Do you need a New Zealand driver’s licence to visit New Zealand and rent a vehicle? Find out the requirements for international drivers here.
New Zealand Driver’s license is not required to visit New Zealand as you can use international driver’s license from your country to drive 12 months but if you intend on staying longer you are required to get a New Zealand Driver’s License.
You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have a current driver’s licence. If the licence is not in English, you must carry an accurate English translation.
International driving permits
You can also legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have an International Driving Permit (IDP) that is issued in English or translated into English, provided that you also carry the current driver licence that the permit is based on.
Getting your licence translated
A translation of your overseas licence or permit can be issued by:
- A translator approved by the NZ Transport Agency
- A diplomatic representative at a high commission, embassy or consulate; or
- The authority that issued your overseas licence (an international driving permit may be acceptable as a translation).
Rules and regulations
In New Zealand all drivers, including visitors from other countries, must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving. You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country.
It is important to note that if you are caught driving without an acceptable English translation or an IDP, you may be prosecuted for driving unlicensed or for driving without an appropriate licence.
You will be liable for an infringement fee of NZ$400, or up to NZ$1,000 if you are convicted in court.
The police have the power to forbid an unlicensed driver to drive until they have an appropriate licence. If you continue to drive after being forbidden, the vehicle you are driving will be impounded for 28 days, at the vehicle owner’s expense. You may also risk not being covered by your insurance in the event of a crash.
Renew your driver licence
For most people, your driver licence is valid for 10 years. The NZTA will send you a renewal reminder letter about 8 weeks before your photo driver licence is due to expire (if they have your current address).
※You are required to present your passport if your nationality is other than New Zealand.
- 1. New Zealand driver’s licence (Full licence)
- 2. Your country’s driver’s licence written in English (Full licence)
- 3. Your country’s driver’s licence written in NON-English (Full licence)
+ International Driving Permit issued in accordance to United Nations Convention
- 4. Your contry’s driver’s licence written in NON-English (Full licence) + Official English translation of your driver’s licence