Drivers Licences: What you need

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I was too wound up yesterday to write this post – we had the most frustrating day and if I’d put my fingers to the keys I would have spent the majority of the post fuming. Instead, with a day of reflection, I’m writing a simple guide on how to get a NZ driver’s licence without the hassle we faced.

To start with, check if your licence has an issue date on it – if you don’t you’ll need an extra form. This ISN’T highlighted anywhere and is what caused all our issues yesterday – I thought we were all prepared and instead needed to ring Australia, find out how to obtain the form, pay for the form, download it, go to a store to get it printed and then return to the AA to get finish everything off. The only highlight was finding the most amazing Japanese restaurant to eat at while we sorted everything out and enjoyed a fantastic repast.

Step 1: Is your licence from an Exempt Country? This post is written with holders of licences from exempt countries in mind (https://www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/new-residents-and-visitors/converting-to-nz-driver-licence/)

Step 2: Does your licence have a date of issue on it? If NOT (note this will be holders of a NSW licence) you need to get a statement of record from your relevant agency. In NSW this is called an Online Driving Record and you need to go to the service.nsw.gov.au website to order this – you pay $22 and then you have the ability to email it to yourself to print out. Do this because apparently it doesn’t stay on line for long and you’ll need to order it again if you ever need it in the future.

Please note that the NZ Government will NOT issue you with a licence if you don’t have an issue date on your licence or an approved form indicating when you first received your licence. No, they don’t spell this out on the website but I’m writing to them and will explain the need for this to be clearer.

Step 3: Get your identification colour photocopied – we used our drivers licences and passports. They need to see both the originals and the photocopies and will keep the photocopies. Also take a print out of your Issue Date information (as explained in Step 2) if you need this. They’ll keep that print out too.

Step 4: Find an Specialist Overseas Driver Licence Conversion Site. The standard AA outlets like in our little city don’t have the specialists to do the conversion so we needed to travel to Palmerston North. https://www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/new-residents-and-visitors/converting-to-nz-driver-licence/overseas-conversion-driver-licensing-agents/

Step 5: Fill out the application form and all other information found on this site: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/new-residents-and-visitors/converting-to-nz-driver-licence/overseas-conversion-driver-licensing-agents/

I hope your conversion is less stressful than ours! Do note, if you want to transfer a truck licence you’ll also need a medical certificate. You can also choose whether or not to include your address. The good news though is that it was much cheaper than a NSW licence – only $52.

If you do find yourself in Palmerston North though, take our recommendation and try out Haru on Broadway avenue. It was delicious and very fresh.

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