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by Alain Hoffmann

The Australian Drivers Licence

Requirements for Australian drivers licences vary from State to State and even from community to community.

General rule is: As a tourist without a permanent resident's visa you don't need an local licence even if you stay for longer than 3 months (ask the RACQ for this if you are unsure). You need only your national licence or better an inernational license.

But some tourists wish to have one nonetheless. So here are the requirements for obtaining a licence in South Australia. As I wrote already, requirements may vary largely from one place to another.

Overseas residents

What do you need to do?
If you have an overseas Driver's Licence and have moved to South Australia, you must change your overseas Driver's Licence to a South Australian Driver's Licence within three (3) months of becoming a resident.

You will have to pass a written test on the road rules. The test can be done at any Transport SA, Customer Service Centre between 9:00am and 4:15pm or at any country Police Station.

When you have passed the written test you will be given a Temporary Driving Permit for one (1) month. Within that month you will need to do a driving test with an Authorised Testing Officer.

When you pass the driving test you will be given a "Certificate of Competency" by the Testing Officer. This certificate can be taken to any Transport SA, Customer Service Centre, for the issue of a South Australian Driver's Licence.

After you have paid the fee and a photo has been taken, a temporary Driver's Licence will be issued to you. Your photo licence will be posted to you within one (1) week.

If you do not pass the test within that month you must go to a Transport SA, Customer Service Centre with your temporary permit, where you must then apply for a Learner's Permit.

Some licence classes, for example a Heavy Bus class, may not automatically be changed over when you obtain your South Australian Driver's Licence.

What do you need to bring?

Overseas Licence - If your licence is not written in English you must bring an English Translation of your Driver's Licence or your International Driving Permit.
Proof of identity which is proof of your signature, your age and where you live.
Payment for your written test.
A medical certificate if required.
Concession card if entitled.

Where can you obtain a translation?
The Interpreting and Translation Centre
24 Flinders Street
Adelaide SA 5000

For more questions look at

Other possible requirements:

Just as an example of changing requirements I found this one from the Northern Territories:

In major centers, tests are usually conducted by MVR staff, and in remote areas, by local police. In all cases you should pay the test fee and arrange a test appointment in advance. You are required to provide a vehicle for the test, and it must be registered, roadworthy, and clean.

by Alain Hoffmann, updated by Annette Flottwell 23-2-2002