Tourist and visitor information about road rules and driving in Victoria

If you are tourist visiting from interstate or overseas and want to drive in Victoria the information below highlights some of the unique aspects and risks of driving in Victoria.

This information is designed to help people with foreign licences from overseas on holidays in Victoria as well as interstate visitors. 

For interstate visitor the road rules are very similar around the country. However, there are some different rules like hook turns and these explained below. 

There are also five short videos that will help you become familiar and comfortable with some of the most commonly misunderstood road rules in Victoria.

For drivers from overseas there is more detailed information about the risk especially for people where driving on the left side of the road would be quite foreign.

Tourist and visitor information about road rules and driving in Victoria in several languages -

See Languages web page for additional helpful information

Driving in Victoria

To be able to drive in Victoria you must have a current and valid driver licence for the type of vehicle you are driving. As well, if your licence is not in English you will need a translation document for your licence. An International Driving Permit (External link) is a valid translation document and is readily available from all countries. If you do not have a translation document you could be issued with a traffic infringement for unlicensed driving. This may also impact your vehicle insurance so make sure you carry your driver licence and the translation document.

Remember, if your interstate or international licence has conditions those conditions will still apply in Victoria.

As a tourist or visitor, driving on roads that you are not familiar with can increase the risk of a crash so remember to be extra careful when driving on unfamiliar roads. You also need to pay close attention to the traffic, road rules and environment around you. If you find yourself on the wrong road pull over at a safe place, find out where you are and then plan how to get back on the right road.

Please read the following guide for more detailed information about the road rules and driving safely in Victoria and your responsibilities.

Be careful at unfamiliar intersections as you can become confused. All drivers are at greater risk when turning right at intersections with up to a quarter of serious crashes occurring at metropolitan intersections, so be extra careful when turning right.

Crashes where a vehicle hits the rear of another vehicle are called rear-end crashes and are the most common type of crash for drivers of all ages. Their main cause is that drivers fail to leave a safe distance between vehicles when driving. So when driving, give yourself some space as this gives you time to overcome mistakes you or other drivers make and can be the difference between stopping in time or crashing. Also, check your mirrors before braking. If a car is too close allow plenty of time to brake, and brake slowly.

All vehicles are driven on the left side of the road in Australia. Visitors from countries that drive on the right side of the road need to be careful when driving and need to take additional care at intersections as you can be at higher risk of a crash when turning.

It can be a long drive between most Australian cities so take plenty of rest breaks while driving.

Plan your driving holiday and make sure you get plenty of sleep leading up to your trip. Avoid early starts if you are not normally an early riser. It is always best to maintain you normal sleep pattern when driving. 

If you are sharing the driving, remember to have a plan to swap drivers every hour or so. A lot of drivers who crash due to fatigue could have handed the driving over to another person in the car but didn’t. 

When you first start feeling sleepy that is your warning to pull over, swap driving or nap. Remember the more tired you become the poorer your judgment is about your own fitness to be drive so don’t drive past your limit.

Using a mobile phone or other device, like a smartwatch or camera while driving or riding can be distracting, increasing your chance of being involved in a crash or near crash and is an offence. Looking at or touching a device at the same time as being in control of a vehicle is particularly dangerous. To use your phone, GPS, smartwatch or camera park your vehicle somewhere safe and off the road. 

A 40km/h speed limit applies when passing a stationary police vehicle, emergency vehicle, enforcement vehicle and escort vehicle with flashing lights or sounding an alarm. 

For more information look at the Law enforcement & emergency vehicles page

If you are from interstate or overseas it is likely that a ‘hook turn’ is very foreign to you. 

At some intersections in Melbourne where trams operate, to turn right you must do a 'hook turn'. These intersections are clearly marked, with a sign hanging overhead or on the side of the road.

If turning right at an intersection with traffic lights and a ‘Right Turn from Left Only’ hook turn sign, you must make a hook turn so as not to delay trams.

To do a hook turn you must:

  • approach and enter the intersection from the left lane and indicate that you are turning right
  • move forward to the far left side of the intersection, keeping clear of the pedestrian crossings
  • remain stopped until the traffic lights on the road you are turning into have changed to green, then turn right.

There are several rules about driving in Melbourne that relate to trams:

  • you may only overtake a tram on the left
  • do not drive past the rear of a tram stopped at a tram stop (where there is no safety zone, dividing strip or traffic island)
  • you must stop level with the rear of the tram and wait for people to get on and off and for the tram doors to be closed before proceeding
  • if the tram doors are open and the road is clear of pedestrians then you may only drive past if directed to do so by a uniformed tram employee and provided that you drive at 10 km/h or less
  • if you are already passing when the tram stops, you must give way to pedestrians on the road between the tram and the far left side of the road
  • you must drive to the left of a safety zone, and slowly enough to be able to stop and avoid pedestrians.
An image of a tram lane sign

Tram lanes are designated by a tram lane sign (which may indicate hours of operation) and a continuous yellow line. You must not drive in a tram lane during the times it is operational, except for up to 50 metres before turning, so long as they do not obstruct the progress of a tram.

Bicycle lanes are indicated by a bicycle lane sign and a continuous or broken white line. You must not drive in a bicycle lane during the times it is operational, except for up to 50 metres before turning or when parking.

In Victoria, U-turns are permitted at intersections with signals unless there is a ‘no U-turn’ sign.

Everyone in a vehicle must wear a seat belt, if there is one fitted and available for use in the vehicle. It the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all passengers wear a seat belt or are appropriately restrained.

For improved safety children under 7 years of age must wear a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a car.

The type of restraint will depend on the age of the child as follows:

  • children aged under 6 months must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint 
  • children aged between 6 months and under 4 years must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint or a forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness
  • children aged between 4 years and under 7 must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness or an approved booster seat which is properly positioned and fastened.

If you hold a probationary licence, provisional licence or learner permit you must drive to the conditions imposed on that licence or permit. The only probationary condition that will apply to corresponding novice drivers from another jurisdiction is the peer passenger restriction. 

A P1 driver or corresponding novice driver must not drive a motor vehicle with more than one peer passenger. 

A peer passenger is a person who is at least 16 but less than 22 years of age, but does not include a person who is:

  • the spouse or domestic partner
  • the sibling or step-sibling

of the probationary P1 driver or corresponding novice driver. 

A corresponding novice driver is a person who holds a probationary or provisional licence issue by another jurisdiction or country and has held the licence for less than 12 months. 

More information

For more tourist and visitor information about driving safely in Victoria, visit the following websites.

Remember to take you time when driving, have plenty of  breaks and enjoy your time in Victoria.

Was this page helpful?


Please tell us why (but don't leave your personal details here - message us if you need help or have questions).

Are you looking for...