Driving With An Overseas License

Driving With An Overseas License

Visiting Australia can be more convenient when you can drive a rented vehicle than using public transportation. You have more freedom regarding your itinerary, and you can stop and go at will.

For drivers, the golden question is, “Can you drive in Australia with an overseas license?

Would you need to fulfill additional requirements or documentation to ensure you can cruise in every Australian state without being questioned?

Australian Driving Regulations With An Overseas License

The driving laws in Australia using a foreign driver’s license vary depending on the state. You are permitted to drive with your foreign driver’s license in Australia if you are only a temporary visitor.

If your driver’s license is in another language and not in English, you need to carry an official English translation of your driver’s license. This is the same as an International Driving Permit.

In Australia, you can drive with an overseas license for three months. However, in Victoria, they extend it to up to six months. At this point, the law mandates you to secure a local permit.

In cases where you’ll be in Australia longer than six months but still in a temporary state, certain Australian conditions dictate that you apply for a quick local license.

Driving In Australia With An Overseas License – Guidelines Across States

Each state has different guidelines for driving with an overseas driver’s license, so it pays to learn the rules per state, especially if you plan to maximize your Australian adventure.

Note that these rules are only applicable if you are temporarily staying in Australia and are a full license holder, not a student driver. In addition, with an international driver’s license, you can only drive limited types of cars within Australian territory.

●       New South Wales

You can drive with a foreign driver’s license so long as your permit is current and active, and you are only a temporary visitor.

You need to secure a formal translation of your license if it is not documented in English; otherwise, you’re all set with your current English-language overseas license.

Moreover, if you have already secured your permanent visa, you must secure a local license by your third month in New South Wales.

●       Western Australia

Permanent visa holders can maximize the use of their overseas license for 3 months before they need to obtain a local WA license.

Visiting drivers holding temporary visas are free to use their existing foreign driver’s license in WA.

Visiting drivers are those that are:

  1. Staying in the state for business reasons
  2. Are on a working holiday arrangement
  3. Are working in WA for short-term
  4. Are part or family members of an overseas defense force
  5. Are students getting an education in WA
  6. Visitors of the state

A driver’s permit in English is acceptable; else, an International driving permit is required.

●       Victoria

Whether you can use a foreign license in Victoria depends on your visa status. Temporary visa holders can use their current and active license for their stay.

Those holding a permanent visa have up to six months after their visa’s issuance date to use their license before they need to apply for a Victorian driver’s license.

●       South Australia

Temporary foreign visitors can drive in South Australia, given that they don’t have any driving disqualifications in any country and that the license is in English.

If your license expires while in SA, you must secure a South Australian permit if you wish to continue driving within the territory.

●       Queensland

In Queensland, the only time you need to stop using your overseas license is when the local government suspends it.

Some reasons why you would longer be authorized are:

#1. Going over the 40kph speed limit.

#2. Failure to pay your fines.

#3. An Australian court withdraws your qualification as a driver.

#4. You are not medically fit.

#5. You are an Australian citizen but have been living in Queensland for more than 90 days.

#6. You are a residential visa holder and have been staying in Queensland for over three months.

●       Canberra

As long as your visa is temporary and your overseas license is valid, you can use your current foreign license throughout your stay in Canberra. And just like in the other states, if your driver’s license is not in English, you need to secure a formal English translation for it.

●       The Northern Territory

Rules are pretty different in The Northern Territory because, after three months, you will no longer be allowed to use your overseas driver’s license regardless if you have a temporary or permanent visa.

●       Tasmania

Temporary visa holders won’t have any issues using their overseas license for the first three months, given that they meet the following conditions:

  1. The overseas license is active.
  2. You were not disqualified from driving in any country.
  3. You don’t own an old Tasmanian driver’s license.
  4. Your license is in English, or you have an International Driving Permit.

It pays to learn about these different guidelines to have a hassle-free and stress-free road trip in Australia.