain an Australian driver’s licence, you need adequate insurance coverage. Generally, drivers over 18 years old need a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) policy for liability. It is recommended for international students to consider additional third-party property damage or complete policies based on their needs.


Keep in mind that an Australian driver’s license is only valid in Australia and not in other countries unless specifically allowed by law. If you plan to travel overseas during your stay in Australia, check if your home country permits using your native driver’s license.

So, obtaining an Australian driver’s license as an international student may take time, but it’s worth the effort. Make sure you meet eligibility requirements, take driving classes, and practice before the test. Don’t forget about insurance requirements to keep your license valid. Enjoy the freedom of driving in Australia during your studies!

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