Red the dog drivers licence

Can I use my overseas drivers licence to hire a car in Australia?

We often get asked on our Facebook page and through our customer support line from overseas tourists as to whether we will or will not accept there drivers licence when renting a car with us. Short answer…. it really depends.

Just to give some background, laws and driving regulations differ from state to state for overseas drivers. The relevant road authorities in each state and territory provide information about driving with an overseas licence while visiting Australia and we suggest you check them out to be 100% sure you comply.

However to make things easier, we’ve stepped out our rental ID validation process that you can use to check to see if your licence will be accepted when renting a car here in Australia.

Step 1: Are you a temporary overseas visitor?

If you’re planning to stay for just a short period of less than 3 months, you can use your current overseas drivers licence when renting a car with Redspot (as long as it meets the below steps). If you are planning to stay a little longer, you will likely require to obtain a temporary overseas visitors licence from the state that you are residing in. This is more a road traffic authority requirement that a rental process requirement, but we like to look out for our customers rather then sending them into a potential fine or illegal driving act.

Step 2: Is your Licence written in English?

In order to rent a car from Redspot, you must have a English written overseas drivers licence. If you don’t; don’t freak out, all we need is a English translated document of your licence from your embassy or road traffic authority in your home country. Most will do these, and we see them come through a lot. We can then use this alongside your actual licence to complete the rental process.

Step 3: Is your drivers licence photo up to date?

Some countries don’t issue identification photos with there drivers licences (weird right?). Most countries do, but then there are some countries that issue drivers licences that never expire, meaning the photo of you when you are 17 is unlikely to look anything like you now that you are clearly now over 60. No matter what, we will need to identify you against a legal document that has your photo that looks like you and has your name on it. Whether this is your passport (easiest option), a credit card with your photo ID on it, or a government agency ID, as long as we can tell its you, we’ll accept it no problems.

Step 4: Is your drivers licence home address up to date?

Now this part is very important. Often people forget to update there licence details when they move. I’ve done it, we’ve all likely done it. And then there are some drivers licences that don’t actually display your home address at all.

In both these cases, we ask for a utilities bill/bank statement or something similar that clearly shows your full name as well as your current home mailing address. Without this, we have no way to send you any potential lost property you left in the car, as well as any traffic infringements that you might have incurred on your road trip.

Step 5: Am I allowed to drive this car?

If your drivers licence in your home country only allows you to drive a specific size vehicle, the same will apply in Australia. For example if your drivers licence only allows you to drive 4 cylinder vehicles back home, you are not going to be able to hire a 6 cylinder vehicle during your trip to Australia. If you do, your risking a potential hefty fine from local law enforcement offices if caught and may have to appear in court.

Unsure still?

At the end of the day, if you are still unsure, you are probably best just to organise an international drivers Permit (IDP). They are slightly larger than a passport, have also a multi-language translation of the drivers licence and is complete with your up to date photo ID, as well as other useful information. Its also honored as a valid drivers licence throughout most countries globally, so if you have the travel bug and plan to tick off many countries its probably a good asset to have.

These can be obtained at a cost from your countries road transportation authority or national auto club.

 Need a rental car?

Redspot Car Rentals is an Australian owned and operated car rental company with locations at airports and downtown throughout Australia. If you are looking for a great deal on a rental car, check our our car rental deals page or subscribe for future deals via our email newsletter subscription.

published December 9, 2014

115 thoughts on “Can I use my overseas drivers licence to hire a car in Australia?”

  1. Hi,

    I will just like to confirm international drivers license is not required for Singapore drivers license since it does include photo and details.

    Look forward to your confirmation. Thank you.

    Kind regrds,

    1. Hi Sydney,

      We don’t require an International drivers licence, as long as you can bring along with your Singapore drivers license a proof of your home address. A utilities bills clearly showing your current home address for example would be perfect.

      Kind regards
      Brad Aldcroft

  2. hi
    I just want to make sure if I can use the American driver licence to hire in Australia or not?

    Looking forward your reply.

    1. North American licences are not a problem. Some South American licences (especially those that aren’t in English) may require translation documents along with the main drivers licence. But if its a USA or Canadian licence, no problems whatsoever.

  3. Hi ,

    I have an International driving permit, Hong Kong passport and am currently holding a full license of Hong Kong and I have a local address in Melbourne. However, I am an international student who is holding a student visa and it will cease in less than three months. Does it mean that I can hire a car by presenting these four documents only with no any further required documents?

    Kind Regards,

  4. Hello.
    If I bring my Brazilian drivers license along with a certified translation, would it be ok for proof of the permission to drive?
    as for the billing address, I understand I don’t have to translate anything, right, just bring a billing for a credit card, for example, will solve the issue if it has my home address on it?

    1. Hi Thais,

      Your Brazilian drivers license with a certified translation would be fantastic, and yes with this, you would have permission to drive. With the billing address, don’t need to translate, just have your current home mailing address on it.

  5. Hi Brad, will like to ask if my malaysian license with both malay and english license is sufficient for car rental?
    Do i need to prepare international car license?

    1. Hi Yani, yes you can, as long as it is in English, and has you current photo identification.
      We will also require your home address, so if it is not on your licence, please ensure you bring with you proof of home address i.e. utilities bill.

  6. Hi, I am currently on a New Zealand Restricted DL.. Am I still able to hire a car? Are there any specific conditions that need to be met?I will be travelling on my own. Thank you

  7. Hi!
    We are going to rent a car in Perth for two weeks, we got three Italians driving licenses with photo and address updated, but unfortunately they’re not in English.
    We never had problems before in different parts of the world, but now I have this big doubt!
    Can we rent a Redspot car with this kind of document?
    Thanks for your answer!

    1. Hi Margherita,
      That should be fine as we will except all drivers licences with a alphabetic language that our staff will be able to interpret and extract data from. Its only when its in a different writing system such as Mandarin that we will need a translation for.
      Hope that helps.


      1. Hey Brad,

        I assume that this also applies for spanish driving licences then? :)

        It’s a standard EU licence. Barely any text on it. It has the issue date, expiry date and list of vehicles I can drive…

  8. ‘Hi, I would like to ask that if I’m holding Malaysian driving license and doesn’t translate my driving license, is it possible to rent a car? Any requirement to rent a car?
    Thanks. :)

    1. Hi Mandy,

      As Malaysian drivers licences are in the alphabet writing system we are able to interpret it. Please be aware though, if your licence does not have your current home mailing address on it, we will require a official document that shows your name as well as your home address on it as proof.

      Hope that helps

  9. Hi there
    I am Irish and will be holidaying in Australia in November.
    I have just passed my test 1 month ago and now have a full license.
    Is there any restrictions for me renting a car. I left an enquiry about it and they informed that it was only a requirement to hold a provisional license for at least 12 months not a full license.


    1. Hi Elaine,

      Unfortunately we require at least a 12 month driving history for anyone wishing to drive our rental cars. Our provisional licences here in Australia is regarded as a full licence to an extent. We also have a ‘learners licence’ which in some countries are considered the provisional licence. Sorry its a bit confusing. Long story short, you must have a licence that allows you to drive on the road without someone ‘monitoring you’ for at least 12 months before you can rent a rental car from Redspot. I hope that helps, and clarifies a bit of the confusion. Let me know if you have any further questions.


  10. Hi,
    I am Indian National, currently residing in Dubai now recently received Australian PR in QLD. I am holding both Indian and Dubai driving licences, both are in English and printed with my Photo.

    Now does it required to go for International driving permit or my Dubai or India licences are enough to rent a car? I am planning to stay for 15 days in this visit

  11. hi’
    I am holding Malaysian drivind license but my license got show out “Motor Car unladen weight not exceeding 3500kg”
    so may l to know if possible rent a 6 person Campervan Apollo Euro Deluxe in Perth for 6days for my holiday


  12. Hi,

    I am holding a Malaysian driving license, which the license doesn’t particularly written in English. However, it clearly stated with the name and address from my home country.
    Do I need to get translate document?
    With this, do I still be able to rent a car from Redspot?


    1. Hi Mandy,
      That should be fine. As long as we can interpret your name, home address and date of birth, as well as clearly identify your photo ID on the licence it will be acceptable.


  13. Hi,
    I’m holding a vehicle license of China with every items English translated,but the contents of each item are written in Chinese . Can I use that for car rental? Should I translate it with a template by myself?


    1. Hi Nora,
      Most licences from the Peoples Republic of China will require an official translated document in English in order to hire a car here in Australia. The translation document will need to come directly from your government embassy (if you are already in Australia) or your road traffic authority in your home country. Unfortunately we wont be able to accept a translation you have done yourself.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Hi Brad,

        I happened to notice that you have replied before about China driver license, it’ s said that Natti translation plus will be accepted , right?


  14. Hi Brad

    I am travelling to Sydney as tourist for about 5 days in Oct. and am having an Indian Driving Licence with necessary Photo ID and full address Proof. My Indian Driving License is valid since last more than 12 months. I want to know if I would need an International driving license to rent a car from You.

    I also want to know that my driving license authorises me to drive LMV(Light Motor Vihicles) throughout India means all types of cars and SUV but No of cylinders not at all mentioned. Can I rent a car without a problem for 5 days from Redspot.


    Sanjay Sinha

    1. Hi Sanjay,

      In regards to your Indian driver’s licence requiring an International licence, we would only need this if your Indian licence isnt in English, and doesn’t have a photo ID. We would also need to have your home postal address, either on your licence, or on another official document.

      Also, your LMV licence will allow you to hire any of our rental vehicles in our fleet. Its only if your hire trucks or large buses where you would need a higher hierarchy licence.
      Hope that helps.

  15. Hi, may I ask if your company will require 12 months of driving experience from provisional license or 12 months of driving experience from full license?

  16. Hi
    I have the international driving license with me but I forgot to bring my home country driving license, can I still rent the car in Melbourne?

      1. Actually I was rejected by the staff at airport branch and they said that I must provide home country license. Is there anyone can help me on this?

        1. I mean, if International Driving Permit is enough to rent the car, I would like to rent the car, and I would like to see who should I contact with at Melbourne CBD branch

    1. Hi Eric,
      You age is fine, and being a probationary licence holder isn’t an issue either. One problem may be if you haven’t had 12 months driving history on the probationary or full licence? We require this.
      Hope that helps.

  17. Hi,
    I’m from New Zealand and have only just recently got
    My full licence. Will I be able to hire a car from red spot?


        1. Hi Brad, In nz we have the learners, Restricted and then full licence. Restricted licence is when you can drive unaccompanied and you can’t get your full licence until you’ve held this licence for 18 months.

  18. Hey! I am coming to Australia and waging to hire a car for 2 days. I have a full Dubai license and also a full Australian license too although I only have a photo copy of the Aussie license! Is this going to be a problem? As I have few hours in Australia I want to make sure I will not have any issues renting a car from syd airport! Cheers

    1. Hi Leigh,
      We can accept the Dubai driving licence, but couldn’t accept a photocopy of the Australian licence, as we can’t ensure its authenticity. Regarding your Dubai licence, if it doesn’t display your currently home address, we will need another document that does display this. A utilities bill for example would be suffice.

      Hope that helps

  19. Hi, I’m holding Malaysian driving licence which has both Malay and English showing my name, address and driving car class with explanation. Does it suffice to rent a normal sedan and drive on Australian roads? We will drive from Sydney to Canberra.

  20. Hi,

    I am from Singapore and i will be 21 in December and i have passed my driving in April 2015. Having a p-plate now while driving. Am i able to drive a rented car in December 2015 if i have a adult with a full license and more than 1 year of experience?

    Thank You.

    1. Hi Jan, thanks for contacting us. Yes you can hire a car with us. As you are between 21-24 years old and a provisional driver license holder, there is a young age surcharge and a provisional license fee payable. Both of which are available to quote via this website.
      Hope that helps.

  21. Hello, I had about 10 years driving history in USA, but my US driver license expired. My Singapore provisional license is less than 12 months. Can I rent a car from you? If so, do I need to pay the provisional license fee?

  22. Hi! What about the dutch license? It does say driving license in english,
    Further it just has my data on it. On the back in dutch it has an explanation for the number like, 1=name in dutch, 2= date of birth..


    1. Hi Wendelien,

      That will be fine. Its really as long as its the Alphabet writing system, of which our staff can interpret into English, no matter what language. Its when its in Mandarin or Hangul (Korean alphabet) where it is very hard to translate that we would need a translation document also.

      Hope that helps.

  23. Hi there,
    I wanted to rent a car in Australia from next week on but I got a German driver licence. It says “Fuehrerschein” instead of driver licence. I already booked a car with redspot via Should I cancel my booking?

    Best regards,


    1. Hi Dominick. Not a all. We have German licences come through on a daily basis and all our staff are well aware on what is what, so it won’t be an issue interpreting.
      Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.


  24. Hiya,

    I have full 1 part paper Irish driving License that has both Irish and English Languages inside it Is this OK to use? It has my address on it. Just wanted to make sure before I book,Do you require any additional info?

  25. Hi, I’m English (& so is my license!!)
    Didn’t foresee needing to rent a car but now I do and only have my license with me, not the counterpart paper document. Is the card license acceptable to rent a car or would I need the paper counterpart too?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thats not a problem at all. If your licence doesn’t have a photo id (some don’t) just bring your passport with you as well. Other than that, won’t be a problem.

  26. Hi there

    I am from Ireland and have had my full licence since April last year but held my learner permit for 2 years previous. I will be looking to rent a car in Feb (2 months before my full licence will be a year old). I am also 25. Am I able to rent a car or would I be able to pay a surcharge for my licence?


    1. Hi Rebecca,

      We only require at least 1 years of driving history on your provisional licence (pre-full licence). So the fact that you’ve had it for at least 2 years means you won’t have any issue renting a car from us. Hope that helps.


  27. Hi,

    I have a Singapore Driving license but I obtain my license only a few months ago ( Not one year yet). Can I rent a car in Australia?

    Thank You

  28. Hi Brad,

    After reading all the Q&As I haven’t really found the most suitable answer. Hopefully it is straight forward enough :)

    I have a driving license issued by Poland authority (EU official and acceptable format but Polish language and also Polish address) and a Polish passport. My nationality is Polish.

    However, for since this year I have lived in England. Therefore, my credit card statements mention UK address. And the English credit card is the one I wish to use to handle reservation matters with.

    Is this all ok with RedSpot? I really don’t want to face any admin issues while collecting a car.


    1. Hi Karol,

      That won’t be a problem. What you will need to do, is bring with your your Polish drivers licence, but also a copy of your credit card statement (or some kind of utilities bills) that shows your current home mailing address. The staff can use this to update your rental agreement. Hope that helps.


  29. Hi,

    If I had gotten my Singapore driving license on Nov 2015 and my age is >25+, can I rent a car with provisional license fee payable?

    If not, can I supplement with my military class 3 licence which was issue in 2007? If yes, do I bring two licenses for collection?

    1. Hi J,

      We require at least the last 12 months driving history with a drivers licence that has the record of the car class you are intending to hire. So, on a Singapore licence, class 3 (Motor cars) would be required on your Military licence. Hope that helps.


  30. Can I take an Australian driving test to gain license to drive on a travelling visa as I don’t have a license in my home country, England

    1. Hi Ben, unless you have Australian citizenship, you can’t take a driving test and get an Australian licence. You will need to sit a driving test in a country you are a citizen of, and have at least 12 months consecutive driving history on the licence before you can hire a rental vehicle from us.

      Hope that helps.

  31. hi
    in France, the regular B driving license limits to 9 seats. In Australia it, equivalent license looks to be 12 seats.
    can i rent a 12 seats car ?

    1. Hi Zoeller,
      Normally not a problem, as you just need a normal drivers licence to drive a 12 seater bus. However, we don’t actually have these on fleet to rent.
      Let us know if we can help with any other type of vehicle.


  32. Hi,
    I’m Malaysian student who will be studying in Perth for 2 years. With Malaysian driver license and student visa, am I limited to 3 months drive? And after 3 months, I’ll have to apply for Australia driver license?

    Thanks. Cheers.

  33. Hi,

    I just want to get this absolutely straight and clear.
    Its regarding the same situation that was asked by one of the user above, Karol Lewandowski

    My question would be that instead of a Polish driver license, mine is a Malaysian driver license and that I’m currently in New Zealand. My nationality is Malaysian.(Malaysian license now has English translation as well)

    There shouldn’t be any differences or restriction to different country’s license in your car renting policy right?

    1. We don’t restrict based on country of origin. The only restrictions are based on the licence you attend to hire the car with. If its a provisional licence in the country it was issued, then there would be a provisional licence fee. If the licence restricted you to drive only certain type of vehicles, then the same would apply here in Australia.

      Hope that helps.


  34. Hi Brad, I have a Hong Kong full driver licence of less than a year, could I hire a car in Tasmania? And what other documents do I need to provide (if any)?
    Many thanks!

  35. Hi Redspot Car rental,

    I was wondering if it is possible to rent a car from your company when your from oversees and got a drivers license less then a year but are 26 years old.
    Besides that I would like to ask if there are any extra fees that come with the car rental in this particular situation.
    Thanks in advance.


    1. Hi Anouk,

      No problems renting a car with an overseas drivers licence, however you will need to have at least 12 months of full licence driving history, so in your case you wouldn’t be able to rent a car. You age isn’t an issue, as there are no fees for 25+ year olds, however again need to have at least 12 months full driving history up to the point of hire.

      Kind regards

  36. Hi,
    I’m an international student and have Indonesian driver license. It is not in English but there is photo on it and “Driver License” writings on top of it.
    Do I still need international driving license for that or can I just use my Indonesian driver license to rent a car?


    1. Hi Virginia,

      We do require either an international driver’s licence, or an English interpretation document from your road transport authority so we can read and extract the necessary information during the rental contract process.


  37. Hi. I’m more than 25yo and I’m a holder of a Malaysia P- driving license with less than a year.
    Am I allowed to rent a car in Australia?
    If not, will I be allowed later, once I have more than 12-months experience?

    1. Hi Ridzuan,

      Unfortunately we do require at least 12months full drivers licence experience before you can rent a car with Redspot. Once you have more than 12 months experience you will be able to rent a car from us.


      1. Hi Brad. Thanks for the reply.
        Let me understand this correctly, 12-months experience is irregardless of P-License or full driving license. is this correct?

  38. Hi there,

    Quick question. I am on my P1 License NSW, am over 25 years but have recently been suspended for three months for demerit points. I will however be able to drive shortly, and before I plan to rent. Will being suspended in the past affect me being able to rent a car in QLD. Also I will be able to get my P2 License before I book also, will this effect me rent also as I will not have held my P2 for over 12months?

    Thanks in advance

  39. I have a valid Pakistan driving license. Can I hire and drive a car in Adelaide?

    My wife has a Dubai (United Arab Emirates) driving license. Can she use that to drive in Adelaide?

    1. Hi Aftab,
      As long as you both have a valid driving licence for more than 12 months that won’t be a problem at all. We will require however an English translation of both your licenses.

      Any questions let us know.

  40. Hi !
    I have a french driving lincence and no time to translate it before my trip. Is it a problem to rent with your company ?


    1. Hi there,

      Normally we require an English translated document, however we have a number of staff that speak and can interpret French, so I don’t believe this will be an issue.
      If you know which location you are collecting from, I can confirm with the branch that there will be someone bilingual available at time of collection?


  41. Hi,

    I’m holding Iran driver license with Australia NAATI translate. Can I use that for car rental?

    Thank you in advance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>