Other common queries
- When are the public holidays in Australia?
- I have received an email about a lottery prize in an Australian lottery. What should I do?
- Can I use my existing licence to drive in Australia?
- How do I obtain a police (criminal history) records check?
- How can I find Commonwealth Acts and Regulations?
- Can you send me information about Australia?
- Can I get my documents certified for an overseas government?
- I am looking for a missing relative (or friend) in Australia
- What is the Hutt River Province?
- Wills and power of attorney
Public holidays in Australia are designated on a state and territory basis with the exception of national public holidays such as Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
The Public Holidays page on this site links to the various state and territory sites which have information about public holidays.
The Public Holidays and School Terms page on this site has information about our national public holidays.
A number of organisations are promoting what purport to be "Australian lotteries" to people overseas. Some of these organisations claim that the lotteries are guaranteed by the Australian Government. This is false. The Australian Government does not operate any guarantee in relation to lottery prizes.
If you receive material from organisations promoting Australian lotteries you are advised to treat this material with caution. Some of these organisations do not have official accreditation and the material supplied by them may be misleading. As the activities of some of these organisations are occurring offshore, they are outside the jurisdiction of the Australian Trade Practices Commission.
For more information on scams in Australia, please visit the following government web sites:
In Australia, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state. Some states require you to carry an International Licence with your current foreign licence. Other states request you carry your current foreign driver's licence together with a formal translation of your licence into English.
As a general rule, you are able to drive in Australia, as a visitor, on a valid overseas driver's licence that covers the same vehicle class for a maximum of three months after arriving in Australia.
To find out what the driving licence laws are for each state, please contact the relevant Road and Traffic Authority.
- ACT - Overseas drivers
- New South Wales - Temporary overseas visiting drivers
- Northern Territory - Information for interstate and overseas visitors to the Northern Territory (PDF)
- Queensland - Driving in Queensland with a foreign licence
- South Australia - Driving with an overseas licence
- Tasmania - Transferring an overseas licence
- Victoria - Overseas drivers - licences
- Western Australia - Overseas drivers
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) provides National Police Checks (criminal history checks) for:
- residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Jervis Bay Territory and other external Commonwealth territories
- people seeking employment with the Commonwealth Government
- people requiring a check under Commonwealth legislation, eg Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Immigration purposes
- overseas employment
- adoption, including overseas adoption, and
- visa applications
All other applicants should contact the Criminal Records section of their relevant State or Territory police service. If you are unsure whether you should apply to the AFP or your state service, contact AFP Criminal Records.
State Police Records Checks:
- New South Wales - National criminal history record check
- Northern Territory - get a criminal history check
- Queensland - Police certificate (Australia-wide criminal history)
- South Australia - National police certificate
- Tasmania - Police history record checks
- Victoria - National police records check
- Western Australia - Police checks and certificates
The Australian Government enacts Commonwealth legislation.
If you know the title or subject areas of the legislation you can search the ComLaw website to access information about Commonwealth Acts, legislative instruments (Regulations) and related legislative material.
There are a number of searches for Acts on the ComLaw homepage. The search under Browse acts by title is a search for Acts in their current form including all amendments, and will allow you to choose 'type' or search by 'title'.
ComLaw also links to popular titles which are the most requested legislation on this site.
Australia.gov.au does not send out tourist information or “Australia packs” but you can find out more about the country by reading information on our site.
For Tourist information we suggest you also visit australia.com, Australia's official tourism website.
Overseas governments sometimes need proof that Australian documents are genuine before they will accept them. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can certify that a signature, stamp or seal on a document is genuine and stamp the document with an Authentication or Apostille.
Australia.gov.au does not provide information on people currently residing in Australia. If you are seeking to contact a friend or relative, the National Library of Australia provides a list of sources for locating a missing friend or relative that may be of assistance.
The Australian Federal Police also provide a list of search agencies that may be able to help you locate relatives or friends you have lost contact with over time.
In 1970 A Western Australian farmer re-named his property ‘Hutt River Province’ in a unilateral declaration of independence. The Australian Government does not legally or otherwise recognise the so-called ‘Hutt River Province’.
For more information, please visit the following government websites:
Separation (National Museum of Australia)
Unless you are married, you must be over 18 years of age for a will to be valid. You should consider updating your will as your life circumstances change eg. marriage, birth of a child, etc.
Frequently requested information