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Do you need an international drivers license to drive in New Zealand?

We asked the NZ Transport Agency: What License to hold for driving a car or campervan?

Whether you’re in New Zealand for a short time or you’re here to stay, you need to make a few preparations if you’re planning to drive while you’re here. In all cases, you need to bring your current driver licence from your home country. All our vehicles need is a B-licence (normal car-licence)

If the licence is not in English, you must carry an accurate English translation. Staying for more than one year? You’ll need to gain a New Zealand driver licence.


A translation of your overseas licence or permit can be issued by:

  • A translator approved by the NZ Transport Agency
  • A diplomatic representative at a high commission, embassy or consulate; or
  • The authority that issued your overseas licence (an international driving permit may be acceptable as a translation).

It is important to note that if you are caught driving without an acceptable English translation or an IDP, you may be prosecuted for driving unlicensed or for driving without an appropriate licence. An approved translator’s fee starts from NZ$200…  You will be liable for an infringement fee of NZ$400, or up to NZ$1,000 if you are convicted in court.

The police also have the power to forbid an unlicensed driver to drive until they have an appropriate licence. If you continue to drive after being forbidden, the vehicle you are driving will be impounded for 28 days, at the vehicle owner’s expense, reclaimed from the renter. You may also risk not being covered by your insurance in the event of a crash.

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