Ask LH: Will I Be Forced To Go Back Onto My P-Plates?

Ask LH: Will I Be Forced To Go Back Onto My P-Plates?
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Hi Lifehacker, I obtained my P drivers licence in Victoria at the age of 30. I then moved to Queensland 18 months later. Given my age and the fact that I had been on P plates for over 12 months I was given an open drivers licence in Queensland. After only four months in Queensland I now have to move back to Victoria in a couple of months to live permanently.

My question is: will I be put back on my P plates (I got the Victorian ones 22 months ago) or will I be able stay on an open licence when I change my licence back? Thanks, Heading South

Melbourne picture from Shutterstock

Dear HS,

You are required by law to transfer your interstate driver licence within three months of moving to Victoria. The conversion is conducted by appointment at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.

At the appointment, VicRoads will verify your interstate licence details with Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads. You will then be issued with a receipt and be sent your new driver’s licence in the mail. The entire service is provided free of charge.

Unfortunately, to escape a P2 probationary driver licence you need to have held your interstate licence for at least three years. This rule applies even if you are over 21 years of age. Sorry!

One possible loophole is to maintain a “permanent address” in Queensland (a relative or friend perhaps?) You could then stay on your Queensland driver licence until you’ve had it for 36 months. However, this will essentially make you a liar after living in Victoria for a continuous period of three months, so proceed with extreme caution.


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    • Not displaying P plates when you are legally required to do so is wrong.
      Police cars are now fitted with automatic number plate recognition cameras. I would not be willing to take the risk of getting caught.

  • Queensland are so lax I not only had a car registered in Queensland with an ACT address, but they sent me renewal papers. No way I’d ever register a vehicle or hold a licence in NSW or Vic, especially as a Learner or P plater.

  • Lifehacker advocate breaking the law now? You’re required to transfer your licence if you move interstate. No ifs or buts.

  • If you actually look at VicRoads, they state you must either hold your P’s for 3 years, OR be on an opens drivers licence. So if you changed to a Queensland licence and later went on your opens licence, then it does not matter how long you have had your licence for Victoria. It is different for other states though.

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