Driving with an overseas licence

If you are visiting from overseas, or you've moved here permanently, make sure that you are driving legally and safely.

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 new licence or learner's permit, your existing one will be invalid and you may have to surrender it.

Check if you can transfer an overseas driver's licence

Short term visitorsDrive on the left hand side of the road in Australia

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.

You will need either one of these:

  • a current licence issued in another country that is written in English
  • a current licence with an English translation if necessary or an international driver's licence.

You must carry your licence documents at all times when driving and produce these and your passport to police on request.

You must not be disqualified from driving in any country.

If your overseas licence expires while you are in Australia, you must get an Australian licence.

International driving permit

Your international driving permit (IDP) must be issued by the same country that issued your driver's licence. The permit verifies in several languages that you have a valid driver's licence.

You may need an IDP to rent a car.

An IDP is valid for 12 months and you must also carry your driver's licence from your home country.

Acceptable translations

Driver's licence translations will only be accepted if they meet one of these conditions:

  • an original document (photocopies, faxes and certified copies are not acceptable)
  • translated by a National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) approved translator and signed by the translator
  • from a consulate office in Australia, signed by a consulate officer, and on official consulate letterhead
  • from the South Australian Government Interpreting and Translating Centre or interstate equivalent, or the Federal Department of Social Services’ free translating service on the appropriate template.

Translation and language services

Translation services are available through the Interpreting and Translating Centre, phone 1800 280 203 or visit www.translate.sa.gov.au.

Alternatively, you can contact NAATI on 8410 5233 or visit www.naati.com.au for a list of translators.

Related information

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Page last updated 27 May 2022

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Department for Infrastructure and Transport
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