Can I drive in Australia on a UK licence if I am now a Resident ?
Yes and No… are the answers that people often get to this question
- Yes, you can drive in Australia once you become a resident, but the police, if they stop you, will fine you for driving without a valid driver licence.
- No. The law states (almost) very clearly that you need to get an Australian licence within 3 months of becoming resident in Australia.
If you are a permanent resident visa holder and have a current driver’s licence from another country, in English or with an official translation, in most states and territories you are allowed to drive for your first three months after arrival.
Why do I say the law states “ALMOST very clearly” ?
In Tasmania, the three month period begins from when you are granted your permanent residency visa, not from when you arrive in Australia. If you were granted a permanent visa 3 months or more, before your arrival in Australia, you will have to apply for an Australian licence before you can drive in Tasmania.
Fortunately it is very easy to get an Australian licence for the British, with just proof of identity and residence, and you have your licence with NO tests, and normally within an hour.
Most Australian states request you carry your current foreign driver’s licence together with a formal translation of your licence into English or an International Licence.
- You must carry your current overseas licence with you
- If your licence is NOT in English, you must also carry either an official translation of your licence OR a current International Driving Permit
- Your overseas licence and International Driving Permit must be current (not expired, suspended or cancelled)
- You must not be disqualified from driving
If you hold a permanent resident visa, you can drive on your overseas licence until you have resided in Australia, except Tasmania, for three months. You should apply for an Australian State driver’s licence during this three months as you will not be able to drive on your overseas driver’s licence after the three months has finished.
Two personal fines from being caught driving in NSW on a UK licence after arriving on a Permanent Visa.
Australian Driver Licence examples: