Transferring your overseas licence

Find out how to apply for Western Australia driver's licence if you are a permanent resident.

  Is your overseas driver's licence recognised?

Is your current overseas driver's licence from a recognised country or an experienced driver recognised country?

Recognised country

For recognised country eligibility please see the Online driver's licence check below.

  • Do you hold a current driver's licence from a recognised country?
  • Or, has this driver's licence expired by less than 12 months?

If so, when applying for a WA licence:

  • You are exempt from taking the computerised theory test on the road rules.
  • You may be exempt from the requirement to undertake a Practical Driving Assessment.

Experienced driver recognised country

If your driver licence is issued by an experienced driver recognised country and you are 25 years of age or older, WA will recognise your overseas driving experience This only applies to vehicle classes C and R (if held). You must pass a theory test and Practical Driving Assessment for any other class of vehicle you wish to drive.

For experienced driver recognised country eligibility, please see the Online driver's licence check below.

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.

Recognised from

'Recognised from' dates relate the to date a driver's licence was first granted to an individual.

'Non-recognised' countries

Licence holders from 'non-recognised countries' must do both theory and practical testing before the grant of a WA driver's licence. Refer to Step 2: Find out what tests you will need to undertake.

Has your current overseas driver's licence been issued by a recognised country or an experienced driver recognised country?

  Step 1: Getting your overseas driver's licence recognised

Laws about driving legally in Western Australia

If you hold a permanent resident visa granted under the Migration Act 1958 you can drive in WA provided you hold a valid overseas licence until you have resided in WA for three months since the granting of the visa.

For example:

  • a person who is granted a permanent visa while overseas, may drive on their overseas licence upon arrival in WA until they have resided in WA for three months; or
  • a person who is granted a permanent visa while in WA, may continue to drive in WA on their overseas licence until they have resided in WA for three months following the granting of the visa.

During this time, you will need to apply for a WA driver's licence using the procedure below.

Once have held a permanent visa for three months whilst residing in Western Australia, or your overseas driver's licence has expired or been disqualified, you cannot drive on your overseas licence.

Experience requirements

Please go to Vehicle classes to find out more about the age and experience requirements for the different vehicle classes.

  Step 2: Find out what tests you will need to undertake

Eyesight test (all applicants)

This will be conducted at the Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) Centre or regional agent when you apply for your licence. If you use any visual aids to pass the eyesight test, your licence will be endorsed to show that you must wear those aids when driving.

Road rules theory tests by country

Driver is from Test required
New Zealand No. Except Multi Combination (MC class) vehicles
Recognised country/experienced driver recognised country No
Non-recognised country Yes

This computerised test consists of 30 multiple choice questions on the road rules and safe driving practice and is conducted at the Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or regional agent at the time of application for a Western Australian driver's licence.

You will need to get 24 or more answers correct in order to pass. You should prepare for the test by studying the Drive Safe handbook and taking our online road rules theory test quizzes.

You may also consider applying through an Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) centre for entry to one of the English for driving courses. This course will teach you how to obtain your WA driver's licence.

If you are unable to undertake the theory test due to language difficulties, you may be able to take the test orally. Staff at the DVS Centre or regional agent can give you more information about booking an oral theory test.

Motorcycle theory tests by country

Driver is from Test required
New Zealand No, if you have an equivalent class
Recognised country/experienced driver recognised country No, if you have an equivalent class
Non-recognised country Yes, if applying to ride a motorcycle (R-E or R class) vehicle

This test consists of 35 multiple-choice questions that relate to general road rules and motorcycles. You will need to get 28 or more answers correct in order to pass.

To help you prepare for the test we encourage you to read the relevant sections of the Ride Safe handbook and try the motorcycle-specific quizzes.

Heavy vehicle theory tests by country

Driver is from Test required
New Zealand Yes, if applying to drive a heavy vehicle. Medium Rigid (MR class) or above
Recognised country/experienced driver recognised country Yes, if applying to drive a heavy vehicle. Medium Rigid (MR class) or above
Non-recognised country Yes, if applying to drive a heavy vehicle. Medium Rigid (MR class) or above

All applicants who wish to apply for authorisation to drive a Medium Rigid (MR class) vehicle or above will need to pass the heavy vehicle theory test.

The test consists of 10 questions of which you have to get 8 or more correct to pass.

To help you prepare for the test we have provided the theory questions below and encourage you to read the relevant sections of the Drive Safe handbook.

For more information, please download the fact sheet (E89) below.

Practical Driving Assessments by country

Driver is from Test required
New Zealand No
Recognised country/experienced driver recognised country Only if applying to drive a heavy vehicle (not for a car or motorcycle)
Non-recognised country Yes

Please refer to the Practical Driving Assessment section of the driver's licence you are applying for:

Converted classes by country

Driver is from Class conversion allowed
New Zealand All vehicle classes except Multi Combination (MC class) vehicle *
Recognised country/experienced driver recognised country Only vehicle classes Car (C class) and Motorcycle (R class), if held. Licence holders must pass a Practical Driving Assessment for any other class of vehicle you wish to drive
Non-recognised country None. Licence holders must pass a Practical Driving Assessment for the classes of vehicle you wish to drive

Note:

If your driver's licence has expired by more than 5 years, you must complete any theory tests and practical driving assessments that are applicable as well as comply with the above requirements.

* A New Zealand driver licence holder who is authorised to drive Class 3 vehicles (authorised to drive vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight (GCW) of 25t), will be issued with a HC class licence with condition 64 ('drive vehicle combinations not > 25t GCM'). A practical driving test in an appropriate heavy vehicle or presentation of a Statement of Attainment, Eye Test form and Certificate of Competency from a registered training organisation at a DVS centre or regional agent is required to remove the condition (64).

DVS_F_DL_E89_QA_MRHRHC.pdf icon Questions and answers for MR, HR and HC licences (Fact sheet E89) Kb
Opens in a new window Home Affairs: Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)

  Step 3: Prepare proof of identity, verification of documents and photographs

Proof of identity

When applying for your first driver's licence you must supply a number of documents as proof of your identity. Driver's licences are legal identification documents, and thus proof of identity is required when applying for one.

The name on your documentation should provide a clear link to the name on your overseas driver's licence; if the name on your overseas driver's licence does not match the name on your identification documents a Western Australian licence cannot be granted.

If you have changed your name you will need to provide documentation relating to your name change e.g. divorce papers, marriage certificate, change of name certificate or licence to change name documentation.

Please go to Proof of identity for more information.

Non-English language driver's licences

If your overseas driverís licence document is not in English, you must present an official translation of your original driver's licence document, along with your overseas driver's licence.

You must ensure that:

  • A certified copy of your overseas driver's licence document is attached to the translation.
  • The translation is certified as being a true and correct translation of your original driver's licence document.
  • A certified copy is not required if your licence was translated by the Department of Social Services (DSS) Free Translating Service, or Department of Home Affairs (previously Department of Immigration and Border Protection).

Translations of overseas driver's licences are accepted from:

  • Department of Home Affairs (previously Department of Immigration and Border Protection) in special circumstances only.
  • Department of Social Services (DSS) contracted translation service providers.
  • Official consulates (see list of Consulates in Australia).
  • Accredited translators (see National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters NAATI). This includes NAATI accredited paraprofessional translators.

Translations of overseas driver's licences by NAATI accredited translators should be endorsed with an original NAATI 'accreditation stamp' (photocopies are not acceptable). When an official NAATI 'accreditation' stamp is not available the certified translation can still be accepted provided that:

  • The translated document includes the details of the translator (NAATI registration number, name of translator, level of accreditation and signature); and
  • Those details have been verified by the Department of Transport.

Accreditation

Note: All accreditation document pages must be endorsed with a NAATI 'accreditation' stamp and signature. These endorsed pages must include the translation and a copy of the translated document. You must also present the original licence document.

However, documents with a 'recognition' NAATI stamp cannot be accepted.

Photographs

You will need to have your photograph taken for your driver's licence. Your photograph will be taken at a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or regional agent or Photo Point location. Your signature will also need to be captured.

If you have concerns regarding the photograph, please refer to our frequently asked questions.

Driver's licences from Republic of Ireland or Hong Kong

If your overseas driverís licence has been issued in the Republic of Ireland or Hong Kong, you do not need to obtain a verification letter from your Consulate. The Department of Transport will contact the road safety authority in Ireland or Hong Kong on your behalf to verify your licence details.

Hong Kong driverís licence holders will need to complete a ďCustomer Consent to Obtain Information from Hong Kong Licensing Authority (E56C) formĒ at a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or regional agent to allow us to verify your licence details.

Driverís licences from New Zealand

If your overseas driverís licence has been issued in New Zealand and you are unable to produce your New Zealand driverís licence document, a ĎCertificate of Particularsí or a letter verifying your licence details will be accepted. The Department of Transport will contact the New Zealand Traffic Authority on your behalf to confirm your driverís licence details before it can be accepted.

Driver's licences issued in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iraq and Pakistan

If you hold a driver's licence issued in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iraq, or Pakistan you are required to obtain a Letter of Verification from your high commission, embassy or consulate validating the authenticity of the driver's licence.

The verification process will take about four weeks to complete. Please ensure that this letter of verification has been sent to the Department of Transport before applying for your driver's licence.

Note: If you have been granted Australian Citizenship, the consulates of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Iraq may not verify a driver's licence issued in their respective country.

Please use the contact information below to locate the nearest consulate in your area.

Please note:

  • NAATI, WAITI, and AUSIT maintain an online directory of practitioners and do not provide the actual translation service.
  • The Department of Transport only accepts driver licence translations provided by the Department of Social Services, 'Free Translating Service' where the translation has been performed by a NAATI accredited translator.

Consulate contacts - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iraq and Pakistan

Country and office name Contact address Post Office Box / Email Telephone/Fax
Afghanistan
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
4 Beale Crescent,
Deakin West ACT 2600
  T (02) 6282 7377
F (02) 6282 7322
Bangladesh
The High Commission of Bangladesh
All telephone enquiries should be made between am to pm
57 Culgoa Circuit,
O'Malley ACT 2606
  T (02) 6290 0511
F (02) 6290 0544
India
India Passport and Visa Service Centre
Applications must be made on-line and printed documents sent to the contact address
195 Adelaide Terrace,
Perth WA 6000 (Good Earth Hotel)
  T (02) 9037 2579
Indonesia
The Consulate of The Republic of Indonesia, Perth
134 Adelaide Terrace,
Perth WA 6000
PO Box 6683,
East Perth WA 6892
T (08) 9221 5858
F (08) 9221 5688
Iraq
The Consulate-General of the Republic of Iraq
Level 11, 5 Elizabeth Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Email T (02) 9237 0600
F (02) 9221 1553
Pakistan
The High Commission of Pakistan
4 Perth Avenue, Yarralumla ACT 2600

PO Box 7130,
Yarralumla ACT 2600
Email

T (02) 6273 1114
LBU_F_POI_E76_Consent_VEVO.pdf icon Consent for the DoT to access Visa Entitlements Verification Online (VEVO) system (Form E76) Kb
LBU_DL_FAQ_YourDetailsPhoto.pdf icon Your details and photograph (Frequently Asked Questions) Kb
Opens in a new window Bangladesh: The High Commission of Bangladesh
Opens in a new window Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT): Consulates in Australia
Opens in a new window Free Translating Service (DSS)
Opens in a new window India: Indian Passport and visa service centre
Opens in a new window National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI)
Opens in a new window Pakistan: The High Commission of Pakistan
Opens in a new window The Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators Inc. (AUSIT)
External Link Western Australian Institute of Translators and Interpreters (WAITI)

  Step 4: Submit the application in person: Overseas driver's licence

Applications for a new driver's licence must be submitted in person at a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent.

Please ensure you take the following documentation with you:

Note:

If you have not held your overseas driver's licence for more than 2 years, or you are under the age of 19 years of age, you are considered a Novice Driver.

You will be issued with a provisional licence ('P' plates). Your new driver's licence will show when the provisional driving period ends.

Driver licence transfer application (overseas/interstate) fees

Fee type Fee
Overseas or (expired) Interstate driver's licence transfer application (if no driving test is required) $44.70
Overseas or (expired) Interstate driver's licence transfer application (if a driving test is required) $89.15
Overseas or (expired) Interstate driver's licence additional class application $81.40 [^]
Overseas or (expired) Interstate driver's licence removal of class restriction (e.g. R-E to R). Note this fee does not include MC and HC class $81.40 [*]

[*] This fee does not include MC and HC class

[^] Does not include MC or HC

  Step 5: Undertake required tests: Overseas licence

All applicants will be required to take the eye test when applying for a driver's licence. If required, medical and other tests must also be completed before issue of the licence.

Eyesight test (all applicants)

This will be conducted at the Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent when you apply for your licence. If you use any visual aids to pass the eyesight test, your licence will be endorsed to show that you must wear those aids when driving.

Medical test (if necessary)

When applying for your licence you must declare on your application whether you have any medical conditions and/or take any medication that may affect your ability to drive. We will let you know if you need to undertake a medical examination.

Other tests

Additional tests and assessments that may be required include:

  • Road rules theory test.
  • Motorcycle theory test.
  • Heavy vehicle theory test.

Upon passing the necessary tests you will be issued with a learner's permit ('L' plates) until you pass a Practical Driving Assessment (PDA).

You can drive on your overseas driver licence until a WA driverís licence is granted, provided that:

  • You drive only vehicles for which you hold the appropriate authorisation on your overseas licence; and
  • The overseas licence remains valid (i.e.) it has not expired or been disqualified; and
  • You have not resided in WA for more than three months since the grant of your Permanent Resident visa, and
  • You abide by the conditions applicable to holding a learnerís permit when learning to drive a vehicle of a higher class.

  Step 6: Pass the Practical Driving Assessment: Overseas licence (if required)

For more information on undertaking a Practical Driving Assessment please go to Pass a Practical Driving Assessment.

 

Page last updated: Mon Jun 10 2019 8:51:57 AM