Ask LH: Can I Still Drive Interstate If I’ve Lost My Licence?

Ask LH: Can I Still Drive Interstate If I’ve Lost My Licence?

Dear Lifehacker, I have lost my licence in Victoria and I’m thinking of moving interstate. Can I get a new licence in NSW or South Australia and then be allowed to drive anywhere in Australia EXCEPT Victoria? Thanks, Midnight Rider

Speed camera picture by Shutterstock

Dear MR,

When you say you “lost” your licence, I assume you mean it was suspended for a traffic infringement rather than simply misplaced during a boozy night out with the lads? If so, the answer is no; your driving ban applies in all states and territories.

As mentioned in a previous Ask LH post, Australia’s road and traffic authorities are all interconnected via the Australian Road Rules agreement and the Demerit Points Scheme. This means that any penalties you incur in Victoria will be instantly flagged when you apply for a licence in another state.

In other words, your existing demerit points will be carried over to your new licence. If you’ve been slugged with a suspension in Victoria, your interstate licence transfer request will be instantly denied; as it should be.

I’m afraid you’re just going to have to wear the punishment that fits. Next time, consider the safety of others and drive more carefully.


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  • Why does every second “Ask LH” question seem to be “I’ve been penalised for X road offence, how can I get out of it?”

  • “In other words, your existing demerit points will be carried over to your new licence.”

    No they won’t.

  • I once had a builder do some work for me not so long ago in Victoria who had just lost his licence. He was heading to Darwin after the job was done to do some work as there was a 3 month delay period before the demerits would catch up with him, due to some bureaucracy between Vic and NT. Personally I called BS on this, but he’s up and about driving in Darwin without any issues as yet.

    Granted if you’ve lost your licence, you’ve done just that. Lost it! Do the right thing for both yourself and other road users and just stay off the road until your eligible to have it back.

  • Because it is impossible to have more than one license from any state or territory in Australia at one time, it is impossible to drive or get another license in a different state while suspended. Even if they weren’t hypothetically connected (they are) then you would have to get a learner’s permit as you wouldn’t be able to transfer your suspended license.

    Quote from NSW registry webiste: “As you cannot hold more than one Australian licence at a time, we will invalidate your interstate licence, and provide you with a receipt for it. We will also notify the issuing state or territory to cancel the licence in their systems.”

  • Why on earth do these same ignorant questions keep getting posted, let alone responded to?

  • If you transfer your license when you get caught to interstate but before your current license is suspended you can sometimes avoid a true suspension. Only know this because a mate did this.

    • I had a mate do the same thing and around the same time I changed states and got all my points back. But these happened 10 years ago before the states were interconnected.

  • When did this become “impossible”? Just asking because in 2009 my wife & i returned to WA after living in Tasmania for a year, & getting Tas. driving licenses, rego etc. When we went to change to WA drivers licenses again we were told we still had WA drivers licenses because Tas. hadn’t cancelled them!. All we had to do was pay the renewal & we were good to go! So had the system changed after 08/09 or before?

  • that rule dosnt apply for Tasmania! My tasmanian license is not affected even though my license is suspended in WA for an unpaid traffic infringement that i aquired while on holiday.

  • There would have to be a legal way or they wouldn’t keep loop holes open. Say you lost it for 12 months in Vic for speeding with a Vic license.

    You move immediately move to NSW and live there permanently, under my knowledge before you become even legible to vote which requires a NSW identification proven that you are a living resident and have been for at lest 6 months, my brother lost he’s license 6 months and one week ago, and he is expecting the arrival of his new baby named “NSW drivers licence” to rock up to he’s house in the post this week

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