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Thread: Drivers License validity?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    52

    Default Drivers License validity?

    Hi,

    I have read posts here but just need a bit of clarification.

    I understand that your home country's license is valid up to one year and if you travel back home and re enter NZ, you get another year to drive on your home country's license.

    I am in a situation where i would soon complete one year of stay in NZ.

    So, what i need to know is that if i travel back home after a year of stay here without having gotten a NZ license and then re-enter , would i still get a year on my home driving license?

    I am asking this because in case i plan to travel back home, it seems better not to rush through license thing now and probably do it when i return to NZ.

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default

    If you've held a NZ residency or work permit for over one year then you should have a NZ Driver Licence regardless of whether you've travelled overseas and returned. However, most people don't carry their passport and the Police will most often go by what you tell them. Where you could run into a problem is your insurance, if you have an accident they may refuse to cover it if they believe you were still driving on an overseas Licence after having NZ residency or work permit for over one year.

    The NZ Transport Agency no longer requires testing for an overseas conversion, nor do they take away your overseas Licence, so why not just go down there and get a NZ Licence ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Auckland
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    253

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by constablechuck View Post
    Where you could run into a problem is your insurance, if you have an accident they may refuse to cover it if they believe you were still driving on an overseas Licence after having NZ residency or work permit for over one year.
    Based on what my insurance company told me, that is quite true. Why chance it? Besides, my excess (deductible) dropped from $1000 to $250 after I obtained a NZ license, so it's worth it.


    Quote Originally Posted by constablechuck View Post
    The NZ Transport Agency no longer requires testing for an overseas conversion
    Oo, really, when did they stop? Because I had an absolute nightmare experience with the incompetent staff at the local AA outlet, had to go back 3 times, including to have yet another photo taken...



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    44N to 43S; Oregon to ChCh
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    Default

    As of last September iirc. If you have a valid overseas license from one of the approved countries (not sure what they are but include UK and US for sure, AA site may have more info) you can convert it easily. Takes as much time as waiting in line and having your picture taken.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for answering everyone.

    I have not been here for year as yet but would be soon. Moreover, i've been here on a student visa. Would the similar rules as a Work Permit apply for a student visa as well?


    I'm just trying to avoid the hassle of obtainining a license in a short span of time as i 'll need time to work out other things in case i plan to go back.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    UK - Christchurch
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    238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by constablechuck View Post
    If you've held a NZ residency or work permit for over one year then you should have a NZ Driver Licence regardless of whether you've travelled overseas and returned.
    Why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by constablechuck View Post
    Where you could run into a problem is your insurance, if you have an accident they may refuse to cover it if they believe you were still driving on an overseas Licence after having NZ residency or work permit for over one year.
    Surely you can prove that you were still driving legally by the Visa stamps in your passport. Unless you have a clause that state that they will only insure you for a year on an international permit then I dont see what grounds they would have to refuse to pay.

    Do agree that it would be much less hassle to get the NZ licence, since its a simple eye test and photo for most immigrants.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    52

    Default

    I'm so confused at the moment because of the contradicting statements above. I tried calling Transport agency but couldn't get through.

    All i need to know at the moment is that in case i'm over my 1 year stay here, would i have to go through all 3 stages(learner, restricted and full) tests even if i have a valid overseas license OR just pass theory and practical tests(home license is not in approved countries list) without 6 month gap periods to gain a Full License?

    OR is it possible that i pass Theory now (within 1 year of stay) and Do practical later(after 1 year of stay here) without having a 6 month gap between both tests?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    UK - Christchurch
    Posts
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    Default

    If you have a vaild overseas licence which you have held for at least 2 years and you come from a country that is on the approved list, then you simply have to have pass an eye test and pay approx $50.

    This eye test is done at the issuing centre such as most AA shops.

    OOps sorry re-read any you say you are not on the approved list.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2008
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    UK - Christchurch
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    Default

    Last edited by bobo; 9th September 2009 at 01:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
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    Default

    The other issue on this is if you have moved even within the UK you must notify the DVLA of your new address or your liable for a 1000 fine. We recently sat down to notify them of our change of address and part of the requirement is that if you have left the UK you must send back your UK driving licence to them. I wasnt happy about this but thought i would be able to get a new one if i ever go back which is seeming more and more unlikely as time goes on.

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