How do I get a drivers licence in Australia?
The rules and regulations for getting a driving licence in Australia vary depending on location.
If you hold a current full driver’s licence from another country you are allowed to drive for your first three months after arrival.
If your licence is not in English you will require an official translation.
The authorities responsible for issuing driving licenses are listed in the table below.
Getting a driving license in Australia contact details for State/Territory:
New South Wales (NSW) See: Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA)
Victoria (VIC) See: Vic roads
Queensland (QLD) See: Licensing & registration
South Australia (SA) See: Welcome to Transport SA
Western Australia (WA) See: Licensing services
Tasmania (TAS) See: Transport – TAS
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) See: Road transport information management
Northern Territory (NT) See: Driver licensing
NOTE: In Australia, you generally have to carry your driving license (whether Australian or overseas) with you at all times. It is the primary form of identification. When sending parcels internationally from the post office you will require some form of identification, usually your drivers licence.
Holders of drivers licences from the following recognised countries are exempt from taking the computerised theory test on the road rules and may be also exempt from the requirement to undertake a practical driving assessment. Applicants who hold motorcycle class equivalents are also exempt from the motorcycle theory test. Check each state requirements for further information.
Recognised Country Exemptions:
Applicants from these countries (excluding applicants from external territories of those recognised countries) are not required to take a written road rules or practical driving test when applying for a car or motorcycle licence in most states.
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan. Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand,Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.
Isle of Man is prescribed only in relation to driver licences granted on or after 1 April 1991.Malta is prescribed only in relation to driver licences granted on or after 2 January 2004.
Converting Your Driving Licence to an Australian Driving Licence – State and Territory Information
How to Get a driving licence in New South Wales (NSW)
You may only drive on your overseas licence for a maximum of three months after your arrival in Australia. After this period if you wish to continue driving you must get a NSW licence.
To gain a licence is NSW you must be over the age of 17. If your licence is written in English you must present your licence at a Road Transport Authority (RTA). If your licence is not written in English you must get an official translation from either: The Community Relations Commission for Multicultural NSW; or The Commonwealth Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. You must also:
* Give proof of your NSW address
* Prove your identity
* Pass an eyesight test
* Pass a knowledge test for each class of licence required
* Unless exempt, pass a driving test
You may be exempt from passing a driving test if you have held an Australian Drivers Licence before; hold a current New Zealand Licence, or have a licence from a country considered to have similar driving standards.
NSW – Recognition of licences from certain countries
The recognition of licences from certain countries was agreed nationally and commenced in NSW on 20 May 2002.
When converting your overseas licence to a NSW licence, if you hold an acceptable driver or rider licence from one of the recognised countries below, you will be exempt from:
The driver/rider knowledge test, and
The practical driving/riding test.
Note: The exemptions only apply to applicants for Class C (car) and Class R (rider) licences.
NSW – recognised countries exemptions
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey,
Ireland, Isle of Man (licences issued since 1 April 1991), Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg,
Malta (licences issued since 2 January 2004), Netherlands, New Zealand (except where a paper licence is presented), Norway, Portugal,
Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA.
If you do hold a licence from a recognised country above and are exempt from licensing tests, it is recommended that you read the Road Users’ Handbook and/or the Motorcycle Riders’ Handbook to familiarise yourself with the current road rules in NSW.
The RTA reserves the right to require customers to undertake a knowledge test or driving/riding test, and may not issue a licence until it is satisfied that the overseas licence is valid.
For more information visit:
How to Get a driving licence in Queensland (QLD)
For overseas drivers you will be required to obtain a Queensland Licence if residing for more than three months in Queensland. If your licence is not written in English you will be required to provide a translation. To obtain a QLD licence you will have to fill in an application form and present this and the appropriate identification (including proof of a Queensland address) to a Queensland Transport Centre.
Overseas drivers will then be required to pass a written test. The test is comprised of 30 general questions for a motor car licence with an additional 5 for a motorbike licence. The road rules you will be tested on are contained in the book: Your Keys to Driving in Queensland, which may be brought at any local newsagent. Depending on the country where your licence was issued you may be required to sit a practical test also.
For more information visit:
How to Get a driving licence in Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
International Visitors to the ACT are not required to obtain an ACT licence providing their International Drivers Permit or Overseas Licence is current. International persons who have chosen to reside in the ACT will be required to obtain an ACT licence within 3 months of their arrival to Australia.
When applying for an ACT licence you will be required to present:
* Your overseas licence
* A letter from the overseas licensing authority confirming the licence detail and status
* A letter from a relevant consulate or diplomatic office – based on information received from the overseas licence issuing authority confirming details
In addition you will be required to present the appropriate identification including:
* Proof of Residence
* Pass an eye test
* Pay the required fees
* Pass a drivers knowledge test
* Pass a driving test
People from certain countries may be exempt from the knowledge and practical testing. To see whether you are exempt from testing and for more information visit:
How to Get a driving licence in Northern Territory (NT)
To transfer your interstate licence to a NT licence you will need to prove:
* Your identity
* You are residing in NT
* Your intestate licence is current
* That your licence is not cancelled, suspended or disqualified from obtaining a licence anywhere in the Commonwealth
For more information visit:
How to Get a driving licence in Victoria (VIC)
If arriving from interstate to Victoria you may drive for up to three months if you have a current interstate or New Zealand licence. After this period you will be required to obtain a Victorian licence. To convert your current licence to a Victorian one you must make an appointment either by calling VICRoads Information on 13 11 71 or TTY (for those who are hearing and speech impaired) on 1300 652 321.
Upon arriving to your appointment you must present:
* Your current/expired interstate or NZ licence
* Proof of Identity
* Proof of Victorian residence
* A completed VICRoads Licence/Learner Admission Form
If you have a prior drink driving offence that took place in Victoria you will also have to provide the court order. If you are in Victoria on a Temporary Visa you may drive on your overseas licence for an indefinite period providing your overseas licence or International Drivers Permit is current. However if you are in Victoria on a Permanent Visa you may only drive on your Overseas Licence for three months before you will be required to obtain a Victorian Licence.
You must make an appointment by contacting the bodies mentioned above. You may be required to pass a knowledge test and hazard perception test before you commence the practical driving test. However you may be exempt from any testing depending on the country you licence is from. To see if you are exempt from testing and for more information visit:
How to Get a driving licence in Western Australia (WA)
To be able to drive on WA roads with an interstate licence you must: have a licence that is not suspended, cancelled or disqualified; carry your licence on you at all times and drive only those vehicles that your licence allows comply with any other conditions of your licence.
Visitors may drive on their interstate licence for up to 12 months from your arrival or until you licence expires. If you intend on becoming a permanent resident of WA you will be required to obtain a WA licence within three months of your arrival. To do this you will be required to provide the appropriate identification along with proof of residence in WA.
For overseas visitors the rules are much the same. If just visiting WA you are permitted to drive on your overseas licence for up to 12 months. If your licence is not written in English be sure to carry an official translation whenever driving. In applying for a WA licence you will be required to provide proof of identity and residency in WA; a translation of your licence if not in English; your overseas drivers licence.
When applying for a WA licence you may be required to sit a written rules theory test. However you may be exempt from this testing depending on the country your licence was issued. To see if you are exempt from testing and for additional information visit:
How to Get a driving licence in South Australia (SA)
For interstate residents now residing in South Australia you have three months after arrival to surrender your interstate licence and obtain a SA licence. Applications can be made to your nearest customer service centre (links to this address will follow below). You will need to bring: your interstate licence; proof of identity showing residence, age and your signature and a medical certificate if required.
If you are an overseas visitor looking to reside in SA you also have three months to surrender your overseas licence and obtain one from SA. Due to similar driving standards in some countries you may not have to complete any further testing to obtain the SA licence, there is a list of pre-approved on the second link included below. If the country that issued your licence is not on this list you will be required to sit a written test, after which, you will receive a temporary one month licence. Within this one month period you must book and complete a driving test. The identification requirements for this application are the same as for interstate residents. For more information visit:
How to Get a driving licence in Tasmania (TAS)
Overseas drivers who reside in Tasmania can drive to 3 months after their arrival. After this date if their licence was not issued by New Zealand they will be required to present themselves, the appropriate identification including proof of their Tasmanian residence and completed application form to the locations mentioned above. There they will have to complete and pass a knowledge test and practical test before their TAS licence is issued. (People holding New Zealand licences are exempt from testing).
For more information visit:
Please check each State and Territory Requirements on How to Get Your Australian Driving Licence.