Driving with an overseas licence in Western Australia
Overseas-international driver’s licenses legitimacy is critical from our point of view. More than half of our clients with foreign licenses don’t have basic skills and have insured cars. They drive on daily basis. Department of Transport doesn’t take any measures to prevent “unlicenced” drivers slip through the system and drive for up to three years using fake licenses they evidently bought in their countries of origin or elsewhere. Scarry but true!
The majority of overseas drivers are under obligation to get their WA driver’s licence within three months from becoming permanent residents. The problem is, some immigrants take years to obtain their permanent residency status, and the local authorities allow them to drive using current foreign documents, in many cases forged and illegitimate. Some of our overseas clients openly admitted purchasing licenses overseas and wanted to wave the benefit of not going on P plates. They are exempted from going through the beginners’ phases (logbook, hazard perception test, etc.)
Why don’t we dob in any suspected unlicensed drivers?
The answer is shocking!
There is no such institution or a department. Not even a division as a part of Western Australian Police.
What happens when they apply for Western Australian Licence? Do they go on P plates?
To successfully apply for a Western Australian licence, they go through a verification process. Overseas licence holders send their original licence to the nearest Embassy. It’s commonly known that some embassies don’t have sophisticated verification procedures and most licenses are verified and deemed as legitimate.
The next step is theory test followed by the practical driving assessment. When overseas licence holders fail their PDA multiple times, some candidates even 10 or 15 times, then our argument becomes evident. They couldn’t drive in the first place, yet they used their insured cars for years up until this point.
How bad and obvious can it be? Can those suspected cheats drive at all?
We have scenarios where a client drives straight and approaches a brick wall at a relatively high speed, and doesn’t have a basic driver’s instinct to deviate, slow down and avoid colliding with it. This short story is not exaggerated to make it more attractive and fun to read. There is nothing funny about operating machinery that can kill. This person had his vehicle insured by RAC insurance, believe it or not. They apparently only needed to know his details, garaging address and whether he wanted “agreed or market” value put on his car. This is anything but funny!
Shouldn’t State Government have the system in place to combat this loophole? Department of Transport needs better leadership. We will write a letter of our genuine concern to our newly elected Government in Western Australia. They promised a fresh approach.
In the meantime, our advice to overseas licence holders is: “don’t push your luck, seek professional help.”
We offer FREE consultations, take advantage. Give us a call even if you are not using our services.