Overseas Licence Conversions Overseas Licence Conversions

Overseas Licence Conversions

Moving to a new country is exciting! Find out what you need to do to convert your overseas license to a New Zealand license and how we can help.

What you need to apply

  • A filled out application form for conversion of an overseas licence (DL5); this can be done in one of our overseas licence conversion branches or online.
  • Present evidence of your identity
  • Present your overseas licence
  • Relevant translations from an approved source (if required)
  • Proof that your eyesight meets the required standard
  • Medical certificate (if required)
  • High quality coloured photocopies of all original documents you have provided
  • Pay the appropriate fee

Application assessment

Your application will be sent to NZ Transport Agency to be assessed. This may take up to three weeks to be completed.

There are two outcomes to this assessment;

  1. Your application has been accepted (congratulations!) and your new New Zealand drivers licence should arrive shortly.
  2. Your application has not been approved, but that’s okay because the NZ Transport Agency will send you a letter explaining why and what you need to do next.

Theory testing

As part of the overseas conversion process you may be asked to undertake a theory test on the New Zealand road code.

You do not have to sit a theory test if;

  • Your licence is current (or has expired in the last 12 months)
  • You are converting to a motorcycle licence only
  • You have a licence from one of the following countries;
Australia France Japan South Korea
Austria Germany Luxembourg Spain
Belgium Greece Netherlands Sweden
Canada Hong Kong Norway Switzerland
Denmark Ireland Portugal United Kingdom
Finland Italy South Africa United States of America

You will have to sit a theory test if;

  • You have a licence from a country not listed above
  • You are converting to a heavy vehicle licence from any country

 

Practical testing

Along with a theory test you may have to sit a practical test.

It is best you do not book your practical test until your application has been assessed.

You will not have to sit a practical test if;

  • Your licence is current (or has expired in the last 12 months)
  • You have held that licence for longer than two years
  • You have a licence from one of the countries in the table to your left

You will have to sit a practical test if;

  • You have a licence from a country not specified in the table to your left
  • You have a licence from a country listed in the table but you have held that licence for less that two years
  • You have a licence from Hong Kong or South Korea and you are converting a heavy traffic licence

Not confident with English?

That’s okay, the theory test is also available in;

  • Maori
  • Arabic
  • Chinese (simplified and traditional)
  • Gujurati
  • Hindi
  • Korean
  • Punjabi
  • Samoan
  • Thai
  • Tongan

If none of these languages are appropriate you can talk to our friendly staff at your local overseas licence conversion branch about your options.

What if I fail the theory or practical test?

That’s okay, you can apply to sit the test again.

In the mean time;

  • If you’ve failed the theory test and been in New Zealand for over a year you must not drive in New Zealand.
  • If you’ve failed the practical test you must be accompanied by a supervisor when you drive until you resit and pass the test.

Licencing Conditions

If you have to sit a practical test your licence will be issued with a supervisor condition until you pass the practical test. This is where a supervisor has to accompany you at all times while you drive. More information on supervisors can be found here.

If you are converting a motorcycle licence you will not have a supervisor condition, instead you will be given a learner licence. The conditions for having a motorcycle learner licence can be found here.

New Zealand licence age restrictions

New Zealand law requires people to have reached a certain age before they can apply for different licence types.

This means that if you are under 18 years of age you will only be able to convert your licence to the equivalent New Zealand licence your age allows within New Zealand.

You will find more information on licence age restrictions on the NZ Transport Agency website.

Converting your motorcycle or truck licence

In New Zealand we have different classes for different vehicles types.

Depending what class licence you are wanting you may have to sit different theory and practical tests. Make sure you let our staff know what type of licence you are converting so we can give you the right test.

To understand the different licence classes and vehicle types click here.

Any further questions?

  1. Check our frequently asked questions to see if your question has been answered
  2. Visit the NZ Transport Agency or call their Driver Licensing helpline on 0800 822 422

Visit one of our 80+ branches nationwide

We'll have you road ready in no time.