For those who are coming to Australia on either temporary or permanent resident visa, below are the conditions with which you can drive with Overseas Licence and procedure to convert overseas licence.
Note: The rules, regulations and procedures mentioned below are for South Australia. But most of the states have a similar procedure.
for temporary residents (457, 482, 489 etc) & visitors
You can drive with your overseas driver's licence for the same class of vehicle (except a motorcycle) for the entire period of stay.
If it is not in English, an English translation along with IDP is required.
If the licence expires while you are in Australia and unable to renew it, you need to apply for an Australian drivers licence. (How to apply, see below)^^
you can also convert this at any time, if you wish to. (How to apply, see below)^^
for Permanent Residents
If you don't have an overseas licence, you need to get a Learner's permit and then advance through Provisional licences P1 & P2 until you get a full licence. the whole process to get a full licence will take almost 2-3 years with a lot of restrictions while holding Learners and Provisional licences.
If you have an overseas license you need to get it converted to Australia Licence.
( you have 90 days to get this transferred, with an extension period of 90 more days. Beyond this, you need to start with the learner's permit)
90 days will be counted from the day you arrived Australia (exceptions apply as in TAS, where it is counted from the date of visa grant) or the date of visa grant, whichever is later.
^^How to convert Overseas Licence to Australia Licence?
from recognised countries: If your overseas licence is issued from the list of recognised countries (see the list of countries in respective state website), you can directly convert them to Australian full licence by paying a fee. (no need to appear for any test)
This is applicable for the licence to drive a car or motorcycle. For all other vehicles, a practical driving test needs to be taken.
from other countries: If your overseas license is issued NOT from the list of recognised countries, below are the procedure (this is also applicable to those in temporary visa who wish to convert to Australia licence).
-->Go to the respective centre in each state (In South Australia, it is Service SA) and attend the learner's test.
-->Once you pass the learner's test you will be provided with a Temporary Driving Permit (TDP) which is valid for 3 months. This TDP effectively cancels your power to drive in Australia with your overseas licence. So once TDP is issued, you should pass the driving test within the TDP expiry period or need to go through learners licence path, which takes 2-3 years to get a full licence.)
-->Do the driving test (VORT or CBT&A)** and pass the test.
-->Attend the Hazard Perception Test.
--> Get the full Licence..!!
#you can do the mock tests on Learners & Hazard perception online to have an idea, how the questions are asked. (not very tough)
**VORT or CBT&A
you can choose either of these methods based on your confidence and convenience.
A single test. if you pass, you will get the full licence.
You can take as many tests until you pass ( with a gap of 3 days between each test)
If you are very confident and an experienced driver, this comes really cheap ( approx.$230 for each test, so you can pass in 1-3 tests)
The result is either pass or fail.
You need to obey 100% rules and regulations (and some crazy procedures)during the test. (test lasts for 45 min to 60 min).
There are 5 'immediate fail items' (IFI) which will make you fail before completing the entire test. (people have failed within 1 minute of commencement of test due to IFI)
You need to score at least 90% in the test.
If it extends to more than 7 tests, it's going to be more expensive than the CBT-A method.
CBT&A (Competency-based test training and assessment) or Log book method
No pass or fail result.
This is an assessment along with training so you will get the competency to drive while training.
Your training instructor (if he is a qualified examiner) can examine you during the training lessons to complete 30 tasks.
Once you successfully perform 30 tasks (which is entered in logbook) the instructor will give you a competency certificate.
You can be sure that you get the licence before the TDP expires.
Time-consuming, need some 12-15 classes (1.5 hours each) at least to complete. (some experienced drivers can complete in 8-10 classes).
Costly- $110-150 per lesson, roughly the total cost is around $1500 or more.
If you change your instructor, you need to demonstrate the tasks again to the new instructor.
VORT or CBT&A?? :
Well, this purely depends on your skill and confidence. if you are a seasoned driver, go with VORT.
It is advised to go for at least 3 driving classes (VORT preparation class) to know about the test and procedures to follow.
If you are still in a learning stage or an occasional driver, better go with CBT&A, which also improve your driving skills.
Note: Most of the driving schools will push you to go with CBT&A as this will bring more money to them.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH VORT
I have 6+ years of experience in driving back in India (Bangalore & Kerala) and past 1 year in Australia. So thought of taking VORT.
I did two practice lessons, 1 hour each and got an idea about the test and the procedures to be followed for each manoeuvre.
My instructor insisted me to come to two more classes, but I told him that I couldn't, because of some travel plans.
VORT TEST-1: FAILED
Reason: Sped 52 kmph on a 50 zone. & didn't indicate for 5 sec while driving off from the kerb. (indicated 4.32 sec, in stopwatch )
Both are immediate fail items and I did them back to back. Test terminated half way. $230
VORT TEST-2: PASSED with 96% score.
Please feel free to ask here any query regarding the driving licence conversion in South Australia, I will try my best to give all possible information.
As my indian driving license is less than 1 year old can i get full driving license in Adelaide.