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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 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 can still apply online, but it will take longer for us to process your application.

You'll need to provide certified copies of your evidence of identity. You'll also need to call us prior to making your application to pay the fee by credit card. 

The fee for replacing your driver licence is NZ$38.20. 

Apply for a replacement driver licence if you don't have a verified RealMe identity

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 classes 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, or +64 953 6270 if you're calling from overseas. You'll need to pay the fee of $11.10 by Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.

You'll 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, 84 KB]