Upgrading a licence

If you have a Queensland provisional or open licence, you can learn to drive the next highest vehicle class.

If your provisional or open licence only authorises you to drive a class of motor vehicle fitted with an automatic transmission, you are also authorised to learn to drive or ride the same or higher class of motor vehicle fitted with a manual transmission.

Different rules apply when learning to ride motorcycles.

Learning to drive a higher class

When learning to ride or drive in a higher licence class, you must:

  • be accompanied by a supervisor who
    • holds an open licence in the licence class you are learning to drive in
    • has held that licence class for at least 1 year
  • clearly display L plates at the front and rear of the vehicle (back only for motorcycles)
  • show your provisional or open licence to a police officer if required
  • obey a zero alcohol limit
  • not be under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs
  • obey any conditions stated on your licence.

Unaccompanied learner drivers will get 4 demerit points and a $230 fine.

The maximum court-imposed penalty for this offence is more than $2,800.

Moving to a higher class

To apply for the next higher class, you must hold your current licence for a set period.

This period:

  • must have occurred in the last 5 years
  • can be continuous or made up of different individual lengths of time (excluding any time that your licence was suspended, surrendered, cancelled or expired).
Current licence class Minimum length of time Next higher licence class
C 1 year RE
RE 2 years R
C (A) automatic gearbox - upgrading to manual gearbox No minimum if P/O licence already held C (manual gearbox)
C 1 year LR or MR
C 2 years HR
LR or MR 1 year HR
MR or HR 1 year HC
HR or HC 1 year MC

How to apply

Example of Queensland heavy vehicle driver licence, showing photo, personal details and the licence class and conditions

Class R, C, LR, MR, HR, HC licence

To apply for the next higher class of licence, except for class MC, you must:

You no longer have to complete a driver licence application form when visiting a Department of Transport and Main Roads Customer Service Centre.

You will still need to complete driver licence application form (F3000) at police stations and most QGAP offices.

Once you meet these requirements you can apply for your current licence to be re-issued with the new class. Your new licence will be sent in the mail to your postal address within 21 days. If you have upgraded to a heavy vehicle licence you will receive a magenta coloured licence that will show the highest class of vehicle you authorised to drive. For example, if you are issued an HR licence you are allowed to drive each type of vehicle listed for that class. Class RE and R motorcycle licences will show separately on your licence.

Book a heavy vehicle practical test

Multi-combination (MC) vehicle licence

To be eligible to apply for a multi-combination (class MC) licence, you must have held your heavy rigid (class HR) or heavy combination (class HC) licence for at least 1 year.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads does not conduct practical driving tests for a class MC licence.

To upgrade to a class MC licence, you must:

  • have held a class HR or HC licence for a minimum period of 1 year
  • complete the driver licence application/renewal form (F3000)
  • show your evidence of identity documents
  • pass an eyesight test, if required
  • declare that you are medically fit to drive the class of vehicle—if you have a medical condition that is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive or ride safely, you will be required to provide a medical certificate from your doctor stating that you are medically fit to drive or ride safely.

If you currently hold a class HR licence

If you currently hold a class HR licence, you must complete competency unit Drive Multi-combination Vehicle (TLIC4006) through 1 of the approved multi-combination training providers and present the statement of attainment to Transport and Main Roads.

If you currently hold a class HC licence

If you currently hold a class HC licence, you must either:

  • complete competency unit Driver Multi-combination Vehicle (TLIC4006) through any of the approved multi-combination training providers and present the statement of attainment to Transport and Main Roads
  • complete the multi-combination driving experience declaration form (F3272) and provide evidence confirming your ability to drive a class MC vehicle and present these documents to Transport and Main Roads.

Heavy combination (HC) licence—special need

If you are applying for a class HC licence based on special need, you will need to confirm that you live in a remote area.

Use the Australian Bureau of Statistics maps to check if you reside in a remote or very remote area:

  1. From the Choose a boundary type dropdown, select '2016 Remoteness Area (RA)'
  2. Start typing your location in the Find address or place search and select your location from the list displayed
  3. The map will now display your location, click/tap on the location to display its Identified Regions information
  4. Your location is a remote area if the Name value is either:
    • 'Remote Australia'
    • 'Very Remote Australia'.

For further assistance please contact the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 1300 135 070.