What is a Forklift License?

Answers to your Forklift Licence Questions.

Forklifts are a great way to transport large items from one place to another. Forklifts can be dangerous if not properly trained. This is why a license is required. Learn more about Australia's forklift licensing requirements and how to obtain a licence.

What is a Forklift Licence?

The forklift license certifies that you are able to operate a forklift. Forklifts are used in warehouses and industrial areas to lift heavy and stacked objects. Forklifts have forked platforms. Forklift operators can lift and lower the platform to insert pallets.

Beyond the construction industry, forklifts are used in many other industries. These vehicles are also used in the manufacturing, retail, and hospitality industries to transport heavy goods.

Australia has two types of forklift licenses. A worker can obtain either an LO or LF license for their forklift. A LO forklift license is required to operate order-picking forklifts, also known as stock pickers (VNA) or stock pickers.

These forklifts can be used to lift inventory from tight areas or high shelves. The design does include an elevating platform that requires the operator to wear a harness.

The LF license allows you to operate all types of forklifts. An LF license allows you to operate a standard forklift truck with a pair forked arms. You do not require a harness, unlike the operators of LO trucks.

How do I get a forklift licence? (NSW, QLD, Melbourne)

To operate a forklift in NSW, you will need a high-risk work license. At least 18 years old and fluent in English are required. A registered training organization (RTO), must also be completed on-site at your local training centre.

This course can include several days of training. Because of the numerous hazards and dangers involved in operating a forklift, it is important to be trained. Forklift trucks can tip over if they are carrying heavy or unbalanced load, leading to injuries and accidents.

Forklift safety training prepares workers for safe use of forklift trucks. These are the main topics covered in training:

  • Plan

  • Conducting routine checks

  • Proper shift load

  • Securing and shutting down forklifts

Safety courses for forklifts cover safety procedures and rules for operating these vehicles. They start with the planning of using a forklift. Forklifts can cause serious injury and even death.

Planning is key to avoiding hazards and protecting workers. Workers learn how to use hand signals, audible and visual warning devices to communicate more safely. Some jobs may require the use two-way radios and traffic warning systems.

Practical training is combined with knowledge-based training. Participants must pass a written test and a practical assessment at the end to prove their knowledge of the course material. 

After you have completed the training course, and passed the practical assessment, it is possible to apply for a high risk work license through the relevant regulatory body in your territory or state.

Most regions require that applicants apply for their licenses within 60 days after completing the forklift training course. You will also need to provide proof of attainment from RTO. Personal identification is required as well as funds to pay the application fee. Forklift licenses with high-risk work are valid for five year.

How do I renew my forklift licence in NSW?

Although the renewal process is different in each state and territory, all require that you renew within 12 months of expiration. You are not authorized to operate forklifts after the expiration date. You have twelve months to renew your license before you must retake the exam and training course.

You must renew your forklift license if you live in Queensland. 

Individuals living in New South Wales (NSW), need to submit their forklift license renewal application at a local Australia Post outlet. SafeWork NSW will send a renewal form to the applicant two months prior to the expiration of the license.

WorkSafe Victoria issues a renewal notice to all Victorians, including Melbourne, 90 days prior to the expiration date. You can also submit your renewal via mail, just like in NSW.

What is the cost of a forklift licence?

What is the cost of a forklift license? There are many factors that affect the cost of a forklift licence application and training. A licence for high-risk work (HRW), costs $81 in NSW, and $102.60 Queensland.

The cost of a training course can vary from a few hundred to nearly a thousand dollars. Although online courses are cheaper, they don't meet the requirements to obtain a new license.

For certain types of work, additional training may be required. You may need additional training depending on your work environment. You can find the most affordable safety training at AlertForce.

How to Operate A Forklift

A forklift operator will typically use levers to adjust the height or tilt of the fork. The wheels are controlled by a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, brake pedal and a brake pedal. To prevent the fork from scraping the ground, the operator must raise it at least five centimetres above the ground.

A forklift's basic operation is simple. To reduce the chance of injuries and accidents, however, it is important to follow certain safety precautions. The four steps required to operate a forklift are covered in the forklift training course.

1. Plan

Planning involves the assessment of the work area in order to determine whether the forklift can be used. Operators must inspect the routes that the forklift takes and identify hazards. In certain locations, a traffic management plan might be required.

2. Prepare

The second step is to prepare for work. This involves routine checks. To ensure the forklift is in good condition and ready to go, the operator must inspect it. Attachments that are required are added at this stage.

3. Executing the Task

The operator will then perform the task. This involves positioning the load so that it does not shift the forklift's weight. The load's position can either increase or decrease the chance of the truck tipping or reduce it. The load and the workers must be monitored constantly.

4. You should pack up

The operator must follow certain shutdown procedures after the task is completed. Operators may need to lock down a forklift in order to prevent unauthorised persons from using it.


To legally operate a forklift, you will need a licence. A forklift quality training course is required to obtain a license. Once you have completed the course, you will be able to submit an application to WorkSafe or SafeWork in your state.

Register for forklift training in Australia to fulfill the requirements for a licence for forklift.

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