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Tips for overseas drivers

Abstract

There are many people from other countries coming to Australia every year. Some of them are just visiting this country for a short period of time, while others may intend to stay here longer (for example as a permanent resident). Before entering Australia, some of these individuals have already obtained a driving licence from their own countries. In general, if using their overseas licences, this last group are permitted to start driving here from day one. But the length of this permit depends on the type of visa they hold

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Tips for overseas drivers who decide to start driving in Sydney

There are many people from other countries coming to Australia every year. Some of them are just visiting this country for a short period of time, while others may intend to stay here longer (for example as a permanent resident). Before entering Australia, some of these individuals have already obtained a driving licence from their own countries. In general, if using their overseas licences, this last group are permitted to start driving here from day one. But the length of this permit depends on the type of visa they hold. Those who have temporary visas (i.e. student, visitor, working … visas) can use their overseas licences till their visas are still valid. But permanent residency visa holders can use their overseas licences for only three months (starting from the date of their arrival). At the end of the third month, they should apply for an Australian licence. In other words, they should go through the process of completing both ‘knowledge test’ and ‘driving test’ in Australia.
 
As a driving instructor with ten years work experience in Sydney, I always give two important advice to my overseas clients who hold overseas licence in NSW. And these advices are relevant regardless of what type of visa they hold:
  1. Obtain and start reading a copy of Road Users’ Handbook (published by RMS). This handbook provides important information on NSW road rules as well as road safety, low risk driving, vehicle registration and penalties for driving offences. It is also a good way to keep up to date with changes to road rules and is informative for interstate or overseas drivers who want to drive.
  2. Plan to have at least 1-2 hours practical driving sessions with a professional driving instructor. Once you have learnt the theories of road and driving rules from Road Users’ Handbook, it is a good idea to do few driving sessions with me. This way you can see how those theories are applied in a real driving environment.  As one of the best driving schools in Sydney and in the Hills area, Harry’s driving school is at your service to help you get through those early stages of driving in a new environment.
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