Drivers Licenses in New South Wales

Moving to New South Wales? Confused about the driver license process? Click below and find out what you need to know, leave a comment or share your experience so others can learn from you and your journey.

Department of Roads and Maritime Services

General enquiries: 13 22 13
If you are living in New South Wales, you will need to switch over your New Zealand driver’s license to a New South Wales driver’s license. You can drive using your overseas driver’s license for the first 3 months, after which, you need to apply for a New South Wales driver’s license. If you do not apply and obtain a New South Wales driver’s license within three months, you must stop driving until you have a New South Wales driver’s license.

There are age requirements for being issued a New South Wales driver’s license. You must be at least 16 years for a learner driver license, 16 years and 9 months for a learner rider (motorcycle) license and 17 years for a provisional driver or rider license.

The New South Wales Department of Roads and Maritime Services will take any New Zealand license you currently hold into account when issuing you an Australian driver’s license.

If you hold a current learner’s license from New Zealand, you will be issued a New South Wales learner license. You may be exempt from being issued a learner’s license and be able to go directly to taking a practical driving test, but it is recommended that you call the Department directly to discuss your individual situation. They can be contacted on 13 22 13.

If you have held a restricted New Zealand driver’s license for less than one year, you will be issued a provisional “P1” driver’s license. A “P1” or “red Ps” license carries certain restrictions. While on your P1 license, you must obey the following rules:

  • You can only drive cars (no heavy or rigid vehicles);
  • You must display red P-plates (red “P”, white background) on the front and back of your car, on the outside;
  • You cannot exceed a speed of 90km/h;
  • Do not exceed a zero blood alcohol concentration (cannot drink at all while driving);
  • You cannot supervise learner drivers;
  • No use of mobile phones (including hands-free or loudspeaker);
  • You cannot drive a high-powered vehicle; and
  • Do not exceed 4 demerit points in total.

If you are under 25 years of age, additional restrictions in relation to when you can carry passengers (and of what age) apply.

If you have held a restricted or full New Zealand driver’s license for less than three years, you will be issued a provisional “P2” driver’s license. A “P2” license is valid for 30 months, and carries the following restrictions:

  • You cannot touch your mobile phone handset while driving (hands-free or wireless sets are okay);
  • You must display green P-plates (green “P”, white background) on the front and back of your car, on the outside;
  • You cannot exceed a speed of 100km/h;
  • Do not exceed a zero blood alcohol concentration (cannot drink at all while driving);
  • You cannot supervise learner drivers;
  • You cannot drive a high-powered vehicle; and
  • You cannot exceed 7 demerit points (all speeding offences while on your P2 license will mean you receive 4 demerit).

If you have held a full New Zealand driver’s license for more than three years, you will be issued an unrestricted driver’s license (full license).

To transfer your full driver’s license from New Zealand to a New South Wales driver’s license, you will need to do the following:

  • Complete the Driver’s License Application form;
  • Bring your New Zealand driver’s license with you (the Department staff will need to see it);
  • Bring your identity documents with you (see our section on 100 point checks), including documents which prove you are living in New South Wales (these can be a rental agreement, a utility bill, etc);
  • Pass an eyesight test;
  • Pass the required written or practical tests for your license (you may be exempt from this); and
  • Pay the licensing fee (1 year of licensing is approximately $55).
2 Comments
  1. Diamond Torea 2 years ago

    I have a nz license which has no photo idea .They weren’t photo ones when I come over early 90’s.It doesn’t expire go another ten years or more.I have a full motorcycle license how do I change it over??

  2. Author
    Mark B 2 years ago

    @diamond-torea Kia Ora Diamond

    Complete the Driver’s License Application form;
    Bring your New Zealand driver’s license with you (the Department staff will need to see it);
    Bring your identity documents with you (see our section on 100 point checks), including documents which prove you are living in New South Wales (these can be a rental agreement, a utility bill, etc);
    Pass an eyesight test;
    Pass the required written or practical tests for your license (you may be exempt from this); and
    Pay the licensing fee (1 year of licensing is approximately $55).

    Hope that helps

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