Are you ready to kick-start your career as a forklift operator or looking to enhance your skills in your current job? Maybe you're an employer who wants to ensure their staff is well-trained and up-to-date with the latest safety standards. Either way, obtaining a forklift licence in Australia is a crucial step that ensures you're well-equipped with the knowledge and expertise needed to operate these powerful machines safely and efficiently.

This comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate the world of forklift licencing in Australia, breaking down everything you need to know to get started. From understanding the different types of licences available to the ins and outs of the training process, as well as how to maintain and renew your licence, we've got you covered.

So, let's dive into this exciting world of forklift operation and discover what it takes to become a certified forklift driver down under, while ensuring the highest standards of safety and efficiency in the workplace!

The forklift licence has two classifications as well, as explained below.

Western Australia New South Whales
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Northern Territory Victoria
South Australia Tasmania
Queensland Australian Capital Territoy



Two Classes of Forklift Licence in Australia

Driving forklifts is classified as high-risk work in Australia and the operator must be licenced driving it. Now if you do not know what licence you need to apply for, evaluate your requirement according to these two classes.

  • Order-Picking Machine (TLILIC2002A LO licence) – it is given to those operators who driving an order picking forklift where the control moves together with the load carriage.

  • Forklift Truck (TLILIC2001A LF licence) – is given to those who have undergone training on the forklift truck, or those machines equipped with a mast and elevating carriage with a pair of fork arms.

Based on these classifications, you can verify what licence you need to get..

The Training and Assessment Process

To get your forklift licence, you'll need to complete a training and assessment program with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). These organisations are approved by the government to provide the necessary training and evaluate your skills.

During the theoretical training, you'll learn about forklift operation and safety, Australian standards and regulations, and Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) requirements.

Once you've completed the theoretical training, it's time to move on to the practical side of things. Here, you'll learn how to operate a forklift safely, handle loads correctly, and perform daily inspections and maintenance.

After you've completed both the theoretical and practical training, you'll need to pass a final assessment, which includes a written exam and a practical test.



You Can Obtain Your Forklift Licence if you are:

  • At the legal age of 18 years old and above. You can establish your age by submitting IDs listed in EOI.
  • If you have completed your training course through a registered training organization. You cannot apply for a licence if you hadn’t go through an RTO.
  • You must be a resident of Australia, for a foreigner, you can show proof of citizenship.
  • An applicant must have USI or unique student identifier number.
  • English is the primary language in Australia, and you need to communicate well on this.
  • Other states or territories require an applicant to have a driver’s licence. This is in a circumstance where the forklift is to be driven in public roads.

Applying for Forklift Licence

  1. Enroll and take the training in certified RTOs near your location. We have provided a list of RTOs in every state or territory.

  2. After the training course, you need to schedule your written examination and practical evaluation. The exam and evaluation must be witnessed by the designated trainer and in as much as possible by the assessor/representative.

  3. If you succeeded, you will be given a statement of attainment and notice of assessment.

  4. Complete the EOI, bring your EOI documents together with the statement of attainment and notice of assessment, application form, fee, and submit in person to the participating Australia Post. The post will accept the application on behalf of the WorkCover/WorkSafe.

  5. You will receive your licence after three weeks after submitting the application via mail. You can use your notice of assessment as an interim licence proving that you have submitted the requirements and now waiting for the actual licence to be processed.

How Can You Prepare to Apply for Forklift Licence

You must ensure that you’ve complied with all the requirements stated above. If not yet, I strongly recommend taking some time to accomplish those so that you can avoid delays submitting your applications. There were instances RTO would not accept the application if requirements are incomplete.

The training is composed of two sections. 

The first part of the course is classroom training. Such training is an effective way of delivering theoretical knowledge to students.

It only takes several hours to complete this, depending on the type of forklift you want to get training on. The trainer may administer a written exam after the classroom training so you better be ready. You should not take it lightly.

You should also complete a hands-on portion using a type of forklift you want to have licence on, this is being done during the second part of the course which is the practical training.

This second part is the most crucial because in this part you will display your confidence driving an actual truck.  You will learn and perform a safe operation during the course.

But to give you a better chance of getting a pass mark, prior to taking the course, you could ask a friend or a colleague who had access to a forklift, ask him if you could make a driving practice. But you must make sure, you do it in open spaces where there are no people around and take necessary precautions.

It is best recommended also to read theoretical topics about driving forklifts, basic controls and fundamentals, work procedure and planning, and other subjects that may be deemed helpful for you if you take the classroom lectures.



Forklift Driving is Considered High-Risk Work

Driving forklifts is considered as high-risk work, it was classified in September 2010 to protect workers from dangers involving the operation of this type of heavy equipment. In order for you to become a licenced forklift operator, you need to apply for an HRW licence.

The application has to be done after taking a training course and skills assessment from a Registered Training Organization (RTO) and requirements have been completed.

Lodging application for HRW licence will depend on where you are located in Australia. Each territory has its own governing authority in terms of health and safety enforcement and licensing regulation.

  • WorkSafe Victoria
    Visit website:
    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Call 1800 136 089, or 9641 1444

  • SafeWork New South Wales
    Visit website:
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Phone: 13 10 50

  • Access Canberra – (ACT Government)
    Visit website:
    Phone: 13 22 81

  • WorkCover Queensland
    Visit website:
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Phone: 1300 362 128

  • WorkSafe Western Autralia
    Visit website:
    Telephone: 1300 307 877, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • SafeWork South Australia (SA)
    Visit website:
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Phone: 1300 365 255

  • NT WorkSafe
    Visit website:
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Phone: 1300 362 128

  • WorkSafe Tasmania
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Enquire at Department of State Growth 1300 135 513

You may also enquire at WorkSafe at Phone: 1300 366 322 (if licence applicant is within Tasmania), or (03) 6166 4600 (outside Tasmania)

Forklift licence is a mandatory requirement for someone who is prospecting for a job in this field, to start a career, find an RTO where you can take the training course. Good for you, there are many training providers you can find across Australia. 

It is also the obligation of the employer to provide their forklift operators such competence to avoid the legal issue. The most suitable way of training delivery is to do it in actual worksite because there would not be a halt in business especially when the operation depends on them.

Expiration and Transfer of Forklift Licence Issued in Australia



A high-risk work (HRW) licence such as forklift expires every 5 years. The licence holders will receive notification from the issuing government authority as reminder that they need to renew it.

Be sure to keep your contact details such as address, contact numbers, and email are up to date. The instruction for renewal of your licence can be found in the notification that will be sent to you.

Your HRW licence is recognized in any territory of Australia as long as it is still valid. If you are transferring to another location to work there, you can transfer your licence. Separate processing needs to be done; just contact the licence-issuing authority in the state or territory where you will be transferring to.

Cost of Taking the Course and Application of Licence

The cost of taking a forklift operation course will primarily depend on two things: your skill level and the training provider.

To make a rough estimate, a 1-day course which is ideal for those who have some experience in forklift operation, it costs around $350-$500 per participant. On the other hand, if you are an absolute beginner, the course tends to be longer, it costs around $500-$550.

Again, the cost varies from provider to provider.

So make sure that you are enrolling in the right training provider. Here are some tips in choosing the right one:

  • Choose a training provider that has a modern type of forklift equipment.
  • Choose a provider that is equipped to let every student have the opportunity to learn in a real-world working environment.
  • Find a class that has a small number of students.
  • Find a training provider that will assist you in the application for an HRW licence.
  • Find a training provider that has an experienced instructor.

There’s a separate fee when lodging your application to the licence-issuing authority. The amount is somewhere around $75-$80.

What’s the Demand for Licenced Forklift Operators

With the continuous growth of construction, warehousing, manufacturing and distribution industries in Australia, there’ will be a bright future of licenced operators. The market is huge and will stay this way for more several years. reported that licenced forklift operator in Australia can make as much as $25 to $30 hourly. Overtime pay, of course, surpasses that.

Better news for a new operator is that as long as you completed your training and in possession of a licence, you can be picked by an employer easily and can look forward to stable and secured employment.

Maintaining and Renewing Your Forklift Licence

Your forklift licence isn't valid forever – you'll need to renew it periodically to keep it up to date. Make sure to also update your personal information if anything changes, such as your address or name. If your licence is suspended or revoked, you'll need to address the issue and potentially complete additional training to regain your licence.

Importance of Continuous Learning and Skills Development?

In the forklift industry, it's crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in regulations and technology. Regular refresher courses can help you maintain and improve your skills, ensuring you're always operating safely and efficiently. By staying informed and continuously developing your skills, you'll be better prepared for any changes that come your way.



Job Outlook of Forklift Driver in Australia
The job outlook for forklift drivers in Australia is generally positive, with stable demand for skilled operators across various industries. The warehousing, logistics, manufacturing, and construction sectors all rely on forklift drivers to ensure efficient material handling and smooth operations.

One of the main drivers of demand for forklift operators in Australia is the growth of the e-commerce sector. As online shopping continues to gain popularity, the need for efficient warehousing and distribution services increases, leading to more job opportunities for forklift drivers.

Additionally, infrastructure projects and construction activities across the country also contribute to the demand for skilled forklift operators.

While the job market for forklift drivers in Australia is relatively stable, it remains competitive. Aspiring forklift drivers must ensure they have the proper certifications and training to stay ahead of the competition. This includes obtaining the necessary forklift licence, staying up-to-date with industry best practices, and focusing on safety and efficiency.


To Sum It Up

Obtaining a forklift licence in Australia is an essential and comprehensive process that not only sets you up for a successful career in the forklift industry but also ensures the safety and efficiency of workplaces across the country.


By understanding the different types of licences, meeting the necessary pre-requisites, and completing the required training and assessment with a Registered Training Organisation, you'll be well on your way to becoming a certified forklift operator.

Remember that maintaining and renewing your licence, as well as staying up-to-date with industry changes and regulations, is key to ensuring long-term success and safety in your forklift operations.

With this guide at your side, you're now better prepared to embark on your journey to becoming a skilled and responsible forklift driver in Australia, contributing to a safer and more productive working environment for all.

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