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Rules and Regulations for Driving in Darwin and NT

  • All vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road.
  • Speed limits are in kilometres per hour (KPH) and are enforced with radar cameras. School Zones at school times (8-9.30am and 2.30-4pm) have even lowe speed limits.
  • If you are driving, you and your passengers must wear a seatbelt.
  • Talking/texting on a mobile hand device while you are driving is agaist the law
  • Abide by the drink driving laws and beware as breath tests are conducted on a regular basis.
  • A valid drivers license should be carried at all times when driving.
  • Cars overtake on both sides on a motorway.
  • Children’s Car seats must meet compliance regulations. Check
  • Third Party liability insurance is mandatory and  insurance policies have to be issued in Australia.

Information on Driver’s Licences in Northern Territory

  • You are required to carry your Drivers Licence at all times with you when you are driving in the Northern Territory. Short stay visitors  (less than 90 days) and touristscan drive using their valid home country licence and a passport as additional ID.
  • Licence is not in English? Carry an English translation with you. Failure to comply with the above rules can result in an on the spot fine.
  • Think about applying for an International Driver’s Permit (IDP), from your home country before you leave for Australia. The  IDP is a certification of your national licence and can help speed thngs along if you are stopped by the police orfind yourself in a road accident.  An IDP has to be supported by a valid home country driving licence and will not be regarded on its own as ID.

When do you need to obtain a Northern Territory Driver’s licence?


Overseas visitor drivers in Northern Territory not having a permanent visa can use their valid overseas licence to drive. It is only when there is a change in visa/citizenship status or the overseas licence expires that an overseas driver is required to take out an Australian issued driver licence. In the Northern Territory a person is required to obtain a Northern Territory issued licence after three months or apply to be granted an exemption from holding a local licence if they wish to continue to drive. A permanent resident or interstate driver moving to NT may drive on their current overseas licence for no more than three months after arriving in Northern Territory. If they wish to continue to drive after a three month period a Northen Territory licence must be obtained.

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How to get an Northern Territory Drivers Licence/Permit

Go to the local transport authority and show your home countries drivers licence (with translation if required), you will also need three original ID documents: passport, birth certificate, signed credit card are useful for ID. You will also need to show something confirming your Australian address. They may ask you to take an eye test and/or complete a driver/knowledge test and practical driving test.

These following countries are exempt from having to take a Driver/Knowledge test and a practical Driving test if the driver has 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 Darwin & NT go to


  • Parking. Parking a car can be very challenging across Australian cities as well as costly with Australian cities ranking in the top 20 most expensive globally.   TIP For affordable parking go to Parkhound which is an online marketplace available in Darwin. By booking online you can save 50-60% on regular parking prices.


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