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Kiwis driving overseas

Get an international driving permit to go with your driver licence

An international driving permit (IDP) is an internationally recognised translation of your current driver licence. It is not a licence in its own right, so you must also carry your New Zealand driver licence with you when driving.

Follow the process on the AA website to get an IDP(external link)

There is a limit for using your New Zealand driver licence and IDP

All countries have limits on how long you can use your New Zealand driver licence or IDP before you must get a local driver licence. In most countries, you’ll need to get a local licence if you are staying for over 12 months.

Contact the appropriate country’s driver licensing authority for details.

Renewing or replacing your New Zealand driver licence while overseas

You can’t renew or upgrade your driver licence from overseas.

But you can replace your driver licence if it has been lost, misplaced or stolen.

You can also get a replacement driver licence from overseas if your licence is due to expire, or has been expired for less than 12 months, and you want to extend the expiry date.

You can apply to extend the expiry date for 12 months from the original expiry date. This can only be done once: after that, you have to renew your licence in person.

How to get a replacement driver licence from overseas

If you have a RealMe verified identity you can apply for a replacement licence online and have the licence card sent to your overseas address.

Apply for a replacement driver licence card online using RealMe(external link)

If you don’t have a RealMe verified identity, you'll need to complete an application form and send it to our Palmerston North office.

The fee for replacing your driver licence from overseas is NZ$38.20. You can either include a cheque with your application, or pay by credit card.

You will also need to include evidence of your identity.

Download the application form [PDF, 193 KB]

Converting to an overseas driver licence

Once you have stayed in a country longer than the time limit, or you are moving to a country permanently, you may be able to convert your New Zealand driver licence to an overseas driver licence.

Contact the appropriate country’s driver licensing authority for details. If you haven’t left New Zealand yet, you could try contacting the country’s embassy for more information.

Find the embassy of the country you will be travelling to(external link)

You may need a certificate of particulars when converting to an overseas driver licence. This certificate is not a driver licence but will confirm:

  • the class(es) of licence you hold
  • the date your licence was issued
  • whether your licence is current.

How to apply for a certificate of particulars

You can apply for a certificate over the phone on 0800 822 422. You will need to pay the fee of $11.10 by credit card.

If you prefer to pay by cheque, you can send a request to:

NZ Transport Agency
Private Bag 11777
Palmerston North 4442
New Zealand.

You will need to provide:

  • your full name
  • your date of birth
  • your licence number
  • a contact phone number
  • an email address, postal address or fax number for the certificate to be sent to.

Download Factsheet 65: Overseas travel by New Zealand driver licence holders [PDF, 58 KB]