I’m going to Australia for a holiday. Can I use my New Zealand driver licence?
Yes. Generally, your New Zealand driver licence is valid to use in Australia for three months (six in Victoria) without the need for an international driving permit. This includes using your NZ driver licence to hire rental cars while in Australia.
However, as rules can differ from state to state, you should always double-check before going.
I’m moving to Australia, do I need to get an Australian driver licence?
As mentioned above, your NZ licence is only valid for three months (six months in Victoria). So if you intend to continue driving after that time, you’ll need to apply for an Australian licence. Each state/territory has its own application processes, so you’ll need to check the details relevant to where you plan to live.
To learn more about the rules by state/territory, click the relevant links below:
Will I have to resit my test?
In most parts of Australia, as long as you have a full NZ driver licence, and are over the age of 25, you will not have to resit your driving test. You will, however, need to fill out the required forms, sit an eye test, have your photo taken, and pay the relevant fees.
Again, this varies from state to state, so be sure to visit the relevant authority’s website.
Can I use my restricted licence in Australia?
A restricted licence should still be valid to use for three months, but you’ll likely need to continue to drive to the conditions outlined on your NZ licence (e.g. no driving after 10pm) and/or the conditions outlined for the equivalent licence in your state. For example, driving to the conditions of a P1 or P2 licence in NSW.
Furthermore, a restricted licence may impact your rental car options, much like it can here. You may find certain companies will not rent to you, while others may charge higher insurance fees to cover the added risk.
Compare Travel Money Cards
Headed off overseas and looking for the best in money cards? Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular cards in New Zealand:
The display order does not reflect any ranking or rating by Canstar. This information is not an endorsement by Canstar of travel money cards or any specific provider. Information correct as of 20/09/23. For full pricing details see individual providers’ websites.
Can I convert my New Zealand restricted licence to an Australian licence?
You should be able to convert your New Zealand restricted licence to an equivalent Australian licence. This will likely be a P licence or a P1/P2 licence. However, if you’ve held your restricted for over three years, and are over the age of 21, you may be able to obtain a full Australian licence.
Again, the rules around transferring your New Zealand licence to an Australian licence change from state to state, so it pays to check the rules for your place of residence.
What about my learners?
For the first three months, you will be able to drive on your learner licence, as long as you stick to the applicable rules for learner drivers in the state/territory you’re in.
After three months, however, you’ll need to apply for a local learner licence. And, again, the rules change depending on where you are in Australia, so you’ll need to contact the relevant transport authority to check what applies to your situation.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a Search Engine Optimiser, before joining the Canstar team.