Apply for a driller's licence

Queensland is part of a national licensing system for water bore drillers. This helps protect groundwater resources by ensuring all drillers are properly skilled and their work meets construction standards.

Water bore drillers must have the correct licence endorsements for the construction of new bores or any other work on an existing bore.

List of licensed water bore drillers

Licensed drillers can agree to have their details included on the Queensland list of registered water bore drillers (PDF, 190KB), which is updated at least once a year.

Licence classifications

Under the national system, driller's licences are classified according to aquifer type and are endorsed with the drilling methods that may be used. This ensures the skills, knowledge and experience of a driller match the groundwater protection requirements. The classifications are:

  • Class 1: permits work in non-flowing (subartesian) single aquifer systems
  • Class 2: in addition to operating in Class 1 conditions, permits work in non-flowing (subartesian) multiple aquifer systems
  • Class 3: in addition to operating in Class 1 & 2 conditions, permits bore drilling in flowing aquifer systems.

The drilling method endorsements are for cable tool, auger, rotary air, rotary mud, non-drilling rig and sonic drilling.

Obtaining a licence

To obtain a Queensland licence you will need to:

  • pass the relevant National Uniform Driller Licensing Committee examination
  • complete the Water Act 2000 examination
  • pass the relevant Australian Drilling Industry Training Committee (ADITC) examination for the required class of licence and endorsements
  • demonstrate the necessary experience
  • undertake a mandatory on-site assessment.

Read the Water bore drillers licensing handbook (PDF, 247KB) for details.

How to apply

Application forms are available below. You can also email to obtain an application kit that includes all the relevant forms, examination notes, copies of construction standards and information on fees and the application process. If you would like an application kit sent to you please provide:

  • your name
  • postal address
  • telephone contact
  • details of what you are interested in (e.g. new licence, amending a licence, renewing an existing licence).

Holders of interstate licences

If you already hold an unrestricted licence issued by another Australian state or territory, you can apply for an equivalent Queensland licence by:

  • completing parts A, B, J, K of form W2F021 – Application for a water bore driller's licence or upgrade an existing licence (see below)
  • attaching a copy of the interstate licence
  • attaching 2 references as detailed in Part L of the application form.

Lodging your application

Mail your application form, fee and supporting documents to:

Principal Technical Officer (Drilling)
Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water
PO Box 156

Water bore driller's licences

Form Form nameFee
W2F021 Application for a water bore driller's licence or upgrade an existing licence (PDF, 1MB)
  • Application for a water bore driller's licence {{ pass_7555}}
  • Class 1 onsite evaluation fee {{ pass_7556}}
  • Class 2 onsite evaluation fee {{ pass_7557}}
  • Class 3 onsite evaluation fee {{ pass_7558}}
  • Upgrade existing licence {{ pass_5990}}
  • Reinstate licence {{ pass_7559}}
W2F022 Application for renewal of an existing driller's licence (PDF, 177KB){{ pass_5991}}
W2F043 Application for amendment of an existing driller's licence (PDF, 162KB){{ pass_5990}}
W2F136 Water bore drilling log (PDF, 1.1MB)* No fee
W2F166 Driller's report of cementing a bore tapping artesian sediments (PDF, 2.1MB)* No fee

*Before submitting a water bore drilling log or drillers report of cementing a bore, read the guideline for completing and submitting the forms (PDF, 120KB).


General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)