Moving to NSW from Overseas
You can drive on your overseas driver’s licence for up to 3 months, after this you must apply for a NSW Licence.
Driving in NSW as a temporary visitor
You are allowed to drive in NSW on your overseas driver’s licence as a visitor, these are the conditions:
- You have a current overseas licence
- You have not been disqualified from driving anywhere previously and not had your licence suspended or cancelled
- You carry your driver’s licence on you at all times whilst driving (if it’s not in English you have an international licence, or can translate it)
For more information
The NSW Road Users Handbook – recommended reading for all visitors to NSW:
Roads and Maritime Services hold a wealth of information relating to you and your overseas licence. It is recommended you consult their website for up to date information regarding your personal circumstance – RMS Website
Applying for a NSW Drivers Licence as a Temporary Overseas Visitor
If you are not an Australian Citizen or a permanent resident of Australia you can apply for a NSW driving licence. If you choose to do this, your licence will show the letter Q in the conditions on the front of you driving licence. The accompanying text “evidence of permanent residency status not provided” will be printed on the back of the licence.
This does not apply if, you have previously been issued a NSW licence or your transferring a licence from another state or territory, to a NSW licence within 3 months of living in NSW regardless of being a permanent or temporary resident.
New Zealand Licence Holders
If you hold a New Zealand licence and have been living in NSW within 3 months of living here you need to apply for a NSW licence (temporary or permanent residents included) or you are not able to drive in NSW.
For more information see Moving to NSW
Australian Citizen with an Overseas Licence
If you are an Australian citizen with a current overseas licence, live overseas and not a permanent resident of NSW your allowed to drive in NSW as a temporary overseas visitor.
If you’re a permanent resident of Australia under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958, you can drive on a current overseas licence for a maximum of 3 months from the date you arrive in Australia. If you want to continue driving you need to obtain a NSW licence within the 3 months of arriving.
See Moving to NSW for more information.
What can I drive?
If you’re a visiting car licence holder, you can drive those vehicles covered by a NSW class C driver licence: up to 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass, and seating up to 12 adults including the driver.
Once you’ve been issued with a NSW licence, including a learner licence, it becomes the authority under which you can drive or ride on NSW roads. Your overseas licence is not recognised and has no authority while you hold a NSW licence.
When driving or riding in NSW, you must comply with all the road rules and laws in NSW. If the NSW Police ask you to produce your licence in relation to a driving matter, you must provide your NSW licence.
The NSW Police may also ask you to prove your overseas visitor status.
Renewing a temporary overseas visitor licence, Roads and Maritime Services will send you a renewal notice around six weeks before your licence expiry date.
If your NSW licence expires, you must renew it. If you still meet the requirements of a visiting driver, you cannot resume driving under the authority of your overseas licence, unless you hand in (surrender) your NSW licence. This is provided your NSW licence is not suspended or cancelled and you have not failed a driving/riding test.
If you hold a learner licence with a Q condition and you need to renew your licence, a new licence will be issued for five years.
To renew your temporary overseas visitor licence, you need to attend a registry or service centre in person, pay the required fee and have your photo taken. You can use a photo-kit for one licence renewal if you are temporarily out of NSW.
Replacing a temporary overseas visitor licence
If your licence is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, you can apply for a replacement online, in person at any registry or service centre, or by using a photo-kit if you are temporarily out of NSW. You can only order one replacement licence online in a 12 month period.
Becoming an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident
If you become an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958, while you hold a temporary overseas visitor licence, you can have the Q condition removed if you wish.
If your licence has not expired, you can apply for a replacement licence and pay the replacement fee. The replacement licence will have the same expiry date as the licence with the Q condition.
Alternatively, you can wait until your licence expires, and then renew it without the Q condition. If you provide proof of your permanent residency status, you can renew for one, three or five years. You may be eligible for a ten year licence if you are aged 21 to 44 years.
Handing in a temporary overseas visitor licence
You may hand in (surrender) your NSW licence at a registry or service centre at any time, as long as it hasn’t been suspended or cancelled. If you surrender your licence, you may resume driving under the authority of your overseas licence, as long as:
- You’re still considered a temporary overseas visitor
- Your overseas licence remains current
- You haven’t been disqualified from driving
- You haven’t failed a driving test
- Your visiting driver privileges haven’t been withdrawn.
Provisional Licence Holders – Interstate or Overseas
NSW Police will enforce the licence conditions applied to your current licence issued by your residential state. Drivers are required to comply with the licence conditions applied by the State or Territory that issued the licence, regardless of the State or Territory you are driving in.
This means if your licence was issued without a condition prohibiting the use of a mobile phone while driving, you can continue to comply with those conditions when driving in other State or Territory.
This information was correct at the time of printing, for more information please refer to the RMS Website
Are you an Overseas Driver?
Call or Text Jane on 0426 688 156 or Submit an Enquiry
If you need help familiarising yourself with the NSW road rules, we’re here for you. Get in touch today and we can give YOU the skills and confidence you need for different driving conditions.
We offer Single Driving Lessons, Test Day Package & Multi-Lesson Packages – all in your choice of either Manual or Automatic 5 star ANCAP rating cars.
Top Tips for your Test!
Signalling – don’t forget to indicate for a substantial amount of time
Observation – remember to check your mirrors and blindspots
Stop Signs – keep an eye out for these and make sure you stop before the line
Getting Your L’s!
Ready to Go – if at least 16 years old you can take the Driver Knowledge Test
After Passing – book lessons with us to gain the skills & hours towards a P1 licence
Special Rules – ensure you know the rules for L platers to avoid losing your licence