International Driving Permit in Australia

Created: Mar 18, 2024 | Updated: Mar 18, 2024

When you need to travel, work, or relocate abroad, your local driver's licence often needs to be translated into the language of the country you will be going to. This is because local authorities, car rental agencies, and insurance companies need to understand your driving credentials. Getting an International Driving Permit ensures that your driver's licence is accurately translated and recognised as an official document in the new country, adhering to legal standards. Today, we will be walking you through what an International Driving Permit is and how to get one in Australia. 

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit (IDP), often referred to as an International Driver’s Licence (IDL), is a document that allows you to drive in over 186 countries around the world when accompanied by your valid national driver's licence. It is recognised internationally and is typically issued in nine languages – English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, German, Arabic, Italian and Portuguese – to help local authorities interpret your national driver's licence, regardless of the language it is in. In essence, it acts as a translation of your domestic driver’s licence issued in your country. It is usually valid for one year from the date of issue, or until your original driver’s licence expires. Although the validity period can vary in some countries.

The body in charge of issuing IDPs in Australia is the Australian Automobile Association (AAA). It is a federation that consists of motoring clubs and associations from various Australian states and territories. These organizations provide a range of services to their members, including roadside assistance, vehicle insurance, travel services, and advocacy on issues related to road safety, transport infrastructure, and the environment.

Getting an International Driving Permit from the Australian Automobile Association is a simple process. You simply need to fill out an application form, provide some documentation like your current driver's licence, and pay the service fee. This can often be done in person at an AAA branch, online, or by mail. The IDP, which is valid for one year, serves as an official translation of your driver's licence and is recognised in over 150 countries, making it an essential document for those planning to drive abroad.

How to get an international driving permit


When do I Need an IDP?

An international driving permit can be used in the following cases:

  1. When you Are Driving in a Foreign Country: The primary purpose of an IDP is to allow you to legally drive in a foreign country even if you do not have a driver’s licence from that country.
  2. When Your Licence is in a Different Language: If your original driver's licence is not in the language of the country you are visiting, an IDP provides a translation in multiple languages, making it easier for local authorities to understand.
  3. When Renting a Vehicle Abroad: Many car rental companies across the globe require an IDP along with your national driver's licence to rent a vehicle, especially if your licence is in a language different from the country's official language.

When Don’t I Need an IDP

  1. Without a Valid Domestic Driver’s Licence: An IDP is a supplement to, not a replacement for, your valid national driver's licence. It cannot be used by itself; you must carry your valid domestic driver's licence with you.
  2. After Becoming a Resident: In many countries, once you establish residency, you are required to obtain a local driver's licence within a certain period because an IDP is generally intended for tourists or short-term visitors, not for residents.
  3. In the Issuing Country: You cannot use an IDP in the country where it was issued. For example, if you obtained your IDP in Australia, you cannot use it as a driving document within Australia.
  4. If It's Expired: An IDP typically has a validity period of one year from the date of issue (though this can vary by issuing country). Once expired, it cannot legally be used as a supplement to your domestic licence for international driving. If the domestic driver's licence that your IDP supplements is expired, revoked, suspended, or becomes invalid in any way, your IDP is also considered invalid.
  5. For Identification: While an IDP does contain some personal information, it is primarily a translation of your driver's licence, not an official ID card. It may not be accepted as a form of identification by some authorities or institutions.

How to Get an International Driving Permit in Australia

Applying for an International Driving Permit (IDP) in Australia is a simple process. Here's how you can apply for an IDP in Australia:

Check if You Are Eligible for an IDP

To get an IDP in Australia, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must not be a learner.
  • You must hold a valid provisional or full Australian driver's licence. Interim driver’s licences are not acceptable.
  • You must have no restrictions on your Australian driver’s licence like, alcohol ignition, court orders, etc.

Prepare the Required Documents

For your application, you will need:

  • A scanned copy of your valid Australian driver's licence.
  • A recent passport-sized photograph (5MB max in JPEG, JPG or PNG. Must be 45–50 mm in height and 35–40 mm in width.).
  • A fee of AUD 49 (to be paid either through Visa or Mastercard).

Choose an Issuing Body

The International Drivers Licence can be issued by the following motoring clubs associated with the AAA, depending on your state or territory:

Complete the Application Process

There are three ways to apply for an Australian International Driving Permit:

1. Apply In-Person

  • Visit your automobile local club's office.
  • Bring your valid Australian driver's licence and your passport-sized photo.
  • Fill out the application form that will be provided at the office.
  • Pay the application fee.

2. Apply Online

  • Visit the website of the automobile club in your state or territory.
  • Complete the online application form.
  • Upload a scanned copy of your Australian driver's licence and a passport-sized photo.
  • Pay the application fee online using your Visa or Mastercard.

3. Apply By Mail

  • Download and complete the IDP application form from the website of the automobile club in your state or territory.
  • Include a certified copy of your Australian driver's licence and a passport-sized photo with your application.
  • Post the completed form, documentation, and payment to the address provided by the club.

Note that you cannot apply for an Australian International Driving Permit more than 3 months before your planned departure.

Receive Your Australian International Driving Permit

If you apply for your IDP in person, you should expect to receive it on the same day. If you apply online or by post, the IDP will be mailed to you in about 7-10 days


How to Convert Your International Driving Permit in Australia

Converting your international driving licence to a Domestic Australian driving licence involves a process that can be different depending on the state or territory in Australia where you intend to live and drive. Generally, the process is designed to ensure that all drivers on Australian roads have met local driving standards for safety. Here’s how you can change your International Driver’s Licence to an Australian licence:

Check Your Eligibility

As always, it is important to check if you are eligible for a domestic driver’s licence. To be eligible, you must have the following:

Understand State-Specific Requirements

Australia has different rules in each state and territory for converting an international driving licence. You should check with the local transport authority where you live, such as:

Prepare the Paperwork

You'll need the following documents for your application:

Note that each document should be accompanied by a translation, done by a certified translation service if it's not in English. 

Pass the Driving Tests

Depending on the state or territory and how long you've held your licence, you might need to:

  • Pass a Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) based on the rules of the road.
  • Complete a practical driving test.
  • In some cases, for those holding a licence from countries with reciprocal agreements, these tests may be waived.

Apply in Person

To apply for the licence conversion, you need to appear in person at a local branch of your state's transport authority. Here, you'll fill out an application form, submit your documents, take any required tests, and pay the application fees. The fees are different for each state and usually include fees like; test and appointment fees, driver licence issuance fees, and photo identification card fees, among others. 

Receive Your Australian Driving Licence

Once you've met all requirements and passed the necessary tests, you'll be issued an Australian driving licence, which may come with certain conditions based on your driving experience and the outcome of your tests.

How can Translayte be of Service to you?

If any required documents for your application are not in English, Translayte can provide accurate and certified translations. With a wide range of languages covered, we can help you get your documents translated into English, to meet the requirements for the IDP application process in Australia.

This is essential since Australian authorities require all non-English documents to be accompanied by a NAATI-certified translation. A certified translation assures the Australian authorities issuing the IDP that the translation is a true and accurate representation of the original document. 

Additionally, Translayte also offers Driver’s Licence translations which can be used for driving internationally. At Translayte, our process for translating driver's licences is meticulous and tailored to meet legal standards. We assign your document to a professional translator who is fluent in both the source and target languages and has expertise in legal and technical translations. The translator ensures that every detail from your original licence is accurately translated and formatted appropriately for the target country.

We understand that obtaining an IDP can be time-sensitive, especially if you're planning to travel soon and that’s why we designed an easy and smooth process so you get your certified translation in no time. It’s really simple. Just Select “Certified Translation” from the options provided, and choose the target language and any specific requirements needed for the translation. Afterwards, securely upload a clear scan or photo of your driver's licence and our professional translators will work on your document, ensuring accuracy and compliance with all requirements. You will receive your translated driver's licence via email or post, ready for use. Our team is available at any time for any queries or assistance you might need.


Do I Need to Transfer my Overseas Licence if I am not a Permanent Resident of Australia?

If you are not a permanent resident of Australia, you do not need to transfer your overseas licence to a domestic Australian licence. You can legally drive in Australia if you hold a valid driver's licence from your home country and an International Driving Permit if your licence is not in English. The IDP serves as a translation of your existing foreign driver's licence.

How Long is an International Driving Permit Valid in Australia?

An International Driving Permit is typically valid for 12 months from the date of issue, and this validity period also applies in Australia. If you're visiting Australia and plan to drive with an IDP, it's important to ensure that your permit does not expire during your stay. Additionally, your IDP must be accompanied by a valid driver's licence from your home country at all times when driving.

How do I Translate my Driver’s Licence in Australia?

You can translate your driver’s licence in Australia by visiting and placing an order for a translation. You will receive an accurately translated driver’s licence in a few days. 

Does an Australian Need an International Driver’s Licence in New Zealand?

No, an Australian does not need an International Driver’s Licence to drive in New Zealand. As an Australian, you can legally drive in New Zealand with your current Australian driver's licence for up to 12 months from the day you arrive in New Zealand. This applies as long as your licence is valid, remains current for your stay, and is for the correct class of vehicle you intend to drive. 

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