VicRoads FAQ’s For Driving Instructors 20/8/2020

FAQS for driving instructors

Key messages

  • • In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has announced that Melbourne has moved to Stage 4 restrictions and regional Victoria (including the Mitchell Shire) will move to Stage 3 restrictions. All Victorians must wear a mask when they leave home, unless an exception applies. For more information visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
  • • Following the announcement of Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria, VicRoads has again suspended all light vehicle licence testing, including drive tests, with the exception of priority tests approved under our hardship and special circumstances criteria.
  • • Licence testing had previously been suspended again in metro Melbourne on 8 July.
  • • Priority licence testing under our hardship and special circumstances criteria will continue throughout Victoria. At the request of an applicant, a driving instructor may participate in a priority test under both Stage 3 and Stage 4 restrictions (provided there are no more than three people in the vehicle).
  • For light vehicle learner drivers within metropolitan Melbourne, driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home under Stage 4 restrictions. Professional driver trainer can only continue for frontline essential services if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.
  • Light vehicle learner drivers living within regional Victoria can undertake supervised driving practice under Stage 3 restrictions. Supervising drivers are full licence holders which may include family members, volunteer mentors and also qualified driving instructors.
  • For heavy vehicle and motorcycle training and assessment, professional driver trainer can only continue if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.
  • No one should be participating in a driving lesson or drive test if they are unwell.
  • • Driving instructors intending to continue operating within metropolitan Melbourne must comply with new requirements including preparing a COVIDSafe Plan (compulsory for all businesses with five or more employees operating under Stage 4 restrictions) and carrying a worker permit, as required. For more information on these requirements, visit the DHHS website or VicRoads’ industry partner page.
  • Under Stage 4 restrictions, a driving instructor participating in a hardship (priority) test MUST have a worker permit AND a COVIDSafe plan (for businesses with five or more employees). A driving instructor can only undertake a pre-test driving lesson in metropolitan Melbourne for a frontline essential services worker if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace (refer to driving lessons section below for further explanation).

    Frequently asked questions

    1) Drive tests / priority tests

    Are drive tests currently being conducted in Victoria?

    No. Following the announcement of Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria, VicRoads has again suspended all light vehicle licence testing, including drive tests, with the exception of priority tests approved under our hardship and special circumstances policy.

    Licence testing had previously been suspended again in metro Melbourne on 8 July.

    Under Stage 4 restrictions, will VicRoads continue to offer priority tests on hardship grounds?

    Yes. Priority tests will continue at all Customer Service Centres throughout Victoria under the hardship and special circumstances policy.

    Can a driving instructor or interpreter still participate in priority tests on hardship grounds?

    Yes. Under both Stage 3 and Stage 4 restrictions, priority tests will continue at all Customer Service Centres throughout Victoria under our hardship and special circumstances policy. At the request of an applicant, an interpreter OR a driving instructor may participate in these tests (provided there are no more than three people in the vehicle) and the Safe Operating Procedure endorsed by DHHS is followed.

    Can an instructor give a learner driver a lesson before their priority test is to take place?

    No. Under Stage 4 restrictions, driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home.

    Under Stage 4 restrictions, a pre-test lesson can only occur for a frontline essential services worker if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

    Under Stage 3 restrictions, a driving instructor may conduct a pre-test lesson. Face coverings must be worn.

    Can the instructor drive with the learner to and from the test, whether successful or unsuccessful?

    Yes. Under Stage 4 restrictions, a driving instructor may drive a learner to and from their hardship test. Both the instructor and the driver must wear face coverings and carry a worker permit where required.

    Under Stage 3 restrictions, a driving instructor can drive the learner to and from their test as per usual business practice. Face coverings must be worn.

    Can a participant travel more than 5km from home to participate in a priority test?

    Yes, as there may not be a testing site located within 5km. To avoid unnecessary travel, these tests are being scheduled at the customer’s nearest CSC where possible.

    Can an instructor or learner travel between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne for a driving lesson?

    No. As per current restrictions, travel between Stage 4 and Stage 3 restricted areas is not permitted unless absolutely critical or essential. Under Stage 4 restrictions, driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home.

  • Are there special requirements for driving instructors who continue to operate under Stage 4 restrictions?

    Yes. For driving instructors intending to continue to operate within metropolitan Melbourne (including those who intend to participate in VicRoads’ priority tests), the following requirements are in place.

    During professional driver training for frontline essential services where it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace, a valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

    All permitted businesses and services must enact a COVIDSafe Plan focused on safety, prevention and response. For more information about this requirement, visit the ‘Creating a COVIDSafe workplace’ page on the Justice and Community Safety website.

    Employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility. For more information, visit the Permitted Worker Scheme page on the Justice and Community Safety website.

    I’m a business owner but I don’t have any staff – do I need a COVIDSafe Plan?

    No, if you have fewer than 5 employees you do not need to a COVIDSafe Plan, however you should still consider developing one to ensure you have steps in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission and develop contingency plans for your business.

    For more information visit the DHHs website.

    I am a sole trader. Do I need a worker permit?

    If a driving instructor is an employee, their employer must issue them with a worker permit. The DHHS website states that ‘Sole traders must issue a worker permit and sign the worker permit as both the employer and employee.’

    For more information, visit the ‘Permitted Worker Scheme’ page on the Department of Transport website.

    Do I need to wear a face covering?

    Yes. All Victorians must wear a face mask when they leave home, unless an exception applies.

    If you are driving alone or only travelling with people from your household, you do not need to wear a face covering. If you are driving with people for work or people you don’t live with then you must wear a face covering unless you have a lawful excuse.

    What other safety measures are in place at CSCs and VicRoads testing sites?

    We are implementing additional safety measures, including temperature checks and recording customer details for contact tracing at all Customer Service Centres across Victoria.

    2) Driving lessons

    Can an instructor conduct a driving lesson in metropolitan Melbourne under Stage 4 restrictions?

    No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home under Stage 4 restrictions.

    Under Stage 4 restrictions, professional driver trainer can only continue for frontline essential services if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would

    be required for both the instructor and the driver to confirm frontline essential service status and face coverings must be worn.

    Can driver training for frontline essential services continue under Stage 4?

    Professional driver trainer can only continue for frontline essential services if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

    Can a driving instructor conduct a driving lesson in regional Victoria under Stage 3 restrictions?

    Yes. Residents living within regional Victoria may undertake supervised driving practice. Supervising drivers are full licence holders which may include family members, volunteer mentors and also qualified driving instructors. Face coverings must be worn by the learner and the supervising driver.

    Can an instructor or learner travel between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne for a driving lesson?

    No. As per current restrictions, travel between Stage 4 and Stage 3 restricted areas is not permitted unless absolutely critical or essential. Under Stage 4 restrictions, driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home.

    3) Learner drivers

    Are learner drivers permitted to drive with parents/carers to and from essential items pickup or exercise or essential work?

    No. Under Stage 4 restrictions, driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home.

    Yes, under Stage 3 restrictions within regional Victoria.

    I am a learner driver. Can I undertake practice driving in metropolitan Melbourne under Stage 4 restrictions? With a member of my household? With a professional driving instructor?

    No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home under Stage 4 restrictions.

    Under Stage 4 restrictions, professional driver trainer can only continue for frontline essential services if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

    Can I undertake practice driving in regional Victoria under Stage 3 restrictions? With a member of my household? With a professional driving instructor?

    Yes. Residents living within regional Victoria may undertake supervised driving practice. Supervised drivers are full licence holders which may include family members, volunteer mentors and also qualified driving instructors. Face coverings must be worn by the learner and the supervising driver.

  • FAQs for motorcycle and heavy vehicle training and assessment providers

    Can motorcycle, heavy vehicle or any other driving practice and training occur under Stage 4 restrictions?

    No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home under Stage 4 restrictions.

    Professional driver trainer can only continue if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

    Can participants from metropolitan Melbourne travel to motorcycle training and assessment courses under Stage 4 restrictions?

    No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home under Stage 4 restrictions.

    Professional driver trainer can only continue if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

    Can participants from metropolitan Melbourne travel to heavy vehicle training and assessment courses under Stage 4 restrictions?

    No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home under Stage 4 restrictions.

    Professional driver trainer can only continue if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

    Can we continue to deliver courses under Stage 3 restrictions? Can participants in regional Victoria continue to attend our courses?

    Yes. Under Stage 3 restrictions, motorcycle and heavy vehicle training and assessment may continue in regional Victoria.

    Is motorcycle riding practice and heavy vehicle driving practice allowed under Stage 3 restrictions?

    Yes. Under Stage 3 restrictions, driving or riding practice may continue throughout regional Victoria.

    What happens to motorcycle learners whose permits are about to expire?

    As advised previously, we have applied a six-month expiry date extension for all motorcycle learner permits that expire between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020. Given this, your participants should still have time to complete their training and obtain their licence before their permit expires.

    If you have a client who is concerned about a permit expiry date that is after 30 September 2020, please encourage them to contact our customer query inbox at APSenquiries@roads.vic.gov.au to discuss their concerns.

  • Are there special requirements for businesses permitted to continue to operate under Stage 4 restrictions?

    Yes. All permitted businesses and services must enact a COVIDSafe Plan focused on safety, prevention and response. For more information about this requirement, visit the ‘Creating a COVIDSafe workplace’ page on the Justice and Community Safety website.

    Employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility. For more information, visit the Permitted Worker Scheme page on the Justice and Community Safety website.

    Do I need to wear a face covering?

    Yes. All Victorians must wear a face mask when they leave home, unless an exception applies.

    If you are driving alone or only travelling with people from your household, you do not need to wear a face covering. If you are driving with people for work or people you don’t live with then you must wear a face covering unless you have a lawful excuse.

Book Now

Book now to receive 25% discount on your first 60 minute lesson

Purchase Now