Here is some of what the RTA says on its website:
“Driving as a permanent resident
If you hold a permanent resident visa under the Commonwealth Migration Act 1958, you are not a temporary overseas visiting driver.
You are allowed to drive or ride in NSW on your current overseas licence for a maximum of three months after arriving in Australia.
To drive with your current overseas licence during the three-month period, you must not be disqualified from driving or riding and your licence must not be suspended or cancelled.
You must get (not just apply for) a NSW licence within this three- month period if you wish to continue to drive or ride in NSW. If your overseas licence is not in English, you must also carry your International Driving Permit or an English translation with your licence when driving.
How do I get a NSW licence?
You must be aged 17 years or over to get a NSW driver licence.
- If you hold an overseas licence to drive or ride (including a learner licence) and want to get a NSW licence, you must go to an RTA motor registry and: If your licence is in English, present your original overseas licence.
- Photocopies or scanned copies will not be accepted.
- If your overseas licence is not written in English, present your overseas licence and an official translation from the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW.
- The RTA also accepts translations obtained from the fee-free translation service provided by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).”
This is where you must be careful, because the RTA says you need an “official translation from the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW”. The Community Relations Commission (or CRC) is a NSW government department that has its own translation and interpreting bureau, called the CRC Language Services Unit.
Visit http://www.crc.nsw.gov.au/services/language_services or call 1300 651 500 within Australia. Interpreter assistance is available.