Can you drive in New South Wales with an ⚡international drivers licence?⚡
Can you drive a car in Australia with an overseas licence? Does your licence have to be accompanied by an English translation or an international driving license? And if, according to Australian legislation, do you will need to apply for an Australian licence? In the following article you can get the answers to all of your questions.
In Australia, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state. Some states require that you carry an International Licence together with your present foreign licence. Other states request you take your present foreign driver’s license together with an official translation of your license to English.
In most Australian states and territories (the exception is the Northern Hemisphere ), you have the ability to push an overseas licence so long as it’s current. You can just drive vehicles that your overseas licence authorises you to drive and you need to drive according to some conditions in your overseas licence.
Rules are different if you’re a visitor or a permanent resident.
If you hold an overseas licence, you’re permitted to drive the vehicles covered by your overseas licence in NSW indefinitely, provided that you remain a temporary overseas customer. If your licence isn’t written in English, you should also carry an English translation or an International Driving Permit.
If you are a permanent Australian resident or hold a permanent visa under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958, and you would like to remain in NSW, you’re not thought of as a visitor. As such, you’re permitted to drive in NSW on a current overseas licence for a maximum of 3 months. After that, you’ll have to apply for a NSW licence to keep on driving or riding.
For additional details click NSW.
Driving in NSW with a foreign license is permitted if you fulfill all the following requirements below:
- You’re a temporary overseas visitor (tourists, people with working visa, people on a temporary business trip, people visiting relatives or friends )
- Your overseas licence or driver license is valid and current.
- Your overseas licence is in English, otherwise, you must carry an English translation of your license or your International Driving Permit.
- You have not been given a suspension or disqualification to push in NSW or someplace else
Permanent Resident or Permanent Visa
For the first 3 weeks in NSW, it is possible to push a current overseas licence. You could even convert your current overseas licence to a complete NSW licence in this period of time. But after these three months you’ll have to apply for a NSW learners licence to keep on driving. This involves passing the Driver’s Knowledge Test (DKT) and the Driving Test.
You will need to:
- Bring your overseas licence
- Provide proof of your identity
- Provide evidence of Australian permanent residency
- Finish the Licence application form
- Pass an eyesight test
- Pass a knowledge test unless you are exempt
- Pass a driving test unless you are exempt
- Pay the applicable licence fee
After this is completed, then you will have the ability to acquire a complete NSW Licence. You won’t be able to hold more than 1 license in Australia, so your overseas licence won’t be legal in NSW.
Should you fail a driving test, your seeing driving privileges will be removed. If you still need to continue to push, you must find a learner’s licence. You may only re try the exam after 1 week.
If you plan to remain in NSW for more than three months but don’t hold a permanent Australian residency, then you may apply for a Temporary Overseas Visitor Licence.
Student Visa, International Visitor, or Temporary Resident
You Don’t need to get a NSW drivers license if you follow these requirements:
- You have a current overseas licence That’s in English or you have an authorised English translation
- You remain a visitor
- You have not been suspended or disqualified from driving in NSW or anywhere else
- You haven’t had your license suspended, cancelled or had your visitor driving privileges withdrawn
- Carry your passport with you while driving to prove your visa
Book a lesson with a professional driver trainer so you can pass the test first go!
What are the licensing principles in NSW for temporary foreign visitors?
A temporary foreign visitor will be qualified to apply for a NSW driver license upon living for a continuous period of 6 weeks in Australia immediately before licence application. Take note that your latest date of birth in Australia has to be announced in the permit application form.
The licences will have the letter code’Q’ marked from the conditions area on the front of the license, and the text’Proof of permanent resident status not supplied to Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority)’ on the rear of the licence.
Licences with a’Q’ mark will be valid for a period of just 12 months, this also applies to Learner, P1, P2, and unrestricted licences.
Be sure to’ve used this site to learn the traffic signs and other street rules so you can drive safely in Australia. Ignorance of the rules is no defense in court, and you may still be fined for not adhering to the principles even when you’re on a foreign licence.
Who’s exempted to these rules?
- Those transferring an Australian interstate permit to a NSW licence or people who have already been issued with a NSW licence
- New Zealand driver licence holders or New Zealand citizens
- Temporary foreign visitors who are applying for a NSW student license
Renewal or program for NSW driver licence aren’t required for Australian citizens that aren’t permanently residing in Australia. They’re permitted to drive in NSW as an international customer assuming they possess a present foreign licence.
If you’re a New Zealand licence holder, you’ll be asked to obtain a NSW driver licence within 3 months of living in NSW or you need to stop driving. This applies to both temporary and permanent residents from New Zealand.
New Zealand citizens or New Zealand driver licence holder’s exemptions
Exemption applies to customers that present a New Zealand driver licence or New Zealand passport to the Roads and Marines Services.
You’re exempted from all of the temporary overseas visitor licensing agreements and you might be issued with a license of normal validity period. Your licence won’t be under the Q condition and you’ll be asked to stick to the 6 weeks waiting period.
You won’t be regarded as a visitor if you would like to live in NSW is holding a permanent visa under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958 or even if you’re already a permanent resident of Australia. On a current overseas license you’ll be permitted to drive for a maximum period of 3 weeks after your arrival in Australia.
Being a New Zealand licence holder, you’ll be asked to obtain a NSW driver licence within 3 months of living in NSW or you need to stop driving. This applies to both temporary and permanent residents from New Zealand.
The way to convert your overseas licence to a NSW licence?
You ought to be at least 17 years old to be permitted to obtain a NSW driver licence.
- Go to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) registry.
- Provide evidence of identity – you will have to provide two proofs of identity files (one from List 1 and one from List 2)
- Provide a further document as evidence of your NSW address in case your List 1 and List 2 files of identity doesn’t show your address.
- Present your overseas driver licence. If your overseas licence is not written in English you will need to provide an official translation just from the following:
- NSW Community Relations Commission For a Multi-Cultural NSW
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (the free translation service is only provided to eligible individuals )
- Translation in the Consulate-General of the Republic of Korea confirmed through applicable South Korean driver permit authorities (applicable for South Korean driver licences only).
If you can’t provide your overseas licence: you’ll need to offer a license standing and details verification letter in the overseas licence issuing authority or by a relevant consulate or diplomatic office (according to accumulated information from the overseas licence issuing authority).
- Pass the eyesight test
- Have your picture be taken
- Pay for the licence fee
- Take and pass the knowledge test and the driving test for the necessary licence class. See below for exemptions in the understanding or practical driving test:
- You Have an Australian driver licence that has expired for more than 5 years and is verifiable through the issuing authority
- You hold a current overseas license or at least one which has expired for more than 5 years from a country identified as having commensurable licensing criteria to Australia (see licences from recognised countries)
- You hold a current New Zealand driver licence (learner licence or newspaper license are considered invalid)
If you pass the driving test you will be issued one of the following licenses below:
- P1 licence will be issued to you in the event you’ve held your overseas driver licence for no longer than 12 months.
- P2 licence will be issued to you in the event you’ve held your overseas driver licence for over 12 months.
- Unrestricted licence will be issued to you in the event you’ve held your overseas driver licence for over 3 decades.
Should you fail the driving test, you’ll have to GET a learner licence to have another shot in a driving evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)