When adding drivers to your fleet that have come from interstate or overseas, it is important to be aware of how various licenses may affect your overall operations.
Part of the issue for fleet managers is the differences in how licenses are applied across various states and territories and also at an international level. It is the role of the fleet manager to provide care to ensure that the company is applying the current legislation.
The purpose of the following procedure is to outline the way in which new or transferred employees with interstate or overseas licenses will be authorised to drive the company supplied vehicle or an employee-owned vehicle while on company business.
Below are some key sections to consider if your new driver happens to be from interstate or overseas. As a hypothetical this information is targeted for a Victorian organisation but the key principles remain releveant no matter where your fleet is set up.
When new, temporary or transferred employees with interstate or overseas licences join the company a check must be made as to the validity of the licence in the state in which the person is stationed. Results of such checks should be retained in the employees personnel file.
Permanent visa holders
If the person holds a permanent visa, they can drive for three months from the time they enter Victoria. If they obtain a permanent visa after arrival in Australia they can drive for three months from the date the visa was issued. They then must apply for a Victorian licence.
Consider the age of the driver
Applicants must be 18 years of age to get a Victorian licence however a person does not have to be 18 years of age to drive in Victoria if they hold a current overseas licence and are in Victoria on a temporary basis.
Non-permanent visa/overseas license
Holders of a non-permanent visa can drive indefinitely in Victoria with an overseas licence. However, the licence must be in English or accompanied by an official translation. An official translation can be obtained from the country of origin licensing authority, the consulate in Australia, from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) or an International Driving Permit may be used instead.
Interstate & NZ license holders
Interstate and New Zealand licence holders may drive for the first three months from arrival with an interstate or New Zealand licence and must comply with any licence conditions as well as all Victorian road rules.
Should the licence have conditions, but not show what they are, the licence holder must carry an explanation of the conditions from the issuing driver licensing authority. To continue to drive after three months a Victorian licence must be obtained.
International driving permit
An international driving permit can be used as an alternative to a driver’s licence. It cannot be used alone to drive on, or to obtain a Victorian licence. The person must have an overseas licence to drive and to change that licence to a Victorian licence.
Further details on how to deal with interstate or overseas drivers within your fleet can be found within our Member Resources tab. For more information about membership with AfMA, click here.