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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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  • 1 Post By Rusty Bones RTW

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Old 20 Feb 2024
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Urgent help with (NSW) riders licences issues

In 2021, both my wife & I applied to renew our NSW Drivers/Riders Licenses utilising the Photo Kit application process as both myself & my wife were overseas travelling on motorbikes.

At the time we were not able to return to Australia as the World had been turned on its head with the outbreak of Covid-19 and the Australian Federal Government had closed all of Australia's borders.

Australia closed its borders in March 2020 (some 12 months before my license was due and 19 months before my wife's was due)

Also returning to renew our NSW driver's license when they were due was not a condition allowable for a return to Australia under the Federal Government rules & regulations at the time.

We were aware there is leniency allowing for a renewal (up to 5 years after expiry) however, this was not suitable for our situation as we still required a current license while overseas, part of our conditions requiring a current rider's license to comply with both international driver licensing law & insurance requirements.

We were left with no other option but to renew both of our Driver/Riders licenses via the Photo Kit option otherwise, we would have been unlicensed and uninsured in a foreign Country.

In September of 2022 upon our eventual return to Australia, we attended an RMS office and spoke with staff there concerning trying to renew our licenses ahead of their actual expiry as we had planned on further overseas motorcycle adventures.

We were duly informed this could not be achieved as we could only renew them 6 months before their expiration. We did however undergo our eyesight test at the time and a notation was placed on our licences as to this.

We again left Australia for further motorcycle travel throughout Asia and to date have returned to Australia sporadically as we are continuing this motorcycle adventure.


With the history of our situation mentioned above, it leads me to our current problem.

At present we are continuing to make our way throughout Asia, however, as time here is getting closer to an end, we are now in the planning stage for another overseas adventure, however, this trip is planned for the other side of the World in South America, Central America & North America.

The planned duration of this trip is estimated to be at least 3 - 4 years starting in August 2025, some 18 months away.

It is being undertaken at this time of the year to allow for the most favourable weather conditions abroad & to facilitate all the fundamental required planning for such a large motorcycle trip, such as the purchase of motorcycles, Visa applications, TIPS (Temporary Import Permits), Vaccinations, allowed time within Countries and of course our mandatory licenses.

The problem/situation is my license expires on the 6th of March 2026, and my wife's expires 7 months later the 20th of October 2026 while we are intending to be in parts of South America. We DO NOT wish to fly halfway around the World & then sit in Sydney for 4 weeks so we both can meet the 6-month rule, simply to renew our rider's licences.

I must emphasize we cannot undertake this kind of travel without valid licenses and proper insurance coverage. Also, we require a current license to obtain our IDP (International Drivers Permits) from the NRMA (NSW) who allow this process via an online service.

Unfortunately, transport for NSW policy is only ONE licence renewal is permitted while temporarily residing outside of NSW, that is, consecutive renewals while overseas are not allowed.

I have thought about transferring our licenses to another State of Australia; however, this is also not an option as we cannot prove residency within any other State.

HELP: Is there anyone from NSW who may have experienced a similar situation, or anyone who may have another solution to this problem?

Thanks in Advance.

Col & Anthea
Rusty Bones RTW
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#riderslicence #nswgovt

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