Consular & diplomatic staff

If you are a member of consular or diplomatic staff and you want to drive in Victoria, the information below explains your responsibilities and actions required.

Member of consular or diplomatic staff

Members of consular or diplomatic staff include:

  • Consul General, Consul, or Vice Consul and their spouse and dependants
  • High Commissioners and their spouse or dependants
  • Deputy High Commissioners and their spouse or dependants
  • Embassy, Consulate or High Commission technical or administrative staff (but not their spouse or dependants)
  • Representatives of declared missions (e.g. Taiwan).

Protocols

Guidelines are issued by the Australian Office of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Canberra). Members of the Diplomatic Service receive exemptions for driver licensing matters from the ACT Driver Licensing Authority. 

VicRoads conforms with these guidelines by extending these privileges to members of consular and diplomatic staff.

Diplomatic privilege and immunity

The extent of privileges available to Members of consular or diplomatic staff will be documented on their Diplomatic Consular identity card. Privileges to not extend to driving offences.

Driving in Victoria

Members of consular or diplomatic staff who hold a current and valid overseas licence and/or learner permit may drive using this overseas driver licence and/or learner permit provided they meet the criteria outlined for Overseas drivers.

You can use an overseas driver licence or learner permit for your first six months of living in Victoria. After six months, you’ll need to get a Victorian licence.  

Eligibility to obtain a Victorian driver licence

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a Victorian driver licence (car and/or motorcycle).
  • You must be at least 16 years of age to obtain a Victorian car learner permit.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a Victorian motorcycle learner permit.

Diplomatic/consular identity card

When getting a Victorian driver licence or learner permit, you must produce your identity card issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Where an Identity card is not held (e.g. spouse or dependant) VicRoads must be satisfied that you are eligible. 

Driver licence testing

If you are an eligible consular or diplomatic staff member and hold a current overseas driver licence, and want to get an equivalent Victorian driver licence, you are not required to complete the knowledge test or practical tests.

You are also not required to complete the knowledge or practical tests if your overseas licence has not expired by more than 5 years.

When you need to apply for a Victorian driver licence

You will need to apply for a Victorian driver licence, complete the tests and pay the testing and licence fees, if:

Book an appointment

Conversion of an overseas driver licence to a Victorian licence will be conducted by appointment only at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. You’ll need to pay appointment fee at the time of booking. 

To make a booking you can:

An eyesight test will be conducted and a medical report may be necessary if you have a medical condition which may affect your fitness to drive. See medical conditions and driving for more information.

Evidence of Identity

On the day of your appointment you need to bring your diplomatic/consular identity card, overseas driver licence written in English or an English translation as well as your original evidence of identity documents. If your overseas driver licence is not available you can provide a letter from the issuing country’s driver licensing authority confirming your driver licence details.

Fees

Consulate members that meet the eligibility requirements will only need to pay an appointment fee to convert their driver licence to a Victorian driver licence.

Driver licence and learner permit issue period

A Victorian driver licence is issued for 3 or 4 years depending on the licence type. A 10 year driver licence cannot be issued to a consular or diplomatic staff member.

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