A common question that we usually hear is: “Can I drive with my Italian driver licence in Australia?” An Italian international driver licence is valid and in principle, if you are in Australia on a temporary visa (working holiday, tourist visa, student visa or sponsor), you will be able to drive with your international driver licence for up to 3 months from the date of arrival. However, in Australia rules on driving licences are regulated by the individual state, therefore, in each state there are different rules and driving requirements.
Three options for getting a driver license in Australia
- Obtain a valid licence for all over the world – a document to be requested before departure directly from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s your city. The International Driver licence in Australia is pretty much a translation of your original driving licence, is valid for 3 years, and costs about 40 Euro.
- Translate your Italian driver licence in Australia – once you get there, ask for it to be certified by a NAATI translator for the cost of $50-$60. This way you will have the chance to drive without any problems. Just bring your Italian driver licence along with the certified translation.
- Obtaining an Australian driver licence – if you are planning to stay in Australia for a long time, you might request it from the Australian Road and Transport Authority offices of the individual state in which you are. Each state has its branch offices. So, it is necessary to present your driver licence, a document showing your address in Australia (bank account and rent contract) and visa. This is the best option because the licence is a valid identification for all purposes, even to enter pubs and buy alcohol, this way you can leave the passport at home!
If you plan to rent a car in Australia, it is very important to own one of these documents, as they are legally required by many rental car companies. Remember that in this country you can rent a car only if you are 21 years old and and have had a driver licence for a minimum of 12 months.
Drive in Australia
Don’t forget to pay attention to the driving direction: in Australia, traffic drives on the left (thus overtaking on the right) and the driver is on the right, the complete opposite to Europe. Australian driver licences work on a points system like the Italian one. Controls on driving while intoxicated, or for exceeding the speed limit, for expired documents and roadblocks are really much more common in Australia, as well as expensive fines!