Rules and Regulations- General
- Cars drive on the left hand side of the road.
- Speed limits are indicated by kilometres per hour (KPH) and are strictly enforced with the use of radar cameras. There are reduced speed limits in School Zones during school hours (8-9.30am and 2.30-4pm).
- It is compulsory for the driver and all passengers to wear a seatbelt.
- Talking/texting on a mobile hand device whilst driving is prohibited.
- Strict Drink/Driving laws apply – random breath tests are conducted on a regular basis.
- The driver must carry a valid drivers license at all times when driving.
- Be aware – cars can overtake on both sides on a motorway.
- Children’s Car seats must meet compliance regulations. www.rta.nsw.gov.au
- Third Party liability insurance is compulsory and all insurance policies must be issued in Australia.
Information on Driver’s Licences in Australia
- You are required to carry your Drivers Licence at all times with you when you are driving in Australia. Tourists and short stay visitors (less than 90 days) can travel with their valid home country licence and a passport as additional ID.
- If your licence is not in English, you must also carry an English translation with you. Failure to comply with these rules can result in an on the spot fine.
- It is a good idea to apply for an International Driver’s Permit (IDP), which you must obtain in your home country prior to departure. And IDP is a certification of a national licence and can save you a lot of time if you are stopped by the police or are in a road accident. Important: An IDP must be supported by a valid home country driver’s licence and will not be sufficient on its own as ID.
When do you need to obtain an Australian Driver’s licence?
Licencing laws vary between states and territories so please ensure you check rules in your preferred area.
If you are a licence holder from overseas and you want to drive while visiting NSW, you can use your current licence so long as your visitor status remains unchanged and your licence has not been suspended or disqualified. 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 drive in NSW on a current overseas licence for a maximum of three months after arriving in Australia. If you wish to continue driving, you must obtain a NSW driver licence.
If you are a licence holder from New Zealand (regardless if you are a permanent or temporary resident), you must obtain a NSW driver licence within three months of residing in NSW or you must stop driving.
For more info go to: www.rta.nsw.gov.au
How to get an Australian Drivers Licence/Permit
You will need to visit your local transport authority and present your home countries drivers licence (with translation if required), three original ID documents, such as passport, birth certificate or signed credit card and proof of your Australian address. You may be required to take an eye test and in some cases you will need to complete a driver/knowledge test and a practical driving test.
People from the following countries are exempt from having to take a Driver/Knowledge test and a practical Driving test, subject to having a valid home countries licence:
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man (licences issued after 01/04/91), Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta (licences issues after 02.01.04), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA.
If you are required to take a Knowledge and Drivers test you will need to pay the required fees. The Knowledge test can be taken at any time but the practical driving test will require an appointment. The written knowledge may be taken in English, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Greek, Korean, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese. You will need to make prior arrangements with your transport authority to take the test in any other language.
For Sydney & NSW go to www.rta.com.au
- Parking. Parking in Australian cities is costly with cities ranking in the top 20 most expensive globally. TIP For affordable parking go to Parkhound which is an online marketplace available in Sydney. By booking online you can save 50-60% on regular parking prices. www.parkhound.com.au