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Types of Driving Licences in Melbourne

There are a range of categories of licences in Victoria. These also include marine and tow truck licences. Taxi licences are the responsibility of the Victorian Taxi Directorate (VTD).

Below are the categories of licences and what you need to do to apply them.

Licence categories

Description and Eligibility

Car You can drive a vehicle that does not exceed 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) and can seat up to 12 adults including the driver. This does not include motor cycles and motor trikes. You may tow a single trailer (other than a semi trailer) up to 9 tonne GVM or to the manufactures specifications (whichever is less).

Can drive as soon as you get a car licence.

Motor Cycle (R) You can drive a two or three wheeled vehicle that includes a sidecar, forecar or trailer and includes a motor trike. Can drive a motorcycle that is permitted under the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme as soon as you get a motorcycle licence.
Marine licence A marine licence allows you to operate a motorised boat in Victorian waters. You can also have your marine licence endorsed to operate personal watercraft.

You must be at least 12 years of age to apply for a restricted marine licence.

Tractor See Driving a tractor for more information.
Light Rigid (LR)

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You may drive any rigid vehicle, including bus and truck, greater than 4.5 tonnes GVM but equal to or less than 8 tonnes GVM or a vehicle that seats more than 12 adults including the driver that has a GVM not greater than 8 tonnes GVM. You may tow a single trailer (other than a semi trailer) up to 9 tonne GVM or to the manufactures specifications (whichever is less).

To apply for this category you must have held an Australian car driver licence for at least 12 months.

Medium Rigid (MR)

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You may drive any two axle rigid vehicle, including bus and truck, greater than 8 tonnes GVM. You may tow a single trailer (other than a semi trailer) up to 9 tonne GVM or to the manufactures specifications (whichever is less).

To apply for this category you must have held an Australian car driver licence for at least 12 months.

Heavy Rigid (HR)

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You may drive any rigid vehicle with three or more axles, including bus or truck, greater than 8 tonnes GVM. You may tow a single trailer (other than a semi trailer) up to 9 tonne GVM or to the manufacturer’s specifications (whichever is less).

To apply for this category you must have held an Australian car driver licence for at least 24 months.

Heavy Combination (HC)

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You may drive a prime mover or single semi trailer exceeding 9 tonne, or rigid vehicle plus trailer greater than 9 tonnes GVM. A Mass and Dimension permit may also be required. Check with VicRoads by calling 13 11 71.

To apply for this category you must have held an Australian car driver licence for at least 24 months, including Medium Rigid or Heavy Rigid licence for at least 12 months.

Multi Combination (MC)

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You may drive a heavy combination vehicle with one or more additional trailers.
To apply for this category you must have held a Heavy Combination, Heavy Rigid or a combination of Heavy Rigid and a Heavy Combination vehicle licence for at least 12 months, plus the completion of an approved course.

NOTE: Light Rigid, Medium Rigid and Heavy Rigid licence holders may tow a single trailer (other than a semi – trailer) that has a GVM not greater than 9 tonnes.

Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
GVM means the maximum loaded mass of the vehicle:
(a) as specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer
or
(b) as specified by VicRoads if :

the manufacturer has not specified the maximum loaded mass; or
the manufacturer cannot be identified; or
the vehicle has been modified to the extent that the manufacturer’s specification is no longer appropriate

Gross Combination Mass (GCM)
GCM means the greatest possible sum of the maximum loaded mass of the motor vehicle and of any vehicles that may lawfully be towed by it at one time, as specified by either the manufacturer of the motor vehicle or the registration authority.

When specified by the vehicle manufacturer, the GCM will be located on a plate the manufacturer has fixed to the vehicle or in another place.

The GCM will be specified by the registration authority when:

the manufacturer has not specified the sum of the maximum loaded mass, or
the manufacturer cannot be identified, or
the vehicle has been modified to the extent that the manufacturer’s specification is no longer appropriate

Tare weight
In relation to a trailer, tare mass means its unladen mass when it is in ordinary running condition and not carrying persons or goods.

Heavy Vehicle Exemptions – Undue Hardship
You can apply for an exemption from the minimum time you are required to hold your licence before applying for a higher heavy vehicle licence category if:

  • you would be caused undue hardship without the licence due to employment or family circumstances, and
  • road safety is not compromised

To obtain an exemption apply in writing to:

Heavy Vehicle Exemptions
VicRoads Bendigo Customer Service Centre
53 – 61 Lansell Street
Bendigo VIC 3550

You will also require a supporting letter from your employer (current or potential) giving reason as to why the licence is needed and why hardship will occur if the exemption is not granted.

The exemption, if granted, is purely for the minimum time required to hold a licence and does not put aside any requirements for testing.

On passing the applicable tests, you will be issued with a restricted licence to ensure that the vehicle is only used for the reason the exemption was granted.