How to transfer a British Drivers Licence to an Australian Driver Licence
As soon as a non-Australian becomes resident in Australia, they need to get an Australian State drivers licence, within 3 months, if they wish to drive in Australia.
It is easy for most British Driver Licence holders to effectively swap their Full UK licence for an Australian State licence, without any tests, but it must be done in the State that they are resident in, with a proof of address. Each Australian State issues their own Driver Licences.
If you move residence in Australia, from one State to another, you must also get a new State drivers licence from the new State of residence, and your previous one will be cancelled.
New South Wales
Moving to NSW
If you’re moving to NSW from another part of Australia, or you have migrated from another country, you’ll need to get a NSW driver or rider licence. You can use your existing licence for up to three months, but after that you must have a NSW licence.
A UK Full Drivers licence held for less than 12 months gives you a Provisional P1 driver licence.
A UK Full Drivers licence held for more than 12 months but less than 3 years gives you a Provisional P2 driver licence.
A UK Full Drivers licence held for more than 3 years gives you an Unrestricted driver licence.
New residents in South Australia
Permanent residents: If you become a permanent resident of South Australia, you must get your South Australian driver’s licence within ninety days. Once you are issued with a South Australian learner’s permit or driver’s licence, your overseas licence is invalid and you may be required to surrender it.
Short term visitors: If you are just visiting Australia, you can drive the same type of vehicle as your current licence allows, but you must drive according to any conditions on your overseas licence. If your overseas licence expires while you are in Australia, you must get an Australian licence.
Please note: Learner’s permits/licences are not able to be converted to a learner’s permit in South Australia.
Transferring to a Queensland licence
You will need to apply for a Queensland driver licence if you:
* are an Australian citizen with an interstate licence and you have been residing in Queensland for 3 months
* are not an Australian citizen, but before you took up residence in Queensland you were given a resident visa and you have now been residing in Queensland for 3 months
* are not an Australian citizen, but after you took up residence in Queensland you were given a resident visa and you have now been residing in Queensland for 3 months since getting the visa.
If you have entered Victoria on a permanent visa issued under the Migration Act 1958 you may drive on your overseas driver licence, providing it is written in English or accompanied by an English translation or international driving permit for:
* 6 months from the date you first entered Australia if the permanent visa was issued before you entered Australia, or
* 6 months from the date when the permanent visa was issued to you if the permanent visa was issued to you while in Australia.
If you want to continue driving in Victoria after this time you must get a Victorian driver licence. If your overseas driver licence has expired, you will still be able to take the drive test as you are exempt from holding a learner permit for the test.
On 1 September 2012 Western Australia adopted a new experienced driver recognised country category. If your driver licence was issued by an experienced driver recognised country and you are 25 years of age or older, WA will recognise your overseas driving experience (UK is recognised, but an Isle of Man licence issued before 1 November 1991 is not).
Upon application for the grant of a WA driver’s licence you will be exempt from the theory and practical assessments (car and motorcycle only), provided your overseas driver licence has not expired by more than 12 months.
If you hold a driver’s licence from an experienced driver recognised country and you are under 25 years of age you will be required to undertake and pass the theory and practical driving tests prior to the grant of a WA driver’s licence.
This only applies to vehicle classes C and R (if held). Licence holders must pass a theory test and practical driving assessment for any other class of vehicle you wish to drive.
Find out how to apply for Western Australia drivers licence if you are a permanent resident.
Licence holders 25 years of age or older are exempt from testing
If the licence holder has held a licence for less than the minimum Provisional licence period they are issued the equivalent P1 or P2 licence for the time they have been licensed
Licence holders under 25 years of age will need to take the knowledge test and practical driving assessment.
If you cannot produce your overseas licence a letter is required from the licensing authority in the country of issue or the appropriate consul or diplomatic mission.
Going the Other way ?
Find out how to exchange your Australian driving licence for a British licence.