Is my Forklift or Order Picker Licence Still Legal?

licence-tickThis is a current 5 year renewable High Risk Work Licence licence-crossAs of 30th June 2014 this style of licence is no longer legal. Call Workplace Health and Safety Qld on 1300 369 915 to ascertain if anything can be done to transition your Licence through to a HRW Licence.Call us if you need to discuss arrangements for re-assessment.

Can I still operate a Forklift on my old Paper Licence?


Any paper licence holders who need to operate a forklift or order picker in the workplace will need to undertake further training to bring them up to current Australian standards and ensure they have knowledge of the current Legislation and Regulations. They will need to undertake reassessment and make a fresh application for a forklift licence at a QLD branch of Australia Post. Talk to us about an RPL course (Recognised Prior Learning).

If I have over 40 hours in a logbook already can I just take the test only?

That depends.

If you have already done your theory training beforehand and have the necessary paperwork issued by a RTO or an employer, then the answer is ‘Yes’, we should be able to progress you through to your practical exam and finalisation of assessment.

If you have 40 hours logged in a logbook where no theory or formal forklift drivers training was done before you started recording hours in that logbook the answer is a definite ‘No’.


In July 2008 it passed into The Workplace Health and Safety Regulations that the theory training MUST be done before any logbook hours (work based practical) training can take place. All new logbooks in the marketplace today allow for this to happen.

In legal terms, hours recorded in a logbook where no theory session has been delivered first are classed as “illegally trained hours”. This means that any trainees still using this old system and recording hours in a logbook are actually operating illegally and need to take steps to rectify the situation. Penalties of up to $20,000 (200 penalty units) apply.

Trainees have two options in this situation — either start again with a 2-stage forklift drivers training course or enrol for a 3-day course with the possibility of an early assessment.

Is my New Zealand (or Overseas) Forklift Licence valid for work in Australia?

No, you need to “cross your licence over” to an Australian Licence. You can contact Workplace Health and Safety Queensland 1300 369 915 to see if you qualify for an automatic transfer. However, in our experience licences that can be swapped straight over are in the minority. Most overseas forklift licence holders have to undertake some gap training and recertification. If your licence is current and you have recent forklift drivers experience, you may qualify for a 1-day RPL gap training course. If your forklift licence is over 5 or 6 years old and it’s been a while since you have used a machine, you will probably find that the full forklift training course or 2-stage course is better suited to your needs.

Do I receive a national Forklift / Order Picker licence at the end of course?

Yes. It is a QLD issued licence recognised nationally and renewable every 5 years.

What do I need to drive a Forklift on the road in QLD?

When driving a forklift on the road, the machine needs to be either road registered or a permit (or exemption) obtained. You also need a high-risk forklift licence and a current QLD driving licence (for the class of car is fine).

What do I do if I missed the 60 day lodgement deadline for my Forklift Licence?

If we trained you…

Under Workplace Health and Safety Legislation, we have regulations to follow which means we have a responsibility to make sure that you are still current and competent on a machine. If we trained and assessed you, then we will obviously know what was covered in our own order picker and forklift course. Therefore, if you only missed the deadline by 1 to 6 months, it maybe possible for you to just resit the theory, the calculation exam and the practical skills test and be issued with new paperwork to get your new forklift licence in QLD.

If you missed your deadline by over 6 months, or if you feel that you struggled with your course and you need a refresher session on either the theory or the practical forklift drivers training, we can arrange for you to spend a day with us — effectively a 1-day RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) course.

If you missed your deadline by over 12 months, then you will be required to re-enrol on a full forklift training course with a view to early assessment.

If we did not train you …

The assessment-only option would not be open to you if your original order picker or forklift training course was not undertaken with us, as we can’t be 100% sure everything that needed to be covered was covered. Given that this is high risk work and the “detail” is important, we would have to start at a minimum of a 1-day gap training course or a full training course with a view to an early assessment, depending on how much time has elapsed since you missed the deadline for the forklift licence application and what you have been doing on the machine since that time.

You will need to complete a Recognised Prior Learning Application form before we can enrol you in an order picker or forklift drivers training course. A letter of support from an employer is a valuable tool in these instances but not essential. Please contact us for more information.


Have a question, looking to get your licence or need to upgrade?

Please fill out the form below and one of our friendly representatives will be in touch shortly.
Alternatively you can call us on 07 5574 6613.

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