T-Plates Temporary overseas visitors driving on non Australian licences to display T plate
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A FRENCH tourist has been charged over a crash which killed Dimbulah model Elyse Miller-Kennedy.
Tourists and visa holders make a significant participation of road users in Far North Queensland and in other areas of Australia. Currently there is no requirement for these road users to understand the Australian road rules and are allowed to drive on overseas licences for the duration of their visit or in some cases indefinitely while on visas.
In Far North Queensland, overseas drivers contribute to many road accidents and near misses.
In Australia, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state. Some states require you to carry an International Licence with your current foreign licence. Other states request you carry your current foreign driver's licence together with a formal translation of your licence into English.
In most Australian states and territories you are able to drive on an overseas licence as long as it is current. You can only drive vehicles which your overseas licence authorises you to drive and you must drive according to any conditions on your overseas licence.
Many backpackers are purchasing vehicles and continually moving between states with no permanent residency.
Recommendations to standardise regulations nationally;
1. Tourists visiting Australia temporarily (less than 3 months) must display a T plate on the vehicle they are driving with an overseas licence. (Similar to L & P plates. This will help to identify and tolerate drivers who may not be familiar with local road rules and conditions). A handbook summarising problem road rules to be supplied when renting a vehicle.
2. If you’re a temporary overseas visitor (ie not an Australian citizen and not a permanent resident of Australia) and not residing in any state or territory for more than 3 months, within 3 months of arriving in Australia, you must apply for a Temporary Overseas Visitor Licence in any state or Territory. This should include a pass of the written road rules test before the licence is issued.
3. If an overseas visitor is resident in any state or territory for more than 3 months, they must obtain a licence valid for that state or territory.
4. All overseas licence conversions to an Australian drivers licence must include a pass of the written road rules test.
5. If an overseas visitor purchases a vehicle in Australia, they require a valid Australian Drivers Licence for the registration to be issued to that owner. (Many backpackers are purchasing vehicles and driving around Australia on their overseas licences for a long time, many with little understanding of the Australian road rules).
6. A driver with an overseas licence or a Temporary Overseas Visitor Licence cannot supervise a learner driver.
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