When can I get my Australian driver's license?

One of the most commonly asked non-immigration (but migration-related) questions is, when can I get my driver’s license?

As with applying to be covered by Medicare, this is not a question that immigration experts like us can answer. Licensing regulations are handled at a state level, and the requirements vary from state to state.

Some driving license requirements apply nationally

There are some rules that apply across the board. These are:

  • that if you are a NZ citizen, you may not need to do a practical test
  • that if you have held an Australian license previously, there may be a shorter process
  • that for the first three months (in some states it’s six months) you can drive in Australia if you hold a full license from a country that has a similar licensing system to Australia. If your license is not in English, you will need to carry a full, official translation with you – and make sure you always carry your license!

Make sure that you have applied for an Australian license before your three months is up.

Where to get more information about driving licenses in Australia

The best place to start looking for information is with the websites of each state’s licensing body. Here are links to the right pages Australia-wide:



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