Transferring an international driver's licence to an Australian licence
26 Apr 2018
How do you transfer an international driver's licence to an Australian licence?
Do you want to drive in Australia but only have an international licence? In most states, you can drive with an international licence for only a short period of time, usually around 3 months. After this period you will need to transfer your international licence into an Australian state licence, dependant on where you are located.
Transfering an international drivers licence to an Australian drivers licence is different from state to state. Below we’ve broken down the key information you need to know state by state so you can get started transferring your international licence:
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 visit here: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au
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 visit here: https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
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:
- Haven’t paid fines issued to you
- 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:
- Are medically unfit to drive safely
- Are an Australian citizen and you’ve been living in Queensland for 3 months
- 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
- 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.
- 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 visit here: https://www.qld.gov.au
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:
- 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 visit here: https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au
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 visit here: https://www.sa.gov.au
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 visit here: http://www.transport.tas.gov.au
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
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 visit here: https://www.transport.wa.gov.au
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 visit here: https://nt.gov.au