Overseas and Interstate Licence Conversions

Here at South Coast Training we know how stressful and sometimes confusing licence conversions can be. Our instructors will guide you through training for the test and make sure you are ready to sit your examination. We get a lot of questions about licence conversions and we hope that the following will help.



If you have a non Australian drivers licence that has been issued in another country then, in some cases, you will be required to take practical and theory tests but in other cases you wont.

Different requirements may apply for your Car and Truck licences and the requirements are different for different countries.

It can be fairly confusing so we have tried to simplify it in the summary below.

There is also a simplified explanation of Australian licence classes at the bottom of the page.

If you are under 19 years of age then reguardless of what country you come from you will have the same conditions applied to you as are applied to young South Australians. Young drivers need to work their way through Learner then Provisional licences and the licence issued to you may have these restrictions attached to them depending on your age.

If you have a non Australian licence and your visa allows you to use it for a set period of time then make sure that you have been issued an Australian licence before this time period expires (usually 3 or 12 months). After the specified period you will generally need to go back and start as a learner. This is especially important if you hold any of the higher heavy vehicle licences and wish to convert them.


Drivers Licence Conversion Requirements    

Non Australian Licences - Country List


Over 25

Car and Motorcycle

(C, R)


Under 25

Car and Motorcycle



Heavy Vehicles



Other Australian States and New Zealand

If you have an interstate or New Zealand licence then all licence categories you hold are automatically recognised in South Australia. You don't have to sit any theory or practical tests with the possible exception of MC (see notes on this Australia specific licence at the bottom of this page). You will need to obtain a South Australian licence within 3 months of becoming a resident.


Recognised Overseas Licences

If you have a licence from one of the following countries your Car (C) and Motorbike (R) licences will be are automatically recognised in South Australia. If you have a heavy vehicle licence  you will be required to take a practical test for the equivalent class vehicle. 

Austria Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Canada Croatia Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Guernsey Ireland Italy Japan Jersey Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Portugal Singapore Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom United States


Experience Driver Recognition

If you hold a licence from one of the following countries AND you are over 25 then the same conditions will apply to you as for the Recognised Overseas Licences above.

If you are UNDER 25 then you will be required to  sit and pass both THEORY and PRACTICAL tests similar to the "All other Countries" category below.

Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hong Kong Hungary Latvia Lithuania Poland Republic of Korea Romania Slovakia Slovenia South Africa Taiwan


All other Countries

For all other countries you will be required to sit and pass both the theory and practical tests for each licence category you hold. If you fail your practical test you will be required to apply for a learners permit and follow through with the normal system.



Australian Licences

MC Licence

MC Licences are recognised from all other Australian States or Territories with the exception of Western Australia. WA has retained her independence from the national licencing scheme and has a different set of rules with the greatest divergence being in the area of fatigue management. As a result be very careful if you transfer you MC licences from SA to WA. If you return to South Australia and wish to transfer them back you may need to resit the examination.

The MC licence class is unique to Australia and is not applicable to conversions from other countries.


List of Australian Vehicle Licence Codes (Simplified)

For a more detailed explanation please visit this SA Govt Website

(GVM = Vehicle Weight + Load Weight)


Licence Code



C - Car

Less than 4.5 tonnes GVM and carrying 12 or less people.


R - Motorcycle



LR - Light Rigid

Truck - 4.5 to 8  tonnes GVM  


MR - Medium Rigid

Truck - greater then 8  tonnes GVM with a single rear axle


HR - Heavy Rigid

Truck - greater then 8  tonnes GVM with a two rear axles


HC - Heavy Combination

Truck -  Semi Trailer - One articulation point


MC - Multi Combination

Truck - B Double or Road Train - 2 or more articulation points (2 or more trailers)