forklift licence requirements Australia

Now that you've decided to pursue this job, the next step is to obtain your forklift licence by fulfilling the necessary requirements. Australian law mandates that all LO and LF licence applicants meet these requirements before submitting their applications. By ensuring everything is in order, you can anticipate a smooth processing experience.

The requirements aren't just limited to documents; they also pertain to the personal profiles of the applicants. We've compiled a list for you, making it easier to gather all that's needed:

Here are What You Need to Have/Be


The applicant must be at the age of 18 years old and above before he can apply for a forklift licence. An applicant must turn 18 at the time of assessment.


An applicant of HRW licence must declare his territory residency by submitting Ids showing his resident address.

An applicant who is not resident of the territory must submit additional document confirming that he’s contracted by an employer who has business in that territory. It could be a letter or contract proving your employment.

English Understanding

The trainee must have basic knowledge in English both in verbal and written skills.

Forklift trainees must understand the training course which is formatted in English. Effective communication is vital to absorb information during the training course.

It is also essential while performing job at work. A worker must understand his superior’s instruction and communicate well with other co-workers.

Read related article: Can You Transfer NSW Forklift Licence to QLD?

Proof of Identity

Must present 100 points of evidence of identity before getting accepted for a training and applying for a licence.

IDs with 70 points (Primary Documents)

  • Birth card
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport, current or expired. If passport is expired, it should not be cancelled or expired in the past two years.
  • Diplomatic certificates or documents issued to refugees.

IDs with 40 Points (Secondary Documents) – Ids must contain photo

  • Driver’s licence
  • RMS card
  • Public employee card

IDs with 35 points – must have name and address

  • Notice of council rate
  • Certificate of employment issued by employer in the last two years
  • Office record of land title
  • A mortgage document and any related documents issued by financial institution

IDs with 25 points

  • Credit card
  • Marriage certificate
  • Driver’s licence issued by other country
  • EFTPOS card
  • Phone, water, internet, electricity, gas billing
  • Bank records
  • Signed contracts/lease agreement
  • Receipt from a real estate company
  • Membership in trade association

USIUnique Student Identifier

All trainees must be in possession of USI. It’s a unique reference number given to trainee who is learning vocational education training, like forklift driving.

For more information about USI, follow this link.

How do you apply for USI?

  1. When applying for USI, trainee must have a valid ID (it could be IMMI card, driver’s licence, birth certificate, passport, visa (if applicant has non-Australian passport, certificate of citizenship, over 18’s card, and other government-issued ID that are recognized)
  2. Log in to
  3. Read the terms and conditions. Make sure you understand them thoroughly. If you are not the one needing USI and you are applying on behalf of the individual, you must have the consent from the person. Check the appropriate boxes. Click Next.
  4. You will arrive at Student Portal. Click Create USI.
  5. Respond to prompt and complete the instruction to create the USI.

Reminder: RTO will stop issuing Statement of Attainment of forklift training if student do not have USI. It’s obligatory to apply for USI first before enrolling for a forklift course in a registered training organization.

Read related article: Do I Need USI Number to Take Forklift Training?

Physical or Medical Condition

Aspiring forklift operators must meet specific physical requirements to ensure both their safety and the safety of those around them. Being a forklift driver is not just about skillful operation; it demands considerable physical endurance and strength. Extended hours navigating and managing such heavy equipment necessitate a robust physical constitution.

Moreover, it's imperative for an applicant to possess unimpaired vision and hearing capabilities. These two senses are pivotal in the day-to-day operations of a forklift driver. Clear vision is essential for accurately maneuvering the truck, especially in tight or congested spaces. Simultaneously, acute hearing aids in being aware of one's surroundings, responding to alarms, and communicating effectively with co-workers. In essence, impeccable vision and hearing are non-negotiable attributes for anyone seeking to drive a forklift safely and efficiently.

Documentary requirements

Upon completion of a forklift training course, trainee will be given these two important pieces of certificate that must be lodge to WorkSafe for processing of the licence:

  • Statement of Attainment – it is some sort of certificate issued by the RTO, proving that you have successfully finish a training course from them.
  • Notice of Assessment – this document is issued by the trainer who conducted the training.
  • AS1 Application form – usually, this form is given by RTO together with the other two documents previously mentioned.
  • Passport size-photo – The photo must be recent, that’s why Australia Post requirements applicants to submit requirements in person, so applicant’s photo can be taken.

Fees and Charges

When you're ready to lodge your application for a forklift licence, it's crucial to remember that fees must be submitted alongside other necessary documentation. Based on current data, WorkCover, the responsible entity for managing such licences, has set the fee for High Risk Work (HRW) licence applicants at $68.68 for each class of licence.

If you're looking to renew your existing licence, the fee changes slightly. For every licence card you wish to renew, you'll need to pay an application fee of $63.55. It's always advisable to check for the most recent fee structure and ensure you have the correct amount ready when applying or renewing to avoid any potential delays or issues.

Application Process for Forklift Licences in Australia

Once you've completed the necessary training, the next step is to apply for your forklift licence. The process is straightforward, but it's essential to be prepared and understand each step to ensure a smooth application. Here's what you need to know:

1. Complete an LO or LF licence training course from an RTO.

  • You can easily find an RTO by googling. You can search "forklift training" + [your location]. Just be sure that it is just near to where you are so that you won't have a hard time going to the training provider.

2. Necessary Documentation (Please see application fee above)

Before starting the application, gather all the required papers. This ensures you don't face any delays or setbacks:

  • Proof of Identity: Typically, this involves presenting one or more identification documents. Commonly accepted forms include a driver's licence, passport, or any other official ID that has your photograph, name, and date of birth.
  • Evidence of Completed Training: After finishing your forklift training course at a registered training organisation (RTO), you'll receive a certificate or statement of attainment. This document proves you've successfully completed the training and are ready to be assessed.

3. Steps to Apply

Now that you have everything ready, here's the step-by-step procedure:

  1. Filling out Application Forms: Obtain the official application form for a forklift licence. Ensure you read each section carefully and fill in the required details accurately.
  2. Paying the Requisite Fees: There's an application fee associated with getting your forklift licence. The exact amount can vary based on your location in Australia, so it's a good idea to check the latest fee structure beforehand.
  3. Undergoing Assessment: After applying, you'll need to undergo a final assessment, typically involving both a written test and a practical examination. If you've trained well, this should be a breeze!
  4. Receiving Your Licence: If you pass your assessments and all your documents are in order, you'll receive your forklift licence. This might be sent to you by post or handed over directly, depending on the process followed by your local authority.

4. Locations: Where to Submit Your Application

The specific location where you submit your application can vary based on the region or state within Australia. However, a common place to apply is:

  1. Bring those documents to the nearest Australia Post or Business Center. This is where you are going to submit the documentary requirements.

  2. WorkSafe Offices: These offices handle occupational health and safety regulations and are often involved in the licencing process for forklift operators. Find the nearest WorkSafe office to you and confirm if they handle forklift licence applications.

5. Wait for your Photographic Licene to Arrive

  • Your photographic licence will mailed to you using the registered address you stated in the application form within 60 days.

Getting your forklift licence in Australia is a structured process, ensuring that every licensed operator is well-trained and understands the importance of safety. With the right documentation in hand and by following the steps diligently, you'll be well on your way to becoming a certified forklift operator. Remember, always refer to your local regulatory body for the most up-to-date information on the application process.

  1. Complete an LO or LF licence training course from an RTO.
  2. Take the statement of attainment, notice of assessment and licence application form to be issued to you by the RTO.
  3. Complete the 100 points of evidence of identity.
  4. Bring those documents to the nearest Australia Post or Business Center.
  5. At the Australia Post or Business Center you need to pay the corresponding application fee. Your photo will be taken as well to include in the licence card.
  6.  Renewal of the licence is done every five years and you must present proof that you retained your skill driving the forklift when renewing license.

Types of Forklift Licences in Australia

In Australia, not all forklifts are the same, and that's why there are different licences for different kinds of forklifts. If you want to drive a forklift, you need to know which licence you need. Let’s break down the two main types: the LF Class and the LO Class.

1. LF Class: Licence for Counterbalance Forklifts

  • What is it? The LF licence covers counterbalance forklifts. These are the most common type of forklifts you'll see. They have a big weight at the back (that's the counterbalance) to help lift heavy items at the front.
  • Where are they used? You'll find them in many places like warehouses, factories, and outdoor work areas. They're handy because they can lift heavy loads and move them around easily.

2. LO Class: Licence for Order-picking Forklifts

  • What is it? The LO licence is for order-picking forklifts. These are special forklifts where the driver stands on a platform that goes up and down. This allows the driver to "pick" items from shelves, which is why it's called "order-picking".
  • Where are they used? They're mostly used in big warehouses with tall shelves. If you've ever seen workers go up and down to get items from different shelf levels, they're probably using an order-picking forklift.

Main Differences between LF and LO Classes:

  • Design: LF forklifts are designed to lift heavy things with a counterbalance weight at the back. LO forklifts have a platform for the driver to stand on and pick items from high places.
  • Usage: LF forklifts are more general-purpose and are found in many places. LO forklifts are specifically for warehouses with tall shelves.
  • Driver's Position: In an LF forklift, the driver sits down to operate the machine. In an LO forklift, the driver stands on a platform.

If you're planning to drive a forklift in Australia, it's essential to know the difference between these two classes and get the right licence. Whether it's the versatile LF for moving heavy loads or the specialized LO for picking orders, each licence ensures safety and efficiency in its domain.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Application

Mistakes in the Application Process:

  • Not Giving Correct Information: Always double-check your details like name, address, and date of birth before sending the application.
  • Missing Documents: Make sure you have all the needed papers. Check the list more than once.
  • Not Paying the Fee: Some people forget to pay the licence fee. Make sure you do.

Errors During Training or Assessment:

  • Not Listening Properly: Pay close attention in class. If you don't understand something, ask.
  • Skipping Practice: Using a forklift needs practice. Don't miss out on practice sessions.
  • Being Nervous During Tests: Stay calm during tests. If you're nervous, you might forget things or make mistakes.

Safety Mistakes to Watch Out For:

  • Not Wearing Safety Gear: Always wear the right clothes and safety things like helmets and gloves.
  • Driving Too Fast: Forklifts can be dangerous. Drive slowly and carefully.
  • Not Checking the Forklift: Before you use the forklift, check if everything is okay. Look at the brakes, lights, and other parts.

Remember, using a forklift is a big responsibility. Avoid these common mistakes to stay safe and get your licence without problems.

Renewing and Changing Forklift Licences

How and When to Renew Your Licence:

  • You need to renew your forklift licence every five years in Australia.
  • Before your licence expires, the office might send you a reminder.
  • If your licence expires and you don't renew it, you can't use the forklift. If you do, you might get a fine.

Changing Your Personal Information or Licence Type:

  • If you move houses or change your name, you need to tell the licence office. This way, they can send letters to the right place, and your licence will have the right name.
  • To tell the office about changes, you fill out a simple form. Sometimes, there might be a small fee.
  • If you want a different kind of forklift licence, you might need to do more training. After that, you can ask for the new licence type.

It's always good to keep your licence up-to-date. This way, you follow the rules and keep safe when using a forklift.

To Make a Conclusion

In Australia, securing a forklift licence is a crucial step for anyone aspiring to operate this heavy machinery. To ensure the safety of both the operator and those around them, Australia has set specific requirements that must be met. From comprehensive training programs to assessment and age prerequisites, each element plays a pivotal role in maintaining a high standard of operational safety.

Remember, driving a forklift is not like driving a regular vehicle. It's a responsibility that carries significant weight. For those eager to dive into the world of forklift operations, make certain you fully understand and adhere to the Australian forklift licence requirements. With proper training and adherence to guidelines, you can contribute to a safer and more efficient workplace. Whether you're an employer or an aspiring forklift operator, prioritize safety and compliance above all else.