Most states allow a certain period where permanent arrivals to Australia may still use their overseas licence (usually around three months) provided that licence is still valid and current. However upon arrival it is advisable to make steps as soon as possible to obtain an Australian licence from the state department in which you will be residing.
You can also complete the registration requirements for ownership of a vehicle on your overseas licence or an international driver’s licence (in addition to other ID documents including your passport and some sort of proof of address).
Depending on the state and your country of origin, you may be required to take a test (eithe driving or theory or both) before you receive your new licence although, in 2002 most states agreed to offer a concession for citizens of the following countries:
Rule and regulations regarding driver’s licences vary from state to state but all work on the points system. Driving offences attract demerit points (and/or a fine) and for full licence holders, if that total (in a three year period) reaches 12 points your licence may be suspended.
Many states operate ‘double demerit’ periods (such as during public holidays when road traffic is heavier than usual) where points may be doubled for offences committed during this time.
For more information, visit the website of the licensing authority in your destination state.