Service NSW news articles and media releases are point-in-time statements. Please note the date of issue.
Temporary visa holders who arrive on or after 1 July and who intend to live in NSW for more than six months are encouraged to plan ahead and convert their licence as soon as possible so they can continue to drive with confidence.
The new regulation changes are designed to give confidence to all road users and ensure all motorists understand the State’s road rules and abide by the same standards, with any temporary visa holder required to convert their licence within six months.
The process for converting to a NSW licence will differ depending on the age of the applicant and the country where their licence was issued.
Overseas licence holders from certain recognised countries with similar licence systems to Australia (such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Singapore) as well as experienced drivers aged 25 or older from other recognised countries (including Poland and South Korea) can visit any Service NSW Service Centre to convert their licence without the need to sit a knowledge test or a driving test.
All other overseas licence holders will be required to pass a knowledge test and driving test at a Service Centre to receive a NSW licence. They will be exempt from the learner driver logbook requirement.
While the former government originally announced the new rules would require all overseas licence holders to apply for a NSW driver licence within six months, they backtracked in December 2022 to only apply the change to temporary visa holders arriving from 1 July 2023. The Government is examining these issues.
To support the changes, the NSW Government’s St Marys Driver Testing Centre in Western Sydney is ready to help and there are currently no wait times to book and sit a test.
The facility has 25 staff including driver testers offering about 450 driving tests each week as well as more than 1000 computer-based examinations.
Recognised countries are based on a nationally consistent framework administered by Austroads, which affects the test requirements for licence conversion.
For more information about the new regulations visit the Service NSW website.
Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Jihad Dib said:
“Our migrants and visa holders have so much to offer our great multicultural state and it is important everyone knows these changes are coming so they can plan appropriately and get their new licence in time.”
“These changes are about making sure everyone has the right skills and understanding of local road rules which ultimately keeps everyone safer.”
“We need to introduce this change in a way that is fair to all, allowing those who enter the country to get the help they need while maintaining access for everyone who needs to take a driver test in a timely manner."
“If you need to convert to a NSW driver licence, our excellent teams at the St Marys Testing Centre and across all our Service NSW Centres are ready to help you understand the rules and book your test.”
Minister for Roads, John Graham said:
"The change introduced on 1 July is the first step to ensure new arrivals with overseas licences have the necessary skills and understanding to safely navigate our road network for the benefit of all.”
“Everyone driving in our state should have the same accountability for the road rules and adhere to the same standards.”
“The former government promised that overseas licenced drivers already living in NSW would need to convert their licence before backing away from this commitment, but the Minns Government will ensure our rules are clear and consistent for all.”
“We will extend this change to all drivers on overseas licences in a measured way that gives visitors time to adapt, with further details around the wider rollout to be announced soon, once we have assessed the initial transition.”