Driving Interstate: What You Need To Know
For learner drivers from a state or country outside of New South Wales, there are some things to note depending on whether or not they have a provisional licence, full licence, international driving permit, or heavy vehicle licence.
Those travelling interstate or completing a road trip with a learner licence may continue to learn to drive in NSW. These learner drivers must be supervised at all times by someone holding a full Australian driver licence of class C or higher.
L plates must be displayed at the front and rear exterior of the car when driving, and the letter “L” on the plate must be visible.
Learner drivers or pre-learner drivers may not tow any other vehicle, and are not allowed to have any blood alcohol concentration. They may also not drive under any drug influences. Further, they cannot supervise another learner driver.
Visiting learner drivers and international drivers may only carry the number of passengers that can be properly seated and restrained by seat belts, and they may only drive vehicles that have a seat belt in the driver’s seat.
Finally, they must not use a mobile phone at all while driving – even hands-free devices for Learners, P1 and P2 drivers..
It’s necessary to follow these rules and be familiar with the riders handbook and other safety tips while driving in NSW, even if they’re not the same as in your home country or state. Further, you must also comply with other conditions that are applied to your licence by the licensing authority that issued you your licence.
The failure to keep up with this can result in penalties including the immediate suspension of your driver’s licence.
Interstate or overseas learners must not drive any faster than the posted speed limit. Demerit points and penalties will apply to those learner drivers who commit an offence in New South Wales.
If you are a provisional licence holder who is visiting from another state or country, there are also rules that you must comply with – however, these rules are usually those that have to do with the state or country that issued the licence.
NSW Police will enforce the licence requirements that are applied to your current licence. This means that drivers must comply with licence conditions issued in their state, no matter what state you may be driving in. If your licence was issued without conditions that prohibit something like the use of a mobile phone, you can continue to use your phone without being penalised by the police.
If you hold an overseas licence, you may drive vehicles covered by your licence in New South Wales indefinitely. However, this only applies if you remain a temporary overseas visitor, your overseas licence remains current, and you haven’t been disqualified from driving in NSW.
Further, you cannot have had your licence suspended or cancelled or have your driving privileges withdrawn in order to continue driving in NSW.
You don’t have to get a NSW licence if you comply with these conditions and can prove your visitor status if you’re asked to do so.
However, you can apply for a NSW licence as a temporary overseas visitor, if you would like! This process means that your licence will show the letter “Q” in the conditions area of the card. You may be exempt from this if you’ve previously been issued a NSW licence, are transferring a licence from another Australian state or territory, or you’re a New Zealand citizen or licence holder.
Though there are a number of rules and regulations surrounding your ability to drive in NSW, as long as you stay aware of these regulations and your status as a temporary visitor, you should have no problems with road rules and road safety while driving in NSW!
To practise learning to drive in high speed conditions similar to a road trip, LTrent offers a unique Open Road Session.