I have been putting off getting a New Zealand drivers licence since I moved here. My New York licence was still valid here and I was allowed to use it legally for a year after moving here so there really was no rush. However, when I was filling out a form for my residency a few weeks ago, I noticed that I actually had been here a year. I couldn’t put it off any longer.

This was more of an annoyance than anything else, I thought. Now I would have to take a test – probably just a written test but a test nonetheless. Although the only real major difference is the fact that we’re driving on different sides of the road, New Zealand road tests have other questions that I’m not used to at all. For example, New York written tests never have the need for questions about what to do when there is livestock on the road. What would you do if you come to a random cow crossing, for instance? Now I’d have to read the manual. I’d actually have to study for something. That’s what my students have to do – not me! I haven’t had to study for a test in 10 years!

Would you pass a New Zealand road code test?
Take a practice test!

I went to town to get the manual and see what I actually had to do to achieve the goal of obtaining a valid licence. The results were hilarious. Since I’m from an exempt overseas country, this was the process:

1. Present your valid and non expired drivers licence.
2. Present us your valid passport.
3. Present proof of residence in New Zealand.
4. Pay the fee.

I went back the next day with my New York drivers licence, my passport, a random bank statement, and paid them and they took my picture and mailed me a licence. It came yesterday, almost exactly a week later. I can’t believe I put THAT off for a year.

Comments on this post

  • That explains why so many people who can’t drive get licences here in NZ. In saying that I’m not a best driver, and I have a licence too. :L

    Your lucky that you’re photo is a nice photo! I’m kind of jelous! Both my student ID and my drivers licence are terrible. :( You luck girl, you!

    • Wait, what? It was so easy for me because I already had a valid licence – it was just from another country. New Zealanders still have to pass the tests. I definitely lucked out with the photo.

  • HOW do you look like that on your ID photo? HOW?! I thought it was a universal rule to look like a serial killer on drugs — I know I do, on *all* my ID photos. o.O

    • I do not even KNOW. I think I look worse every day in the mirror. It’s a freaking MIRACLE, that one.

  • Talk about ridiculously easy… I wish stuff here in the US was as easy! :)

  • What DO you do if you come across random livestock on the road? I’m guessing . . . stop!?! ~ Congratulations on getting your NZ license. Great photo!

  • I got 9/10. Most of it was common sense/no different than how things are here, except for the last one, which is something you just have to know when you’re in New Zealand. :P We don’t have a warrant of fitness thing that we have to display in our car.

  • Hahaha, that’s hilarious. In Ontario the process takes like 2+ years, it’s crazy.

    And, man, not only was that totally painless for you, your photo looks great!

    • Hahahah I pressed enter too early after spelling my name wrong. Go me.

    • Whoa. That’s ridiculous! I’m glad it was so easy here because I’m super lazy. I really did luck out with my photo.

  • I moved to Washington state from Canada and I was so happy to learn that my driver’s license was exchangeable with no tests for a Washington one! The only province you can do that with is British Columbia. The lady at the DMV didn’t really seem to know that was the case, so it took some convincing, but I did walk away with a shiny new Washington state driver’s license in the end after just paying her some cash and taking no tests :D I think I used a utility bill to show my residence.

  • Haha, that stuff happens to me all the time! I’m always procrastinating on things that turn out to be simple.

    It’s really cool that you have a license in two different countries :)

    • Thanks! Yeah, I’m the worst at procrastinating. Then when I finally get around to it, I say to myself Ugh that was way easier than I thought – why didn’t I do that before?!

  • Hahaha that was too simple, you didn’t even have to write a test! I would have thought the same as you though. Well congrats on the 2 licenses.

  • I got 8/10 on the quiz – the painted white diamonds mean different things here in Canada! Here it’s a sign that it’s a HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane, not approaching a pedestrian crossing.

    Congratulations on getting your NZ license ;) What would the process have been like if you DIDN’T already have an overseas driver’s license?

    • If I didn’t have a licence at all, I would have had to take a written test as well as a road test as far as I am aware. Don’t quote me on that one, though. I know that there is definitely a practical road test to receive a full licence.

  • I’ve been putting off getting my license in general since I usually am able to walk or take the bus anywhere I need to go. I need to buckle down and get it though so i have more job options xD
    That’s awesome it was that simple! You would think that doing that in a different country would be difficult but I guess not xD
    Congrats on getting it though! ^^

    • If you live some place that has good public transportation then there really is not a lot of need, I think. Here, there really is no transport since I live in a pretty rural area in the middle of nowhere.

  • Congrats on getting your NZ drivers license, I would have done the exact same thing of studying for it just in case. I’m jealous that you were able to smile in your picture, we aren’t allowed.

  • Well, I got 6/10 on the first one and 9/10 the second time lol. I remember the process just getting a new licence in a new province here in Canada. Apparently our other province license does not count as proof I’m allowed to live in the country… so I had to go home (after waiitng in line for over an hour) and go back with my passport too. Just silly! That is a great picture btw…mine is horrible! lol

    • I know I definitely lucked out with my picture! That is pretty crazy that your other license doesn’t count! Good luck getting yours too!

  • yay glad it was easy to do :)

  • Wow, that was pretty easy to do! I moved from FL to IN 2.5 years ago and have yet to get an IN license. I imagine it’s much of the same but I just haven’t had the time! My FL license doesn’t expire until 2015 so at least I have time ;)

  • Since Shaq will retire before Kobe, the Lakers should retire Kobe’s #8 jersey, followed by Sh#q&a8217;s. When Kobe’s playing days are over, then you put #24 on the rafters.

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