Eureka Forklifts


Can you drive a forklift without a licence in QLD, Australia?

Forklifts play a vital role in various industries all across Queensland, from warehouses and construction sites to logistics and manufacturing facilities. Not only are they powerful machines designed to move heavy loads efficiently, but they are also essential tools for making material handling tasks much easier. 

We often get asked if individuals can operate a forklift without holding a specific licence in Queensland, so we thought it would be a good idea to explore the regulations and requirements surrounding forklift operations in Qld to help provide our customers with a clear answer.

Forklifts and the importance of operator training

As many of you already know, forklifts are classified as high-risk machinery due to the fact they can easily cause accidents and injuries if not operated properly. Because of this, the Australian government has put in place some strict regulations to ensure the safe operation of forklifts in industries across Queensland. The main goal of these regulations is to help reduce workplace accidents and protect both forklift operators and other workers who work in or around areas where forklifts operate.

To help ensure the safe operation of forklifts, it’s crucial for forklift operators to receive proper training and make sure they obtain the necessary qualifications and licences. Adequate training gives operators the knowledge and skills needed to handle forklifts, reach trucks and order pickers safely, including having a thorough understanding of load capacities, stability and safe manoeuvring techniques. 

Proper driver training prevents accidents, product damage and costly workplace incidents.

Forklift licensing requirements in Queensland

Here in Queensland, the operation of a forklift is subject to very specific licensing requirements that come under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011. According to the legislation, anyone who operates a forklift in a workplace has to hold a High-Risk Work (HRW) licence with an LF (Forklift) class. 

Getting your hands on this type of licence involves completing a formal training course with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that’s authorised to provide high-risk work training.

The LF part of the licence covers you for various types of forklifts, including counterbalance forklifts, reach trucks and order pickers. The training usually includes theoretical and practical elements and focuses on safe forklift operation, load handling and hazard awareness in the workplace. Once you have successfully completed this training and assessment process, you will be issued with an HRW licence, allowing you to operate a forklift legally.

Can you drive a forklift without a licence in QLD?

The answer to this question is a clear no. 

You cannot legally drive a forklift in Queensland without the appropriate licence, and to do so is not only illegal but also irresponsible. Employers are responsible for ensuring any forklift operators they hire hold the required licences before they operate machinery on-site.

What are the penalties for unlicensed forklift operation?

Operating a forklift without the proper licence is not only illegal but also presents significant risks to the operator and other workers in the vicinity. In Queensland, the penalties for driving a forklift unlicensed can be severe. Individuals caught operating forklifts without the proper licence can face substantial fines and possible legal repercussions. Additionally, the employer can also be liable for letting an unlicensed operator use the equipment, which may result in considerable fines.

Safety should always be the top priority in a workplace that uses forklifts. To do your part in ensuring a safe working environment for everybody, it’s important to adhere to the appropriate workplace regulations and also make sure any forklift operators have been through the proper training and have the appropriate licence for the vehicle they’re operating. 


86 Delta St, Geebung QLD 4034
PO Box 90 Geebung, Queensland, 4034



Eureka Forklifts has almost 30 years experience dealing with forklifts in the SE Qld region.

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