Transferring your driver’s licence from overseas into a NSW licence requires a few steps. In some cases, you may need to pass a test, others you only need to provide your documentation.
You must start by assessing your eligibility. Australian Permanent Residents or holders of a permanent visa can transfer their drivers licence into a NSW driver’s licence. When arriving in NSW, you can drive with your overseas driver’s licence for a period up to three months, after that period, you will have to transfer it to a NSW driver’s licence. Visitors can drive in the State with their foreign driver’s licence for the duration of their visit. If their visit is longer than 3 months, they must provide proof of their temporary visit to NSW Police, if required.
How to start
The best place to start is at the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) website. There, you can find all information you need to get the process started. You must provide a proof of your identity, a proof of your Permanent Residency in Australia, complete the appropriate form and pass an eye test. In some cases, you will need to pass a knowledge test and a driving test. On the website, there are lists of countries that are exempt from these tests. For example, Portugal is one of the countries that are exempt from passing these tests. I would say, that even if you are exempt from the official tests, if you come from a country that drives on the left, like myself, you should always go for a few lessons, so you get acquainted with driving on the right.
To submit your application, you must visit a Services NSW Centre and bring all your paperwork with you.
Your overseas driver’s licence and any other documents that are not in English must be translated. However, you must go to Multicultural NSW or to Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) from the Department of Home Affairs to get your documents translated. If your translations were done by another translator, even if he or she is a NAATI Certified Translator, it won’t be accepted for this purpose.