Driving in Queensland - Part 1

Reference: Keys to Driving in Queensland

If you are visiting Queensland and driving on a foreign licence, you can drive vehicles allowed under the class C licence. You must carry your licence at all times and if licence is not in English, you should carry a recognised English translation of it at all times.

Three Months Residency Rules
However, you can no longer drive on your foreign licence if:
  • Australian citizen and have been residing in Queensland for 3 months.
  • A permanent visa or a special category visa under the Migration Act 1958 and have been residing in Queensland for 3 months.
Obtaining a QLD drivers licence
  • Go to the nearest TMR office and show your foreign licence and supporting evidence of identity documents (bring all like passports, birth certificate, grant letter, medicare card, atm card etc.).
  • An application form and a customer reference number will be provided. 
  • Pay the road rules test fee and pass. 
  • Pay the practical test fee and pass.
  • Have your photo and signature taken digitally. Then wait for your driving licence in your mailbox. 
There are five types of QLD drivers licence - learners (L), provisional (P) (P1-under 25 & P2-over 25), probationary, restricted and open. A learners licence is valid for 3 years. Once you have passed the practical driving test, you'll get a P licence depending on your age. If you are under 23, you'll progress to open licence after holding P licence for at least 2 years and if you are above 23, you'll progress to open licence after 1 year of holding P licence.

The requirements for getting a QLD driver licence can vary depending on where your licence was issued and the licence class you want to apply for.

Recognized countries are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA. No need to do a written exam if you hold or have held within the last 5 years a L licence that corresponds to a class C, RE or R licence.

Written Driving Test (See Part 2)
The questions in the written road rules test come from 'Your Keys to Driving in Queensland' which has information on Queensland road rules, driver licensing requirements and sample test questions.

You can take the written exam in the centre or online (PrepL). Both tests have 30 multiple questions that must be completed and you need to get a 90% (27/30) score to pass for PrepL while in the written exam, 9/10 about giving way and 18/20 about road rules and driver licence requirements.

Practical Driving Test
The duration of your practical driving test for a class C licence will be not more than 35 minutes, but you should allow at least one hour in total so that any administrative activities may be undertaken. When you arrive for your practical driving test, you will be informed about how the test will be conducted. Turn off your mobile phone as soon as you arrive at the testing centre and leave it off for the duration of the test.

The following will be assessed:
  • Pre-drive Check - The pre-drive check asks you to locate and explain the operation of a range of vehicle controls including wipers, washers, demister, air conditioner, seat adjustment, hazard lights, mirrors and headlights.
  • Driving Tasks
    • Stopping
    • Giving way - slow down or stop and give way to vehicles or pedestrians so they do not have to slow down, stop or take action to avoid your vehicle. This also applies to reversing your vehicle.
    • Signs, signals and road markings – obey all traffic signs, signals and road markings, including any warning and guide signs.
    • Moving off, changing direction or lane changing 
    • Clutch – control the clutch so that there is a smooth take-up of power to the drive wheels and smooth gear changing; no clutch coasting.
    • Gears – demonstrate the correct use of gears appropriate for speed, vehicle and driving conditions.
    • Braking – drive to avoid harsh or abrupt movement by slowing the vehicle smoothly and progressively. The parking brake is used when the vehicle is stationary.
    • Speed – do not exceed the speed limit and drive at a speed that suits the road and traffic conditions.
    • Observation and scanning – be on guard, always looking for traffic hazards and possible problems. Look left, right, ahead and behind when approaching a hazard, then use a driving ‘system’ to deal with it in time.
    • Mirrors – check rear vision mirrors, including both side mirrors, frequently.
    • Following vehicles – in good conditions, travel at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Double this gap in poor conditions.
    • Marked lanes – keep within lane markings. Change lanes only after signalling and if it is safe to do so.
    • Road position – keep as far left as safe and practical when driving on a road without marked lanes.
    • Signalling and indicators – give other road users sufficient warning of what you intend to do.
    • Steering – always keep control of the steering wheel. 
    • Manoeuvres (classes C or CA) – perform two of the listed manoeuvres (at least one with a reversing component):
      • reverse parking – park the vehicle parallel to and within 45cm of the kerb. You can have one attempt with a maximum of two reverse and one forward movements.
      • reverse – steer a steady course (in an approximately straight line), starting and finishing within 50cm of the kerb. The observation should be predominantly by turning your head and looking through the rear window.
      • turn around – within the width of a street, turn the car around with a minimum number of forward and reverse movements. Do not turn the wheel when the vehicle is stopped.
      • U-turn – give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians and have a clear view of all approaching traffic
      • hill start – position the car parallel to and within 50cm of the kerb and move off without rolling backwards
      • gear-changing in automatic vehicles – if you are driving an automatic car, you may be asked to select a lower gear and re-select ‘drive’.
Common Causes of Failing The Practical Exam**
  • Speeding - often in school zones or roadworks. Be carefully mindful of exit ramp speeds from highway.
  • Failing to come to a COMPLETE STOP at stop signs - even if the road that you're entering is clear.
  • Cutting corners - do not turn too early and cut the corner.
  • Safety margins - 3 second gap in good conditions, increase it if in bad/wet conditions. Give cyclists plenty of room when passing, 1m under 60kph and 1.5 over 60kph.
  • Failing to respond and take evasive action when another vehicle fails to give way.
  • Failing to give way
  • Stalling while in traffic
  • Accumulating too many non-critical driving errors - poor shoulder checking, indicator use, steering and pedal control, inconsistent road position, poor understanding of road rules etc.
First Drive in a Driving School

If you are an experienced driver and want to refresh your driving skills, you can book in a driving school. Fees range from $60 above per hour. But you need to have a L licence before you can do so. After passing the exam, you'll get a P licence then after 1 year, you'll get the open licence. L licence cannot drive unless he/she is supervised by an open licence holder.

If you have family and friends who can teach you then that's awesome.  

We booked with RAC School of Motoring and we also booked with RonK Driving School. BTW, I am a beginner.

*All those in blue are linked to their respective websites. Click for more information.
**References: RAC, GPS driving school

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