If you are planning to rent a car in New Zealand, your driver licence will need to be printed in English. If your licence is in another language, you’ll also need to present an International Driving Permit, an official translation of your foreign licence. Both documents will need to be shown before the keys can be released to you.
If you have an International Driving Permit, there are still some important things you need to know before you pick up your car:
If a police officer catches you without a legal English translation of your licence, you may be prosecuted for driving without a valid licence. You may also have to pay an infringement fee.
The New Zealand police have the right to restrict you from driving until you acquire the required legal documents. If you drive again after being fined, your rental vehicle could be impounded, and you won’t be covered by your insurance if you’re involved in a crash.
You can use an accredited translation service approved by the New Zealand Transport Agency. For rental car in New Zealand, the driver licence translation will only be accepted if it is performed and approved by a National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) and signed by the translator.
Your chosen rental provider may also have their own exceptions, so it’s a good idea to contact them ahead of time to check if your driver licence or translation will be accepted in New Zealand.
Check out our page on licence requirements to learn more.