Can I use my overseas driving licence in New Zealand
Posted on 01/07/2018 by Spaceships Crew
Before you can start your road trip in New Zealand, there's one important question to answer. Can I use my driving licence in New Zealand? Or do I need an International Driver's Licence or a translation? Well, it all depends on where you are from. Check out the info below.
Oh and no matter where you're from or what kind of licence you have, drivers need to be at least 18 years of age to be able to drive a Spaceship in New Zealand.
Can I use my driving licence in New Zealand?
As a visitor in New Zealand, you can drive for up to 12 months from your arrival date with an overseas driving licence if you meet these criteria.
- your overseas licence or driver permit is current and valid, and
- you haven’t been given a disqualification or suspension in New Zealand, and
- you arrived in New Zealand less than 12 months ago, and
- your overseas driving licence is in English, or you have an accurate translation (like an International driving licence), and
- you haven’t been granted a New Zealand driver licence since you last entered New Zealand.
See for more info the New Zealand Transport Agency's website. To prepare for driving in New Zealand, make sure to check out the free Road Code test and to read all info & tips about driving in New Zealand.
UK drivers licence
If you hold a current UK drivers licence then yes you can drive in New Zealand for up to one year without needing to do anything else. You must carry your licence with you at all time while driving. If you are planning to stay in New Zealand for over one year you will need to apply for a New Zealand licence.
Australian drivers licence: full or provisional (P) licence
If you hold a current Australian drivers licence then you can drive in New Zealand for up to one year without needing to do anything else. You must carry your licence with you at all times while driving. If you are planning to stay in New Zealand for over one year you will need to apply for a New Zealand licence.
A restricted or provisional (P) licence can also be used to hire a Spaceship campervan in New Zealand. Provided you are at least 18 years of age and drive within the terms of your licence.
European driving licence
We need to be able to see that you have a valid driving licence and that it's not some library card you're showing us. Therefore the rules are simple:
- Does it say 'driving licence' (in English) on your European licence? Then you're good to go and you can drive off in your Spaceships campervan. See the photo of the Dutch driving licence to see what we mean.
- If your licence isn't in English then you need to bring an official translation or an International Driving Licence. More information can be found on the New Zealand Transport Agency's info page.
All other overseas driving licences
Make sure you have an English translation if your driving licence isn't in English.
Important info about your overseas driving licence
Please read the information below to make sure you have the correct documents when arriving at our depot to start your New Zealand road trip.
International Driving Licence? Bring original as well!
If you are travelling with an International Driving Licence you'll need to bring your original driving licence as well!!!! The International licence is mere an official translation of your driving licence, it isn't a driving licence by itself. Always bring your original driver's licence.
Can you help me to get a translation of my overseas licence?
Yes, we can. You can get an official translation of your overseas licence via Auckland Translations. They offer a 24-hours and 30-minutes translation service. It's easy to do it online yourself or have our crew do it when you're at our Auckland or Christchurch depot to pick up your campervan.
Can I drive a Spaceships campervan with my licence?
Spaceships campervans are like a good car to drive. Therefore anyone can drive one. And by anyone we mean:
- You're at least 18 years of age (yes, we do rent to under 21s without any extra costs)
- You have a valid driving licence that meets the official rules (in English or an official translation in English)
Take a look at the campervans you can hire with your driving licence.
Latest blog posts in Driving in New Zealand: how-to, tips & tricks
How to secure the cheapest Cook Strait ferry rate
To answer the question which part of New Zealand is more beautiful (North or South Island) you’ll need to cross Cook Strait by ferry. It’s just...
The easiest and cheapest Cook Strait crossing: Bluebridge ferry
If you want to explore as much of New Zealand as possible, you'll have to cross Cook Strait to go from the North to the South...
Campervan hire under 21: what do I need to know?
At Spaceships, we like to make your road trip through New Zealand as easy as possible. Anyone (with a valid driving licence) can hire our campervans....
10 easy tips that will make driving in New Zealand safer
Driving in New Zealand isn't that different from driving in your home country. As long as you stick to the rules and remember the most important...