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Overseas drivers in Victoria

Information about overseas drivers in Victoria.

A driver who has a current licence or permit to drive in another country may use their overseas licence to drive in Victoria if:

  • they were an ordinary resident in that country when the licence was issued
  • that overseas licence is for any category of motor vehicle (with the exception of motor cycle only licence)
  • they had lived in Victoria for less than 6 months
  • they are not disqualified from diving whether Victoria or elsewhere
  • their licence is not suspended, or
  • they have not been notified by VicRoads that they are no longer authorised to drive.

If the licence or permit is written in a language other than English it must be accompanied by an English translation. Alternatively, the driver must have an international driving permit.

See rr. 12, 13—Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic) and s. 18—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Offence to drive without valid licence

If a driver drives in Victoria without having an exemption, or if they breach any of the conditions in that overseas licence or permit, they may be fined up to 25 penalty units.

Exception—Driving a vehicle that is too heavy

European Union driver licences (Category B car licence) only allow drivers to operate a vehicle of up to 3.5 tonnes in weight, whereas the equivalent Victorian licence allows drivers to drive a vehicle of up to 4.5 tonnes. This limitation has caused problems for overseas drivers who hire and drive a motorhome (such as a Winnebago) because under Victorian law, drivers must comply with the conditions in the licenses from the country of issue. This was causing overseas drivers to be in breach of Victorian licensing law.

To overcome this problem, from 31 January 2018 the Act makes it is clear that if an overseas driver may drive a vehicle of up to 4.5 tonnes and will be deemed not be in breach.

See s. 18—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Committing a driving offence

If an international driver commits a driving offence in Victoria, VicRoads will record the offence and demerit points.

If the driver subsequently applies for a driver licence in Victoria or another Australian state or territory, the demerit points will be registered against their licence or permit.

Demerit points disqualification on Victorian roads

A driver with an overseas licence or permit who accrues enough demerit points to have their licence suspended while driving in Victoria will be issued with a disqualification notice from VicRoads. The number of demerit points that will trigger this notice are:

  • 12 or more points within any 3 year period for any driver,
  • 5 or more points within any 12 month period if the driver is under 22 years old.

This disqualification notice will disqualify the driver from driving in Victoria, or from getting a Victorian driver licence.

See s. 35—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

How long the disqualification lasts

The overseas driver will be disqualified for 3 months plus an extra one month for every 4 demerit points that exceed the 12 points recorded against their licence on the date that the disqualification notice was issued.

A driver under 22 who accrued 5 demerit points within a 12 month period will also be disqualified for 3 months plus one extra month for every 4 demerit points that exceed the 5 points recorded against their licence on the date that the disqualification notice was issued.

The disqualification period begins on a date specified by VicRoads.

See s. 46A, 46B—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 18—offence if driver not licensed
  • s. 34—defines a disqualification notice and holder of an overseas licence
  • s. 35—demerits register includes demerit points by overseas licence holders
  • s. 46A—driving disqualification notice
  • s. 46B—period of disqualification
  • s. 46C—cancellation of disqualification if service is ineffective

See Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic)

  • r. 12—when driver from overseas or interstate can drive on Victorian roads

See Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

VicRoads has information or people who are visiting Victoria from another country, see:

Updated