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Driving

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Driver’s licence

Temporary residents are generally able to drive in Australia on a valid overseas driver’s licence for the same class of vehicle. However, permanent residents must get their Australian driver’s licence within the first three months of arrival.

If you are driving on an overseas licence you must also carry a valid passport or proof of age card. An international driver’s permit is not sufficient by itself and must be carried with a valid overseas driver’s licence. You are not allowed to drive with an expired overseas licence.

Recognition of overseas licences

If your licence is from a recognised country you may not need to complete the theory and practical test to get your Australian license.

Laws

Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road. 

The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 60 km per hour (35 mph) and on country roads and highways, 100 km per hour (62 mph) and 110 km per hour
(68 mph), unless signs indicate otherwise. There is a 50 km per hour speed limit for built-up areas. School zones are signposted with 40 km hour speed limits during drop-off and pick-up times. 

Strict drink driving laws apply and seatbelts must be worn by drivers and passengers at all times.

The Drive Safe handbook produced by the Department of Transport is a guide to safe driving practices and Australian road rules.

Breakdowns and accidents

If you are involved in or witness a traffic accident and there is danger, serious injuries or life-threatening concerns, telephone 000.

If you are the driver of a vehicle involved in a traffic accident, you must stop immediately and give your name and address to police (unless you have a disability)​.

If your vehicle breaks down, you can either call a tow truck service or register for roadside assistance membership. If you are not a roadside assistance member, you can join on the first callout at a slightly increased rate.

Do an online search to find a provider that best meets your motoring needs.