Driving in Australia as an International Student

Driving in Australia as an International Student

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In Australia, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state. You can select the state or territory you will be driving to determine the laws for driving with an overseas licence. However, we tell you the common requirements and prerequisites to drive in Australia with an overseas license.

First, you need to consider the length of your stay. 

Are you visiting Australia for a short period? Or do you hold an Australian Visa that lasts more than three months? 

Suppose you answered affirmatively to the first question. In that case, you should know that you are allowed to drive in Australia for the first three months of your student visa or tourist visa in most of the Australian states and territories (Northern Territory exempted).

Please note that you would only be able to drive on an overseas licence as long as it is current and you comply with the conditions on this overseas licence, including vehicle type. 

Make sure you follow your state’s requirements before getting into the roads to be compliant. 

a. Some states require you to carry an International Licence with your current foreign licence 

b. other states request you to carry your foreign driver’s licence with a formal English translation. 

In both cases, you would be required to prove your visitor status or temporary residence when stopped by the police, so make sure you keep a copy of your visa status handy within our vehicles. 


What happens if I have been in Australia longer than 3 months or if I do hold a student visa for 6+ months? 

In this case, you should move your overseas license to the Australian state you are currently residing at. 

  1. Check if your country is recognised for theoretical and practical exam exemption under the Australian state. This would define the sort of application you need to prepare and present. 

For those in NSW, 

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man , Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America do not have to pass the knowledge or driving tests for an NSW licence. 

Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Republic of Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan nationals – you will be exempt of the Knowledge and driving test for NSW – if and only if – you are 25 years or older. 

If you belong to the second countries group but are under 25 years of age or are a national of a country that has not been listed, you must pass the relevant Knowledge and driving tests.

After you are sure if you are exempt or not, you can: Prepare your application

Before you visit a service centre, make sure you have everything you need to apply for a NSW licence. You need:

If you are an Australian permanent resident, you will also need to provide proof of your Australian permanent residency.


Visit a service centre.

Submit your application in person at a service centre and complete your test requirements to receive your NSW licence.

Go Driving -Congratulations!

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