Driving in NSW

If you are an international visitor on a student visa and you hold a current overseas driver licence you do not have to obtain a NSW drivers licence so long as:

  • You remain a visitor
  • Your overseas licence remains valid and current
  • You have not been suspended or disqualified from driving in NSW or elsewhere
  • You have not had your licence suspended or cancelled or your visiting driver privileges withdrawn
  • Your licence must be either written in English or, if the licence is not in English, you must carry an authorised English translation.

You must carry your licence from your home country, including an English translation if it is in a language other than English, with you when driving and you must be able to prove genuine visitor status to NSW Police, if required. A visa and letter from an educational institution and a statement from a consulate or diplomatic office may be used to establish visitor status.

It is illegal to drive without being properly licensed. Before attempting to drive on any road in Australia make sure that you have a proper licence and you know the road rules. There are certain criminal offences, such as drink driving, where the police can suspend your licence on the spot. You cannot drive while your licence is suspended.

There are several different types of drivers licences that you can hold in Australia. To ensure that you have the correct licence and to understand the different types please see the Road Users' Handbook.

If you are purchasing a car to drive in NSW there are certain steps to follow and things to look out for.  For more information please see the Department of Fair Trading Steps to Buying a Car.

When driving and registering a car in NSW it is essential to have CTP (Compulsory Third Party) Insurance. This insurance is sometimes known as a 'green slip' and you must pay the bill for your CTP insurance when, or before, it is due as there are no time extensions. It is strongly recommended that you also have third party property damage or comprehensive insurance for your car if you are planning to drive in NSW.

If you need a proof of age card you can visit Roads and Maritime Services to obtain one. You will be required to show them photographic identification. If you require further advice or assistance please contact the Roads and Maritime Services on 13 22 13.