Well done for making the move to the Sunshine State! Some of the (many) questions you will be looking to answer once you arrive and get settled are:
1. Do I need to transfer my interstate or international driver's licence over to Queensland?
2. Do I need to transfer my car registration?
3. Are there any special rules that I need to be aware of about driving in Queensland?
Set out below is a quick summary of the answers to these questions and links to get you all sorted quickly and easily.
Driving in Queensland on an interstate or international driver's licence.
If you are moving to Queensland from overseas temporarily (including on a 482 employer sponsored visa) and if you hold a valid driver licence from a foreign country you will be entitled to drive on Queensland roads for the duration of your visa and will not need to apply for a Queensland licence. If your licence is in a foreign language you must should a recognized English translation with you while driving.
However, if you are moving to Australia as a permanent resident or you are moving to Queensland from interstate you must to obtain a Queensland Licence within 3 months of arrival. If you are from interstate, New Zealand or from a prescribed country or recognized country you will not usually need to pass a written road rules test or practical driving test. However, drivers from countries not on these list will need to pass such tests.
For full details of licencing rules, visit the Queensland Department of Main Roads.
Queensland Car Registration
When moving to Queensland from interstate with a car, you have 14 days to register your vehicle in Queensland or risk a fine. You will need to hand in your interstate number plates. and will get a receipt for the surrender of the number plates. You must then cancel the interstate registration and can apply for a refund for the remaining balance of your registration with the interstate authority where your vehicle was previously registered.
Visit the Queensland Department of Main Roads for further details, fees payable and forms required.
Special Queensland driving and insurance rules
New arrivals to Queensland should read through the Queensland Road Rules as there are some special rules that may be different to your country (or state) of origin. Roundabouts are common in Queensland and it is important to note that cars already in a roundabout have right of way, so if you are entering a roundabout, you must give way to cars on your right. Arrivals from North America should take note that left hand turns on red lights are not permitted in Queensland unless a sign specifically states otherwise. Although it might seem friendly to give a little "toot" as you drive away from a friend's place, it is illegal to use a horn "other than as permitted".
Speed limits in Queensland are very strict and even more so on public holiday long weekends. Heavy fines and demerit points apply. Speed limits on residential roads are generally 50km/hr, on busier thoroughfares 60km /hr and on freeways and highways can vary from 70km/hr to 110km/hr. You should always checks signage carefully especially in special situations such as school zones and construction zones as speed limits may vary.
So have fun exploring the many wonderful beaches, towns, national parks and secret spots around Queensland, watch out for those Kangaroos on rural roads at dusk and drive safe!