Overseas Licence

Anyone with a valid overseas full driver licence or international driving permit can rent a car and explore NZ by road for a year. Make sure that it has an english translation.

However, if you have been in New Zealand for more than 12 months since your last arrival, you will need to convert it to a New Zealand Full Driver licence (see NZ Drivers Licence). Check if your last arrival date in NZ qualify you for the extension due to the border closures.

Before you start the process of conversion, check if you have a valid overseas driver licence. Valid means that your licence must not be suspended, disqualified or revoked in the country of issue and must be either current or expired within the last 12 months. Otherwise you will have to go through the Learner to Restricted process to get your Full licence.


All drivers in NZ must learn and understand the road rules to keep their self and others safe on the roads. To prove you are familiar with our road rules, some people will need to sit a theory and practical driving tests. This depends on the country your licence is from, length you have held your licence, and class you are applying for.


Some countries have similar driving rules and licensing system to NZ and are considered exempt countries – you can find a list of exempted countries here. If your licence is from a non-exempt country, you must pass a theory and practical driving test. You can still use your valid overseas licence even if you fail the first try of the theory test. However, failure on the second attempt will require you to seriously know the NZ road rules first and to stand down in driving in the roads. 


When you pass the theory part, you will be given a Full driver licence with supervisor condition. This New Zealand licence usually over-rides your overseas driver licence, and you must only drive with a supervisor in the front seat until you’ve passed the practical part.

At Puketāpapa Community Driving School, we can help you with the theory and practical driving tests required to convert your overseas licence to a New Zealand Drivers Licence. 

Book your NZ Road Code session now!
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