Converting Your Overseas Driving License to an Australian Full License

If you’re planning to drive in Australia, whether you’re a visitor or hold a temporary Australian visa, you may be allowed to use your overseas driver’s license. However, understanding the rules and requirements associated with driving on a foreign license in Australia is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of converting your overseas driver’s license to an Australian one in Australia.

Key Information

Here’s some key information you need to know about converting your overseas driver’s license in Australia:

  1. Visitor and Temporary Visa Holders: Visitors and individuals holding temporary Australian visas, such as Student Visas, can drive in Australia using their overseas driver’s license. The conversion timeframe may vary from state to state, with some states not requiring conversion unless your overseas license is about to expire.

    Rules by States (as of November 2023):

    State Student & Visitor Permanent Resident More Information
    New South Wales (NSW) 6 Months 3 Months More Information For PR
    More Info For Temporary Visa
    Queensland (QLD) Unlimited Months 3 Months More Information
    Victoria (VIC) 6 Months 3 Months More Information
    Western Australia (WA) Unlimited Months 3 Months More Information
    Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Unlimited Months 3 Months More Information
    South Australia (SA) Unlimited Months 3 Months More Information
    Tasmania (TAS) Unlimited Months 6 Months More Information
    Northern Territory (NT) 3 Months 3 Months More Information
  2. Permanent Residents: If you become a permanent resident of Australia, you must convert your overseas driver’s license to an Australian one within 3 to 6 months.

  3. Recognized Countries: Australia recognizes specific countries for license conversion. If your license was issued by a recognized country and is still valid, you may not need to take a test to convert your license.

  4. Experienced Driver Recognition: If your license is from a country with experienced driver recognition status, you might be exempt from taking a test, depending on your age.

Conversion Process

Step 1: Visit Your Nearest RTO Office

Here are links to the service/RTO offices in Australia by states:

  1. New South Wales (NSW): Service NSW Locations

  2. Queensland (QLD): Queensland Government Customer Service Centres

  3. Victoria (VIC): Service Victoria Service Centres

  4. Western Australia (WA): Find a Department of Transport Centre

  5. Australian Capital Territory (ACT): Access Canberra Service Centres

  6. South Australia (SA): Service SA Customer Service Centres

  7. Tasmania (TAS): Find a Service Tasmania Shop

  8. Northern Territory (NT): NT Government Shopfronts

Please note that the links provided will direct you to the respective government websites where you can find the addresses and contact information for service/RTO offices in each state.

Step 2: What You Need to Convert

To convert your overseas driver’s license to an Australian one, you must:

  • Fill out an application form (PDF, 251KB) at the service center.

  • Provide proof of identity documents.

  • Present your overseas license, along with an international driving permit or an English translation by a NAATI certified translator, if required.

  • Verbally confirm that your permanent visa was not granted more than 6 months ago.

  • Provide a concession card if you have one.

  • Take an eye test.

  • Have a photo taken.

  • Pay the applicable conversion fee.

Step 3: Special Requirements

There are additional requirements for converting a current overseas driver’s license from:

  • A non-recognized country
  • An experienced driver recognition country, and you are under 25
  • Hong Kong, and the license was issued less than 12 months ago.

For these cases, you must also:

If your overseas license has expired, or your permanent visa was issued more than 6 months ago, you must first apply for a learner license before taking the overseas driving assessment.

Step 4: Eligibility

You can apply for a license conversion if:

  • You are at least 17 years old.

  • You are not disqualified from driving anywhere else in the world or do not have any convictions or driving bans that would prevent you from applying for a driver’s license.

Step 5: Proving Your Identity

To prove your identity, you must show at least:

  • One category A document and 2 category B documents, or

  • Two category A documents and one category B document.

For more info about documents needed, Visit this link

If you have changed your name or address, you must provide the relevant documentation.

Step 6: Approx Fees

The cost of converting your overseas driver’s license to an Australian one depends on the number of years you choose:

Number of Years Standard Fee Concession Fee
1 year $36.95 $24.49
2 years $60.09 $35.17
3 years $83.23 $47.63
4 years $106.37 $58.31
5 years $127.73 $67.21

For individuals who are 65 years or older, there is an exemption from paying a license fee, but they must pay a fee of $12.03 for the license card. In the case of re-issuing a canceled license, there is an additional processing fee of $44.50.

Fees and charges last updated on July 1, 2023.

Step 7: Payment Options

You can pay the required fees at the service center using various payment methods, including cash, check, money order, debit, and EFTPOS. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted.

Scores of Driving test

NSW driving test score sheet

Score Assessment

What Happens If I Fail the Test?

If you fail the driving test, you’ll need someone with a full license to drive the car away. You must wait at least 7 days before you attempt the test again. If you fail, you will revert to a learner’s license and cannot drive alone unless accompanied by a full license holder. For more info

If you fail the driving test for a full Australian driver’s license, you will have to wait for two weeks before you can take the test again. You will also have to pay the applicable retest fee and give the practical driving assessment test on the pre-decided date. In total, you have three chances to pass the test and get your driving license.

After passing, you will receive a certificate immediately, but you’ll need to wait for 2 weeks to receive your license card. You have three multiple attempts, and you can book at various locations.

New Regulations: Withdrawal of Visiting Driver Privileges

Starting on July 1, 2023, significant changes are being implemented for individuals in New South Wales (NSW) who are driving on an overseas driver’s license. Transport for NSW is enacting these new regulations, which will lead to the permanent withdrawal of visiting driver privileges under the following circumstances:

  • Accumulation of 13 demerit points.
  • Conviction of a serious driving offense, as outlined in section 224 of the Road Transport Act 2013.
  • Suspension or disqualification from driving a motor vehicle in any part of Australia or another country.
  • Conviction of a drug or alcohol-related driving offense.

Serious driving offenses that could result in the withdrawal of visiting driver privileges include:

  • Driving in a manner that causes a serious accident resulting in death or grievous bodily harm.
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 km/h.
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 km/h.
  • Driving with a prescribed concentration of alcohol or a prescribed illicit drug in the system.
  • Participation in street racing and other hoon offenses.
  • Driving without supervision (for learner license holders).

These changes aim to enhance road safety and ensure that individuals driving in NSW adhere to the laws and regulations. It’s important for all drivers to be aware of these new regulations and comply with them to avoid the permanent withdrawal of their visiting driver privileges.

Additional Information

  • The type of license you will receive depends on your age and when your overseas license was issued.

  • If you have previously lived in another state of Australia, the service center may request additional information before converting your overseas license.

  • A heavy vehicle license cannot be converted to an Australian heavy vehicle license. You can drive on your overseas heavy vehicle license if you are a visitor or are here on a temporary visa.

  • If you need to wear contact lenses or glasses for driving, please refer to the Guide for more information.

Australian Driving License On Tourist/Visitor Visa

You can also apply for australian temporary driving license. If you’re a temporary overseas visitor, you can drive on your existing overseas licence for up to 6 months. If you wish to continue to drive after 6 months, you’ll need to apply for a Australian licence.
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