Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 55

Thread: Driving Licences - Clearing it up once and for all

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Palmerston North
    Posts
    451

    Arrow Driving Licences - Clearing it up once and for all

    Hey guys,

    I recently started work at NZTA (New Zealand Transport Agency) used to be Land Transport and Transit and during the merger, they changed the rules around overseas licence conversion. I've been working on converting their agent user manuals to html, and I've had plenty of opportunity to read up on all their new regulations, so here goes.

    The two big questions:

    1. Do I have to surrender my home country driving licence?
    Absolutely not

    2. Do I have to sit any tests (if I have a full licence)?
    Depends on a few things. :

    • The following countries are exempt and therefore do not need to sit any tests, it's a straight swap and costs $44. If you are from: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America, and
    • your licence is current (or has expired less than 12 months), and
    • you are converting a car or a motorcycle licence.


    What form do I fill in?
    Form DL5 - Application for Conversion of an Overseas Licence

    Can I drive in New Zealand?
    Do you have a current and valid* overseas driver licence or international driving permit?

    *A current and valid overseas driver licence means that your licence allows you to legally drive in your own country. If you are disqualified from driving or your licence is currently suspended, expired or revoked, then you are not allowed to drive in New Zealand.

    No I don't have a current overseas driver licence or international driving permit If you do not have a current overseas driver licence, you cannot drive.

    You must apply for a New Zealand driver licence if you wish to drive here. See Factsheet 45 Learning to drive: How to get your licence for more information.

    Yes I do have a current overseas driver licence or international driving permit. If you do have a current and valid overseas driver licence or international driving permit, you can drive using that for a maximum of 12 months from the date you arrive in New Zealand. Note: if your overseas licence or permit isn't in English, you must carry an accurate translation. See Other information you need to know below for more information.

    Each time you visit New Zealand, you can drive for a further 12-month period on your overseas licence or international driving permit.

    What happens after one year?

    If you wish to drive after one year, you must first gain a New Zealand driver licence. We recommend you apply early to make sure you have a new licence before the one year is up.

    Forms to use to apply for an overseas licence conversion are available from the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) driver licensing agents.

    Depending on the country you have come from, you may have to pass theory and/or a practical driving tests.

    Questions and answers


    What happens if I don't apply for a New Zealand driver licence?

    If you do not apply for a New Zealand driver licence within one year of arriving, you'll be considered unlicensed and you must not drive. You could be charged by the Police if you are caught driving and you may not be able to get car insurance.

    If you are unlicensed, are told by the Police not to drive and are then caught driving by the Police, the vehicle you are driving will be seized at the roadside and impounded for 28 days.

    Do I have to sit any tests?

    All drivers must know the road rules, what the road signs mean and how to drive safely. Learning the road rules is particularly important because of New Zealand's unique Give Way rule (when you are turning left, you must give way to vehicles that are coming from the opposite direction and turning right). You can find out more about this rule and others in The official New Zealand road code.

    Some countries require similar driving skills and have similar licensing systems to New Zealand's. Depending on the country you have come from and the class of licence you are converting, you may not have to sit theory and/or practical tests. Other countries may have driver licensing systems that are very different from New Zealand's. People from these countries do have to sit both theory and practical tests.

    Theory test

    You do not have to sit the theory test if:

    • you have a licence from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America, and
    • your licence is current (or has expired less than 12 months), and
    • you are converting a car or a motorcycle licence.


    You do have to sit a theory test if:

    • you have a licence from a country not listed above; or
    • you are converting a heavy vehicle licence from any country.



    Practical Test

    You do not have to sit the practical test if:

    • you have a licence from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America, and
    • your licence is current (or has expired less than 12 months), and
    • you have held that licence for more than two years.


    You do have to sit the practical test if:

    • you have a licence from a country not listed above, or
    • you have a licence from a country which is listed above but you have held that licence for less than two years.


    What happens if I pass the theory test?

    When you have passed the theory test you will get a New Zealand driver licence and you can no longer use your overseas driver licence for driving in New Zealand, even if you have been here less than one year.

    If your New Zealand driver licence has been issued with any conditions, you must adhere to them. For example, if you are required to pass the practical test and have not yet done so, you will have a 'supervisor condition'. This means you must be accompanied by a supervisor at all times when you drive.

    Your supervisor must be someone who holds a full New Zealand driver licence and has held it for at least two years. The supervisor must sit in the front passenger seat.

    Note: The supervisor condition does not apply to motorcycles, but you cannot ride a motorcycle over 250cc.

    What happens if I fail the theory or practical test?
    If you fail the theory test and have been in New Zealand for more than one year, you must not drive in New Zealand. You can apply to sit the test again.

    If you fail the practical test, you must continue to be accompanied by a supervisor when you drive until you resit and pass the test.

    What about motorcycles and heavy vehicles?

    Different types of vehicle are grouped into 'classes'. There are different theory tests and practical tests for different classes:

    • Class 1 covers cars and other light-weight motor vehicles.
    • Classes 25 cover different types of heavy vehicle, such as trucks.
    • Class 6 covers motorcycles.


    Most people will sit the theory and practical tests for a Class 1 licence. If you had a motorcycle licence and wish to continue riding, you will need to sit different theory and practical tests for a Class 6 licence. If you drove trucks and want to do so here, or want to have both a car and a motorcycle licence, make sure you tell the driver licensing agent which licence classes you want to sit tests for (see Factsheet 11 Driver licence classes for more information).

    Can I drive to earn money?

    If you want to earn a living from driving you will probably have to convert your overseas licence to a New Zealand driver licence first, and you may also need to get a driver licence endorsement. You will certainly need to do so if you want to deal with the public or carry dangerous goods. For example, before you can earn money carrying passengers, driving a tow truck, or working as a driving instructor or testing officer, you must complete courses, pass exams and be cleared by a Police check in New Zealand.

    Contact any NZTA office or phone our driver licensing contact centre on 0800 822 422 to find out more.

    What happens if my licence is suspended or disqualified while driving in New Zealand?

    If you're using an overseas licence to drive in New Zealand and are then suspended or disqualified from driving by a New Zealand court, you can no longer use your overseas licence to drive in New Zealand. If you want to drive in New Zealand (after your disqualification or suspension has ended) you will need to apply for a New Zealand licence.

    What else do I need to know?

    Carry your licence when you're driving
    In New Zealand, you must have your driver licence or international driving permit with you at all times when you're driving. If your overseas licence or permit is not in English, you must carry an acceptable English translation.


    For more information: NZTA Factsheet 56

    Hope it all helps.

    Dawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    made it to the other side
    Posts
    1,343

    Default

    Thanks for all the info Dawn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Palmy- from US
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    Great info. There is one test you have to sit regardless if you have a license and are from one of the okayed countries... an eye test. =D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hants>Half Moon Bay>Franklin
    Posts
    1,146

    Default

    I've converted my standard licence and OH has sorted his HGV conversion, but this is a very informative post and will be of great use to those still to get sorted out. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I'm a bit surprised that right hand side drivers don't have to take the practical test... at least we have a year to practice!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Palmy- from US
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    It's really not that hard. Just remember that the driver's side of the vehicle is closer to the middle of the road.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Hi Dawn, Excellent info. Thanks for taking the time to share.

    Has there been any thought given to adding Hong Kong to the list of "swap" countries? I find it a bit unreasonable that I could simply pay money and get an NZ license on the basis of a US license but have to pass the exams when holding a HK license. The rules in HK are much closer to those in NZ than are the rules in the US.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    422

    Default

    Thank you Dawn,
    Does the practical test include driving with manual transmission? Can I use an automatic transmission or at least a right-handed car with manual transmission?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    422

    Default

    Driving rules are free and simple
    http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/roadcode/abo...ain-types.html

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,074

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sovenok View Post
    Thank you Dawn,
    or at least a right-handed car with manual transmission?
    ??? Almost all the cars on the road in NZ are right hand drive - is that what you meant? Or were you thinking of a car such as would be used to drive on the right?

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •