Knowledge and driving test exemptions – overseas licence holders

If you hold an overseas driver or rider licence, you may be exempt from NSW knowledge and driving tests. Check if this applies to you.

Expired Australian licences

If you hold an overseas licence and you've held an Australian driver licence, you don't need to sit knowledge or driving tests to get a NSW licence. As long as:

  • your Australian licence expired within the last 5 years, and
  • it can be verified.

Testing exemptions for overseas licence holders

If you hold a car or rider licence issued by a recognised country and jurisdication, you can apply for a NSW licence without passing a knowledge test or driving test.

The licence must be current or expired within the last 5 years, and it must not be a learner licence.

There are 2 categories of recognised countries and jurisdictions – A and B. List B exemptions are for drivers and riders who are 25 years of age or older.

Heavy vehicle licences

If you are applying for a heavy vehicle licence (classes LR, MR, HR, HC or MC) there are no exemptions. You must pass the relevant knowledge and driving tests, even if you hold an equivalent class licence from a recognised a recognised country or jurisdication.

Recognised countries and jurisdictions

You do not have to pass knowledge or driving tests for a NSW car (class C) or rider (class R) licence if your current licence comes from a licensing authority in one of the following places.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Canada (any state)
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guernsey
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man (licences issued since 1 April 1991)
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta (licences issued or renewed since 2 January 2004)
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand (except for paper licences)
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America (any state).

You do not have to pass knowledge or driving tests for a NSW car (class C) or rider (class R) licence if:

  • you are 25 years or older, and
  • your current licence comes from a licensing authority in one of the following places:
    • Bulgaria
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • Estonia
    • Hong Kong – for licences held for at least 12 months
    • Hungary
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Poland
    • Republic of Serbia
    • Romania
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • South Africa
    • South Korea (Republic of Korea)
    • Taiwan.

If you hold a licence issued by a licensing authority on list B, but are under 25 you must pass the relevant knowledge and driving tests.

When the exemption does not apply

In some cases, the recognised licensing authority exemption may not apply, for example if:

  • you hold a licence from an external territory of a place on list A or list B, you must pass knowledge and driving/riding tests
  • a Hong Kong licence has been issued for less than 12 months
  • you failed a NSW knowledge test before 17 January 2005, you must re-sit and pass the relevant knowledge test
  • you failed a driving or riding test before 20 May 2002, you must re-take and pass the relevant driving or riding test
  • you hold a licence issued by a licensing authority on list B, and you failed a knowledge test and/or driving test before 18 February 2013 you must re-take and pass the relevant test.

Call us on 13 22 13 or visit any service centre to discuss your situation.


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