Exchanging a Licence

Information on who may exchange their foreign driver's licence for a licence in Australia and how to go about it...

Temporary visitors to Australia may drive provided they have a valid driving licence or an International Driving Permit. Licences in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official translation. Those intending to take up permanent residence in Australia must exchange their driving licence for an Australian one as soon as possible, and in most cases, no later than three months after arrival.

Requirements may differ slightly between states, but generally, an applicant is required to provide the following:

  • Proof of an Australian address
  • Proof of identity
  • Completed eyesight test
  • Completed knowledge test (unless exempt)
  • Completed driving test (unless exempt)
  • Required licencing fee
  • Information about any medical conditions that affect the ability to drive
Drivers may be exempt from completing the knowledge test or practical driver's test when exchanging their licence in the following circumstances:

  • They hold a New Zealand licence
  • They hold a current overseas licence and have previously held an Australian one
  • They hold a current licence issued by an overseas country (including most EU nations, Canada, USA and Japan) whose licencing system is recognised as similar to Australia's
New residents with a permanent visa may benefit from a free translation of their driving licence as well as other government and administrative processes.

Where to Exchange a Driving Licence

Driving licences may be exchanged at a local Road and Traffic Authority office or Driver and Vehicle Services Centre, depending on the state/territory.

Australian Capital Territory

New permanent residents to the Australian Capital Territory have three months to exchange their licence.

  • More information on licence exchange and office contact details from the ACT Road Transport Authority

New South Wales

Foreign licence holders intending to take up permanent residence, and holding a temporary overseas visitor visa may not apply for a NSW drivers licence until they have been resident in Australia for a six month continuous period. Those with a permanent residence status must exchange their licence within three months.

Those entitled to exchange their licence must go to a local government Service Centre.

Northern Territory

Driver licences must be exchanged within three months of arrival in the territory at a Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR).

Queensland

Holders of a permanent visa must exchange their driver's licences within three months of arrival. Licences are exchanged at Queensland Customer Service Centres.

South Australia

New permanent residents need to exchange their licence in South Australia within three months of arrival. Temporary visitors need only exchange their licence if their current foreign licence expires. If the licence is not in English it must be accompanied by an English translation or an International Driving Permit. Licences are exchanged at a Service SA Customer Service Centre.

Tasmania

New residents to Tasmania must exchange their licence within three months of arrival if they hold a permanent visa. Temporary visitors can drive with their foreign licence accompanied by an International Driving Permit or English translation if the licence is not in English. Licences can be exchanged at Service Tas shops or designated Police stations.

Victoria

New residents to Victoria with a temporary visa can drive in Victoria for as long as their licence is valid. Licences not in English must be accompanied by an English translation or an International Driving Permit. New residents with a permanent visa must exchange their licence within six months of arrival. If the permanent visa is issued once in Australia, drivers have up to six months from the date of issue of the visa to exchange their licence for an Australian one.

Licences can be exchanged at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.

Western Australia

New permanent residents in Western Australia with a driving licence issued by a "recognised country" can apply for a Western Australia driver's licence. The licence must be exchanged within three months of arrival. To do so their licence must not have expired by more than 12 months. They are exempt from taking the computerised road rules test and may not need to sit a practical driving assessment.

A licence can be applied for at a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or regional agent. The following documents are needed:

  1. The overseas driving licence. An official translation must be provided if the licence is not in English.
  2. Two forms of identification.
  3. Proof of an address in Western Australia.
  4. A document showing the applicant's signature.