New To NZ? Getting Your Licence, What You Need To Know

August 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM

If you've recently moved to New Zealand from another country, you're most likely going to want to get a licence. Thankfully, if you already have a licence from your home country, you can most likely get it converted and save you a lot of time and money learning anew. Below lists all the information you'll need about overseas licence conversions.

Is Your Licence Valid?

First of all, you have to of course have a valid licence. This means your licence for your home country must not be expired, suspended or revoked. If it is expired, you can still be apply, provided it was within the last 12 months.

Where Do I Go?

There are three places you can go to apply for overseas drivers licence conversions: the Automobile Association, Vehicle Testing New Zealand, and Vehicle Inspection New Zealand. A branch of any of these will go through the application process with you.

What Do You Need To Bring?

When going in to apply for your conversion, you have to take in your passport or some proof of identity (other than your licence) and you will also need your overseas licence. You will need to prove your current address. Once you arrive you will complete the application form. You can pick one of these up prior to going in to apply and fill it out beforehand. If your licence is not written in English you will have to also bring along an approved translation.

What Happens When I Get There?

When you have provided your information and documents a licensing agent will begin to process the application. They will check all the information and identification supplied, take a photograph for your new licence and get your new signature. Your eyesight will also be tested and if they feel it is needed you will undergo some theory or practical tests for your driving.

What About My Age?

You will only be able to apply for a licence conversion to a licence in the correct age group. You have to abide by New Zealand's age requirements so if you fall below the category you have already because of age you will be dropped to that category. For instance, if you are 17 and on your full licence overseas, you will not be able to have a full licence in New Zealand and will be dropped to a restricted one.

Will I Have To Take A Test?

This depends on what country you are from. You must know all the road rules for New Zealand so if there are many differences in the laws of your country and here you will have to take a test to prove your competence. If the road rules are fairly similar you may not have to. These tests are also available in multiple languages so if you are not confident in your English you can take the theory  test in another language.

As long as you take the right steps and have a little patience you should be able to drive on New Zealand roads, no matter what country you came from originally.

Category: The Drivers Licence