A local driving license is required if you are planning on staying for more than three months, which can be obtained at the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA).
You will be required to take one theory test and, after it is passed, one practical driving test. If you fail the theory test you must return in 7 days to sit the theory test again. Once you have passed the theory test you can make an appointment for the practical driving test. You do not need to make an appointment for the theory test, you simply present yourself at the closest RTA and take a ticket to wait your turn.
You can download the Road Users Handbook from the RTA which is available in 11 languages, which will help you prepare for the theory test and for driving on Australian roads. You may also want to take driving lessons (see below). You will also need to:
- Be 16 years of age or older
- Provide proof of your NSW address
- Prove your identity
- Pass an eyesight test
- Pay the licensing fee, and
- Have your photo taken by the RTA for your driver license photo card.
Some overseas license holders are exempt from testing. They can use their overseas licenses for up to three months and will then need to apply to exchange their current license to a NSW license after this times without taking any test.These are license holders from; United Kingdom, the USA, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man (licenses issued since 1 April 1991), Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta (licenses issued since 2 January 2004), Netherlands, New Zealand (except where a paper license is presented), Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
After 3 months you must have converted to a NSW license or you can face fines if you are stopped by the police.
If you feel that you require additional preparation for the written and practical driving tests, here are some reputable driving schools in Sydney that provide lessons.
- Trent Driving http://www.ltrent.com.au
- Focus Driving School http://www.focusdrivingschool.com.au
- A-Vision Driving School http://www.a-vision.com.au
- Roads and Traffic Authority NSW http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/visitorstonsw/gettingnswlicence.html
- Road Users Handbook http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/downloads/gettitestsdrivieduca_dl1.html