Owing to the temporary suspension of computer-based and drive testing in Victoria due to coronavirus restrictions, the deadline for the conversion of international or interstate licences has been extended by 12 months to April 29, 2021 by VicRoads.
This applies to all overseas licence holders residing in Victoria, including temporary visa holders like international students and newly-arrived migrants.
Attributing this change to the coronavirus restrictions, a spokesperson of Victoria’s DoT told SBS Punjabi, “we’ve temporarily extended the deadline for all international and interstate drivers to convert to a Victorian licence, as changes made to slow the spread of coronavirus have led to the suspension of all computer-based and light vehicle drive tests.”
- VicRoads extends deadline to convert interstate, overseas driver licences to April 29, 2021 due to Covid-19
- Existing appointments are being rescheduled on priority by the Department of Transport
- Extension will be helpful, say new migrants and temporary visa holders like international students
Addressing those who had taken appointments for these tests before the coronavirus restrictions were enforced, the spokesman said, “we understand the suspension of testing is frustrating, but we must do everything possible to protect the health and safety of our staff and customers.”
“All customers who had an appointment prior to the suspension of drive tests and computer-based tests, are being contacted directly to advise them of the new deadline,” the DoT spokesperson added.
Ramandeep Kaur, an international student who lives in Melbourne, has an overseas driver licence issued in Punjab, her home state in India’s north.
“I’m very happy with this extension. While I did expect an extension, I was very pleased to see that the DoT has given one full year for overseas licences to be converted into Victorian licences,” she said.
Many temporary residents like Ms Kaur who could drive in Victoria with their overseas licences until October 29, 2019, were given six months till April 29, 2020 to convert to Victorian licences.
But due to the coronavirus outbreak, this was not a priority for many people as well as DoT, due to health reasons.
“Now that the situation is under control, this extended deadline will help me organise things step-by-step like learning driving, appearing for the test, even multiple times if needed and time to save enough money for buying a car” said Ms Kaur.
“I was concerned that the previous extension of six months given by VicRoads wasn’t enough for people like me who were busy juggling studies and work. I was unable to find time for driving lessons to learn Victoria’s driving rules,” added the IT student, who came to Australia from Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district in 2017.
The DoT spokesperson also stated that VicRoads is not currently taking bookings for licence tests.
“We’re planning for the safe resumption of testing, including for anyone who booked their licence test, but was unable to take it because of restrictions. These customers will be prioritised,” the spokesperson clarified.
Restrictions in relation to driving practice and driving lessons have also been relaxed recently.
According to the VicRoads website, this means that aspiring drivers can now “undertake supervised driving practice. Supervised drivers are full licence holders which may include family members, volunteer mentors and also qualified driving instructors.”
Source: SBS News