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NSW Permanent Residency - Can He Use His International Drivers Licence?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Hung, 18 February 2016.

  1. Hung

    Hung Member

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    Hello,

    My friend was granted permanent residency in Australia in October 2014, and activated the visa in December 2014, and bought a house in April 2015 in NSW where his wife and kid are currently living. He's still working overseas but has made a few trips to Australia to visit his family, with total time spent in NSW of 50 days. In the next visit to NSW planned in March, can he still drive on his international drivers licence or does he have to obtain a NSW drivers licence?

    Thanks
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    I would say that, as a PR, no matter where he spends most of his time for work,
    "where he lives" for the purposes of a drivers licence is in NSW.

    International visitors get to drive with International Licences for up to three months.
    But a PR who spends extended periods outside Australia for work
    doesn't get to "double dip" that three months each time he comes home to Australia.

    As to practicalities - because it is quite likely that your average policeman
    won't understand the subtleties of his situation, if he comes to notice of police
    (eg for speeding, being in an accident, or by being stopped for RBT),
    then your friend might well be given an infringement for Drive While Unlicensed.
    I would, therefore, recommend that he obtain a NSW Drivers Licence at the earliest opportunity.
     
  3. Hung

    Hung Member

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    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for your insightful reply. I was doing a little research in the meantime and found the below quote in NSW Legislation (clause 99). Based on the quote, is it correct that by law if he hasn't lived in NSW for a continuos block of 3 months he is still authorised to use his international licence?

    Quote:
    "ROAD TRANSPORT (DRIVER LICENSING) REGULATION 2008 – REG 99
    Interstate and international visitors

    4) A visiting driver ceases to be exempt under this clause from NSW driver licence holding requirements if any of the following happens:

    a) in the case of a visiting driver who is the holder of an Australian driver licence or learner licence or New Zealand driver licence or learner licence-the driver has resided in this State for a continuous period of more than 3 months, unless the driver also holds a valid Driver Identification Document issued by the Department of Defence of the Commo
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Not the way you think.
    What I am saying is that no matter where he works, he resides (has his permanent home) in NSW.
    That he comes and goes from it for extended, but temporary, periods, does not mean he resides in Vietnam.
    In that sense, he's no different to a FIFO miner who lives in Sydney but works away from home in the Pilbara for weeks at a time.

    So no, he doesn't get a new three months every time he comes back.
     
  5. Hung

    Hung Member

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    Ah it's much clearer after you explain it.
    One last question just to completely understand the law: is his authority to drive in NSW on international license withdrawn in March 2015 (3 months after visa activation) or when the total time he is physically in Australia adds up to 3 months?

    Thanks
    Good night
     

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