Remove overseas licence loopholes

MOTORISTS driving on a foreign licence have a maximum of six months to convert to a NSW licence if they want to remain on the road – and some will even face having to pass a practical driving test to remain behind the wheel.

The tightening of overseas licence usage removes a loophole that only required new arrivals to NSW from July 1, 2023, to convert their licence within six months of residing here.
Under the changes, anyone who has been driving on an overseas licence – regardless of when they arrived in NSW – will also be required to switch to a NSW licence. Existing residents will have 12 months to undertake this process.
The loophole led to thousands of drivers racking up demerit points but remaining beyond the reach of NSW authorities.
Many drivers – some of whom have spent years on a foreign licence – will need to pass a practical driving test to remain behind the wheel. Others, whose licences are from countries which have road systems more compatible with NSW, will need to simply convert their licence.
In the five-year period between 2018-2022, there were 23 fatal crashes and 468 serious injury crashes involving a driver or rider on an overseas licence in NSW.
According to preliminary data from 2023, a further five fatal crashes involved drivers or riders not on an overseas licence.
Minister for Roads, John Graham, said the changes were aimed at ensuring the safety of all drivers and would improve the standard of driving.
“When everyone comes under the same set of rules then safety is enhanced, but for belligerent rule breakers who have had a place to hide behind overseas licences, they will now face the full force of NSW law,” he said.