Department of State GrowthTransport

Overseas Drivers

Driving on your Overseas Licence

You can drive in Tasmania on your overseas licence if you are a visitor OR have a temporary visa (e.g. international students, refugees, working, holiday) OR have a permanent visa that has not been issued more than 3 months, as long as:

  • Your overseas licence remains current;
  • You have not been disqualified from driving in Tasmania or anywhere else in the world;
  • Your licence has not been suspended or cancelled;
  • Your visitor’s exemption (right to drive in Tasmania using your overseas licence) has not been terminated;
  • You have not been issued a Tasmanian driver licence (learner, provisional or full);
  • You carry your licence with you, and if it is not in English you must also carry an International Drivers Permit or an official translation.

If you have been issued a Tasmanian learner licence you must drive under learner licence conditions and be accompanied by a fully licensed supervisory driver.  You can no longer drive using your overseas licence and must pass an on-road driving assessment in order to be issued a provisional or full Tasmanian licence.

Note: A New Zealand driver licence holder is treated the same as a driver with an interstate licence (see below)

For information on international driving permits visit www.ract.com.au.

Learner and Provisional Drivers

If you're a provisional driver, you must obey the Tasmanian provisional rules, including:

  • displaying P-plates
  • zero blood alcohol content
  • P1 car drivers can never drive over -
    • 90km/h in 90km/h zones
    • 90km/h in 100km/h zones
    • 100 km/h in 110km/h zones

      (even when speed limit signs display a higher limit)
  • P1 riders can never drive over 80km/h

If you're a learner driver, you must obey the Tasmanian learner rules, including:

  • displaying L-plates
  • zero blood alcohol content
  • 80 km/h maximum speed limit
  • car have a supervisory driver seated next to you who holds a full Australian licence and had no suspensions or disqualifications in the past 2 years
  • motorcycles - no pillion passenger can be carried unless the learner is under instruction and the instructor (pillion) has held a motorcycle licence (other than a learner licence) for a continuous period of at least 3 years and continues to hold such a licence
  • motorcycles - restricted to Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) motorcycles
  • motorcycles - hold a motorcycle learner licence for a continuous period of at least 6 months as a pre-requisite to obtaining a provisional motorcycle licence.

International Driving Permit or English translation

If your overseas licence is not in English, you must also carry either:

  • An International Driving Permit OR
  • An English translation of your licence by a person accredited to translate

Please note that you must pay the cost of the translation.

Some people may be eligible for a free translation of their driver licence from the Translating Interpreting Service if they are a migrant and hold a permanent visa less than 2 years old. For more information see www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/help-with-english/learn-english/client/translation_help.htm

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.

Australian armed forces and Consular Officials

If you hold a Driver Identification Document issued by the Department of Defence, you are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Tasmanian driver licence.

Members of the Australian Armed Forces and consular officials are not subject to licence fees. Immediate family members who live with them do not have to transfer to a Tasmanian licence until their licence expires.

New Zealand Drivers

If you hold a New Zealand licence, you can transfer to a Tasmanian driver licence in the same way as interstate licence holders, except you must pay the licence fee, see Transferring an Interstate Licence. You must obtain a Tasmanian licence within 3 months of becoming a Tasmanian resident.

Ex-Australian Licence

An Australian returning from overseas, who previously held a licence in Tasmania or other Australian jurisdiction within the past five years, is not required to undertake a knowledge or practical driving assessment.

Getting a Tasmanian Licence

You must get a Tasmanian licence within 3 months of a permanent residency visa being issued. If you don't, you will be driving unlicensed.

Minimum age requirements

You must meet the Tasmanian minimum age requirements for holding a licence -

  • 16 years to hold a Tasmanian car learner licence, 16 years and 6 months to hold a Tasmanian motorcycle learner licence.
  • 17 years to hold a Tasmanian provisional licence
  • 20 years to hold a Tasmanian full licence

If you don't meet the age requirements, you cannot be issued with that licence type.

Exemption from licence tests

There is nationally agreed recognition of licences from certain countries that have similar licensing standards to Australia. If you hold a current car or motorcycle licence from one of these countries, you will not have to take a knowledge test or an on-road driving test. Heavy vehicle licences are not recognised.

The following are the recognised countries:

Austria Belgium Canada Croatia
Denmark Finland France Germany
Greece Guernsey Ireland Italy
Isle of Man Japan Jersey Luxembourg
Malta Netherlands Norway Portugal
Singapore Spain Sweden Switzerland
United Kingdom USA Bosnia & Herzegovina  
 

Experienced Driver Recognition

There is also nationally agreed Experienced Driver Recognition of a driver's experience from certain countries when they are transferring a current car and/or motorcycle licence. Heavy vehicle licences are not recognised.

'Experienced driver recognition' means that all Australian jurisdictions recognises a licence holder's experience from the following countries:

Bulgaria

Cyprus

Czech Republic Hong Kong *
Hungary Latvia Lithuania Poland

Republic of Korea

Romania

Slovenia Slovakia

South Africa

Taiwan
(Republic of China)
   
 

The criteria surrounding this category are as follows:

Licence holders under 25 years of age:

  • The licence holder is tested (knowledge test and practical driving assessment)
  • If the licence holder passes testing and has held a driver licence for the minimum Tasmanian provisional period they will be issued a full Tasmanian driver licence
  • If the licence holder passes testing and has held a driver licence for less than the minimum Tasmanian provisional period they will be issued with the equivalent driver licence for the time they have held their overseas licence (ie. P1 or P2) until they meet the necessary Tasmanian experience requirements.
  • Must obtain a Tasmanian learner licence in order to undertake a driving assessment if advised of this in writing by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

Licence holders 25 years of age or older:

  • The licence holder is exempt from testing, unless they have held a Hong Kong licence * for less than 12 months
  • If the licence holder has held a licence for the minimum Tasmanian Provisional licence period they are issued with a full driver licence
  • 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

What you need to do to transfer your overseas Licence

To get a Tasmanian licence, you need to undertake the following in person at Service Tasmania shops or designated police stations:

  • provide Full Evidence of Identity
  • provide your overseas licence (and International Driving Permit or English translation if required)
  • complete a licence application form
  • pass a knowledge test on the Tasmanian road rules if not from a recognised country (see table above for recognised countries or if required under 'Experienced Driver recognition' criteria)
  • pass a practical driving assessment if not from a recognised country (see table above for recognised countries or if required under 'Experienced Driver Recognition' criteria)
  • have your photograph taken and provide your signature

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.

If you are notified by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles that you can no longer drive using your overseas licence you must obtain a Tasmanian learner licence in order to undertake a driving assessment.

You will receive

  • receipt for fees paid
  • receipted temporary licence, which is valid for 21 days
  • a photo licence through the mail, which you should receive within 21 days from the date the Tasmanian licence was issued.

Payment

You will need to pay a fee.