International driving permits in Victoria

International Driving Permits (IDP’s) are recommended when you intend driving overseas.

In Australia, the Government appointed the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) as the only authority to issue permits. In Victoria, the RACV, as a constituent member of the AAA, is authorised to issue IDP’s through its RACV shops (external website).

An IDP is a widely recognised document and is useful for photo identification purposes. You may also need one to rent a car overseas.

Using an International Driving Permit in Victoria
An international driving permit represents a translation of an overseas driver licence. It has no validity on its own and must accompany a current overseas driver licence issued from your home licensing authority overseas.

An international driving permit is only valid if it:

  • complies with the UN convention for International Driving Permits, and
  • is issued by the country the overseas driver licence is issued in; and
  • is accompanied by a current overseas driver licence from the same country the permit was issued in.
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Driving test in Vicroads

Pre-drive check
You must be able to start the engine, know where the controls listed below are and know how to use them. If any of these controls don’t work properly your test cannot continue.

  • Indicators
  • Wiper/washer controls
  • Horn
  • Headlights (high and low beam)
  • Hazard lights
  • Demister
  • Handbrake
  • Brake light

During the test you must keep your vehicle’s headlights on low beam, turn off any speed warning devices and turn off the cruise control.

First part – basic driving ability
The first part is designed to assess your safety as a driver in less challenging conditions. You will spend about ten minutes driving then stop the car while the licence test officer calculates your score. If you do anything unsafe, the drive test will be terminated and you will fail. Read more about how your driving is assessed.

The testing officer will give you simple, clear instructions during the test (eg. at the next street, turn right). You must follow their instructions and show that you can drive safely and efficiently. If you’re unsure of an instruction, ask for it to be repeated.

The first part may include:

  • starting and stopping the car
  • left and right at intersections
  • changing lanes
  • reverse parking
  • doing a three point-turn.

Talk to your driving instructor or supervising driver if you’re unsure about how to do these.

Second part – driving on busier roads
If you pass the first part you will progress to the second part. The second part is conducted in busier traffic. It is designed to assess your ability to safely execute normal, day-to-day driving tasks.  It will take about 20 minutes to complete.

The testing officer will give you simple, clear instructions during the test (eg. at the next street, turn right). You must follow their instructions and show that you can drive safely and efficiently. If you’re unsure of an instruction, ask for it to be repeated.

Part two may include:

  • Driving in busy traffic
  • Changing lanes
  • Merging with other traffic
  • Driving on straight and curved roads.

If you do anything unsafe, the drive test will be stopped and you will fail. Read more about how your driving is assessed.

Feedback about your results
The licence testing officer will give you feedback whether you pass or fail. You will be told if there are areas of your driving that need improvement.

If you fail, this feedback could help you in your next attempt. If you didn’t do well on one or two aspects of the test, you will know which areas to focus on and practice before your next attempt.  If you pass, this feedback will help you to become a safer driver.

Causes of failing could include:

Feedback like this suggests that you need more practice. People develop safe driving skills at different rates. Some learners need more practice than others before they are ready for the test.

How does SmartRoads work

What is SmartRoads?
SmartRoads is an approach that manages competing interests for limited road space by giving priority use of the road to different transport modes at particular times of the day.

All road users will continue to have access to all roads. However, certain routes will be managed to work better for cars while others will be managed for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians.

SmartRoads ensures that decisions about the operation of the road network support land use and transport planning and better consider the effects on the surrounding community, Victoria’s key activity centres and the environment.

SmartRoads uses a set of guiding principles to establish the priority use of roads by transport mode, time, and place of activity. These priority movements are then assigned to arterial roads across the network forming SmartRoads Network Operating Plan.

Under SmartRoads:

  • Pedestrians will be encouraged by facilitating good pedestrian access into and within activity centres in periods of high demand.
  • Trams and buses are given priority on key public transport routes that link activity centres during morning and afternoon peak periods.
  • Cars will be encouraged to use alternative routes around activity centres to reduce the level of ‘through’ traffic.
  • Bicycles will be encouraged through further developing the bicycle network.
  • While trucks will have full access to the arterial road network, they will be given priority on important transport routes that link freight hubs and at times that reduce conflict with other transport modes.

Your learner permit card or original evidence of identity documents

Category A documents
One of the following documents must be current or expired by no more than two years:

  • Australian photo drivers licence or permit photo card
  • Victorian Marine licence photo card
  • Victorian Firearm licence photo card
  • Victorian Security Guard/Crowd Controller photo card
  • Australian passport
  • An overseas passport. (If expired by no more than two years it is acceptable if accompanied by a current Australian visa (e.g. permanent residency or a temporary visa)
  • document of identity issued by the Passport Office (usually issued to travellers to Norfolk Island)
  • Australian police force officer photo identity card
  • Consular photo identity card issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Full Australian birth certificate or change of name registration issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. (Note: Birth extracts and Commemorative birth certificates are not accepted)
  • Australian naturalisation or citizenship certificate, or a Document for Travel to Australia or a Visa Evidence Card or after 1/04/2013 an ImmiCard, issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship or the Passport Office (read note 1)
  • NSW Photo Card (issued by NSW RMS after 14 December 2008)
  • Birth card (issued by NSW RTA (now RMS) prior to August 2008)
  • Current photo image held by VicRoads regardless of date the photo was captured, provided the identity has previously been confirmed.
  • A Community Detention Letter of Introduction issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship or the Passport Office is sufficient proof for both residence and identity.
  • Resolution of Status (RoS) visa (previously known as Temporary Protection Visa (TPV)/Temporary Humanitarian Visa (THV)

Category B documents
One of these documents:

  • state or federal government employee photo ID card
  • Medicare card
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs card
  • Pensioner Concession card
  • current entitlement card issued by the Commonwealth
  • student identity card
  • any Australian or overseas credit card or account card from a bank, building society or credit union
  • Working with Children Check card
  • Australian Proof of Age card
  • Australian Keypass card
  • Australian Defence Force photo identity card (excluding civilian staff).

new driving course for young drivers

Young drivers will be offered the chance to learn more about road safety and reduce their logbook driving hours under a raft of changes by the NSW Government covering Learner licences.

Learners who take part in a new Safer Drivers Course and also have professional lessons will be able to reduce their compulsory supervised driving hours from 120 to 80.

Learners will also be allowed, from 1 July 2013, to travel up to 90km/h instead of 80km/h, giving them more supervised driving experience on higher speed roads in preparation for their graduation to P-Plates.

This follows a recommendation by the Auditor General to review learner speed limits.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the Safer Drivers Course, which will become available to Learners from July, will involve both theoretical and practical coaching.

“It also teaches learner drivers about gauging road conditions, seeing issues that could affect them and making safe decisions,” he said.

“This is a first step in rewarding the state’s younger drivers for learning safer behaviour behind the wheel.

“Young drivers are tragically over-represented in the NSW road toll and we want to ensure they are all given the opportunity to learn about road safety while they are still learning the basics of driving.”

Mr Gay said the course would be gradually rolled out based on community uptake and the availability of service providers.

“We’ve carried out market research with parents and learner drivers who believe the course will benefit them,” he said.

“They have told us it tackles the very aspects beginners face when they first start driving.
“The course deals with different road conditions, understanding factors beyond a driver’s control and also helps identify risks on the road.

“We recommend that learners enrol in the course when they have 50 hours completed in their logbook. By that stage they will have basic driving skills and will understand and appreciate the lessons they will be taught.

“This is a different approach to conventional driver training which focuses more on the mechanics of driving and road rules.”

A board of road safety experts including representatives from Centre for Road Safety, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Police, road safety researchers and education specialists developed the course.

The course has also been supported by an advisory panel which included industry and community representatives including NRMA, driver trainer associations and community based road safety education providers.

“The course will help those young drivers who struggle to log 120 hours behind the wheel while on their L-plates while at the same time addressing safety issues they will face when they first drive solo,” the Minister said.

The cost of the course will be capped at an affordable price for each participant and any additional cost of delivering the course will be covered by the Community Road Safety Fund, which has been established to ensure infringement revenue directly finances road safety initiatives.

The board identified options to help young drivers from remote, lower socio-economic and Aboriginal communities meet the requirements to qualify for their P-plates.

Work on these options is underway. A pilot of a restricted provisional driver’s licence for young people in three remote NSW communities west of the Newell Highway will also begin in July.

Under 25-year-olds in those remote areas will be able to obtain a provisional drivers licence, only for the purpose of driving to work, education and medical appointments. They can only be given the restricted licence if they have passed the driving test and completed at least 50 supervised driving hours.

What the Safer Drivers Course involves

The Course will help you understand more about speed management, gap selection, hazard awareness and safe following distances and prepare you for when you drive unsupervised on your Ps.

You will also receive 20 hours of log book credit once you complete the Course.

To be able to attend a Course you must be on your Ls, completed 50 log book driving hours and be under 25.

This is 50 actual hours of on-road driving and does not include the hours that can be accrued through (3 for 1) structured professional instruction.

The Safer Drivers Course involves two modules:

  1. A three-hour group discussion with other L platers for you to learn how to manage risks on the road.
  2. A two-hour in-vehicle coaching session with a coach and another learner so you can learn a range of practical safe driving behaviours.

You don’t have to do both of these sessions in one day, however it is recommended you complete both sessions within one month.

Gaining credits on log book hours explained

With all the different ways you can make up log book hour credits, it is not hard to get information overload.

Before you can take a Driving Test, you need to record 120 log book hours. Here’s a break down on the different ways you can earn credits towards your 120 log book hours:

  • You can get extra credit for driving lessons with a professional instructor.  For every hour of professional driving lessons you do, you’ll receive a bonus two hours credit. So a one-hour lesson counts for a total of three hours credit in your log book.  This is capped at a total of 10 private lesson hours (30 log book hour credits).
  • Doing the Safer Drivers Course can get you extra credit too. Once you’ve completed 50 log book hours, you can choose to complete the Safer Drivers Course – this will give you 20 log book hour credits.

Holding yourdriving licence after you have turned 75

If you are a Queensland driver licence holder 75 years of age or older, you must only drive while carrying, and driving in accordance with a current Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driver form (F3712). This is mandatory regardless of whether or not you have a medical condition.

If your doctor has recommended conditions for you when driving, your medical certificate must state those conditions. You must abide by these conditions when driving.

Fines apply for driving outside the conditions of your licence.

How long does my medical certificate last?

How long your medical certificate lasts depends on whether you have a medical condition, and how often that condition requires monitoring.

This is a decision that only your doctor can make. A medical certificate may be issued for a few months or for up to five years.

You will still be eligible to apply for a driver licence that lasts for up to five years, regardless of how long your medical certificate is issued for. However, you must ensure you only drive while carrying, and in accordance with a current medical certificate.

Fines apply for driving without holding a current medical certificate and driving outside the conditions of your licence.

Will I be reminded to get a medical certificate?

If you are turning 75 years of age and hold a current licence, you may receive a letter from the department approximately six weeks before your 75th birthday advising you of the need to hold, and carry, a current medical certificate if you wish to continue driving.

When details of your medical certificate are recorded by the department, a reminder is generally forwarded approximately six weeks before the certificate’s expiry date.

However, the reminder is sent as a courtesy and should not be the only source relied upon as a reminder to obtain a new medical certificate.

The review/expiry date should be clearly documented on the medical certificate carried by you while driving.