CONVERT YOUR LICENCE WITH EASE

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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YOU NEED A LICENCE

If you intend to purchase your own car after your immigration to Australia, you will need to have a licence to drive. An international drivers licence is acceptable for the first few weeks of your stay, but you will need to contact the nearest state or territory transport department to be able to get your driver's licence. 

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3 Month Grace Period

Please note: If you are a permanent resident visa holder and have a current driver's licence from another country, in English or with an official translation, in most states and territories you are allowed to drive for your first three months after arrival. (In Western Australia, the three month period begins when you are granted your permanent residency visa, not when you arrive in Australia. 

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THE TEST

In Australia, drivers' licences are issued by state and territory governments. You may be required to pass a knowledge test, a practical driving test and an eyesight test. 

THE CONVERSION PROCESS

FIRSTLY, Let's RECOGNISE YOUR LICENCE TYPE

  1. Recognised Foreign Licensing Authority A licence (any age)
  2. Recognised Foreign Licensing Authority B licence (over 25)
  3. Unrecognised licence (over 25)
  4. Unrecognised or Recognised Foreign Licensing Authority B licence (under 25)

FOR NSW

Drivers who hold an international license can drive on NSW roads for some time. After this period has lapsed, drivers will need to fulfil some requirements in order to attain a NSW drivers licence.  

For drivers who are looking to convert their licence or gain some insight on the conditions that each overseas licence type is restricted by, please go through the steps detailed below.  

Step 1:identify your licence type & associated conditions 

STEP 2: identify if you are eligible for exemption from nsw testing procedures

Some licence holders can be exempted from NSW testing requirements.  

In order to find out if you are eligible, first check that you fulfill these prerequisites: 

  • Hold a car licence from a recognised country or jurisdiction 
  • Your licence is not a Learner Licence
  • Your licence is current or expired within the last 5 years

CLASS A

If you fulfill the above conditions and your licence is from the countries/jurisdictions below, you are exempt from needing to pass a driver knowledge or driving test :

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AUSTRIA

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BELGIUM

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Canada (any state)

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Croatia

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Denmark

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FINLAND

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FRANCE

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GERMANY

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GREECE

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Guernsey

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IRELAND

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Isle of Man (licences issued since 1 April 1991)

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ITALY

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JAPAN

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JERSEY

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Luxembourg

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Malta (licences issued or renewed since 2 January 2004)

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Netherlands

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New Zealand (except for paper licences)

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NORWAY

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Portugal

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SINGAPORE

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SPAIN

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SWEDEN

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SWITZERLAND

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United Kingdom

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United States of America (any state).

CLASS B

You do not have to pass knowledge or driving tests for a NSW car (class C) or rider (class R) licence if: 

  • you are 25 years or older, and 
  • your current licence comes from a licensing authority in one of the following places:
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BULGARIA

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CYPRUS

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Czech Republic

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ESTONIA

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Hong Kong – for licences held for at least 12 months

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HUNGARY

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AUSTRIA

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LATVIA

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LITHUANIA

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POLAND

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REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

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ROMANIA

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SLOVAKIA

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SLOVENIA

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South Africa

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South Korea (Republic of Korea)

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TAIWAN

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  1. If you hold a licence issued by a licensing authority on list B but are under 25 you must pass the relevant knowledge and driving tests.
  2. If you hold a licence issued by a country or jurisdiction that is not listed, you will need to pass knowledge and driving tests when applying for an equivalent NSW licence. 
Exemptions do not apply if….

  1. You hold a licence from an external territory of a place on list A or list B, you must pass knowledge and driving/riding tests 
  2. A Hong Kong licence has been issued for less than 12 months 
  3. You failed a NSW knowledge test before 17 January 2005, you must re-sit and pass the relevant knowledge test 
  4. You failed a driving or riding test before 20 May 2002, you must re-take and pass the relevant driving or riding test
  5. You hold a licence issued by a licensing authority on list B, and you failed a knowledge test and/or driving test before 18 February 2013 you must re-take and pass the relevant test.

Step 3: pass required tests

WHAT IS NECESSARY TO CONVERT YOUR LICENSE INTO AN AUSTRALIAN LICENSE?

New South Wales (NSW)

To drive with an international licence in NSW you will first have to determine what type of visa you have. 

If you’re a visitor to NSW, you can drive on your current licence, as long as it hasn’t been suspended or disqualified, and you follow the NSW road rules. 

If you’re a permanent Australian resident, or hold a permanent visa under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958, and you intend to stay in NSW, you are not considered to be a visitor. You can drive in NSW on a current overseas licence for a maximum of three months. Then you will need to apply for a NSW licence to continue driving or riding. 

You will need the following documentation to complete the transfer: 

  • Your proof of identity 
  • A knowledge test (if applicable) 
  • A driving test (if applicable) 
  • A medical report (if applicable)
  • Your overseas licence (and a translation if not in English) 
Once you have the documents you will need to visit a service centre and provide the information in person. 

 For the most up to date information see your closest service centre or click below.

Victoria (VIC)

Driving in Victoria on an international licence is dependant on your visa status. If you hold a temporary visa, you are not required to get a Victorian driver’s licence and can drive for the length of your stay with the appropriate paperwork. Your driver’s licence will have to be written in English or accompanied by an English translation or international driving permit. 

If you hold a permanent visa (issued under the Migration Act 1958) you may drive on your drivers licence with appropriate paperwork for the following durations: 

  • 6 months from the date you first entered Australia (if the permanent visa was issued before you entered Australia), or 
  • 6 months from the date when the permanent visa was issued (if the permanent visa was issued to you while in Australia) 
To continue driving in Victoria you will have to transfer your licence. 

For the most up to date information see your closest service centre or click below.

Queensland (QLD)

Are you looking to drive in Queensland with an international licence? The good news is that you can if you have a valid overseas licence. You cannot drive in Queensland on an international licence if any of the following applies to you: 

  • An Australian court has disqualified you from holding or getting a drivers licence 
  • Your authority to drive in Queensland has been suspended because you: 
  1. Haven’t paid fines issued to you 
  2. Have been convicted of driving at more than 40km/hr over the speed limit 
  • Your authority to drive in Queensland on your overseas licence has been withdrawn because you: 
  1. Are medically unfit to drive safely 
  2. Are an Australian citizen and you’ve been living in Queensland for 3 months 
  3. Are not an Australian citizen, but you were given a resident visa before you started living in Queensland and you’ve now been living in Queensland for 3 months 
  4. Are not an Australian citizen, but you were given a resident visa after you started living in Queensland for 3 months since getting the visa. 
  5. Have failed a practical driving test in Queensland. 
To continue driving in Queensland after the restricted 3 month period, you will have to obtain a QLD licence. You will need to visit your closest Transport and Main Roads customer service centre or a Queensland Government licence issuing centre to apply. 

For the most up to date information see your closest service centre or click below.   

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Visiting drivers are not required to obtain an ACT driver's licence provided your overseas licence and international driving permit remain current and your tourist or visitor status remains unchanged. A visiting driver is defined by the following: 

  • Tourist 
  • Business people 
  • People visiting friends or relatives 
  • Visitors on working holiday visas; and 
  • People studying or working temporarily in the ACT who intend to return to their home state or country when they finish their study or employment. 
Overseas licence holders must carry the following when driving: 

  • Your foreign driver licence written in English; or, 
  • Your international driving permit accompanied by your foreign driver licence; or, 
  • Your foreign driver licence that is not in English accompanied by an official English translation of the licence. 
Overseas holders of a full licence moving to the ACT are required to obtain an ACT driver licence within 3 months of residing to the ACT. No further test is required if you are over 25 years old and hold a full licence from an approved country or jurisdiction. If you hold a licence in an approved country but are under the age of 25 you are required to pass a road rules knowledge test and practical driving assessment or achieve a Certificate of Competency under the Competency Based Training and Assessment Scheme. 

For the most up to date information see your closest service centre or click below.  

South Australia (SA)

If you are just visiting South Australia, you can drive on the same type of vehicle as your current licence allows, but you must drive according to any conditions on your overseas licence. 

 You will need either one of these: 

  • A current licence issued in another country that is written in English. 
  • A current licence with an English translation if necessary or an international driver’s licence. 
Drivers must carry their licence documents at all times when driving and produce these and their passport to police on request. 

For the most up to date information see your closest service centre or click below.

Tasmania (TAS)

You can drive in Tasmania on your overseas licence if you are a visitor or have a temporary visa (e.g. international student, refugee, working, holiday) or have a permanent visa that has not been issued more than 3 months, as long as: 

  • Your overseas licence remains current; 
  • You have not been disqualified from driving in Tasmania or anywhere else in the world; 
  • Your licence has not been suspended or cancelled; 
  • Your visitor’s exemption (right to drive/ride in Tasmania using your overseas licence) has not been terminated; 
  • You have not been issued a Tasmanian licence (learner, provisional or full); 
  • You carry your licence with you, and if it is not in English you must also carry an International Drivers Permit or an official translation. 
If you have been issued a Tasmanian learner licence you must drive under learner licence conditions and be accompanied by a fully licensed supervisory driver. You can no longer drive using your overseas licence and must pass an on-road driving assessment in order to be issued a provisional or full Tasmanian licence. Overseas learner licenses are not recognised in Tasmania. 

If your overseas licence is not in English, you must also carry either: 

  • An International Driving Permit or 
  • An English translation of your licence by a person accredited to translate 
For the most up to date information see your closest service centre or click below.  

Western Australia (WA)

If you are a visitor to Western Australia (WA), you may drive only those vehicles that you are authorised to drive on your overseas licence, for as long as it remains valid in the country of issue. 

If your overseas licence ceases to be valid, you must apply for a WA licence if you wish to continue driving. 

Visiting drivers include: 

  • Overseas Defence Force personnel and their families 
  • People on business trips 
  • People with working holiday visas 
  • People working temporarily in WA 
  • Students studying in WA 
  • Tourists 
If your overseas licence is not in English, you must carry an international driving permit or an approved English translation of your licence with you when you drive. To be able to drive on WA roads with your overseas driver's licence (and international driving permit, if applicable), you must: 

  • Carry your licence (an international driving permit, if applicable) with you at all times while driving and show it to a police officer if asked to do so; 
  • Comply with any other conditions of your licence; 
  • Drive only those vehicles that you are authorised to drive; 
  • Hold a current licence that is not suspended or cancelled (you cannot drive on your overseas licence if you are disqualified from driving or your driving privileges are withdrawn).
For the most up to date information see your closest service centre or click below.   

Northern Territory (NT)

In the Northern Territory, you can drive on your overseas licence for up to three months. 

If your overseas licence is in a language other than English, and the type of vehicle you are authorised to drive cannot be easily recognised, you will also need to carry an International Driving Permit. 

Under the Northern Territory law, you must carry your licence with you at all times. 

In certain circumstances, you can apply for an exemption from holding an NT driver licence if you’re staying longer than three months but not more than 12 months. 

For the most up to date information see your closest service centre or click below.

STEP Three: OUTLINE WHAT IS NECESSARY TO CONVERT LICENSE INTO AUSTRALIAN LICENSE (DEPENDING ON STATE)

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