Campervan Driving Licence Requirements For Australia

Prepare before you hit the road

Campervan driving licence requirements for Australia

Planning an Australian road trip in a campervan? Looking at motorhomes for sale in Australia? Perhaps you’re considering used motorhomes or used campervans for sale. Before you hit the road in a rental or in your own motorhome, you’ll first need to ensure you have the correct licence.

In this blog, we take a look at the licencing requirements for driving a campervan in Australia, including:


Campervan driving licence requirement for Australian drivers


If you already have a current full class C Australian driving licence, good news! You don't need any special licence to drive a campervan as long as it meets certain requirements. The key points to note are that your class C licence means you can drive a campervan that weighs up to 4.5 tonnes in GVM. And, your campervan can’t have more than 12 seats, including the driver. It is worth noting that you have to have had your full licence for at least 12 months to drive a campervan.


Campervan driving licence requirements for international drivers


Planning an Australian road trip but coming here from another country? You can drive a campervan with your overseas licence, but there are some conditions to note, including:

  • Your licence must be valid for your entire stay in Australia.
  • If your licence isn’t in English, you must either get an international driving permit or have an official English translation.
  • Similarly to Australian drivers, you can drive a campervan that weighs up to 4.5 tonnes in GVM. And, your campervan can’t have more than 12 seats, including the driver.


Licence classes in Australia


Although Australia has six different states and two territories, the driving licences are the same across the whole country. These include:

  • C: Car licence

Used for a motor vehicle with a GVM not greater than 4.5 tonnes but not including a bus designed to carry more than 12 seated people, a motorbike, or a motor trike. Licence holders must be at least 17 years old.

  • R: Motorcycle licence

Used for any motorbike or motor trike.

  • RE: Restricted rider licence

Used for motorcycles matching the LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme) list of motorcycles of each state.

  • LR: Light rigid licence

Used for rigid vehicles with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes and up to 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM.

  • MR: Medium rigid licence

Used for rigid vehicles with two axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM.

  • HR: Heavy rigid licence

Used for rigid vehicles with 3 or more axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. This class also includes articulated buses.

  • HCL Heavy combination licence

Used for heavy combination vehicles like a prime mover towing a semi-trailer, or rigid vehicles towing a trailer with a GVM of more than 9 tonnes.

  • MC: Multi-combination licence

Used for multi-combination vehicles like road trains and B-double vehicles.


How to get a driving licence in Australia


If you’re an Australian citizen that’s looking to get your class C licence, the process of applying for a licence will vary slightly from state to state. The best course of action is to check the local government site for details and requirements. In most cases, you will be required to book a driving test that will cover driver knowledge, hazard perception and a practical driving test.



How to get an official licence translation or international driving permit


If you’re driving a campervan in Australia, always carry a copy of your driver's licence in English. If you’re using an International Driving Permit, you must also carry your original driver's licence. If you have a foreign licence, please ensure:

  • It is current.
  • It is appropriate for a full-size motor vehicle (with no restrictions).
  • It is accompanied by an international driving permit.
  • ‚ÄčIf your licence is in a language other than English, you must also present an accredited English translation.

An official translation needs to be completed by a translator approved by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. An International Driving Permit can be applied for through your home country’s transport or vehicle association.


Why it’s important to have the proper driving licence


Having the proper driving licence is important when you’re driving in Australia. It means that you’ve got a good understanding of the road rules and any restrictions that might apply to you. This means you’re safer to drive, less likely to have an accident and avoid a big fine or prosecution if caught without it.


Implications if you get caught without the proper driving licence in Australia


If you’re caught driving without a licence or with the wrong licence, you could be faced with a fine or prosecution. The potential fines or type of prosecution varies from state to state in Australia. This could be thousands of dollars or two years in jail, so it’s best to follow the rules.




Each state in Australia has its own road rules. However, in 1999 the National Transport Commission presented a common regulatory framework that was approved by the Australian Transport Council. This framework provides guidelines for each state and is reassessed every two years. It means there are common road rules across the country. However, it’s important you research the road rules for each individual state.

Here are some common road rules to be aware of:

  • In Australia, we drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Everyone in your campervan must wear a seat belt when the vehicle is moving.
  • When you’re driving in Australia, it is important to stay within speed sign limits.
  • Alcohol and driving don’t mix! In Australia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.05. We think it’s best not to drink and drive at all.
  • All traffic must proceed in a clockwise direction in a roundabout. A vehicle already on a roundabout has the right of way over any vehicles entering.
  • Always overtake to the right. First, be sure you can see enough of the road to complete overtaking and move back to your side of the road.

For more expert information about the driving rules in Australia, take a look at the National Transport Commission’s Australian Road Rules. This helpful guide outlines road rules in each state or territory.

Wondering where you can park your campervan? Find out more about campervan parking rules in Australia.




Want to know more about driving a campervan? 


Now that you know what licence you’ll need to drive a campervan, it could be time to think about buying a motorhome with KEA. And to help you get great value for money, KEA has a range of used motorhomes and ex rental campervans for sale.

KEA Motorhomes is backed by thl who own and operate the popular maui, Britz and Mighty motorhome rentals across Australia. This means KEA can offer a great ‘try before you buy’ option! Rent from thl and if you buy a motorhome within three months of your hire, we'll give you your rental cost back!

Ready to buy a motorhome with KEA? Take the first step and check out the great range online today.

Keen to know more about RV ownership? Check out more of our helpful blogs:

Looking for campervan travel ideas? Check out some of the best things to do in Australia by reading some of our inspiring travel blogs.