Driving in South Australia for Overseas Visitors

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Overseas licence holders

Temporary visitors, students and workers

Students, visitors and those who are working in South Australia on current temporary visas are permitted to drive with an overseas licence as stated below only while that licence is current. If that licence expires, you are required to obtain a South Australian driver’s licence.
If you hold a current overseas driver’s licence of a particular class you may drive a vehicle of an equivalent class in South Australia if you:

  • also hold a current International Driving Permit or;
  • hold a foreign licence written in English or which is accompanied by an English translation of the details on the licence and;
  • are not disqualified from driving in South Australia or elsewhere. You are required to carry your licence (and English translation if applicable) at all times when driving. You must produce the licence and your passport to Police on request.

Permanent residents

If you are issued a permanent visa and become a resident of South Australia, you must obtain a South Australian driver’s licence within three months and you may be required to surrender your overseas driver’s licence. Once you are issued with a South Australian learner’s permit or driver's licence, your overseas licence is invalid.

Recognised Overseas Driver's Licences

South Australia recognises the driver licensing and testing standards in the countries listed below. If you hold, or have held within the preceding five years, a driver’s licence for a car or motorcycle only, you are not required to undertake equivalent driving tests in South Australia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Kingdom**
United States
Isle of Man
New Zealand

* New Zealand licence holders will be issued with the equivalent South Australian licence for all licence classes except for class MC (Road Trains and B Doubles).
** Please note; a provisional licence in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom
is equivalent to a South Australian learner's permit and cannot be transferred.

Recognised Overseas Driver Experience

South Australia also recognises ‘driver experience’ from the following countries:

Czech Republic
Republic of Korea
South Africa
Hong Kong*

* An applicant must have held the Hong Kong driver’s licence for a minimum of 12 months.

A person aged 25 years or older with a driver’s licence from one of these countries is treated the same as someone who holds a licence from a recognised country and is not required to undertake any
driving tests.

If you hold a licence from a country not listed or you are aged under 25 years from a country where ‘driver experience’ is recognised, you are required to:

  • pass a theory test based on the Australian Road Rules
  • pass a hazard perception test; and
  • pass a practical driving test with an authorised instructor.

When you pass the driving test you will receive a ‘Certificate of Competency’, which should be presented along with your overseas licence to obtain your South Australian driver’s licence.

After you have paid the licence fee and your photo has been taken, a temporary driver’s licence will be issued to you and your photo licence will be posted to you.
If you do not pass the practical test, you must apply for a Learner’s Permit. Details are available in The Driver’s Handbook. Licence classes other than a car or motorcycle are not transferable.

Present the following at a Service SA customer service centre to apply:

  • your current driver’s licence. If your licence is not written in English, you must provide an English translation of your driver’s licence or your International Driving Permit
  • evidence of identity which is evidence of your signature, your age and address
  • payment for your written test
  • medical certificate if required
  • concession card if entitled


Translation services are available at The Interpreting and Translation Centre,

Interpreting and Translating Centre (ITC)
Level 4 - 44 Pirie Street,
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone 1800 280 203

The Department of Social Services’ Free On-line Translating Service
Phone 1800 962 100

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One Response

  1. Mandeep Singh
    | Reply

    I am a UAE driver’s License holder and migrating to SA in June. How i can apply for license and my UAE license can be convert to SA license or not.
    secondly, how much will be the expenses for a complete process for obtaining the license as I have 10 years old UAE license.

    please revert to me with info.
    Mandeep Singh

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