You can legally drive in Australia on a New Zealand driver license for up to 3 months in most states (it is allowed in Victoria for up to 6 months). After this time, you must convert your license to an Australian driver license.
One exception is if you are under 18 years of age and have a NZ learner license. The state of Victoria has a minimum driving age of 18, so if you are under 18 and have a learner permit in NZ, you cannot drive in Victoria until you are 18. Other states typically have a minimum driving age of 16.
You can transfer your licence pretty quickly after arriving in Australia, but for the purposes of the ID required you will first need an Australian address. It makes things easier if you've completed opening your Australian bank account by going into a branch and picking up your bank card.
If you are over 21 you can usually transfer your full New Zealand driver licence licence to an Australian one.
If you are on learner permit, you will typically be transferred to a learner license in Australia. Just be aware that the minimum driving age can vary between the states.
As mentioned above, the minimum driving age in Victoria is 18. In most other states it is 16. So if you have a learner license in NZ and you are under 18 you cannot legally drive in Victoria.
No matter where in Australia you are residing, the basic process starts with making an appointment with the licensing authority in your home state (e.g. VicRoads in Victoria, Service NSW in New South Wales).
At the appointment (which you must attend in person), you need to provide your New Zealand driver licence, a completed licence transfer form and some identification.
You’ll then be given an eyesight test, have your photo taken and need to pay a fee for the new licence.
We are going to talk in detail about the process of transferring your licence in Victoria below, but you can find out how to transfer your driver licence in the various states and territories here:
The first step is to find out what licence you are eligible for on the Vic Roads website.
If you are older than 21 and have held your full licence for 3 years or more you will usually be able to transfer to a full Victorian driver licence without sitting a driving test.
The next step is to call (or write to) the NZTA to request a Certificate of Particulars
This is a formal document giving the details of your New Zealand driver licence, such as class and any conditions etc. It doesn't cost anything to get and will be emailed to you straight away.
Note: Not all Australian states require a Certificate of Particulars to transfer your licence over, so make sure you read the appropriate information for the state you are moving to (above) before carrying out this step.
Once you've got that sorted, gather the ID you’ll need at the appointment. We took the ID below, but read the complete information on evidence of identity for Victorian licences as there are alternatives.
We took the following ID:
You may also need:
Again, the identification documents that you need to bring along to your appointment vary depending on which state you are moving to in Australia, so see the information below to ensure you have everything you need before making your appointment.
Next, download and complete the licence application form. You can find the Victorian form here.
When you have all your paperwork ready, call a service centre to book your appointment - or some states like Victoria let you book the appointment online. Note that in Victoria there is a fee of $20.40 to make the appointment.
At the appointment, you’ll need to provide the ID we listed above, your Certificate of Particulars and NZ driver licence, and take an eyesight test. Once this is completed you’ll get your photo taken and pay a fee for the licence.
In Victoria, a new 3-year full licence costs $88.90. See the full schedule of fees here. In comparison, a NSW licence costs $154 for 3 years.
You will receive a receipt as proof that you have your Victorian licence until you receive your physical licence card in the mail.
No. This used to be mentioned as part of the process in some states but is not any longer. We did not have to give up our NZ licenses when we converted them to Victorian licenses.
In some states your NZ licence may be photocopied as part of the process, but will be returned to you.
Usually you’ll be transferred to a learner license so long as you are old enough to meet the minimum driving age in the relevant state . However, in some cases you may be able to sit your driving test straight away and move to your Restricted. You will need to call the appropriate roads authority to discuss further.
In most cases you can still transfer to an Australian licence if your NZ licence has expired in the past 5 years. If it has expired more than 5 years ago, you will usually need to resit the test in Australia to be given a licence.
New Zealanders with heavy vehicle licences are generally treated the same as someone transferring their license from another state in Australia, and will be given the equivalent license in the Australian state you are living.
As with other licenses discussed above, you will need to make an appointment with the licensing authority in the relevant Australian state and they will confirm which license you will be transferred to.