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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 $220 fine.

The maximum court-imposed penalty for this offence is more than $2,700.

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

To apply for the next higher class of licence 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 14 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.