Hi Lifehacker, I'm a P-plater from Victoria who is now living in NSW. The P-plate restriction in Victoria runs for four years. I wanted to ask whether if I transfer my license to a NSW license I'd escape the last year of my P-plate restriction? Which set of rules apply and what's the best way to switch? Thanks, Impatient Driver
P-plate picture from Shutterstock
Under NSW's current interstate licence transfer system, motorists who have held a Victorian provisional licence for more than three years can automatically apply for an unrestricted license. You'll need to pay a licencing fee of $54 (for a one-year licence), $128 (for a three-year licence) or $170 (for a five-year licence).
Victorian drivers who have held their provisional licence for less than three years are transferred to a NSW provisional P2 driver licence instead. On the plus side, you won't have to take any driving tests and the provisional licence transfer is free.
If you're just shy of the three-year mark, we'd recommend waiting so you can be instantly bumped up to a full licence. Just be aware that you are required to obtain a NSW licence within three months of residency. (With that said, this is one of those arbitrary road rules that are difficult to enforce and which interstate motorists tend to ignore. Take that for what it's worth.)
There are some additional steps involved for drivers under the age of 25. As the NSW Roads and Maritime Services explains on its website:
You may be required to obtain a letter from the relevant interstate issuing authority (on their letterhead) confirming your licence details (including first issue date) and status. Alternatively, customer service staff may obtain the first issue date from the issuing authority. However, you may be required to return to the registry or Service NSW centre on another day.
Here is the transfer procedure once everything is in order:
- Take your interstate licence to a registry or Service NSW centre.
- Provide proof of identity.
- Provide proof of your residential address.
- Complete the Licence Application form.
- Pass an eyesight test.
- Have your photo taken.
- Pay licence fee.
- Satisfy relevant medical requirements.
- Meet all other relevant Roads and Maritime licensing requirements.
Your NSW photo licence will then be issued and your old one will be hold-punched (you can't have more than one Australian licence.)
If you're not sure how long you'll be living in NSW, save some money and plump for the 12-month licence. If you're pretty sure you'll be sticking around, a three/five year licence will save you money in the long run and will also remove the hassle of going through renewal process every 12 months.
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