Using a Chinese Driver’s License in Australia

If you are a Chinese citizen who recently visited Australia for business or pleasure, you might be wondering how to start driving legally. It is possible to visit various tourist attraction sites using public transport, but you may want the convenience and comfort conveyed by a personal car. There are two major ways to start driving in Australia if you have a Chinese driver’s license.


Have a NAATI Translator to Translate Your Driver’s License


Translating your Chinese driver’s license is the easiest way to start driving legally in Australia. Of course, the license must be valid and not be expired. Translators have no power to correct negated documents, and you may have to consult traffic authorities for such services.


Once you are ready to have your document translated, be sure to hire a NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) accredited professional. NAATI is a recognized organization mandated to maintain a high quality of 驾照翻译 and interpretation services. Thus, if their certified expert offers their service to you, the Australian government will classify your translated Chinese driver’s license as legal.


Note that using a translated version of your driver’s license may only be available to temporary visa holders. Non-permanent residents may also use NAATI translated documents. If you plan on staying in Australia’s Northern Territory for more than three months, you will have to look at an option discussed later in this article.


Possess an International Driver’s License (IDL)


If you have an international driver’s license, you can drive as easily in Australia as you do in your home country. However, Chinese citizens may have a problem given that China is not an FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) member. Thus, its government fails to recognize IDLs.


Some Chinese citizens prefer applying for a Hong Kong driver’s license and use that to obtain an IDL. As you might imagine, the process is long, relatively costly, and unfavorable to people visiting Australia for less than three months.


Other Options


As mentioned, the Northern Territory requires foreign drivers to use translated licenses for up to three months. After the period, one must obtain an Australian driver’s license. Depending on your state of residence, you might have to attend a driving school. The same applies to persons in possession of a permanent residence visa for longer than three months.


Remember to carry your driver’s license, its translated version, and a visa at all times to avoid trouble with traffic authorities. If you feel that driving in Australia is awkward due to unfamiliar infrastructure and rules, be sure to seek guidance from a qualified local driver. Undoubtedly, it would be best if you observed standard rules such as putting your seat-belt on and never driving under the influence.