Upgrade or add a driver’s licence category

Steps you need to take if you wish to drive a vehicle of a higher class or remove a restriction on your licence.

The Department of Transport provides extensive details on how to apply for different types of vehicle licences. In some cases, you need to have held the lower class of licence for one year.

Motorcycle licence

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You can apply for the R motorcycle class licence once you:

  • have held your R-E class licence for two years
  • complete a sufficient level of supervised riding
  • are confident in your ability.

R class motorcycle licences allow you to ride motorbikes with an engine capacity of more than 660cc or a power to weight ratio greater than 150 kilowatts per tonne. This is also known as an unrestricted motorcycle licence.

To upgrade to the R licence, book your practical driving test in advance.

You then need to visit a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent with:

More details are available in the getting your motorcycle fact sheet (PDF).

Car licence

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If you have never had a driver’s licence before or only have a moped licence, visit Apply for a WA driver’s licence.

You can upgrade from the C-A licence for automatic vehicles and R-E class licences for motorcycles to the C class for manual vehicles. R-E licence holders must get a learner’s permit.
 
To upgrade to a C class car licence, book your practical driving test in advance.

You then need to visit a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent with:

An eye test must also be taken before sitting the practical test.

Light Rigid licence

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You can apply for the LR Light Rigid heavy vehicle licence once you have held your C class car licence for 12 months.

The LR licence allows you to drive vehicles that either have a gross vehicle mass between 4500kg and 8500kg or can hold more than 12 passengers.

It also allows you to tow a trailer with the maximum weight recommended by the vehicle manufacturer or detailed by law.

While learning, you must be accompanied by:

  • a licensed driving instructor who has an LR or higher class driver’s licence or
  • a person who has held an LR licence for at least four years.

To upgrade to the LR licence, book your practical driving test in advance.

You then need to visit a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent with:

An eye test must also be taken before sitting the practical test in an LR class vehicle.

Medium Rigid licence

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You can apply for the MR Medium Rigid heavy vehicle licence once you have held your C class car licence for 12 months.

The MR licence allows you to drive vehicles with two axles and a gross vehicle mass more than 8000kg. It also allows you to tow a trailer with a gross vehicle mass of 9000kg.

While learning, you must:

  • meet national medical standards to ensure you are fit to drive
  • be accompanied by a licensed driving instructor who has an MR or higher class driver’s licence or
  • a person who has held an MR licence for at least four years.

To upgrade to the MR licence, book your practical driving test in advance.

You then need to visit a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent with:

An eye test and theory test (PDF) must also be taken before sitting the practical test in an MR class vehicle.

Heavy Rigid licence

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You can apply for the HR Heavy Rigid heavy vehicle licence if you have held one of the following:

The HR licence allows you to drive vehicles with three or more axles and a gross vehicle mass more than 8000kg. It also allows you to tow a trailer with a gross vehicle mass of 9000kg.

While learning, you must

  • meet national medical standards to ensure you are fit to drive
  • be accompanied by a licensed driving instructor who has an HR or higher class driver’s licence or
  • a person who has held an HR licence for at least four years.

To upgrade to the HR licence, book your practical driving test in advance.

You then need to visit a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent with:

An eye test and theory test (PDF) must also be taken before sitting the practical test in an HR class vehicle.

Heavy Combination licence

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You can apply for the HC Heavy Combination heavy vehicle licence if you have held both:

The HC licence allows you to drive prime movers with an attached single semi trailer and HR class vehicles with attached trailers that have a gross vehicle mass more than 9000kg.

You are also allowed to tow one additional trailer with a maximum gross vehicle mass of 9000kg and an unladen converter dolly or low loader dolly as defined under law.

While learning, you must be accompanied by:

  • a licensed driving instructor who has an HC or higher class driver’s licence or
  • a person who has held an HC licence for at least four years.

To upgrade to the HC licence, book your practical driving test in advance on 13 11 56. Online bookings are not available.

You then need to visit a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent with:

An eye test must also be taken before sitting the practical test in an HC class vehicle.

Multi Combination licence

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You can apply for the MC Multi Combination heavy vehicle licence if you have held both:

The MC licence allows you to drive any heavy combination unit towing two or more trailers each with a gross vehicle mass more than 9000kg.

While learning, you must be accompanied by:

  • a licensed driving instructor who has an MC or higher class driver’s licence or
  • a person who has held an MC licence for at least four years. 

To upgrade to the MC licence, you must book your practical test through a registered training provider.

You then need to visit a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent with:

An eye test must also be taken before sitting the practical test in an MC class vehicle.

Once you have passed the test, you will receive a certificate of competency which you must present at a Driver and Vehicle Services centre to complete the application process.

Become a bus, taxi or charter vehicle driver

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The F and T driver’s licence extensions that permit someone to drive for hire or reward were replaced in July 2020 by passenger transport driver authorisations.

Examples of transport for hire or reward include:

  • taxis
  • buses
  • premium charters
  • limousines
  • rideshares
  • contracted mine site charters
  • inbound tours
  • dial a skipper services
  • school buses
  • tourist coaches
  • CAT buses, community transport services
  • car pooling with more than nine people.

Get a driving instructor’s licence

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You must apply for a driving instructor’s licence if you are paid to teach someone to drive. This includes professional driving instructors and employees who give driving instruction as part of their job.

Before applying, you need:

  • a current WA driver’s licence
  • to be at least 21
  • at least three continuous years’ experience driving the vehicle class you want to teach
  • to be medically fit

You then need to visit a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent with:

Once you have submitted your application, you will be given a medical form that needs to be filled in after a doctor’s check up. The doctor will submit the form directly to the Department of Transport.

You will then be contacted to arrange your driving tests. The practical driving test is the same one taken by learner drivers but you are tested to a higher standard. The instructor’s practical test assesses your ability to teach a learner driver.

After you have passed you need to pay an annual licence fee.

More details are available in the how to become a licensed driving instructor in WA fact sheet.

Page reviewed 23 September 2020