Aussie Survival Guide
Driving a car in Australia
As a general rule, new arrivals and visitors to
Australia are permitted to drive in Australia on their
existing driving licences for a maximum of three months
after arrival. It is important to note that State
Government authorities issue driving licences and
requirements can vary state to state.
Even if you do not intend on driving while in Australia
it is highly advisable to purchase an International
Driving Permit (IDP). This is a special permit
established for travellers, which allows motorists to
drive in overseas countries without testing as long as
their driver's licence is valid.
Another benefit of an IDP is that it is authorised by
the United Nations and is recognised in over 150
countries worldwide, including Australia. An IDP can
also be used as an additional form of identification
whilst travelling. A large portion of car rental firms
will also require an IDP before an agreement is reached.
Applications for an IDP should be available from your
local Post Office.
If you will be residing in Australia for three months or
longer, you must obtain a valid driving licence. While
one State Authority will issue the licence, the licence
will enable you to drive a car anywhere in Australia.
All States have further regulations, or special licences
or endorsements for other vehicles such as buses and
various size trucks and specialised vehicles. Here are
the websites for each State’s licensing authority, on
which you should find the information you need:
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
New South Wales (NSW)
Northern Territory (NT)
South Australia (SA)
Western Australia (WA)