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Driving Licenses

Australia - Driving Licenses

The regulations regarding driver’s licenses vary from state to state in Australia. Most states will allow you to drive on the licence you obtained in your home country for up to three months after you have arrived in the country. It is recommended that you get an international driver’s licence as this can also be used as identification. If you intend to drive a hire car during your time in the country you will need to have an international permit and you can get an application for the permit at any post office.

In New South Wales the three month limit is the rule. After this time you need to apply for a local licence. The minimum age for a NSW licence is 17. If you have a licence that has been issued in an English speaking country then you need to take it to the local Road Transport Authority website. If your licence is in another language then you need to have this translated by the Commonwealth Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. In addition to your licence you need to provide a certain amount of documentation such as proof of your address in NSW and proof of identity. You may be required to take an eyesight test, a knowledge test for each of the vehicles that you wish to drive and a driving test, unless you are granted an exemption. If you have had an Australian licence in the past, be in possession of a New Zealand licence or if the country you are from is considered by the NSW authorities to have similar standards.

In Queensland the rules are very similar. The three month limit is standard for expat drivers and a licence must be presented in English, so a translation is required in some cases. Where Queensland differs is that a written test is required and there is a small fee for this. You will need to study the local handbook in order to take this test. Drivers from some countries may be asked to take a practical test.

In the Capital Territory there is also a three month limit. In order to apply for the local licence you will need to provide the licence you obtained in your home country, a letter from the driving authority in your home country confirming the details of the licence, a letter from the consulate verifying the letter from the driving authority, proof of residency in the territory, a pass on an eye test, pass a knowledge test and pass the practical test unless you are given an exemption.

In the Northern Territory you will need to prove your identity, produce a current licence from another area or country and proof that there are no suspensions on your licence that have been issued within the Commonwealth.

In order to obtain a licence in Victoria you will need to apply within three months for a local licence. You will need to produce your current licence, proof of identity and proof of residency in the country. You will need to make an appointment to see a representative at the VICRoads department. You will need to complete a form for a Victorian licence or learner licence. Those who are living in the state on a temporary visa do not need to apply for a Victoria licence, although if you have permanent residency status then you need to obtain a local licence.

In Western Australia you can drive on your home licence for up to 12 months if your stay is considered to be temporary, but the three month rule applies for all others. WA may allow you to be exempt from both written and practical tests but this depends upon the country that you are from.

In South Australia all expat residents who want to drive must apply for a local licence within three months. If your home country does not qualify for test exemptions then you will be given a temporary licence following a written test which is valid for a period of one month. The practical test must be taken within this time.

In Tasmania the three month rule applies to all those who move to live in the state for more than three months. A driving test must be taken and the only exceptions will apply to those who have a current New Zealand licence.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.