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Returning drivers

You are able to apply for a class of licence you previously held that has not been valid for more than 5 years. Your previous licence may not be valid because it is expired, suspended, cancelled or has been surrendered. You also won't need to hold any other class of licence for a minimum length of time as required under the graduated licensing system.

For example, if you previously held a class HR licence (or equivalent) that expired 6 years ago, you may apply to get the class HR licence (or any lower class) without having to first hold either a class C licence for 2 years or a class LR or MR for 1 year, as is the standard requirement for obtaining that class of licence.

Before you can apply for your licence as a returning driver you will need to:

Learning to drive

If you do not hold a licence at the time of applying, you will be issued a learner licence with an RD (returning driver) condition. If you hold a licence of another class at the time of applying, your current licence will be re-issued with an RD condition. You will also be issued an RD certificate.

The RD condition and certificate is your authority to learn to drive. You may only learn to drive a class of vehicle that is stated in the certificate, which you must carry with you at all times when learning to drive.

The rules for learning to drive apply—except the learner logbook requirements.

Getting your licence

Once you have passed the written test and hold an RD certificate and a licence with an RD condition, you can book your practical driving test.

Once you pass the practical test, you can apply for a licence to drive unsupervised. Depending on the type of licence you hold at the time of applying, you will be issued either a provisional, probationary or open licence.

If you hold a provisional, probationary or open licence at the time of applying, your licence will be re-issued with the new class.

Example 1

If you hold a class C open licence with an RD condition and certificate and you are applying for a class HR, you will be issued with a class HR open licence.

If you hold a learner licence at the time of applying, you will be issued a licence of the same type (provisional, probationary or open) as the last licence you held, with the new class.

Example 2

If you hold a learner licence with an RD condition and certificate and you are applying for a class R licence, and the last licence you held was a P2 provisional licence, you will be issued a class R P2 provisional licence.

If you hold a learner licence at the time of applying, but the last licence you held was cancelled because you were disqualified, you will be issued a probationary licence.

Example 3

If you hold a learner licence with an RD condition and certificate and you are applying for a class MC licence, and the last licence you held was an open licence that was cancelled because you were disqualified, you will be issued a class MC probationary licence.

How to apply

You can apply for a licence by visiting a:

You will need to bring:

Evidence of your previous licence

You can provide evidence that you held your previous licence by doing either of the following:

  • For a Queensland licence—contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads to confirm your previous licence is on record.
  • For a non-Queensland licence—you will need to show written confirmation (a letter or email) from the authority or agency that issued your previous licence. Written confirmation must show your personal and licence information, and contact details for the issuing authority or agency so your information can be verified.
  • If you have your original licence, you should show this as well.

Providing evidence of your previous licence does not guarantee that you will get a licence. Your application will be assessed in accordance with licensing guidelines.

Last updated
5 January 2015
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