Can You Drive with a Chinese Driver’s License in Australia?

When you visit Australia you may choose to rent, borrow or buy a vehicle to get to know the country better. However, there are a few rules to follow when driving with a Chinese driver’s license that may not apply to other foreign drivers.

Keep in mind that if you are found driving without the correct license, you will get into trouble, or at the very least, have your driving privileges suspended. That being said, you should note that each of the Australian States specific laws, so there will be different laws that apply to each state. In general, though, Australia allows you to drive with a foreign driver’s license so long as a driver’s license is it in English.


Chinese License in Australia

if your driver’s license is in Chinese, you may use it if you get a certified translation of your license information before leaving China. It is best done through an accredited translation service. You can obtain this from an accredited translation service online.


Another option is to get an international driver’s permit before you leave your native country. An international Drivers permit in English and allows you to drive in foreign countries.


Despite being able to drive in most of Australia with an international permit or translated driver’s license, you do want to look at the state requirements for the city you plan on visiting. Here is a general list.

New South Wales

If you become an Australian resident or hold a permanent Visa and intend on living in New South Wales, the state does not think of you as a visitor, and you should apply for a license in this state.


That being said, you can drive in New South Wales on a current overseas license for three months. After which, you will need to apply for a local license to continue driving.


If you do not have residency status, but plan to be in the state for more than three months, you can apply for a temporary visitor license.

Whatever the case, keep in mind that a Chinese driver’s license must have an official translation into English, or you must carry an international driving permit.



If you hold a permanent visa, you may drive on your overseas driver’s license. However, it must be translated into English. You may also use an international driving permit for up to 6 months from the day you first enter Australia.


If you need to continue driving after this time, you need to apply for a driver’s license from the state of Victoria. If your overseas driver’s license has expired, you can take the Australian driver’s test and will not have to hold the familiar learner’s permit first.

If your Visa is temporary, you will not be required to get a Victorian driver’s license.



You may drive in Queensland for up to three months after having arrived in Australia, providing your license is officially translated into English, or you hold an international driver’s permit.


Western Australia

Western Australia authorized to drive any vehicle you qualify for on your local license for as long as it remains valid. However, your license must have a valid translation (see 驾照翻译 ) or you must have an international driver’s permit in English.



South Australia

If visiting South Australia, you can drive in South Australia. You need a current license issued in your country but translated or written in English. if this is not possible, you need an international driver’s license that you can obtain online



Key Takeaway

if your Chinese license is not in English, you need to get an international driving permit or an official English translation of your current Chinese license. You must carry the translation with you at all times when you drive anywhere in Australia.

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