Converting Your NZ License
In Australia, you can drive on your NZ license for up to 3 months. Before the 3 months is up, you need to transfer your New Zealand driver’s licence over to an Australian licence in order to drive legally.
For purposes of the ID required when transferring your license, it’s easiest to first have an Australian address and have completed opening your Australian bank account by going into a branch and picking up your bank card.
If you are over 21, it’s easy to transfer your full New Zealand driver’s licence licence to an Australian one. No matter where in Australia you are residing, the basic process involves making an appointment with the roads authority.
At the appointment (which you must attend in person), you need to provide your New Zealand driver’s 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’s licence in the various states and territories here:
How To Convert Your NZ License In Victoria
For a Victorian driver’s licence, the first step is to call (or write to) the NZTA to request a Certificate of Particulars.
This is a formal piece of paper giving the details of your New Zealand driver’s licence, such as class and any conditions etc, and it costs NZ $11. It will take at least 4 working days to process, so make sure you do this ahead of time - but not too early either, as it needs to be issued within the past 3 months at the time of your appointment in order to be valid.
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.
The next step is to gather the ID you’ll need at the appointment. We took the following ID, but read the complete information on evidence of identity for Victorian licences as there are alternatives.
We took the following ID:
- New Zealand Passport or birth certificate as the primary form of ID.
- Proof of residency in Australia - we took our bank card, but you can also take a Medicare card or recent utility bill.
- Proof of Australian address (if not already provided in the above). We took our new lease contract for the apartment we had rented.
- NZ driver’s licence.
You may also need:
- Any relevant medical exemption documentation/certificates.
- Some states require a document that shows your signature.
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.
Evidence Of Identity Documents
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 $17.80 to make the appointment.
At the appointment, you’ll need to provide the ID we listed above, your Certificate of Particulars and NZ driver’s 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 $77.90. See the full schedule of fees here. In comparison, a NSW licence costs $132 for 3 years, but most other states are cheaper.
You will usually be given your new licence on the spot - although in some locations it may be posted to you instead and you’ll be given a temporary paper licence in the meantime.
Common Questions About License Conversion
Will I need to surrender my NZ license?
Possibly. Some states do mention that you will need to surrender your license, but even then we've heard reports of it not being enforced consistently.
We did not have to give up our NZ licenses when we converted them to Victorian licenses.
If I’m on a Learner's Permit, which licence will I receive in Australia?
Usually you’ll be transferred to an Australian Learner Permit. 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.
If I’m on a Restricted Licence, which licence will I receive in Australia?
This depends on your age and how long you’ve held your restricted for, and we’ve broadly summarised the guidelines below. You must call the relevant roads authority in the state you are moving to for specific advice to your situation.
- If you’ve held your Restricted for less than 12 months, you’ll usually be given a P1 licence.
- If you’ve held your Restricted licence for more than 12 months but less than 3 years, you’ll usually be transferred to a P2 licence.
- If you are over 21 years and have held your Restricted for more than 3 years, you’ll usually be transferred to a Full drivers licence.
What if my NZ licence is currently suspended or cancelled?
Generally you will not be able to get an Australian licence until the suspension/cancellation has ended or been removed. But as always, you should give the relevant roads authority a call to check your specific situation.
What if my NZ licence has expired?
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.
Still have questions about getting an Australian license? Check out our discussion forum where you can ask questions that can be answered by us and other readers.