Extension of overseas driver licences

Factsheet


81

From 18 December 2020

ISSN 1172-0689 (print)

ISSN 1172-0778 (online)


Valid overseas driver licence

To use your overseas driver licence to drive in New Zealand:

If you or your licence don’t meet these requirements, you can’t use that licence to drive in New Zealand. Go to www.nzta.govt.nz/overseas-conversion to find out more about converting an overseas driver licence.

Due to the closure of international borders as a result of

COVID-19, many people on overseas licences are unable to leave New Zealand and are fast approaching the end of their 12-month period of being able to drive on their overseas licence.

Because of this, the rules around the eligibility period for driving in New Zealand on an overseas driver licence have been temporarily changed.

The temporary extended period for driving on an overseas licence is up to a maximum of 24 months after arrival and will expire on 31 March 2022. At that time the eligibility period will then revert to 12 months.


How long you can drive in New Zealand

Usually, you can only drive in New Zealand on an overseas licence for 12 months from your last date of entry into New Zealand.

The government has now extended this for some overseas licence holders.

If you last entered New Zealand between 2 January 2019 and 17 December 2020 (inclusive of those dates), you can drive in New Zealand on your overseas driver licence for up to 24 months OR until 31 March 2022, whichever comes first.

If your last date of entry into New Zealand was outside of these dates, you can only drive in New Zealand on your overseas licence for 12 months.

NO

YES

Is your overseas driver licence still valid? (see above)

Did you last enter New Zealand between 2 January 2019 and

17 December 2020 (inclusive)?

NO

YES

YOU CAN DRIVE IN NEW ZEALAND

For up to 24 months from your last date of entry OR until 31 March 2022, whichever comes first


NO

You entered New Zealand on or after 18 December 2020

Did you last enter New Zealand on or before 1 January 2019?

YES


NO

If you last entered New Zealand

then you

on or before

1 January 2019

can’t drive on your overseas licence as you’ve been here for more than 12 months

from 2 January 2019 to

17 December 2020 (inclusive)

can drive on your overseas licence for:

  • up to 24 months from your last date of entry into New Zealand, or

  • until 31 March 2022

whichever comes first.

on or after

18 December 2020

you can drive on your overseas driver licence for up to 12 months from your last date of entry into New Zealand.

Driving in New Zealand on a valid overseas driver licence




Extension end date

This extension only applies until 31 March 2022. From 1 April 2022 the rules will return to normal and you’ll only be able to drive in New Zealand for 12 months from your last date of entry into New Zealand.



YES

Is your overseas driver licence still valid? (see above)

YOU CAN DRIVE IN NEW ZEALAND

For up to 12 months from your last date of entry


YOU CAN’T DRIVE IN NEW ZEALAND

You’ll need to get a New Zealand driver licence

Converting your licence

If you’re staying in New Zealand, we recommend you convert your overseas driver licence to a New Zealand driver licence.

The government has also changed the rules around being able to drive on your overseas licence while converting to a New Zealand licence. Have a look over the page for the rules around converting your overseas driver licence.



Driving on an overseas licence while converting to a New Zealand driver licence

The eligibility period for driving in New Zealand on an overseas driver licence has been temporarily extended. This provides overseas licence holders with more time to apply to convert to a New Zealand licence.

If you’re converting an overseas driver licence, you’ll get a New Zealand driver licence after you’ve passed a theory test. If you still need to pass a practical driving test, that New Zealand driver licence will have a supervisor condition on it.

This New Zealand licence usually over-rides your overseas driver licence, and you must only drive with a supervisor next to you in the front seat until you’ve passed the practical driving test.

If you passed the theory test on or after 18 December 2020, and you last entered New Zealand between 2 January 2019 and

Who can still use their overseas licence

Usually, if you passed a theory test and still need to sit a practical test to convert your overseas licence, you won’t be able to use your overseas licence anymore and will have to have a supervisor with you when you drive.

Now, you can continue to drive on your overseas licence IF:

This only applies until you sit the practical driving test to complete your overseas conversion OR your overseas licence becomes invalid (see the previous page).

You’ll have a supervisor condition showing on your New Zealand licence, but you can drive using your overseas licence instead.

Note: If you sit and fail the practical driving test, you can’t use your overseas driver licence anymore and will need to drive with a supervisor at all times.

NO

YES

NO

YES

Did you last enter New Zealand between 2 January 2019 and

17 December 2020 (inclusive)?

Did you apply for your overseas conversion and pass your theory test on or before 17 December 2020?

YOU CAN’T DRIVE ON YOUR

OVERSEAS LICENCE

You must be accompanied by a supervisor until you’ve passed the practical test

YOU CAN STILL DRIVE ON YOUR OVERSEAS LICENCE

Your New Zealand licence has a supervisor condition, but you

can use your overseas licence to drive without a supervisor until:

YOU CAN’T DRIVE ON YOUR

OVERSEAS LICENCE

You must be accompanied by a supervisor until you’ve passed the practical test

17 December 2020 (inclusive of those dates), you can continue to drive using your overseas licence while you’re partway through the overseas conversion process.



End date

This change to the overseas conversion process only applies until 31 March 2022. From 1 April 2022 the rules will return to normal and you’ll have to drive with a supervisor.

Process to convert an overseas driver licence

(Factsheet 72) for the full process to convert an overseas licence to a New Zealand licence.

Read Overseas driver licences: converting to a New Zealand licence

Factsheet


81

From 18 December 2020

ISSN 1172-0689 (print)

ISSN 1172-0778 (online)


If you passed the theory test

and you last entered New Zealand


then you

on or before

-

can’t drive on your

17 December


overseas licence, you

2020


must have a supervisor with you at all times

on or after

18 December

2020

from

2 January 2019

to 17 December

2020 (inclusive)

can drive on your overseas licence until:

  • you sit the practical driving test to complete your conversion, OR



  • your overseas driver licence becomes invalid, OR



  • 31 March 2022.



You don’t need a supervisor.

on or after

on or after

can’t drive on your

18 December

18 December

overseas licence, you

2020

2020

must have a supervisor with you at all times



This factsheet is a general guide only. It doesn’t replace legal advice, and your exact requirements will depend on current legislation.

Make sure you have the most up-to-date version of this factsheet by checking www.nzta.govt.nz/factsheets

www.nzta.govt.nz 0800 822 422

info@nzta.govt.nz

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Private Bag 11777, Palmerston North 4442