If you are an Australian permanent resident or hold a permanent visa under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958 and you intend to stay in NSW, you are not considered to be a visitor. As such, you are allowed to ride in NSW on a current overseas licence for a maximum of three months after arriving in Australia. If you wish to continue riding, you must obtain a NSW rider licence.
If you are a licence holder from New Zealand (regardless if you are a permanent or temporary resident), you must obtain a NSW rider licence within three months of residing in NSW or you must stop riding.
Plan ahead – your card may be posted to you
We’re changing the way we print and issue photocards. At certain locations, when you apply for a licence, your card will be posted to you at no extra cost.
When you apply for or renew your licence you will be given a paper receipt. The receipt will act as proof of licence status until your new photo licence arrives.
See Centralised photocard printing for more information.
How do I convert my overseas rider licence to a NSW rider licence?
To obtain a NSW rider licence you must be 17 years of age or older.
If your overseas licence is written in English:
- Go to a Roads and Maritime Services motor registry and present your overseas licence
If your licence is not written in English, provide:
- Your overseas licence and an official translation from the NSW Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW.
Roads and Maritime Services also accepts translations obtained from the fee-free translation service provided by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). The DIAC fee-free translation service is only available for eligible people. Further information on fee-free translations for eligible persons is available on the DIAC website at www.immi.gov.au.
For South Korean (Republic of Korea) driver licences, Roads and Maritime Services accepts translations from the Consulate-General of the Republic of Korea as the Consulate verifies the licence details with the relevant South Korean (Republic of Korea) driver licence authority.
Translations obtained through other means are not acceptable.
If you cannot produce your overseas licence, provide:
a letter from the overseas licence issuing authority confirming your licence details and status, or
- a letter from a relevant consulate or diplomatic office (based on information received from the overseas licence issuing authority) confirming your licence details and status.
You must also:
- Prove your NSW address,
- Prove your identity,
- Proof of your Australian permanent residency if you are an Australian permanent resident or hold a permanent visa under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958. You will need to provide one of the documents from proof of Australian permanent residency.
- Pass an eyesight test,
- Pass a rider knowledge test, unless exempt,
- Pass a Motorcycle Operator Skills Test (MOST), unless exempt,
- Pay the licensing fee, and
- Have your photo taken by Roads and Maritime Services for your rider licence card.
Exemptions from licence tests
You may not be required to pass a rider knowledge test or MOST if:
- You have previously held an Australian rider licence that expired within the last five years and it can be verified by the issuing authority,
- You hold a current New Zealand rider licence (not a learner licence or paper licence), or
- You are applying for a NSW rider licence and you hold a current overseas rider licence (not a learner licence), or one that expired within the last five years, from a country recognised as having comparable licensing standards to Australia. See Licences from recognised countries for more information.
Note: If you do not hold a rider licence from a ‘recognised country’, you must pass a MOST.
What happens next?
If you hold a current motorcycle learner licence from another country and you fail the MOST (or rider DART if living outside of a declared area), all visiting rider privileges are withdrawn.
You must then obtain a NSW learner rider licence in order to ride and before being eligible to attempt another riding test.
To obtain a NSW learner rider licence you must complete a pre-learner rider-training course if you live in a declared area. See Getting a motorcycle rider licence for more information.
If you hold a provisional or unrestricted licence from another country and fail the MOST (or rider DART if living outside of a declared area) you can apply for a NSW learner rider licence without having to attend the pre-learner rider-training course. If you live in a declared area, you will need to pass the pre-provisional course and MOST to obtain a NSW rider licence.
From 18 April 2008, new licensing arrangements apply to visiting overseas riders who want to obtain a NSW licence for the first time. For more information see Temporary overseas visitors obtaining a NSW licence.